Movie Review: The Martian 

 

This is one movie I’d been really looking forward to for the past few months and I’m glad it didn’t disappoint. 

The film stars Matt Damon as Mark Watney, an astronaut. After a huge storm, his Mars mission goes awry. His mission commander Melissa Lewis (Jessica Chastain) presumes him to be dead and hence decides to abort the mission and head back to Earth with the rest of the crew members. 

However Mark is injured but alive and performs a self surgery to fix his wound (a scene which can be compared to the pregnancy termination scene in Scotts’s previous movie Prometheus which still gives me nightmares!). 

Having only about a year’s worth of food, Mark decides to use his skills as a botanist to grow food in order to survive till the next manned mission to Mars (which is 4 years away) is able to rescue him.

The film, directed by Ridley Scott, has stunning visual effects and I would expect no less from a big budgeted space movie like this one.The plot is compelling and definitely keeps you at the edge of your seat with its many twists and turns.Even though it’s plot is very theoretical and hypothetical, the movie still manages to make it all look as realistic as possible with its easily understandable explanations.

Unlike previous years space related movies like Interstellar and Gravity, The Martian definitely has much more light moments which provide humor in the film. Hence instead of being a borderline depressing movie about a guy stuck alone on a planet, thousands of miles away from home, the movie manages to maintain a more optimistic storyline about a guy’s determination to get home. 

Matt Damon’s performance as the witty and buoyant Mark is commendable and probably one of his best. Other cast members including Jeff Daniels as Teddy Sanders, the director of NASA, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Vincent Kapoor, the director of Mars missions, Sean Bean as Mitch Henderson, the Hermes flight director, Kristen Wiig as Annie Montrose, a NASA spokesperson and other astronauts aboard the Ares III played by Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Michael Peña and Aksel Hennie also had good performances.


4/5

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Note- This is the first movie review I’ve ever written or posted on this blog! I’ve tried to write to to the best of my ability. I’m always open to critique so let me know what you think.

Top 5 Wednesday- Banned Books You’ve Read 

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It’s time for another Top 5 Wednesday!
Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey. If you want to join in too, you can checkout the official group page here for more information.
This week’s topic is Banned Books You’ve Read.

So here is my list of books in no particular order. Some of these books were banned while others were challenged multiple times.

The Catcher In The Rye by J.D Salinger


Eleanor And Park by Rainbow Rowell

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The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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Deenie by Judy Blume

So that’s it. I’m a book short this week but I honestly couldn’t find another banned book that I’ve read.

Top 5 Wednesday- Title Fonts on Covers

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Welcome back to another Top 5 Wednesday!

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey. If you want to join in too, you can checkout the official group page here for more information.

This week’s topic is Title Fonts on Covers.

So here is my list of books

A Work in Progress by Connor Franta

There is just something about the simplicity of the font that makes it so aesthetic.

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Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Another simple font but with a bit more playful and vibrant side.

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The Statistical Probability of Falling in Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

I find this font absolutely cute and adorable!

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Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Yet another simple but elegant font.

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Beastly by Alex Flinn

I love how they’ve incorporated thorns in the font as it gives it a more edgy and deadly look.

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Top 5 Wednesday- Books with Mental Health/Illness

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Hi Everyone!

So it’s been more than 2 weeks since I last posted anything. I really wanted to complete my Doctor Who Season 5 reviews before my exams began, however I just wasn’t getting the time write them. Now I’m halfway through my exams and they will finish on the 30th of September. I didn’t want to not post anything for a whole month so I’ve decided to try out the Top 5 Wednesday meme. This way my blog won’t be completely empty till the starting of October.

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, if you want to join in too, you can checkout the official group page here for more information.

This week’s topic is books with mental health/illness.

So here is my list of books. Most of these books have not specifically mentioned if a character is suffering from a mental illness, however they seem to show some major signs and symptoms of them.

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower By Stephen Chbosky

Charlie, the protagonist, shows signs of Depression and PTSD.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

I’m not going to say anything for this as I might spoil it for those who haven’t read it.

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

The protagonist suffers from depression.

The Catcher in the Rye

Signs and symptoms of PTSD among other things.

Gone Girl

Most probably antisocial personality disorder which is closely associated with psychopathy.

Doctor Who Season 5 Recap+Review: episodes 8&9

 The eighth episode ‘The Hungry Earth’ was the first part to a two part story. The Doctor had promised Amy and Rory that he would take them to Rio, however they end up landing in a small welsh village in the year 2020.

In the village, Dr. Nasreen Chaudhry with the help of Tony is heading a drilling operation deep into the earth. They have recently achieved their goal of digging 21kms, the deepest anyone has ever dug. However their digging ends up disturbing a civilization of Silurians (homo reptilia), who had inhabited the earth before humans. They have been in hibernation beneath the earth for millions of years. The Silurians believe that the earth belongs to them and that the drilling was a form of attack by the humans. Hence they want to wipe out humanity and reclaim their land.

This episode started off great and seemed very promising however it ended up spiraling downward towards the end. The suspense surrounding the mysterious Silurians was what kept the episode going but after the appearance of one, the episode lost it’d intriguing factor. It was scary to think that a whole civilization of creatures that has lived in hibernation beneath the earth for millions of years, has access to technology way more advanced than its human counterparts in the present.

  An interesting storyline in the episode was how Amy gets consumed into a hole by the Silurians while investigating holes in the mine with The Doctor. When she wakes up, she finds herself strapped to a standing surgical table next to Mo, Tony’s daughter Ambrose’s husband, who had earlier been consumed by a hole too. Although we don’t see her for much of the episode, Karen Gillan’s performance was great in whatever parts she was in.

 Back on the ground, The Doctor and Rory are able to catch one of the three Silurians who had travelled up the drilling shaft. In a scuffle a bit earlier, Ambrose’s son Elliot had been captured and Tony had been struck with the venomous tongue of one of the Silurians. Upon capturing a Silurian named Alaya, who is a member of the warrior caste, the Doctor interrogates her and tries to negotiate with her, however she declares war.

As this was an Amy-lite episode, It was great to see more of The Doctor’s developing relationship with Rory as they haven’t always agreed in the past. Rory was angry with The Doctor in the start for failing to protect Amy however by the end of the episode you could see that even though they still had their differences, he trusted The Doctor.
The CGI and especially the makeup in the episode were fantastic. I really loved the look of the Silurians as even though they looked reptile like, they still resembled humans, thus making it easier to believe that a race like theirs had lived on earth before apes.

  

  
At the end of the episode, the Doctor along with Nasreen, decide to travel down the drilling shaft in order to work out a truce with the Silurians and prevent a war from taking place.
However when they arrive underground in the tardis, they realize that instead of a small group of Silurians they thought they would encounter, a whole civilization lives there, stretching for miles.
Although the pacing of the episode was good and helped maintain the tension, I’m hoping that the second part turns out to better and more fast paced.

The ninth episode ‘cold blood’ starts off with The Doctor and Nasreen getting captured by the Silurians. The Silurians become even more wary of the humans when The Doctor informs them of a branch of Silurians he had met earlier, who had been ultimately been killed by humans.
This episode was disappointing than the previous one. The episode’s pace was also a bit slow and nothing very interesting seemed to happen in it till the very end.

A great topic that the writers touched upon was how humans can be even more monstrous than monsters at times. This is a topic that I believe hasn’t been explored much in the past hence it was a good addition.
In the previous episode before going down to the Silurians, The Doctor had left Alaya in the care of Rory, Ambrose and Tony. He had strictly told them to make sure that no harm comes to her as keeping her alive may be the only way to get Mo, Amy and Elliot back from the other Silurians. However after being taunted by Alaya, Ambrose ends up killing her.
This creates problems for The Doctor who had managed to reach an agreement with the Silurians to let him and the others go back to the ground in exchange for Alaya.
Even though the Silurians might not be the most peaceful race and have many faults, I still felt disappointed with Ambrose for not being ‘the best of humanity’ and instead proving the Silurians right about their original assessment of humans.
As I had mentioned before, this episode had an interesting and shocking ending.

Just as the doctor, Amy, Rory, Ambrose, Mo and Elliot are escaping through the Tardis back to the ground, a crack appears. The Doctor reaches into the crack and pulls out an object which he wraps in a handkerchief. However before he can explain, Rory jumps in front of him and gets shot by Restac, Alaya’s sister. Rory dies and gets surrounded by the time field from the crack. This erases his existence from history and hence from the Amy’s mind. Amy tries to frantically hold on to his memory but not long after, she completely forgets him.

                          

                         
Karen Gillan’s performance as a distressed and hysterical Amy was one of the highlights of this episode and truly gut wrenching to watch.
Overall this episode was a decent conclusion to the previous episode with a few loose ends and unanswered questions which I hope the writers will address In the future.

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Note-

So I have exams coming up in less than 2 weeks. I have two more Doctor Who season 5 posts left which I’ll hopefully finish posting by around the 7th-8th of September. After that I won’t be posting any reviews for the rest of September. I might do a weekly book tag but no promises. However I will return with more reviews and other posts in October!

Doctor Who Season 5 Recap+Review: episodes 6&7 

The sixth episode ‘The Vampires of Venice’ saw the return of Rory, Amy’s fiancée. At the end of the previous episode, Amy had requested The Doctor to return her to Earth on the night they had left, which was the night before her wedding. On returning back Amy had kissed The Doctor. The Doctor, wanting Amy to work on her relationship with Rory, decides to gift them a romantic trip to Venice. They land in Venice in 1580 and The Doctor soon becomes suspicious of the city’s patron, Rosanna Calvierri, who runs a mysterious school for girls.
This was a decent Doctor Who episode, not as good as the 4th and 5th episodes but better than the 2nd and 3rd. The comedic element added due to Rory and his insecurities about The Doctor and Amy is what really held the episode together. However the main plot wasn’t very strong and sometimes became a bit boring. Also many questions were left unanswered hence there were a couple of loose ends. I feel like this episode would have worked better as a two parter rather than a standalone.
One my my favorite scenes was towards the starting of the episode when Rory is at his stag party and a cake is being wheeled in. Everybody chants for a stripper to pop out of it but to everyone’s shock The Doctor’s pops out instead. The Doctor tells Rory that Amy kissed him-
                                     
The Doctor: Rory! That’s a relief. Thought I’d burst out of the wrong cake. Again. That reminds me, there’s a girl standing outside in a bikini. Could somebody let her in and give her a jumper? Lucy. Lovely girl. {whispering} Diabetic. Now then. Rory. We need to talk about your fiancée. She tried to kiss me. Tell you what though, you’re a lucky man. She’s a great kisser. {silence} Funny how you can say something in your head and it sounds fine…
Arthur Darvill plays the cowardly and timid Rory to perfection. Even though Rory is a coward, he shows that when it comes to people that he cares about, he would put his life on the line to protect them (even if it may not exactly look heroic). Later in the episode he also makes some very valid points about The Doctor’s character like how he always makes people want to impress him and how that ends up putting those people in danger.
                         
In this episode Amy is also very indecisive about which one of her ‘boys’ she likes better which is evident during the scene in which she has to decide which one of the men would accompany her to Signora Calvierri’s school. First she proposes that the The Doctor accompany her being disguised as her Fiancé, to which Rory objects as he doesn’t want others to think the Doctor‘s her fiance. Then she proposes Rory to accompany her as her brother to which Rory objects asking her why The Doctor being her brother was weird for her but with him being her brother it’s okay.
Although this episode had some beautiful and scenic scenes and a somewhat interesting plot, in the end it turned out to be not quite satisfactory.
The seventh episode ‘Amy’s Choice’ (sorry for the lack of a better word) was a complete mindfuck! Even though some might disagree, I thought the episode was just intriguing and incredibly engrossing.
However the ending was a bit weak and could have definitely been better.
                       
    
The episode takes place between two realities. One which is set in Upper Leadsworth, Amy and Rory’s hometown. It is the year 2015 and it has been five years since Rory and Amy travelled with The Doctor. Amy and Rory are married and Amy is heavily pregnant. In the other reality Amy and Rory are still traveling with The Doctor and are currently in the Tardis. However both the realities have an enemy each, the first one having Eknodine, an alien race that is living inside the elderly people of the town. In the second reality they are trapped in the Tardis which has lost its power. They are slowly drifting towards a cold star and they have only 40 minutes till they freeze to death.
   
A mysterious man called ‘The Dream Lord’ appears and tells them that they must choose which reality is real and which one is fake. If they die in the fake reality, they will wake up in the real world. However if they die in the real world then they will actually be dead. He also adds a little twist by making them fall asleep and wake up in either of the worlds whenever he wants. The Doctor, Amy and Rory do not have any control over when they they fall asleep. Hence if they fall asleep while in the middle of a potentially life threatening situation in one of the worlds, they could end up dying.
   
The plot of this episode was quite clever. It really made The Doctor, Amy and Rory question things about their lives and everything else. Amy also finally decided if she was committed to Rory or wanted a life of adventure with The Doctor. Hence why the episode is called Amy’s choice.
In one of the realities she has a happy, married life with Rory with a baby on the way while in the other she is still traveling with The Doctor and living the adventure.
 
Dream Lord: “Now, which one of these men would you really choose? You ran away with a handsome hero. Would you really give him up for a bumbling country doctor who thinks the only thing he needs to be really interesting…is a ponytail?”
Amy: “Stop it.”
Dream Lord: “But maybe it’s better than loving and losing the Doctor. Pick a world, and this nightmare will all be over. They’ll listen to you; it’s you they’re waiting for. Amy’s men. Amy’s choice.”
    
Toby Jones portrays The Dream Lord excellently. Especially when you realize that The Dream Lord is a manifestation of The Doctor’s darker side. It was good to see that The Doctor too has so many insecurities and is a victim of self loathing. I honestly did not see that twist coming right till the end of the episode when The Doctor spoke about it.
Karen Gillan’s performance was also great especially as pregnant Amy in the first reality. She showed that being pregnant did not mean being weak and helpless. She was probably the strongest character mentally and emotionally. She finally made her choice in Rory when in the first reality he died and she deduced that she loved him so much that a life without him could not be real and hence that reality had to be fake. So she and The Doctor drove themselves into her and Rory’s house to their assumed deaths.
  
This was an amazing episode. Much more serious than the previous one, but with a gripping and complicated plot that I just loved. Rory and Amy are becoming one my favorite Doctor Who companions.

Liebster Award!

Hey Everyone!
I was nominated for the Liebster award!

I thank auroralicity for the nomination!
The Liebster award is meant for blogs that don’t have hundreds of followers and need to get discovered.

Here are the rules:

Thank the nominator.

Display the award.

Nominate 10 more bloggers with 10 new questions.

Answer the questions

Notify the Nominees

Here are my answers:

Favorite Tv character?

Right now it’s The 11th Doctor from Doctor Who, but it keeps changing every month.

Preferred super power if you had one?

Teleportation!

What do you do when you’re bored?

Watch Tv, read books, plan stuff for my blog.

What’s your dream city to live in?

The list is endless. I pretty much want to live everywhere.

What’s your middle name?

Sadly don’t have one.

A job you’d switch to right now?

Don’t have a job either (i wish i did though).

Favorite actor, writer, or celebrity?

I’ll do one for each-

Emilia Clarke, Gayle Forman and Pewdiepie (Felix Kjellberg)

Do you like to read?

I love to read!

What’s your favorite restaurant?

The pasta bowl company and Rose Cafe

Do you prefer the city life or country life?

City life

Here are my questions:

What’s your favorite color?

Where do you live?

What’s your favorite tv show?

Favorite genre of books?

Cats or dogs?

A famous person you’d like to switch places with for one day.

A country you’ve always wanted to visit.

What made you start blogging?

Favorite ice cream flavor?

Name one singer/band/group etc you can’t help but love.

I nominate:

storytellersociety

heyitsvandana

lifeissweetinbooks

kristofertvshowreviews

vortex75

fictionforteens

cobiwann

qjer.tv

theobsessionquotient

gallifreyanramblings