By Shaer Reaz
Westerns were always cool. Guns, criminals, lawmen, shootouts, cowboy hats and boots, women, and that incredible Southern drawl can impress in any setting, be it 19th century America (where West is actually the South East), or the 2010-2011 (where the West is California and Kentucky is actually the South East). Confused? Watch Justified and all will be clear.
The Stetson-wearing gun-toting badass in Justified is old school US Marshal Raylan Givens, played by the more than able Timothy Olyphant. His motto for catching bad guys is: “I don't draw my weapon unless I intend to use it for what it was made to do: shoot to kill. And if you draw first, its justified.” When you live by that and just happen to wear a cowboy hat and boots in the 21st century, you're bound to get into trouble with the law enforcement “administration”.
Raylan does exactly that when he kills a drug runner in Miami, resulting in him getting transferred to his hometown Kentucky. Considering the things he left behind in Kentucky (unraveled slowly through the season), he's less than happy about it. Reluctantly, he sets about trying to apprehend an old-friend/coworker-turned-white-supremacist-terrorist Boyd Crowder, who's going around blowing up things with his rocket launcher and sawed-off shotgun, like the way it is in Kentucky. Might seem a simple story angle at first, but when you consider the fact that EVERY family in Kentucky seems to have a criminal past, Raylan included, things start to get a little trickier. Boyd's tormented soul along with his father's sadistic, over the top, way of running things gives dynastic crime a new twist in each episode.
The way the story unravels, it's hard to not finish an entire season in a one day marathon. The whole show is littered with dark humour: you'll be laughing your head off as a guy gets HIS head blown off on screen. The visuals are a lot like in The Walking Dead, lending an edgy feel to the show at all times. Dialogue delivery and acting is superb, especially Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder, who might as well be one of the best “villains” on television today. The soundtrack has a typical Southern feel, mostly sounding like a scrawny redneck strumming a banjo, occasionally enhanced with Colt .38s and hunting rifles going off.
All in all, a brilliant show, and a must watch for anyone who's definition of fun is non-ending violence and incredibly dark humour. Have fun!
Friends with Benefits
Friends with Benefits has all the elements that make up the most clichéd romantic comedy ever. It is a story about two very attractive individuals (played by Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake) who are livin' the dream in the city of New York and who only have enough time left to mend their broken hearts.
The Story: A New York head-hunter, Jamie (Mila Kunis) hires an aspiring web art designer, Dylan (Justin Timberlake) to work for GQ magazine. When Dylan comes to New York for the first time, Jamie gives him a personal tour, which, for the sake of making this movie even sappier, involves flash mobs in the middle of Times Square. They become quick friends and decide to get into a 'no-emotion' relationship (as if the title couldn't make it clear enough) after a while. Obviously there are break-ups, emotions flying around a bit later, so it qualifies for the genre.
The positives: Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake's chemistry is a strong suit of the movie. They look good together and both act moderately well. Another thing that sets it apart is probably the writing; it's funny without trying too hard and movie's sceptical outlook towards the genre is also refreshing. Friends with Benefits is certainly far better than the Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher disaster No Strings Attached. It's easy to compare because both the movies are actually the same, both have a 'swan' and both have lead actors that only recently learned to act.
The Negatives: The character which is supposed to be Jamie's mother ended up being the most irritating character in the movie. If you expected to see any groundbreaking work in any category, it will disappoint you. Even though it is better than the majority of romantic comedies released these days, the movie still looks very generic.
We recommend that you don't watch the movie with your parents, but if you are slow enough to do that, please prepare for an extremely awkward week at the dinner table. We can't describe the movie in superlatives, but it could be worse. It could have Katherine Heigl.
By Alvi Ahmed
To be brutally honest with you guys, the recent underground music scene is overpopulted with crappy cover bands. Things get even worse when these teenaged boys with musical instruments (seems inappropriate to call them a band) come up with original songs. So we tend to get overexcited when bands like Black treat us with their unique brand of Bangali rock music. The expectation from bands like these are huge. So did Black's most recent self titled album manage to meet the hype? Let's find out.
Hath Barao: The opening song is by far the best cut of the album. It's ridiculously catchy with very good and clean vocals from John. The guitar works go perfectly with the song but the solo is a disappointment. Bass line is pretty crisp and very soothing at the chorus. Very good radio-friendly song. However, the live version is WAY better, the tempo's faster and it just... rocks harder.
Paper Radio - TV: This song sounds like two different songs poorly stitched into one very bad track. The intro guitar tune sounds rough. The intro tune goes on for a very boring forty seconds, then suddenly the song catches fire and the tempo rises sky high. Then the tempo falls again at the chorus... it just doesn't make sense.
Amar Prithibi: For some very strange reason, Black decided to do a new version of their hit song Amar prithibi. Thank God they did, because the song sounds better than ever. It starts off with a very mellow drum beat mixed with a very cool, but short, guitar solo. The song starts off perfectly as the guitar solo fades away. Good song with equally good vocals.
Mumursho Rupkotha: For some reason the intro reminds us of Audioslave. Anyway, you guys should skip this song. Trust us, it's for your own good.
Ajo: The second best song of the album. It has the sort of intro which makes you want to sit and listen to the entire thing. The bass line is super groovy and beautifully compliments the guitars and drums. The song is made even better by the vocals. Super catchy chorus and the ending pack a punch. Very solid track.
Nilgiri: An unusual track. But unfortunately, it doesn't really come off. They tried to experiment and it just went wrong, or maybe it just depends on the listener. But some marks should be given for being brave enough to do something totally different. Give it a try. Who knows, you might just like it.
Jiboner Ba Pashe: It seems they are starting to run out of ideas. The song sounds like it has been recorded in a rush. It kind of has a lazy feel to it.
Puruno Shei Din'r Kotha: An instrumental track. Not very good though. Jahan (guitars) wanted to deliver a slow, Slash type guitar solo, with a mellow feel and lots of bends and screams. But that didn't happen. The song ended up being dull.
Uposhonghar: Finally, a track that gets the adrenaline pumping. Tony totally owns the song with his insane drumming. The song is packed with hardcore riffs, thundering bass lines and of course, mad drum rolls. But the only negative thing about the song is the drastic fall in pace right at the end.
Akjon: Yawn. The song usually makes this reviewer want to go to sleep. But sometimes this song sounds strangely soothing. You have to be in the mood to like this song. Musically the song is weak, however the vocal work's not bad.
It would be unfair to say that the album lived up to all the hype. The album gave us a few very good numbers, but you'd expect better from a band that gave us some of the greatest songs made by Bangali rock bands.