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Video game streaming: A market on the horizon

Streaming services have gained a foothold in virtually every entertainment market over the past decade. Netflix and other streaming services have practically put cable television to rest. One industry that direct streaming hasn’t ventured into is gaming. That is about to change, for better or worse. Companies have observed the $150 billion worth industry and noted the potential for expansion. And they can’t wait to capitalize on it.

The Game

The answer to the question, “What could video game streaming achieve?” is still very vague.

In theory, a streaming service encompassing all devices could eliminate the need for consoles and console exclusive games. We could play any game on any device with sufficient hardware. And if someone has doubts about that, think about it this way: If there was an opportunity to make more games available on any device, either the producers would step up the hardware in their devices for less money, or games would be developed with better optimization, making them less demanding.

The Players

There is a very likely possibility of having console quality games on even mobile devices if streaming comes to pass, in the way it should. More for less is good news for customers. But what are the potential players in the streaming market preparing to offer?

Microsoft

Microsoft’s Project XCloud began with the expression that their vision for the future of gaming didn’t involve an expensive console. A cynical person such as myself might attribute that sentiment to their expensive console not selling. After the disappointment of the Xbox One despite it’s great hardware, Microsoft looked to take the beef off the device and implement it to their servers. They plan the service to avail top tier video games in any and all devices. This was exciting news for video game enthusiasts. XCloud allows you to play Xbox games without ever owning an Xbox, with all the features like crossplay, party chat and competitive online play available. All you need is an XCloud account to have access to the Xbox’s library of games on any device, even your smartphone. A Wi-Fi connection with decent speed or even a 4G connection can avail the XCloud to anyone, anywhere.

Google

A few months after Project XCloud’s announcement, Google introduced us to the beta version of its Project Stream. The service offers game streaming via the Google Chrome browser. The process was demonstrated by streaming Assassin’s Creed Odyssey over Chrome. Google offered the game for free to beta testers (those who met a few criteria) for the procedure that ran from last October to January 2019. There were a few problems, but the major takeaway was streaming via the Chrome browser is possible for a high-end game running at 60 fps on 1080p HD.

The others and how they hold up

Aside from the more prominent projects of Google and Microsoft, it is rumoured that Apple might also be working on a game streaming service. Granted, Apple hasn’t exactly had much to do with gaming at any point. But the allure of the market might finally be bringing them around.

It can be argued that Sony with Remote Play and PlayStation Now has already done what Microsoft and Google are trying to do. The truth is that the PS4’s remote play allows games to be played on the PSVita and the PC, but only up to 720p resolution. And you have to keep your PS4 running over the internet or across your room. In addition, the PlayStation Now service requires that you own a Sony PlayStation device to play the games on it. And the streaming service has been tormented by input lag issues and low quality video capability. So the XCloud and Project stream are far more than just counters to the PlayStation on Xbox and PC respectively.

The future

There is a very simple idea at work here. If you own a game you should be able to take it with you wherever and play it on whatever. Backwards compatibility and streaming on demand are facets of the idea. Offerings like Project XCloud have the potential to change the entire gaming market going forward by redefining how you buy a game and how you own it. This is not to say that console exclusives or physical copy ownership in gaming are going away. Many people are still sceptical of digital ownership, which is why you can still buy game disks. And console exclusives are a great way to market and sell consoles.

Video game streaming in the context of Project XCloud and Project Stream is an indication of inclusion and reach. More games will be available to more people far more conveniently. You can own a console with exclusive games and buy physical copies if you want to. And someone else can play games they want to play on anything from a phone to a tablet at any place if one wants to. Simply put, video game streaming can find the balance Netflix and Cable couldn’t. It can provide a solution to everyone without upsetting anyone or shutting down any preceding option. So when Microsoft talks about Project XCloud being the Netflix of video games, they aren’t looking to put the last nail in console gaming’s coffin, just because the last two generations of Xbox got owned by basically every other console.

At least that’s what we hope. It’s Microsoft. They’ve screwed up good things before. All we can do is wait and see. Good thing is if it doesn’t look good, you can still resort to pre-existing means. This isn’t the 3.5 mm jack, no one’s trying to replace it for dubious reasons.

We have got to talk about SEX EDUCATION, the hit Netflix show

We have all been there: endlessly scrolling away on Netflix to find the next show to binge watch. “Sex Education” may be listed under comedy, but the series holds so much more than that. The show is centred around an awkward teenager Otis (Asa Butterfield), the series shows his journey with Maeve Wiley (Emma Mackey) the ‘bad girl’ and a social outcast and his gay best friend, Eric Effiong (Ncuti Gatwa).

No spoilers but we have got to talk about it!

We have got to talk about SEX EDUCATION, the hit Netflix show. 1
Credit: Netflix

The teenagers’ journey is one of solving sexual and personal problems related to high school students’ bodies and sexuality. Being an ‘underground’ sex therapist comes naturally for Otis because his mother, Dr. Jean F Milburn (Gillian Anderson), is a well-known published sex therapist.

However, Otis himself is unable to meet his own sexual desires because he cannot masturbate no matter how much he tries. This irony adds complexity to the character and his actions, keeping the audience interested. What is more riveting is a pact between Otis and Maeve where they start counselling as a sort of ‘business strategy’. They decide that Otis will be the therapist and Maeve will the a ‘manager’ of sorts. The other characters hold an equally important part in the series as they slowly develop and reveal answers to the questions you might have.

Why you should 10/10 binge on this

We have got to talk about SEX EDUCATION, the hit Netflix show. 2

Laurie Nunn successfully portrayed different angels of sexuality and ideologies in a light-hearted but emotional manner. This was a highlight for the show. The art of portraying such heavy issues and taboo topics in such a way can be tough game but “Sex Education” definitely succeeded and won our hearts.

The unfortunate reality is that most rom-coms or comedy-dramas feel repetitive or similar with cliched plotlines. However, “Sex Education” is one of the most trending series of the year for Netflix, because it tries the genre in a fresh way. The characters, the message and the whole episodes have new twists and turns. Most importantly, the stories are relatable for teenagers navigating their sexuality.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7-mYIlBxXo

We recommend the show, not only for its storytelling but also because it is important to talk about sex and sexuality and all its messiness.

The show takes a risk by broaching the topic and that pays off.  The stale genre of romantic comedies and the content hungry teenage viewers both benefit from shows which explore social topics, in an accessible way.

We all have our ups and downs with our sexuality and it is never easy to talk about it openly. “Sex Education” might just be the ‘push’ we need to break free of sex being a taboo subject. If you have not watched it already, then do it soon because season two will be released soon, delivering the same ‘wow’ as the first.

Let us know if you agree!

A chilling window into the mind of a psychopath: The Ted Bundy Tapes

It doesn’t take long for Ted Bundy to make you feel uneasy. Charming, handsome and intelligent, he speaks with an air of comfort and ease that almost makes you forget he is a serial killer.

Can you truly know how a killer’s mind works?

Diagnosed with manic-depressive disorder, Ted Bundy is an acute narcissist who enjoyed the attention his arrest and subsequent series of trials brought to himself. There’s a disturbing scene in the third episode of the documentary series where he asks one of the policemen to go over a crime scene in excruciating detail.

Conversations with a Killer: the Ted Bundy Tapes is a decent introduction to the infamous serial killer’s story. He operated in an era that was still unfamiliar with serial killers, and the manhunt to catch him would go on to pioneer developments in crime investigation that are still important to this day.

The tapes were recorded by rookie journalist Stephen Michaud and seasoned reporter Hugh Aynesworth in 1980, when Bundy was on death row.

He was initially unresponsive in his conversations with the pair, until Michaud encouraged Bundy to talk about himself in the third person, as though he were an expert witness



Bundy was careful not to reveal anything that would indicate he was making an admission of guilt, and the closest he got to revealing how his mind worked was when he talked about how such an individual is motivated by a need for fulfilment, hoping that the next murder would fulfill that need.

What works (and doesn’t work)

One of the strong points of the series is its use of authentic footage and photos from the seventies and eighties, which stretch from the victims and their parents, the police investigating Bundy’s case to Bundy himself as he goes through trials, several escape attempts and lastly, walks to his death via electrocution.

What is chilling about Bundy is that there is a void inside him that nonetheless lures his victims to a false sense of security. He married one of his closest friends, Carol Ann Boone, after proposing to her during a trial, and sired a daughter, Rosa, with her when he was on death row.

However, the documentary doesn’t spend as much time on his victims as it could have, which is a pity because they remain mostly faceless. Two days before his execution in 1989, Bundy confessed to murdering thirty women, but it’s likely that his actual kill count was much higher.

The director, Joe Berlinger, is intimately familiar with the true crime genre, and has also directed the upcoming film on Bundy, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil which features Zac Effron as Ted Bundy.


While what Bundy did to his victims is undoubtedly vile- he often decapitated his victims and had sex with their corpses- the interest in him that continues to endure is partly because of his own catering to his narcissism, and partly because of our perverse interest in evil.

There is also the fact that murderers like Ted Bundy, and the fictional Joe Goldberg from You, are fetishized and even pined after in some cases. Elizabeth Yardley, Director of the Centre for Applied Criminology at Birmingham City University, talked in an interview with Real Crime how documentaries and other media portray killers as captivating individuals.

“Serial killers get others on side and take charge of a situation with a mix of compliments and common sense,” she explains. “They tend to have a very good grasp of other people’s emotions and are quick to pick up on any vulnerability or weakness in order to convince them into doing things they normally wouldn’t.”

The verdict

As it stands, Conversations with a Killer: the Ted Bundy Tapes feels slightly incomplete, an exploration that is fascinated and intimidated by Bundy but does little to demystify his actions and motivations. The documentary suggests that he is unknowable, in the way most of us are. If you want to know more about him, further reading (and viewing) is in order.

Originally published on Upthrust.

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is an ignorable chapter for the series but a giant leap for entertainment

You either like Black Mirror, or you hate it. Even if you don’t hate it, it can leave a strong distaste in your mouth.

Sometimes, the show can feel like it’s being vile for the sake of being vile. Other times, however, it tells excellent cautionary horror tales about technology run amok.

The illusion of free will

Credit: Netflix

Bandersnatch is no different. An interactive 90-minute movie with multiple branching paths and endings, Bandersnatch contains a total of 312 minutes of footage. Set in 1984, Bandersnatch is about Stefan Butler (Fionn Whitehead) who is trying to adapt a choose your adventure novel into a video game. Struggling with childhood trauma and the frustrations of coding the game by himself, he soon runs into a wall as he tries to meet the deadline.

The choices start off relatively easy, from choosing your breakfast cereal to what song you are listening to on your morning commute. They get increasingly more diverse as the story continues.

Why this is different from video games

Making a multiple choice interactive adventure isn’t exactly easy.

“WHAT WE WERE TRYING TO DO WAS WHAT STEFAN WAS TRYING TO DO,” SAID CHARLIE BROOKER, CO-CREATOR OF BLACK MIRROR. “THERE WERE MANY POINTS WHERE WE FELT IT WAS DRIVING US CRAZY.

I think that’s the challenge games have. You’ve set up a character, they’ll have cutscenes where you see their motivation, and then they sort of say all this stuff. But you can make them turn around and beat everyone to death, if you want to. Which means you’re playing the most mentally disordered figure there could be. When you’re writing a script, your characters are defined by what they do, more than what they say. As soon as you’re ceding that control to the viewer … it becomes a very real challenge.”

This isn’t Netflix’s first foray into interactive storytelling. It tested waters before with an episode in its Puss in Boots series, aimed at an younger audience. Bandersnatch has a more complicated narrative, that takes a metatextual turn and questions the extent of choices and free will both the protagonist and the viewer has in the narrative.

What works (and doesn’t work)

Credit: Netflix

There are times where I wished that the story was more open ended. We are often rerouted to certain paths that advance the story. However, the metanarrative kept things interesting. There’s a point in the story where two choices are equally valid, and I was pleasantly surprised .

Fionn Whitehead does well as the increasingly more paranoid Stefan. Director David Slade, who previously directed Season 5’s Metalhead, kept things relatively straightforward.

I discovered four endings on my first couple of playthroughs, and it took me the next day to get the final ending where the game receives the highest rating. Like I often do with video games, I discovered that while crawling through articles and Reddit, and then worked my way back through the episode to discover it. The story, it turns out, is based on an actual unreleased game called Bandersnatch.

THE ENDINGS VARY FROM BEING BLEAK TO POIGNANT TO BEING FOURTH-WALL BREAKING AND BATSHIT INSANE.

It did disappointment me a little that there was no ending where Stefan had a happy ending, but then again in Black Mirror, those are hard to come by.

Bandersnatch isn’t perfect, but it’s a lot of fun. As an experiment, it largely succeeds. If it’s a sign of things to come in regards to more interactive content, then it’s a very welcome addition to Black Mirror and Netflix in general.

“We are telling stories,” said Carla Engelbrecht, Netflix’s Director of Product Innovation. “We think we are onto something that could be really exciting,” added Netflix’s VP of Product, Todd Yellin.

Originally published on UpThrust.

Explaining piracy in third world countries

The land of piracy! As cool as it sounds, believe us it’s not. This is not One Piece. This is the real world. One should not feel proud to call their country a land of piracy. For starters this is illegal and WRONG. Secondly, it is disrespectful to those who make awesome TV shows, Anime, Music, Comic books, books and video games for us. Yet sadly, for those of us who reside in these third world countries have no other option but to use piracy if we want to consume any popular media from countries other than our own.

It’s not just popular entertainment that piracy prevails in. Piracy is intertwined with our businesses too. Just how many companies and homes in these third world countries do you think run genuine windows operating system and Microsoft office software? Not many, that’s for sure.

BUT WHY?

Before answering that, here is a more important question. DOES IT MATTER?

So what if we pirate all our games? So what if our operating systems are all downloaded from pirate bay? What if all our favorite albums and songs are downloaded from random suspicious looking websites for free? What if all our software and movies are downloaded from TorrentBD? Why does it matter? Why is it wrong or illegal? It’s not like we are stealing money or committing some kind of crime.

Now, imagine for a second that you are one of the writers of your favorite TV show. Put yourself in the shoes of these people for a minute. You have spent months passionately writing a story, writing these characters for this one show. You have poured your heart into every dialogue, every word. Your audience has noticed, and given your show and characters their love and attention. The critics have given you their seal of approval. The pay is great too.

There is just one tiny problem.

Your show isn’t getting any ratings on the TV. So, a few seasons in, your show gets cancelled for something different. All your passion and hard work gone just like that. You are out of job too. It’s time to look for a new job.

How did this happen?

Turns out everyone has been downloading your show from torrent sites.

This might sound like some crazy extreme fictional scenario. But consider this, producer of Hannibal TV series blamed piracy for cancellation of the show. Consider that the band LCD Sound system from United Kingdom begged their fans to not leak their upcoming album. Their plea went unheard. Consider that piracy is the reason that EA implemented very restrictive DRM systems in their games.

Developing, creating anything requires talent, hard work, and time. This is why artists, writers, video game developers, film-makers get paid.

The money we pay to consume art allow the creators to create more for us.

So, what happens when we take money out of the equation and download everything for free? The people who make the things that we enjoy can no longer support themselves and have to stop what they do.

Piracy is pretty much stealing. Every time someone is downloading something for free that has a price tag added, he is depriving the creator of his well-deserved compensation and livelihood.

Why does piracy happen?

So, piracy is morally wrong and its consequences ultimately impact us directly, and negatively. This brings us to our first question again. Why then, do we pirate everything that we can?

The short answer to that question is that, it’s easy. The long answer is a bit more complicated.

Internet hasn’t been around for that long. The world is still adjusting to the huge wave and splash that the Internet has brought along with it. In between all the chaos, innovations, and great leaps forward, the world has lost track of how information can be shared and spread. Now we can easily download a song by Eminem as soon as it comes out without needing to buy it. This would be impossible in a pre-internet world. But, in a post-internet world, where everything is connected, it is expected that pirates will give others access to freely download anything.

Piracy in third world countries 1
Sure, Netflix sounds great! But its costly too.

Another thing is that these products are simply not available in a lot of third world countries. Even if they are, they are available in very obscure places that most people don’t even know about and they cost a very high amount of money to get. A good example of this would be Japanese anime TV shows and manga in Bangladesh. It’s not like we can not at all find CDs, DVDs of anime shows, and volumes of manga in this country. We can find them if we look and search hard enough. The issues are that it’s not easy to find and the cost is too high. There is also the fact that even if we find what we are looking for, there’s no guarantee that we will be able to find everything of a series and in good enough quality.

Add to all this some basic and normal human psychology. Who in their right mind would go through all that hassle to pay for something when they can find the same thing for free very easily with no issues online? No one.

Ahoy, matey!

“They are necessary for countries like us where you can’t get crunchyroll or Netflix even if you wanted to, since international payments are even an issue.”


-Munazil Rahman, Organiser at Unmad-JCC Comic Con.

This is how we have reached the situation that we are right now. We are all just pirates drifting through the endless sea of the World Wide Web. And we are not even the cool, awesome kind from One Piece or the dangerous, adventurous kind like Blackbeard. We are more of a very large group of bandits riding a worn down boat, unaware of what we are really doing. Some of us are also doing this because we have no other option.

Socially accepted addictions: Addictions we love to pursue

People around us tell us to stay away from all kinds of addiction every day. ‘Don’t smoke. Don’t drink. Or take drugs. Stay away from other addicts.’ And so on and on and on. Here’s the thing though, all the while they are telling us these things, they are also telling us, teaching us to get addicted to other things. Things that apparently are not as dangerous. Things that we are supposed to be addicted to. These are some of the things I’ve listed below:

Tea or Coffee:

Sure, keep drinking tea every hour and you will soon find people staring at you with concerned eyes. But think about it. Why is it that something that can kill your liver a part of our everyday life? Every time you go visit your sweet aunt, tea almost always comes up as a part of the hospitality? Why is it everywhere in our workplaces? How is it that something so harmful can be so ubiquitous? For some odd reason, we always overlook our addiction to drinking tea or coffee. We don’t even see it as a problem.

Okay fine. Yes, I’m fear-mongering a bit at this point. I’m making a big deal out of nothing. I understand. Caffeine-related deaths are not as common as many other causes of deaths. Still, you have to wonder, why though?

By the way, I’ve been writing all this with a cup of coffee in my hand. My second one this evening. The irony is not lost on me. But hey, addictions are addictions because they are fun as heck.

Television:

Socially accepted addiction: addictions we accept 1

I remember when my father and mother used to scold me for watching TV too much. Then they would spend the next three hours watching TV and fall asleep while watching TV. Well, the joke is on them now. I don’t watch TV no more. I only watch quality Youtube videos. Who is laughing now?

Certainly not my grades.

Anyway, TV hasn’t been around for that long in this country. Color TV came to us only very recently in 1980. It may not seem that recent, but in the grand scheme things, it is quite so. In spite of being so new, it has already reached almost every household of the country. There are very few if any, places in Bangladesh right now that doesn’t have a TV and a dish line to provide the people with some sweet Bangla cinema.

Even though I have made conscious efforts to stop watching TV, all I have managed to do is replace one addiction with another. Well, at least I don’t have to get into arguments with my parents about the remote anymore. That’s my little cousin’s job now.|

Sports:

Socially accepted addictions: Addictions we love to pursue
I remember sneaking out of my house to play street cricket with my friends. Yes, it was addictive

Let me tell you a story.

I was hard at work. I was typing away furiously at my computer, trying to get this article done in time. My room was dark and silent. Only the sounds of my fan and my keystrokes were around. My whole concentration focused on the words and ideas I slowly forming into coherent paragraphs. Many things were written, then deleted, then rewritten, only to be deleted for good. Many jokes, many ideas, and thoughts swirling away… and…

Sounds of cheering, screaming, and horns shatter all that in a matter of seconds. What happened? Oh, Brazil won a match.

Okay.

This is some kind of fanaticism. The way we treat sports sometimes seems like borderline insanity. Did you know that a person committed suicide after Argentina losing in the first round? I bet you do. And I bet that if you are a fan of Argentina, you are heartbroken after they lost the chance to progress. But we don’t see sports rehabilitation centers opened up around the country, do we? Of course not. That would be ridiculous. Still, it’s a very prevalent addiction in our life.

I support Brazil, in case you are wondering.

Books:

12 things only a bookworm can relate to-HiFi Public

This may sound strange to some people. You don’t see that many readers nowadays. But I promise you, they are there, hidden under their comfy blankets, sipping coffee and reading away at a speed that you can’t even imagine, the bookworms are all around us. And I assure you, it is indeed an addiction.

Be wary of books. They hold wonders that can enrich you, but also consume you to your core.

It’s weird because all our life, books have been held up as something that you should indulge yourself in. Do it a bit too much though, and you will be lost in a world from which there is no escape. There was a time when all I had were books. I enjoyed them immensely. My parents were proud of me too. They probably used to brag to other parents about how much books I read.

Then came exam time. These books became their worst enemy then. I wouldn’t study. I would just keep reading the same books again and again because it was fun. That’s what I wanted to do. I was addicted.

Success:

Finally, we get here. The apex of socially endorsed addiction. A thing that we are trained from childhood to pursue. A thing that every one of us craves to some extent. That magical thing. Success.

There are a lot of ways I could go about describing how success is an addiction to you. The thing is though, I feel like this aspect of the world has been so talked about by this point that I can add very little to the discussion that hasn’t already been explored in one way or another. So instead, let me tell you another story.

During my HSC exams, I used to study a little bit the night before and then leave early the next morning because the exam center was quite far. At least one of my parents made sure to go with me every day. We would take a CNG. The CNG would drop us off a little bit away from the center and we would walk the rest.

Every morning, I would walk and watch as my fellow examiners would be absorbed into their mobiles, staring at and solving the leaked questions as fast as possible. The questions would leak every day around 30 minutes before the exam and everyone would solve it before going into the exam hall.

That’s fine.

Kids don’t know better, but the parents should

The thing is, they would have their parents around while doing all this. Not one of the parents I saw those days seemed to care about what they were doing. They encouraged and helped their children. They fanned their children while the said children went through the question and books to find the best answer.

The parents helped their children cheat in an exam in hopes of better results.

Success is a drug, and we are all addicts.

Look the bottom line is, these things, hobbies they are all good but when you take them to an obsessive level, it’s bad. Even gaming. I will not get to that point because I love life. But you get the point. Nothing should become an obsession. If you see symptoms of getting obsessed with something then it’s high time you stopped or changed to something different. If you don’t, then at some point in your life it cost you a great deal.

The Good, The Bad, The Mowgli?

Mowgli: The Legend of the Jungle by Netflix is another retelling of a childhood classic The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. The Jungle book is a story about an Indian boy. Who grew up in the forest with wolves, learning the ways of the jungle from a black panther and a bear. The main antagonist in this premise is the tiger known as Shere Khan.

Now, the movie and the original book has a few similarities. Yet the movie failed to deliver. Let us have a look at why the movie did not live up to the expectations.

Spoiler Warning!

Beyond this point lies extensive amount of spoilers. Turn back now if you plan on watching the movie and don’t want it spoiled.

Too Many Elements

The good, the bad, the mowgli?

Firstly, this movie has too many elements and too less time. This movie tried to show many of the elements of the original book. This is not a bad thing. But, when you have eight major characters to portray, you should balance out their screen time. This should have been a Mowgli focused movie. Instead, this was a mess.

Shere Khan Needed Screen Time

The good, the bad, the mowgli?

Now when you see Benedict Cumberbatch play a role, you would want to see more of him than fifteen minutes! Especially, when he plays the main antagonist character animal (what?). Well, BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH played Shere Khan in this movie and he was good. We loved him as Shere Khan. But, unfortunately, Shere Khan’s screen time was very little. So little that it felt like he was guest starring. In a movie where he is supposed to be leading antagonist. Emphasis on “leading”.

Where did the hunter come from?

The good, the bad, the mowgli?

Like seriously where did the hunter come from? Looking back at the source, the cartoons. Yes! even in the cartoons. There was no hunter. Basically, the Hunter, in this case, is the human mentor of Mowgli. He was an added character who was there to help with the dark elements of the movie. As if there weren’t enough characters who lacked screen time. They had to add an extra.

Where are Mowgli’s adoptive human Parents?

The good, the bad, the mowgli?

Mowgli after leaving the forest gets adopted by a human female. She thinks it’s her child who was snatched by the tiger Shere Khan. But, in the movie, a woman does take care of Mowgli. This is pretty much it. The woman bathes Mowgli, plays holi, and says only four dialogues throughout the whole movie.  Even the wolf mother “Nisha” (name changed from Raksha) should have gotten more priority. She raised him for Pete’s sake.

Finally, this movie lacked proper execution. There were proper elements. Good acting. Even making this a bit darker was a good idea. But this felt rushed and packed. This should have a movie from Mowgli’s point of view. Tell us what you think about this movie and mention if you have any friends named Nisha in our Facebook comment section.

Why you should binge Rick and Morty this vacation

Nowadays TV shows get rated as either watchable or not watchable. Good and excellent ratings barely exist. Amid all of these, there’s Rick And Morty. A cartoon show that was supposed to be a nasty parody of Back To The Future. Instead, it ended up becoming a highly beloved TV show, because of its use of dark comedy and Sci-fi element and so on. Let’s take a look what makes this show binge-worthy.

It Is Stupendously DARK!

A show where the grandpa is a drunk jerk. Who treats his weak grandson like a lab rat. Disregards everyone else. Doesn’t hesitate to even kill a version of him from another dimension. And escaping into one with Morty where that universe’s Rick and Morty died and living there taking the dead one’s place. Need a minute to process? It’s okay, Rick and Morty tends to have that effect on people.

Also to quote Morty on life “Nobody Exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Come to watch TV”. If that’s not dark then I don’t know what is.

Loads of action!

Oh My, Rick! When I say loads of action, I mean LOADS OF ACTION. All of the thirty-one episodes are filled with action. Starting with episode one of the first season to the last episode of the third. Sometimes the action is mediocre. Sometimes Rick and Morty end up purging in a different planet in Ironman like armor. Then there was the time when Rick turned himself into a pickle to escape from family time. Ends up in the sewer accidentally, makes an exoskeleton and a jet pack out of dead rats (Yeah, you read that right) and makes his way back to his house. Crazy stuff.

Got the Sci-Fi Elements Right

It’s not every day you see a cartoon show pulling off two big scientific theories in one episode. Yes, that’s right, we’re talking about the very first episode of a season two, “A Rickle In Time”. This episode managed to pull off Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, which states that you can’t exactly measure an object’s position and exact speed. Not even in theory. Then the famous Schrodinger’s Cat Theory. Not long after in the third episode of the same season. The show managed to pull off the concept of Collective Hivemind through an entity known as Unity. Unity was at a point Rick’s girlfriend.

The Characters are Planned

This is one of those shows which doesn’t randomly add characters. Each and every character is well thought of and serves their purpose really well. Now, the story itself is not that simple. A lot of things happen in a single episode. But each character’s role in every episode is well thought of.  Say, Evil Morty. We first see him in season one, at the end of the episode we knew he would come back as something greater. Then later on season three he later he takes over the whole citadel through careful planning. It’s like he planned this since his first appearance. But Evil Morty is no minor character. NoobNoob, on the other hand, is a minor character with four minutes of screen time at best. Yet the episode Vindicators 3: Return of Worldender ends up being his episode. At the end of the episode, an extremely drunk Rick is shown to have done everything he did, because of Noobnoob. Rick felt Noobnoob was really unappreciated and something should be done about it.

It is relatable to real life

What rick and morty gets right about this world

Rick and Morty has no hero. If you think about the philosophy behind all the major characters, Rick, Morty, Beth, Summer, and Jerry, they all are based on people with some really common problems.

Rick is a drunk old man. Who lost his wife and he bailed on his daughter. Later, he gets a second chance to do something good. But he can’t become a good example for his grandchildren and makes situations worse than they are supposed to be.

Morty is a not so popular fourteen years old. Who has an abusive grandpa and gets bullied at school.

Summer is a normal angsty teenager who is always stuck on her phone, taking videos of her dog. She cares for her family but finds their methods of interaction with her dysfunctional.

Beth and Jerry are husband and wife who are struggling with their marriage. Both love each other, yet they are extremely confused and fight a lot, which has an effect on the kids.

Wubbalubbadubdub!

What rick and morty gets right about this world

One of the best things about this show is Rick’s catchphrases. They are whacky, they are weird, they make no sense, and they are catchy. Period.

Rick and Morty just doesn’t add elements. The show also pulls off the added element in a systematic manner. Only a handful of shows can do that these days. And that is exactly why the world needs more shows like Rick and Morty. The show will soon return for a season 4 on Netflix. Don’t miss out!

Netflix announces live action Cowboy Bebop

The all-time popular anime Cowboy Bebop gets a go from Netflix. Apparently, Netflix has announced that this will be a 10 episode series, with Christopher Yost being the writer of the first episode. This has been at the works since 2017.

Here’s the tweet that announced it.  Suffice to say, we’re all pretty hyped. Cowboy Bebop is one of the greatest Anime’s ever made, and our entire team agrees.

Cowboy Bebop tells the Jazzy story of Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Faye Valentine, and Radical Ed. They are a crew of bounty hunters IN SPACE. Who are on the run from their depressing past. The original anime came out back in 1998 directed by Shinichiro Watanabe. Now that Netflix has given a go on this classic anime, we don’t know what to expect. Netflix has given us a lot of good stuff like Daredevil, Jessica Jones. Even on the anime series side, Bleach was really good too. But now, comes the bad ones like the Fullmetal Alchemist, Deathnote, Mob psycho 100. Regardless some are still clinging on to hope as the Sci-Fi series Altered Carbon delivered.

Cowboy Bebop has always been a fan favorite of all ages. From Suspense, Jazz, Action, this anime had it all perfect harmony. Which makes it an all-time binge-worthy show. The only thing we can now do is hope that Netflix blows our minds away with the series and get the characters, the story and the jazz right.

Narcos: Mexico – There’s a beginning, there’s no end

We lingered on one particular scene of Narcos after the brutal finale of Narcos season 3. That scene foreshadowed the next installment to Colombia’s bigger cousin, Mexico. That is where Narcos: Mexico begins the next chapter in the drug war.

An origin story

This Netflix spin-off/prequel is essentially a full-fledged origins story. The premise is the beginnings of the Mexican war on drugs. Of course, the agency that rose up to combat narcotics; Drug Enforcement Administration (or DEA), features heavily.  Two primary characters are at the center of this story. One is Félix Gallardo, a small-town cop with ambitions to reach to the top of the drug empire. Kiki Camarena is the other  DEA agent, transferred from Fresno, California to Guadalajara.

Both officials go up against the corruption embedded in their daily work.  They take strikingly different approaches to the drug war. One official takes advantage of his position, while the other fights against the grain with aspirations towards justice.

Narcos: Mexico has the violence that we have come to expect from the original series but in much more measured quantities.  Also, similar to the predecessor, the show explores the dualities and contradictions of human nature.

The Mexican brandishing to textbook Narcos

The returning cast of the original Narcos makes appearances, adding consistency to the overall premise and Columbian plotline.

Mexico is slow at first, but it speeds up around the halfway point. Expectedly, Narcos: Mexico is a show with high stakes with rivalries between newly formed cartels and of course, substantial family drama.  I enjoyed the high-quality production value, the spectacular cinematography, good musical queues, and pacing. It was a delight to watch A-list actors, especially Michael Peña as Kik, delivering immaculate performances.

That being said, Narcos: Mexico left something to be desired, especially in comparison to the awesome original series. It does, however, manage to forge its own identity while establishing continuity to the Narcos plot thread. I will be watching future episodes for that, and the grim cliffhanger ending that alludes to much more Narcos style drama to come.