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Love, Death, and Robots: A more perfect anthology never existed

Only a few works can be compared to the new release of Netflix titled as Love, Death, and Robots. It was expected that a series produced by David Fincher and created by Tim Miller would be pretty good. But no one expected that it would be this amazing.

This anthology series has crossed boundaries among genres like Comedy, Animation, Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction etc.

Love, Death, and Robots: A more perfect anthology never existed

If you are still wondering whether to try out this gift or not, then here is your spoiler-free review.

Different people seek different things in a series. Some, care for the story while some carefully scrutinize the animation. We’ll cover it from different angles.

Ratings

There are people who think the series quality is solely tied to its ratings. If you’re one of those people, then here are some of the fresh ratings for you.

IMDB: 9.1/10 –

There is a high chance that you might not take this rating seriously. This much distrust is legit I believe. So, let’s move onto the next rating.

Rotten Tomatoes: Average Tomatometer: 75% –

Although it is a bit early to rely on the Rotten Tomatoes ratings still 75% on the average Tomatometer is pretty decent. Moreover, 94% of the users have rated it over 3.5 out of 5.

Metacritic: 8.6/10 –

Based on 61 ratings Metacritic gave it an 8.6 out of 10. Only two critic reviews have landed till now. Of these two one is positive, and one is mixed.

Heaven of Horror: 4/5 –

Heaven of horror covers horror, thriller and sci-fi movies & TV shows. They are more like an expert in reviewing the creations of these genres. So, when they give it a 4/5, you should consider watching it.

Animation is outstanding

Each of the 18 shorts from this series has its signature animation style. While watching the first episode you will discover yourself watching gameplay. On the episode titled as Beyond the Aquila Rift it is easy to get confused. In fact, the super realistic animation of this episode will easily bewilder you.

Love, Death, and Robots: A more perfect anthology never existed

In one subreddit post, one animator cleared out the mystery behind this hyper-realistic animation. Everything on this episode is motion captured. All the body and facial motions were first captured form the actors and then transformed into CGI. In fact, the performers had to wear helmets and other gears that could capture their motions.

Besides this episode, there are other notable animations in other episodes. On the third episode, the animation is more like comics strips. Remember the animation from Into the Spiderverse? Well, here you will see something close to that. In other words, frame rates are manipulated to show speed in this episode.

Love, Death, and Robots: A more perfect anthology never existed

Like me, many people have agreed on the fact that the best animation of this season was on the episode ‘The Secret War’.

Moreover, there will be times when you won’t be able to differentiate between motion captured animation and VFX. Even the hand-drawn episodes are pretty stunning. In truth, no matter which episode you start watching, it is inevitable that you’ll be in for a surprise.

Story quality varies a bit

The creators have rounded up some great flash fictions. These stories have explored the sci-fi as well as supernatural genre. In some episodes, characters are well built in spite of the short duration. Even though the stories are sci-fi, you will be able to relate to the characters.

John Scalzi, Joe Lansdale, Ken Liu, Claudine Griggs, and Alastair Reynolds. These names belong to some of the most prominent writers all around the world. These writers were the source of some of the best episodes of this series.

John Scalzi is the former president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Joe R. Lansdale has won the British Fantasy Award, Bram Stoker Award, and several other awards. Ken Liu has won in the World Fantasy Awards. Alastair Reynolds is a former space scientist who has now published over sixty short Sci-fi stories.

Love, Death, and Robots: A more perfect anthology never existed

The adapted screenplays from the flash fictions of these writers have generated something really ‘Cool’. Furthermore, many episodes have given tribute to other great movies and tv shows. With one episode you will find the resemblance of 127 Hours. Similarly, In one episode you’ll find easter eggs from Dr. Manhattan. Also, the name of Rear Window (1954) has come up in the discussions. Many have reviewed that this season is a mini version of Black Mirror, but we think this goes more with The Animatrix

In fact, the episodes are well organized throughout the season. If one episode gives you dread, the next one will lighten up the mood with absurd humor.

Ranking the best episodes

Just like any other Tv shows this too had great and average episodes. Here are our ratings for 5 of the best episodes out of 18 shorts.

  • Beyond the Aquila Rift – 9.7/10
  • Good Hunting – 9.4/10
  • The Witness – 9.3/10
  • The Secret War – 9.1/10
  • When the Yogurt Took Over – 9/10

Verdict

In short ‘Love, Death, and Robots’ is an out of the world experience, thanks to its awesome storyline and animation.

David Fincher and Tim Miller’s latest masterpiece easily gets 4/5 from us.

If you are still confused about watching it, please don’t be. Take a leap of faith and experience what both modern technology and creative mind have accomplished by working together.

Remembering Nobel Prize winning author V.S. Naipaul: celebrating a complex legacy

Nobel Laureate and winner of the Man Booker prize, Sir Vidia Naipaul’s literature was no stranger to intense criticism.  Sir Naipaul even feuded with other prominent, controversial authors, Salman Rushdie and Paul Theroux. His death has brought forth a renewed wave of mixed reactions.

Exposed to literature in his early years

V.S. Naipaul is considered one of the greatest prose writers of the last half-century. He created more than 30 works of both fiction and non-fiction. His early works were comical and influenced by his diverse roots. His grandparents were immigrants from India who moved to Trinidad and Tobago to work at the British sugar plantations. Naipaul was born in Chaguanas, Trinidad.  Naipaul’s early foundations in literature were his father’s love for writing for the Trinidad Guardian and shared a reverence for writers.  He excelled in school. He won a government scholarship, giving him a choice of any university in the British Commonwealth.

His years at Oxford University was relatively rough, experiencing long episodes of depression and self-doubt. Later in life, he opened up about frequent breakdowns during this period, in which he also experienced the loss of his father. Shortly after graduating, he and his partner, Patricia Hale moved to England. He wrote his first short story to officially launch his career as a writer. His publisher thought that a short story anthology by an unknown Caribbean writer would not sell in Britain. So, he wrote a novel which we now know as The Mystic Masseur.

naipaul, book

An unconventional storyteller, Naipaul

Psychiatrist and revolutionary theorist Frantz Fanon wrote that “the first ambition of the colonized” was to resemble the colonizer “to the point of disappearing in him.” This was not the case for Naipaul’s storytelling. His writing style is closer to sub-continental authors than western works. In almost all of his works of fiction, there was an interplay between tragedy and comedy.

His stories usually featured a fictitious island or a nameless land, which was a clear reflection on his life in the Caribbean island of Trinidad and his paternal roots in India. Naipaul’s undeniable talent was showcased in his writing. On display, is also his callous opinions and his blunt cruelty. From the contemporary point of view, Naipaul’s opinions seem self -loathing, borderline racist and even slightly misogynistic. His portrayal of female characters often made him susceptible to criticism; frequently objectifying the women in his books. His dismissiveness of the female extended to female, talented authors. One can imagine a substantial reaction from readers and writers when someone describes Jane Austen as “too trivial”.

“A House for Mr Biswas is packed with conflicts as the protagonist, Mr Biswas, subverts conventional tropes of a hero.”

A writer of a classic, A House for Mr Biswas

naipaul, book

His greatest work, A House for Mr Biswas stands as a classic. The story is of a son tormented by the memory of his father’s thwarted ambition, alluding to his relationship with his own father. It is a novel of epic length and formal perfection. A House for Mr Biswas is packed with conflicts as the protagonist, Mr Biswas, subverts conventional tropes of a hero. Naipul frequently broke away from conventional structures of writing and arranged his narratives haphazardly.

Among all his works of fiction, A House of Mr. Biswas is certainly the most noteworthy. In addition to that, A Bend in the River and his short story anthology A Flag on the Island are definitely worth a read. Fair warning though, in his books A Bend in the River and In a Free State, he portrays a depressing picture of post-independent African nations.

Valuing literature for itself, not the character of the author

We cannot help but marvel at the formidable body of work he left as a writer. His candid and straightforward style of writing often landed him in contentious territory; despite the unpleasantness, the messages usually possessed a degree of truth. This is the paradox of literature. Should the value of literature lie in itself, or should we take into account the views or the character of the author? Can we separate the writing from the personality that wrote it?

Even his fiercest critics have to admit that some of his works are timeless masterpieces. For many, his controversial opinions or his actions in his personal life cannot diminish his writing. Even writers who are adamant in their criticism, have expressed their grief at the loss of a literary genius. Author-poet Jeet Thayil successfully summed it up describing Naipaul as an awful man, a brilliant writer and said his death was like “losing a cantankerous, contrarian father”.