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By Orin

Some critics say that Woody Allen is far past his glory days, and that probably is true for some of his recent works, which seem to have lost the touch of brilliance that Manhattan or Annie Hall had. However, after seeing his newest film, Midnight in Paris, they would probably have to take back their words. Midnight in Paris is so far, one of the few films of the year that combines the things our romantic, imaginative and nostalgic minds love to see.

The movie starts off with an almost tourist-like tour of Paris with brilliant jazz music playing, giving us the taste of the beautiful city, the dreamer's paradise. The protagonist Gil (Owen Wilson), an aspiring literary writer [switched jobs from screenwriter] who is on a trip to Paris with his fiancée, Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her rich conservative parents. While Gil wants to stay in Paris and give writing all he's got, his fiancé wants him to write movies and move to a Malibu house. There is a stark contrast between their characters; Gil's absolute romanticism about the heydays of Paris in the 1920s is almost equal to Inez's materialistic yearning for luxury. Almost suffocated by Inez's parents overbearing attitude towards everything that he is, Gil takes a stroll in midnight Paris, and stumbles onto an antique car, that transports him back to the time he's in love with. Hemingway, Picasso, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, who isn't in there? This story is told by a director who himself is in love with the past. Woody Allen does this story justice.

Midnight in Paris succeeds for a lot of reasons, the acting is very good, especially Owen Wilson's; he is an excellent proxy for Woody Allen. Adrian Brody's Dali is extremely memorable. The cinematography brings out the beautiful city, and yes we have seen those things a million times, but it doesn't lose its charm. The music is top-notch, and just listening to the guitar solos alone is a highly pleasurable experience. Midnight in Paris will not change your life, it isn't that great, but for both Woody Allen fan and non-fans, it is a good experience.

Our Verdict: 8/10 (Probably would not have scored this high in other circumstances, but compared to what we have been force-fed all this year, it is very good.)



By Lonesome Mahir

Terra Nova is one of those TV series which aims to provide entertainment to the general viewers rather than a selective group and thus brings forward a common plot which most viewers are very accustomed with. It's mostly about dinosaurs, walled settlements, rebels and creates a different kind of connection between the past and the future.

The series begins in 2149 with the usual excessively polluted and over populated Earth. A glimmer of hope shines for humanity as a wormhole is found which allows humans to travel to 85 million years to the past. Jim Shannon (Jason O'Mara), our protagonist is imprisoned for resisting arrest and while serving his time, his wife Elizabeth (Shelley Conn) is given a chance to migrate along with her children and after a few impasses she manages to transport her whole family to the past in the new country called Terra Nova.

Terra Nova provides mankind with a new chance to start over but things aren't simple there as people are constantly under threat from assaulting dinosaurs and a mysterious rebel group called the “Sixers”, but the greatest trouble of all may lie within the walls of their sanctuary. Like Duh!

The actors put up a convincing performance and special effects are superb (after all Steven Spielberg is one of the executive producers). Terra Nova also excels at holding back on both action and mystery, and mostly focuses on survival in the diverse environment.

Although the story pulls viewers into the series, it is very predictable, lacks pace and at some points seems to get nowhere at all. Some of the scenes are unnecessary but in the end, it somehow makes sense. Terra Nova looks a lot like Lost or Avatar but compared to these, it doesn't reach that high a standard.

But if you are a fan of Jurassic Park or Mysterious Island, then you'll love Terra Nova and it is currently airing in Fox and Star World, but if you missed the previous episodes or can't wait to watch more then you better start downloading.


By Moonawar Mob

Mylo Xyloto has been the album that most listeners of today's rock and roll have been waiting for since the day it was announced. Why? It's Coldplay. No other explanation required. So what if the title of the album makes no absolute sense to the everyday person, it's Coldplay.

Lead singer and band front-man Chris Martin had stated that the album after 'Viva La Vida' would have a much more acoustic touch to it; and he has remained true to his promise as the fifth album of Coldplay has a much softer tone than the last album. The album starts off on a high note with songs such as 'Hurts like Heaven', 'Paradise', 'Charlie Brown' lifting the atmosphere with the classic Coldplay catchy tunes and the variations between the high and low pitches. Sometimes it feels as though the lyrics just couldn't measure up to the music. For example, the lyrics of 'Every teardrop is a waterfall' seem a little flat. And it becomes annoying when Martin keeps repeating the title whenever possible.

There is also the question of the image that the album portrays of Coldplay. The image hasn't changed from the old days. Coldplay was fun when it was in its early stages; it's still a lot of fun now, no doubt, but the fact of the matter is that they have never really experimented much with their music. It's always the same type of songs and the same type of tunes over and over, repacked here and there and then released. People still listen to Coldplay just as much as they used to, maybe even more, but there is a point when every band goes cold (excuse the pun) and regardless of the fact that Coldplay doesn't seem to be near that point yet, it doesn't change the inevitable. There was an expectation of different songs this time and, in the experimental sense, Mylo Xyloto is a disappointment.

However, from any other perspective it's a decent album. It does start off better than it finishes but the track list is still a nice journey through and through. Look out for songs such as 'Charlie Brown', 'Us Against the World', 'Up In Flames' if you're looking for that acoustic touch that was promised.

Go out and get this album nonetheless because after all, it's Coldplay. And it's good.


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