The Woman King is a 2022 American fiction historical action drama film about the Agojie, the all-female warrior unit that protected the West African kingdom of Dahomey during the 17th to 19th centuries. Set in the 1820s, the film stars Viola Davis as a general who trains the next generation of warriors to fight their enemies. I am going to however, start of my review with a little bit of history about the Agojie so that the readers can separate the fact from fiction, most importantly that no woman general was crowned as the “Woman King” during the reign of Ghezo.

The Agojie or the Dahomey Amazons were the only female army in modern history and were given the name Amazons by Western Europeans who encountered them, based on the story of the female warriors of Amazons in Greek mythology. Ghezo (King of the Dahomey from 1818 to 1859) recruited both men and women as soldiers from foreign captives. Female soldiers were also recruited from free Dahomean women, with some enrolled from as young as eight years of age. Membership among the Agojie was supposed to hone any aggressive character traits for the purpose of war. During their membership they were not allowed to have children or be part of married life (though they were legally married to the king). Many of them were virgins. The Agojie trained with intense physical exercise. They learned survival skills and indifference to pain and death, storming acacia-thorn defences in military exercises and executing prisoners. Discipline was emphasized throughout the Agojie. Serving in the Agojie offered women the opportunity to rise to positions of command and influence.

The movie begins in the West African kingdom of Dahomey in 1823, where General Nanisca, leader of the all-female group of warriors, the Agojie, liberates Dahomean women who were abducted by slavers from the Oyo Empire. This provokes King Ghezo of Dahomey to prepare for an all-out war with the Oyo. Nanisca begins to train a new generation of warriors to join the Agojie to protect the kingdom. Among these warriors is Nawi, a strong-willed girl who was offered by her father to the king after refusing to marry men who would beat her. Nawi befriends Izogie, a veteran Agojie. She also reveals to Nanisca that she is adopted and shows a scar on her left shoulder, shocking Nanisca.

Portuguese slave traders led by Santo Ferreira and accompanied by the half-Dahomean Malik arrive as part of an alliance with the Oyo, led by General Oba Ade. Nawi encounters Malik while the latter is bathing, and the two become friends. Shortly after graduating from training to become a full-fledged Agojie, Nawi sneaks off to speak with Malik and learns that the Oyo are planning to attack. She reports this to Nanisca, who tells her off for her recklessness. Nanisca reveals that in her youth, she was captured by Oba, raped, and impregnated. After giving birth to a daughter, Nanisca embedded a shark tooth in her left shoulder before giving her away. Nanisca helps Nawi extract the tooth, confirming that she is her biological daughter.

Nanisca leads the Agojie in an attack on the Oyo. The attack is successful, but Oba escapes and Nawi, Fumbe and Izogie are captured. With Nawi’s advice, Fumbe escapes and reports the others’ fate to Nanisca. Ghezo prepares to bestow the title of Woman King, his partner and equal in ruling Dahomey, upon Nanisca, but refuses to authorize a rescue mission for the captive Agojie. Meanwhile, Izogie is killed in an escape attempt and Malik buys Nawi to protect her. Nanisca defies orders and sets out with a group of like-minded warriors to rescue the captives. The chaos allows Nawi to escape and rejoin Nanisca. Malik frees several other slaves who drown Ferreira, and Nanisca kills Oba in single combat. The triumphant Agojie return to Dahomey, where Ghezo privately and briefly admonishes Nanisca for disobeying him, before crowning her the Woman King. After the festivities, Nanisca and Nawi privately acknowledge their familial relationship.

Alright so we covered the plot. Let us now see what works for the film and what does not. Viola Davis as General Nanisca is brilliant. John Boyega as King Ghezo is not. He portrays Ghezo as effeminate and a weak leader who is dependent on Nanisca for his success whereas historically it was not so. Perhaps the director needed to make the King effeminate to enhance the sense of awe around the fictional character of Nanisca. Perhaps it is just one of the several subtle attacks of masculinity in the wake of “#metoo”. Anyways, the fictional General Nanisca is portrayed by Viola Davis really well. She brings a sense of authority and believability to the character. She is also an actress who can portray emotions really well. Thuso Mbedu is another success as Nawi, a young Agojie and Nanisca’s daughter. She plays her part to perfection and has a strong screen presence. Sheila Atim and Lashana Lynch play the androgynous Agojie Amenza and Izogie quite well, although, they were probably chosen due to their distinct masculine features and lack of feminity which would suit the Agojie well.

The action sequences are well crafted and the cultural features of the Dahomey Kingdom along with the training rituals of the Agojie are captured well. The story keeps you invested though is let down by the poorly portrayed male characters.


An entertaining movie, which looks at an ignored historical women-dominated fighting army, held together by the brilliant Viola Davis.


Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is the first season of the American true crime anthology series, Monster, created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan for Netflix. The first season focuses on the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer and his infamous murders between 1978 and 1991. The series dramatizes instances where Dahmer was nearly apprehended until his ultimate conviction and death. It also explores how police incompetence and racism enabled his crimes.

Dahmer begins at the end, in 1991, as prolific serial killer, necrophiliac and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer (Evan Peters) picks up Tracy Edwards (Shaun J. Brown) at a Milwaukee-area gay bar and brings him back to his dingy apartment, where absolutely everything is a warning sign: There’s a drill drenched in blood, a tank filled with dead fish, a festering stench, a mysterious blue shipping drum and a VCR playing The Exorcist III. When you see the apartment, it is hard for you to not ask the question, as a rational human being, why Tracy Edwards didn’t get out immediately. Anyways, after some extremely creepy events, Tracy — historical spoiler alert — escapes and gets the police and it’s quickly discovered that Dahmer had, over the course of three decades, murdered and done horrifying things with the bodies of 17 young men, mostly young men of color.

From there, we trace Jeffrey’s evolution from antisocial young boy (a superb Josh Braaten) to dissection-loving teen to serial killer without a conscience. We witness his relationship with his caring-but-distracted father (Jenkins’ Lionel) (although when we see the father teaching his son, dissection of road kill, it makes you question the family traditions of extreme weirdness), his unstable and poorly treated mother (Penelope Ann Miller) (who took so many pills, that it is tough not to think, the kid wouldn’t inherit something nasty), barely sketched-out stepmother (Molly Ringwald’s Shari), church-going grandmother (Michael Learned’s Catherine), various victims and the neighbor (Nash’s Glenda) who kept calling the police about the smell and kept being ignored (and who is the second best reason to watch the show after Evan Peters).

For five episodes, directed by Carl Franklin, Clement Virgo and Jennifer Lynch, Dahmer makes the same loops over and over again through Jeffrey’s behavior, which I’d call “increasingly hellish” and “depressing“. So it’s all just a hellish-but-monotonous reel in which Jeffrey drinks cheap beer (and he drinks a lot), fixates on somebody, masturbates inappropriately and then does something horrible, though at least the series keeps us in suspense as to what horrible thing he’s going to do. This developing of tension through “Is he going to eat this victim?” or “Is he going to have sex with this victim?” or “will this victim manage to escape?”.

The focus on Dahmer through a repeated viewing of his process of luring targets from gay bars doesn’t accomplish as comprehensive of a narrative as was intended. The redundancy of the illustration of Dahmer’s out of control loop rather insensitively demeans the victims through their pain as merely one among a host of other depicted murders.

The episode “Silenced” is the one I felt was the best among all the episodes. Written by David McMillan and Janet Mock and directed with more empathy than voyeurism by Paris Barclay, “Silenced” tells the story of Tony Hughes (excellent newcomer Rodney Burnford), presented here as perhaps the only victim with whom Jeffrey had traces of a real relationship. It’s easily the best episode of the series, an uncomfortably sweet and sad hour of TV that probably should have been the template for the entire show. Tony was deaf and, in placing a Black, deaf, gay character at the center of the narrative, the series is giving voice to somebody whose voice has too frequently been excluded from gawking serial killer portraits.

Or take “Cassandra,” the episode built around Nash’s Glenda (the actress delivers two or three lines of incredulous dialogue that will have some viewers cheering). It’s a good episode because Nash is so good, but it can only get into Glenda’s head with the help of a subplot involving Jesse Jackson, there to spell out themes that the writers are insecure about having previously established. Glenda’s story showcases the incompetence of the police and her struggle to make sure Konerak, the underage teen who had his skull drilled into by Dahmer, was safe.

There are also pointless and lengthy and manipulative asides about Ed Gein and John Wayne Gacy, for example, that get more screentime than at least 10 victims. The John Wayne Gacy bit seemed unnecessary and felt like it made Dahmer look “normal” and that is an impossible thing to do. It panders to the serial killer obsessives and undermines several themes of the series, by making it less “monster” and more “misunderstood“. I’d add that concentrating on things like that and reducing most of the victims and their families to their pain is closer to exploiting that pain than honoring any memories.

The second half of the season aims to nail down the wholly non-controversial assessment that Dahmer was able to get away with his crimes because he was a white man preying primarily on economically disadvantaged men of color. The Milwaukee police, possibly the real villains of the piece, missed many opportunities to stop things because they weren’t interested in the race and economic status of the people going missing, wanted no part of the sexuality of anybody involved and couldn’t be bothered to show support in the neighborhoods impacted.

The show’s strongest points lie in its ability to create and sustain tension that keeps the viewer engaged and on-edge throughout. Evan Peters lives up to expectations in playing Jeffrey Dahmer as he expertly mimics the killer’s eerie mannerisms. Peters emulates the muffled, apathetic cadence distinct to his character impressively well, and the juxtaposition of Dahmer’s awkward uncertainty in manner with his adeptness at killing is enough to inspire a queasy shudder in even the most avid of horror fans.

Seeing an actor who looks nothing like the person they’re supposed to be portraying completely takes a person out of the viewing experience. But I cannot say that about Dahmer, and I think if anything, the casting was too good. Evan Peters’ performance as Dahmer was terrific and terrifying all at the same time. He did a phenomenal job with what he was given, and I think if there is one thing Evan Peters will do well, it is a terrifying serial killer role.

While the series is incredibly gratuitous in its violence and makes the violence and Dahmer’s evil, the focal point of most episodes, the series also showed the negligent Milwaukee police department that allowed Dahmer to get away for so long. It showed how the police gave one of Dahmer’s victims, fourteen-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone, back to Dahmer despite protests from bystanders who had a feeling Dahmer was lying. The series shows the homophobia and racism of the Milwaukee police department that allowed for this to happen, as well as allow for the murders of numerous gay Black and Brown men to slide under the radar.

I think when talking about true crime, the police are often depicted as the “good guys” who were working tirelessly to get the killer off the streets. However, with Dahmer, this was not the case, and it’s important to show that the police did not prioritize this situation as it was going on.


As far as acting goes, Dahmer is a work of art due to Evan Peters. However, avoid if glorification of mass murderers and evil human beings is not what you agree with.


Who could have imagined a murdered dog would cause so much mayhem and four brilliant movies? John Wick: Chapter 4 is a 2023 American neo-noir action thriller film directed by Chad Stahelski. It stars Keanu Reeves, as the protagonist John Wick who is a one-man demolition crew seeking revenge on the High Table and those who left him for dead at the end of John Wick 3 – Parabellum.

In New York City, John Wick prepares to exact revenge against the High Table while hiding underground with the Bowery King. He travels to Morocco and kills the Elder, the “one who sits above the Table“. In response, the Marquis Vincent de Gramont (played by Bill Skarsgård), a senior member of the High Table, summons New York Continental hotel manager Winston and his concierge, Charon.

De Gramont explains to Winston that the High Table has given him unlimited resources to find and kill John Wick. He chastises Winston for his failure to assassinate John. As punishment, De Gramont strips Winston of his duties as manager, declares him “excommunicado“, destroys the Continental, and executes Charon (sadly Lance Reddick who played the character died in real life too). De Gramont then travels to Paris and enlists Caine – a blind, retired High Table assassin – to kill his old friend John, threatening to murder Caine’s daughter otherwise.

John takes refuge at the Osaka Continental, run by his friend Shimazu Koji (played by Hiroyuki Sanada who is Hollywood’s go-to guy for basically any Japanese character who is not good enough to be the main hero but good enough to help out the white hero). De Gramont’s right-hand man Chidi, backed by High Table assassins and Caine, arrives to investigate the hotel. Shimazu’s daughter Akira, the hotel’s concierge, evacuates the hotel just before the High Table “deconsecrates” it, igniting a melee. John fights through waves of armored assassins, and a showdown with Caine is interrupted by a bounty hunter who calls himself “Mr. Nobody“. He aids in John’s escape after determining the contract money for killing John to be insufficient. Caine allows a wounded Akira to flee after killing her father. The action sequence at Osaka Continental is one of the best of the John Wick series.

John returns to New York and meets with a vengeful Winston at Charon’s gravesite. Winston advises John to invoke an old High Table tradition and challenge De Gramont to a duel. Winning will free him of all obligations to the High Table. The caveat is that John can only request a duel on behalf of a crime family. He travels to the Berlin headquarters of Ruska Roma, with whom he had severed ties, to request readmission. His adoptive sister Katia (Natalia Tena who played Tonks in the Harry Potter series) with slimy black hair that would Severus Snape to shame, allows John to rejoin in exchange for killing Killa, a High Table senior who murdered her father. Although Killa sets up an ambush at his nightclub, John still manages to kill him (in an unbelievably brutal fight) and regain his status within Ruska Roma. Killa is played by Scott Adkins of Undisputed fame and apparently is wearing a fat suit or some of the blubber left from Brendan Fraser’s costume from The Whale.

Winston relays John’s formal challenge to De Gramont. He requests the New York Continental be rebuilt, with him reinstated as manager, should John win. In Paris, John and De Gramont decide the parameters of their duel in a meeting moderated by the Harbinger, the Table’s emissary. De Gramont nominates a reluctant Caine to fight in his place. The duel is to take place with dueling pistols on the following sunrise at Sacré-Cœur; John and Winston will be executed should either fail to appear on time. The Bowery King arrives in Paris to give John a weapon and a new ballistic suit.

De Gramont intends to prevent John from arriving at the duel in time by placing a $26 million bounty on him. John fights off hordes of assassins on his way to Sacré-Cœur, including Mr. Nobody, who negotiates a bounty increase to $40 million. During their confrontation, John prevents Chidi from killing Mr. Nobody’s dog; a stunned Mr. Nobody decides to abandon his pursuit of John, and subsequently kills Chidi. After Caine and Mr. Nobody assist John in traversing a long staircase that leads to Sacré-Cœur, they reach the summit just in time for the duel. Each inflicts serious wounds on the other through two rounds of dueling. The third round comes to a halt when Caine mortally wounds John. Demanding the right to administer the coup de grace, De Gramont eagerly swaps places with Caine. However, John had not fired his third bullet, with which he shoots and kills an unsuspecting De Gramont.

The Harbinger grants Caine and John their freedom from the High Table, and Winston is reinstated. After collapsing on the staircase, John reflects upon his life and marriage before peacefully succumbing to his injuries. Sometime later, Winston and the Bowery King bid farewell to John at a gravesite where he is buried next to his late wife, Helen. In a post-credits scene, Caine returns to Paris to reunite with his daughter but is approached by the vengeful Akira. And there ends the tale of John Wick who murdered more than a five hundred people across 4 movies, to claim vengeance over his dead dog. Or does it? John Wick is too profitable a franchise to let go of, now that revenge has been taken. I have a strong feeling it will be one of those “faked deaths” that allows movie producers to conclude one movie but also revive characters to profit off another movie. Though talks of spin-offs are in play including a TV series about the Continentals and a movie called “Ballerina” releasing in 2024 about, you guessed it, a ballerina assassin. Well, after the success of John Wick, the studios had to go for a “woke” female driven version as always with anything these days in Hollywood. But let’s see if it achieves the success of John Wick. Anyways that’s my two cents so let’s discuss more about John Wick: Chapter 4.

Donnie Yen plays a blind assassin named Caine who fights better than most of the assassins with eyes. Scott Adkins was wasted in the fat suit cameo – one of the coolest martial arts performers is reduced to a caricature. Thankfully the ambush at the Berlin night club is swift and brutal. There isn’t much going on for either the Bowery King or Winston except for a few sentences here and there. Bill Skarsgård like all of John Wick’s antagonists isn’t as brutal or fearsome as the sidekicks but he plays his part well. The movie’s chief selling points are its action sequences which are brilliant and Keanu Reeves’s committed performance.


The best John Wick movie yet and one of the best neo-noir action movies out there – a movie made for the big screen. Don’t wait for the streaming release.


Wolfenstein: The New Order is a 2014 action-adventure first-person shooter video game developed by MachineGames and published by Bethesda Softworks. It was released on 20 May 2014 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. The game is the seventh main entry in the Wolfenstein series, set in an alternate history 1960s Europe where the Nazis won the Second World War. The story follows war veteran William “B.J.” Blazkowicz and his efforts to stop the Nazis from ruling over the world.

The game is played from a first-person perspective and most of its levels are navigated on foot. The story is arranged in chapters, which players complete in order to progress. A morality choice in the prologue alters the game’s storyline; some characters and small plot points are replaced throughout the two timelines. The game features a variety of weapons, most of which can be dual wielded.

As ever in a Wolfenstein game, you play BJ Blaskowicz, a rather meat-headed, gung-ho US Marine type. The action starts in 1946, with the Allies on the brink of defeat, with Blaskowicz and various American and British colleagues launching a last-gasp raid on the stronghold of General Wilhelm “Deathshead” Strasse. It all goes horribly awry, leaving Blaskowicz with a terrible moral dilemma and a head full of shrapnel. Fast-forward to 1960, when Blaskowicz regains consciousness in a Polish insane asylum, to find a world thoroughly cowed by the Nazis. He sets about redressing the balance through the only means he knows – mass slaughter via heavy weaponry.

Wolfenstein: The New Order is a resounding success. It’s a joyous, preposterous romp which sucks you in and takes you on a thoroughly enjoyable, surprisingly well-paced journey. Along the way, it even manages to hammer home the big advantage games have over films: that they can take “What if?” scenarios and explore them over a considerably longer period of time than two piffling hours.


The New Order is set in an alternate universe where Nazi Germany have managed to deploy advanced technologies, enabling them to turn the tide against the Allies and ultimately win World War II. Its storyline is loosely connected to 2009’s Wolfenstein and features returning characters Kreisau Circle leader Caroline Becker and SS-Oberst-Gruppenführer Wilhelm “Deathshead” Strasse, the nemesis of series protagonist, U.S. special forces operative Captain William “B.J.” Blazkowicz. The New Order has a branching narrative: during the prologue chapter, Deathshead forces Blazkowicz to decide the fate of one of his comrades. The player’s choice as Blazkowicz will create two timeline versions of the game’s storyline, where alternate characters are established as replacements for characters who otherwise would have significant roles in the plot.

In July 1946, Blazkowicz and his comrades take part in an air raid against a fortress and weapons laboratory run by Deathshead but are captured and brought to a human experimentation laboratory. Blazkowicz escapes from the laboratory’s emergency incinerator, although he is severely injured. He is admitted to a Polish psychiatric asylum where he remains in a catatonic state. In 1960, the Nazi regime orders the asylum to be “shut down” and executes Anya’s parents when they resist. Blazkowicz awakens from his vegetative state and eliminates the extermination squad before escaping with Anya. Blazkowicz and Anya drive to her grandparents’ farm, where they inform him that the Nazis had defeated the United States in 1948 and that the members of the ensuing anti-Nazi Resistance have been captured. Blazkowicz interrogates a captured officer from the asylum, learning that the top members of the Resistance are imprisoned in Berlin’s Eisenwald Prison.

Anya’s grandparents smuggle her and Blazkowicz through a checkpoint in Stettin before they travel to Berlin. During the train ride, Blazkowicz encounters Frau Engel for the first time and him and Anya start a romantic relationship. When they arrive, Anya helps Blazkowicz break into Eisenwald Prison, where he rescues the person he spared fourteen years prior (Fergus or Wyatt) and finds that the Resistance movement is led by Caroline, who was left paralyzed due to an incident at Isenstadt in 2009’s Wolfenstein.

The Resistance executes an attack on a Nazi research facility in London, bombing their operations base, and stealing secret documents and prototype stealth helicopters. The documents reveal the Nazis are relying on reverse-engineered technology derived from the Da’at Yichud, which created such inventions as energy weapons, computer artificial intelligence, and super concrete; however, it is revealed that someone is tampering with the super concrete’s formula, making it susceptible to mold deterioration. The Resistance discovers a match with Set, who is imprisoned in Camp Belica. Blazkowicz agrees to go undercover inside Camp Belica and meets Set, who tells him that the Nazis have co-opted Da’at Yichud technology to mass-produce and control robots, and offers to help the Resistance in return for the destruction of the camp. Blazkowicz finds a battery for a device that controls Camp Belica’s robots, which he and Set then use to incapacitate Engel, destroy the camp, and liberate its prisoners.

Set reveals that the Nazis’ discovery of one of the Da’at Yichud caches, which included advanced technology centuries ahead of its time, allowed Germany to surpass the Allies in military might. Set agrees to assist the Resistance by revealing the location of one such cache but states that the Resistance requires a U-boat to access it. Blazkowicz obtains a U-boat but discovers that it is the flagship of the Nazis’ submarine fleet, and is equipped with a cannon designed to fire nuclear warheads, which requires keycodes from the Nazi lunar research facility to operate. Blazkowicz uses the Spindly Torque—a Da’at Yichud spherical device capable of destroying super concrete—to steal the identity of a Nazi lunar scientist and infiltrate the Lunar Base. He succeeds at obtaining the keycodes, but upon returning to Earth, he discovers that Engel has mounted an assault on the Resistance base, capturing some of its members on behalf of Deathshead

The Resistance use the Spindly Torque to break open Deathshead’s compound. After liberating the compound’s captives, Blazkowicz travels to the top of the tower, where Deathshead’s workshop is located. Inside, Deathshead reveals to Blazkowicz that he possesses the preserved brain of the soldier Blazkowicz chose to die, putting it in a robot. The robot comes alive and assaults Blazkowicz, who defeats it, destroys the brain, and puts his friend to rest. Commandeering a larger robot mecha, Deathshead attacks Blazkowicz, who gets the upper hand and destroys the robot. He drags Deathshead out of the wreckage and attacks him, who pulls out and arms a grenade which kills himself and gravely wounds Blazkowicz. As he crawls towards a window, Blazkowicz mentally recites “The New Colossus” as he watches the Resistance survivors board a helicopter. Believing they have reached safety, Blazkowicz gives instructions to fire the nuclear cannon. After the credits, a helicopter is heard approaching.


The Wolfenstein games have always played fast and loose with history, but The New Order takes the series to a logical conclusion: what if the Nazis had won World War II? Wars are often fought over conflicting viewpoints, opposite goals, and a muddy sense of what’s right and wrong, but when it came to the Third Reich, the world saw the face of actual evil through its Master Race propaganda, expansionist military campaigns, and systematic extermination of millions upon millions of people. Both a continuation and a reboot of the series, The New Order ditches the paranormal elements seen in previous games and focuses on a retro-futuristic alternate reality 1960.

The main Nazi antagonists are all terrifying creations, frequently verging on psychotic and are in no way sympathetic to the darkest chapter in Germany’s history, but are occasionally played for laughs to ill effect. Previous games in the series were dark, but the combination of next-generation visuals, a BBFC 18 rating and an unflinching cut-scene camera mean this absolutely isn’t a game for the faint of heart. These moments are few and far between, thankfully, letting players concentrate on the action.

The plot is exciting and full of unexpected twists, insane bouts of violence and even some hardcore sex scenes between William and Anya. Combat is made more dynamic by a heavy emphasis on stealth, which is both a blessing and a curse in The New Order. Slinking around wide-open maps and linear corridors — knife in hand — is satisfying, especially when you score a stealthy kill with a slash or toss of your blade or the shot of a silenced pistol. I also enjoyed the inclusion of special enemies with the ability to call endless reinforcements if you’re spotted. By finding and killing them in secret, you can mitigate the challenges presented by specific areas while illuminating the locations of secret items on your map (like gold, Enigma codes, and letters).

The alternate reality setting adds a welcome breath of fresh air to the Wolfenstein series, which was struggling to stay relevant in a market saturated with modern warfare shooters. Moving the action only slightly into the future has helped keep the game rooted within the series, but expands the gameplay, gunplay and storyline enough to entertain anyone that’s tired of World War 2.


Nazi Soldier/Deathshead Commando

The standard Nazi rank-and-file are encountered in vast quantities by the player throughout the game. Individually, they are easy to deal with. They can be easily evaded by Blazkowicz going stealthy, and can be taken out fairly easily by Throwing Knives or several pistol shots. Individually they are also fairly weak: even when alerted to his presence, a single soldier is almost always no match for Blazkowicz. All variants of the Soldier encountered throughout the game are mere reskins of each other and behave just the same way- down to individual stats. This may produce interesting scenes where a cloth-uniformed Luftwaffe soldier will take as many 7.92mm bullets as a heavily-armored Nazi regular to kill.

They behave like regular Soldier, although they have better stats and are thus more difficult to deal with. Taking them on must be done carefully, especially on higher difficulties. If the assault rifle is not enough to cope with them, upgraded Laserkraftwerk is a solid choice.

Nazi Super Soldaten

The Supersoldat 46 is a newer breed of 2m to 2.4m tall super soldiers engineered by General Deathshead himself. The results of Deathshead’s inhuman experiments are tied to his desire to combine man and machine. The Supersoldat 46 is an early attempt by Deathshead to create a supersoldier using degenerated soldiers and cybernetics technology.

They are created from human subjects. After going through a chemical therapy, their bodies are surgically enhanced with steel and cybernetics and encased in bullet-proof armor. To purify the human subject’s killer instinct, the brain is degenerated into a more primitive state, making them erratic and extremely violent. Regardless, these troops are shown to take orders without question from Deathshead and other Nazi officials and fight together with other soldiers.

The Supersoldaten 60 are a refined version of the original model. A new and improved armored enforcer who wield an MG60 and wears a face mask resembling a Greek statue. This enemy shouldn’t be taken lightly. Notably, the 1960 Supersoldat is also created on the Moon – they can be seen suspended unarmored and unconscious in tubes of yellow liquid throughout the lunar base. The 1960 Supersoldat has extremely high damage resistance against bullet weaponry, requiring almost 300 rounds of assault rifle fire to bring one down. Energy weapons or explosives such as the Laserkraftwerk, the plasma rifle variant of the AR Marksman, the rocket launcher, or their own MG 60s are much more effective against them, though they still require many hits to kill due to their very high health.

Nazi Fire-Trooper

Fire Troopers (German: Feuersoldaten) are enemies who first appear in Wolfenstein: The New Order. They share some similarity to Deathshead’s Commandos and the Rocket Trooper due to having bulky armour. By the end of World War II the Third Reich became the absolute leader in military technology. Some research included making a new type of deep ocean scuba-diving suit and equipment for frogmen of the Kriegsmarine (German Navy). With new advanced equipment, Kriegsmarine frogmen are used to guard deep sea facilities and offer fleet protection. These heavily-armored frogmen are also employed as security guards for dealing with high-risk situations. Because their suits provide them protection against environmental hazards including radiation, they also often have a secondary role as first responders to radiation leaks and other nuclear related accidents occurring on naval vessels and facilities.

Fire Troopers can be a problem when not prepared to deal with them. At close range, the shotgun is the best weapon to use against them. At medium range, some Tesla grenades and the Assault Rifle will do the trick. At the longest ranges, try to use the Marksman rifle or the laser to take shots at them. When dealing with them, make sure you have substantial health and armor, as they drain away quickly at close range. However, if the player is partially concealed in cover, the spread of their shotgun shrapnel means that most of the incoming damage will be blocked by the cover.

Nazi Rocket-Trooper

Rocket Troopers (German: Raketensoldaten) are new enemies who appear in Wolfenstein: The New Order. They are like the Fire Trooper heavily armored and heavily armed. Rocket Troopers will constantly fire rockets at long ranges, but at closer ranges, they will fire their assault rifles. While heavily armed and armored, Rocket Troopers are vulnerable to heavy weapons. A direct rocket hit can take them out in one blow although in some cases 2 rocket hits are needed. The rockets are easily dodged as long as the player has the Rocket Trooper in sight; keep a distance from them because the bullets are much harder to avoid than rockets.

Nazi Heavy Robot

Heavy Robots (German: Schwerer Roboter) are large mechs used by the Nazis in the 1960s to suppress all uprising attempts after their victory of World War II. The game describes the robots as such; these are military grade robots, the state-of-the-art in the field of advanced mechanized unit design. These bad boys carry Super laser cannons and have a protective layer of hard steel. Only two are ever seen in the game. The first one is encountered at the end of the mission London Nautica, acting as a boss. The second appears near the end of the Lunar Base, blowing up a part of the tram the player is escaping on thus disabling it, forcing the player to continue on foot. This one cannot be fought.

The Heavy Robot in the London Nautica is armed with two attacks; laser cannons and EMP grenades. Upon detection, the Heavy Robot will fire a barrage of heavy laser fire at B.J before firing an EMP blast almost immediately after. These lasers do relatively high damage on harder difficulties, so it is advised to take cover. EMP grenades have an approximately 5 second charge time before exploding, damaging the player and draining the Laserkraftwerk. Making contact with the grenade itself before explosion can also damage the player. The EMP grenades are primarily used for flushing B.J out of cover and are proven to be quite annoying if the player sticks to one of the side rooms in the arena. The robot appears to have no resistance to Tesla Grenades, which will deactivate the robot for a while if it is caught in a Tesla Grenade’s AoE.

Nazi Kampfhunde

Kampfhunde are armored and genetically (later in addition mechanically) augmented German Shepherds employed by the Nazi military as a type of attack canine. Armed with bodily augments and sharp teeth, they are fast on their feet and can close the distance between them and a detected player fairly quickly.

While pre-1960 models of the Kampfhund are regular dogs with simple alterations performed on them, the 1960 variant is nearly 100% mechanical save for the brain which is encased in an exoskeleton.

Nazi Panzerhunde

The Panzerhund was one of the first prototype robots to come out of General Deathshead’s workshop. According to a newspaper article found in-game, it was first deployed on the Eastern Front, creating chaos along the Russian ranks as it tore through the battlefield.

Initially despite the introduction of the Panzerhund, the most common German canine unit to be seen on the battlefield in the Western theaters during the late 40s was the Kampfhund; the Panzerhunde encountered in 1946 by B.J. Blazkowicz appeared during the crash landing upon the beaches of Deathshead’s Compound, before he and the other remaining Allied troops scaled the castle walls. Despite their appearance and apparent invulnerability to most attacks, they are taken out by B.J. using an anti-aircraft gun.

The Panzerhund 1960 is the evolution of the first prototypes and production model created by General Deathshead during the war. As envisioned by the General in one of his fevered visionary dreams, it is a super-efficient murder machine encased in titanium steel armor and fitted with bone-crushing metal jaws that can cut through the thickest of body armor. The new, far more deadly Panzerhund can be seen several times during the campaign, each time posing a lethal threat to the player. A 1960s Panzerhund requires far more firepower to bring it down than its 1940s counterpart.

London Monitor

The London Monitor (German: Das Auge von London, lit. The Eye of London) is a colossal robot designed by the Nazis to police the city of London. The London Monitor was created in response to the urban unrest in London caused by British resistance fighters in the so-called August Uprising of 1951. After crushing the uprising, the machine became a weapon of terror and symbol of Nazi dominion; any brave Londoners who dared to fight the Nazi riot control troops and survived no doubt met their end at the hands of the robot’s extensive arsenal. A news article found in the London Nautica suggests that the mere presence of the Monitor is sufficient to disperse a riot, though this could be hyperbolic propaganda to whitewash the regime’s use of the machine to massacre dissidents.

As a counter-insurgency and riot control unit the London Monitor’s arsenal is varied but generally oriented towards taking on large numbers of light infantry in an urban setting. The engine compartment in the lower part of its body mounts three sponsons or ball turrets facing in different directions, each housing a trio of machine guns. The hatch on the bottom face of the engine/turret area is surrounded by three flamethrowers to restrict hostile access to its engines. Heavier weapons are mounted in the head/turret on top of the body: the red cyclopean eye on the front of the turret is actually the focusing lens for an energy weapon which must be charged for several seconds before firing, and two pylons on either side of the turret each mount three multi-tube missile launchers.

Prototype Robot

The Prototype Robot (German: Prototype-Roboter), also called “Machine Man (German: Maschinenmensch)” by Deathshead, is the penultimate boss of Wolfenstein: The New Order. It is operated by the disembodied brain of either Probst Wyatt or Fergus Reid, depending on who B.J. Blazkowicz chose for Deathshead to vivisect at the end of the intro level.

After the reveal, it will steal the player’s weapons when they open the door leading to the roof, and equip itself with the LKW. During the fight, it must be defeated using the Tesla grenades found in the nearby crates to temporarily disable it, allowing Blazkowicz time to remove the brain from the robot. Following the battle, Wyatt/Fergus apologizes to Blazkowicz for attacking him and asks Blazkowicz to kill him. Blazkowicz tearfully obliges his request by destroying his brain, ending his suffering.


Knife (The New Order)

The Knife is the only melee weapon used by B.J. Blazkowicz in the game Wolfenstein: The New Order. It is the only non-firing weapon usable by the player in the game. The knife is capable of full out stabbing during combat and silent take downs during stealth. During both situations, the ability to throw knives is unlocked after performing a number of takedowns, and unlocking more throwing knives to carry requires a set amount of throwing knife kills. Most enemies can be killed with a single hit with a knife. They can be picked up from the corpses of enemies who have been killed by them.

Handgun 1960

Like its predecessor, the Handgun 1960 is the standard-issue sidearm frequently used by Nazi commanders. It boasts a relatively high damage per shot for a light weapon and is capable of killing most standard enemies with a single headshot, or around 3 to 5 bodyshots depending on the difficulty. The pistol is also highly accurate even when dual-wielded or hip-fired with a very narrow bullet spread, though its ironsights are flat and somewhat awkward to use in low-light conditions.

The improved pistol packs twice the amount of shots per magazine compared to its predecessor and comes with a handy 3-round burst mode makes it much more competent in a shootout, though the repeated shots also generate a fair amount of recoil.


It is the standard-issue primary weapon of the Allied Forces in 1946 and the first weapon given to the player. The SMG is similar to the M1928A1 Thompson Submachine Gun, with a compensator, lighter hammer drill, shorter barrel and a simplified M1 Thompson iron sight. The Submachine Gun is a fast-firing weapon with a large magazine size and low overall recoil, making it useful when engaging multiple enemies up close or for sniping. Ammunition for this weapon is very easy to find due to it sharing the same pickup type as the Handgun 1946, though firing it wildly would still result in shortage.

Although handy to have, the Submachine Gun is quickly supplanted by the vastly more useful Assault Rifle 1946, which can be picked up from the first enemy soldier encountered. Compared to its replacement the Submachine Gun is substantially weaker, harder to get ammo for and cannot be dual-wielded.

Assault Rifle 1946

The Assault Rifle 1946 (German: Sturmgewehr 1946) is a weapon in Wolfenstein: The New Order. It is the staple weapon of the Nazi infantry during the game’s prologue and the first production assault rifle to ever be introduced in the world and weapon industry in this timeline.

The weapon itself has a slight resemblance to the real life StG 44. It has quite the punch, with a moderate rate of fire. And although BJ appears to wield it with ease, it is quite heavy and your speed is dramatically lowered when two are wielded at once. If the player wields two Sturmgewehr 46 it makes up for the slow rate of fire, and it increases the damage output by a factor of two.

Assault Rifle 1960

The Assault Rifle 1960 is designed to be a fully automatic weapon that is more versatile and robust than its 1946 variant. The weapon fires faster and also has significantly less recoil than the earlier model and allows for much more accurate shooting. The 1960 variant retains the ability to be dual-wielded.

An underbarrel drum-fed semi-automatic micro rocket launcher replaces the rifle’s selective fire functionality, though also allowing it to act as a heavy-hitter to use against larger enemies such as the Super Soldier and various robots.

AR Marksman

The AR Marksman is a select-fire rifle issued to elite Nazi personnel in 1960. Visually, it resembles the standard Assault Rifle 1960, though internally it is fundamentally different, and uses an additionally unusual form of ammunition. While in its default configuration, the AR Marksman fires high-caliber rounds semi-automatically while the weapon’s barrel is at full extent and the scope is available for use. As a marksman rifle, this weapon is the best ranged choice in The New Order, despite the rather low scope magnification by sniper standards. A direct headshot is often enough to kill any standard enemy instantly. When upgraded, the weapon can also be switched to become a fully-automatic plasma rifle. Ammunition for the weapon is rare during the game so use sparingly.

Automatic Shotgun

The Automatic Shotgun isn’t introduced until 1960 and is issued to Guards and Heavy soldiers. The weapon cannot be found until B.J. Blazkowicz breaks into Eisenwald Prison in order to save members of the Kreisau Circle. The Automatic Shotgun boasts a heavy damage rating per shot, capable of killing most standard enemies with a single click of the trigger, and quickly felling the sturdier ones within a few seconds of automatic fire.

Machine Gun 1960

The MG-60 (MaschinenGewehr 1960) or Machine Gun 1960 is a energy-based turret armament designed and used by the Nazis during 1960. The Machine Gun 1960 is a directed-energy weapon that feeds on electricity, thus in theory it can be fired indefinitely even on mobile mode, as long as you can find Charging Station to recharge its battery periodically. Like its 1946 predecessor, the player can use it as a fixed emplacement or unmount it for mobile heavy firepower.

MG-60’s high firepower allows the player wielding it to easily tear apart groups of ordinary soldiers and Heavy Soldiers in moments. However, the player will be exposed to enemy fire and the player is burdened by MG-60’s mass, preventing the player from executing hit-and-run tactic asides from popping in and out of one piece of reliable cover. However, against larger enemies like Supersoldaten and Guard Robots, spraying fire at them is quite ineffective. Instead, it requires the player to concentrate damage on a body part (recommended to aim at the head or chest) until a piece of metal armor plating is torn away, and then fire at the exposed section that is revealed.

Fragmentation Grenades

These are standard-issue German hand grenades that can be collected from fallen enemies or from preset locations on the map.

Tesla Grenade

A hand grenade with a high explosive EMP charge for taking out multiple enemies and creating diversions. Its magnetically charged casing will stick to nearby mechanical enemies and temporarily disable them. Remember to stay out of the grenade’s blast range.

Laser Cutter

The Laser Cutter (German: Laserschneider) is a weapon found outside Eisenwald Prison, and is essential to navigating the interior of the prison facility. It is primarily used to cut through fences and chains, but can serve as a very low damage weapon in emergencies. A secondary firing mode can be acquired within Einsenwald Prison (not unlocked until player gets to the next chapter), which is that the Laser Cutter gains the ability to shoot high powered energy blasts.


The LaserKraftWerk, ger. Licht Amplifikation durch die stimulierte Emission von Radiation KraftWerk; (LKW for short; lit. “Laser Power Plant”) is a powerful laser weapon prototype developed (possibly reverse-engineered from Da’at Yichud technology) by the Nazis in 1960.

The weapon has two functions, one similar to the laser cutter, and the other a pure laser weapon that can harm enemies. Functions can be swapped the same way that weapon ammunition is swapped. The energy attacks from the heavy robotic enemies act as an EMP and drain the battery from this weapon, making it useless unless B.J. recharges the weapon. Both laser cutter and laser rifle function can cut through chains, but the latter will attract attention from the enemy.

The weapon will become more and more useful after the upgrades are found – the LaserKraftWerk looks clumsy but it is an effective ranged backup weapon once the player runs short of ammo for other weapons.


Wolfenstein: The New Order is still one of my favorite first-person shooters having grown up playing Wolfenstein 3D. This first-person shooter demands all your attention and captivates you while you play and leaves you with a high, hours after you have stopped playing.


Cocaine Bear is a 2023 American comedy horror film directed by Elizabeth Banks and loosely inspired by the true story of the “Cocaine Bear“, an American black bear that ingested nearly 75 lbs. (34 kg) of lost cocaine. The movie differs from reality in that there was no evidence of the real bear having ever killed anyone while the movie bear goes on a killing spree worthy of Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

The movie begins in 1985, drug smuggler Andrew C. Thornton II drops a shipment of cocaine from his plane. He attempts to parachute out with a drug-filled duffel bag, but knocks himself unconscious on the doorframe, causing him to fall to his death. His body lands in Knoxville, Tennessee where he is identified by Bob, (Isiah Whitlock Jr., of The Wire fame perfectly deadpan as ever but without the Sheeeeeeeeat) a local detective. He concludes that the cocaine is likely from a drug kingpin Syd White, and the rest of it is missing. Meanwhile, in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, an American black bear eats some of the cocaine, becoming highly aggressive and attacking two hikers, Elsa and Olaf, killing Elsa.

Meanwhile, a young girl called Dee Dee lives with her mother, Sari who is a nurse (lame names if I ever heard lamer). Dee Dee skips school with her best friend Henry in order to paint a picture of the falls in the forest. On the trail to the falls, the pair finds a lost brick of cocaine, and ingest some before they are attacked by the bear. Sari ventures into the forest to search for the kids with park ranger Liz and Peter, a wildlife activist. The three find Henry clinging to a tree, hiding from the bear. The bear attacks, sending Peter stumbling through a pile of cocaine and slashing Liz in the process. Attracted to a cocaine-coated Peter, the bear kills him, ignoring Henry. Sari and Henry flee deeper into the forest, and Liz sends for help.

The druglord Syd sends his fixer Daveed to recover the remaining cocaine. Daveed travels to Georgia with Eddie, Syd’s son, who has grown depressed following the death of his wife and has abandoned his own son with Syd. They arrive in Georgia, and so does Bob. At the forest station, Daveed gets into a fight with the delinquent gang, who cause trouble in the forest and beats the shit out of them. One of the members, Stache, takes Daveed and Eddie to recover some of the cocaine he stashed in a gazebo.

Liz arrives back at the station, pursued by the bear. Liz accidentally kills Ponytail, one of the teenage delinquents, before the bear slaughters Vest, the other one. Paramedics Beth and Tom arrive and collect Liz after a brief skirmish with the bear. They leave with Liz in an ambulance, but the bear pursues and jumps into the vehicle. In the ensuing chaos, Tom is killed by the bear, while Liz falls out of the ambulance and is crushed on the road. Beth loses control of the ambulance and crashes into a tree, causing her to fly through the windshield to her death. (A truly epic and hilarious sequence of events)

Sari and Henry meanwhile discover that Dee Dee left them a trail of paint, which they use to track her. Daveed and Eddie are taken to the gazebo, but find Bob there with the stashed duffel of cocaine. The bear appears but Bob distracts it with the bag of coke. Bob is suddenly shot fatally by Syd, who reveals that he is under pressure by his superiors to retrieve the cocaine. Sari and Henry find a mourning Olaf, who leads them to Dee Dee’s hiding place: the bear’s cave containing its two cubs, revealing that the bear is a mother. Olaf leaves and is killed by the bear. Syd, Eddie, and Daveed find the cave, which leads out to a ledge behind the falls.

The bear returns to the cave to defend her cubs. Sari, Henry, and Dee Dee jump into the water below to safety, followed by Eddie and Daveed – who have chosen to quit the drug business together, and they all survive. However, Syd refuses to leave the bag of cocaine found in the cave. He shoots and wounds the bear but is unsuccessful in killing it and is disemboweled by the bear and her cubs. Later, Stache hitchhikes to New York with a duffel bag of cocaine, while Eddie, accompanied by Daveed, reunites with his son.

The movie doesn’t really develop its characters. Even the bear comes off like a stereotype of a drug addict. It’s primarily a B-movie but it has no illusions about what it is. It is a silly movie but its entertaining. It has no aspirations for awards or for brilliant critical reviews – it is basically Sharknado with a bear. The movie manages to combine a realistic CGI bear, plenty of gore and chaos. The intersecting stories are engaging, with the ensemble cast catching the audience’s attention and maintaining a narrative thread throughout the film. Larger parts like Ranger Liz (Margo Martindale), Daveed (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), Eddie (Alden Ehrenreich), Dentwood (Ray Liotta), and Bob (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) prove just as entertaining as more minor characters, like Scott Seiss’ EMT, who sweep in and out of the narrative quickly.

It is not “laugh out loud” funny but it has the humor imbedded within it. Cocaine Bear manages to be appealing thanks to its wacky, gore-ridden, escapism venture. Yet, the admirable performances and CGI elements cannot redeem the poor screenplay and minimal creativity taken with the plot and dialogue. A major warning sign is the lack of imagination in the title of the movie itself. Much of the joy of “Cocaine Bear” comes from the look of the bear itself, which is surprisingly high-tech for a cheesy, silly movie. The movie makers and the CGI studio have definitely amped up the movements and anthropomorphized the animal to a knowing extreme, but they achieve enough realism to make the bear’s attacks scary. You’ll laugh and squeal throughout, but you’ll also scream and squirm in disgust. The violence is often so graphic and so gory that those weak stomachs might even throw up their breakfast. Some of the gnarliest moments however, come not from the bear herself, but rather from all of the people being stupid and finding ways to get injured.

It is comparable to the 2006 Snakes on a Plane in its absurdity and animal mayhem but without Samuel Jackson providing frequent doses of “Motherf*****” every 5 minutes. Both movies do exactly what their titles suggest, without any desire to be more substantial or meaningful. Though the suspense that carries the film for the first two-thirds of its short running time dips as it nears its conclusion, “Cocaine Bear” still emerges as a hell of an adventure.


Cocaine Bear is fun and stupid and entertains in a way that only silly movies do. Go check it out.


Bullet Train is a 2022 American action comedy film directed by David Leitch and features an ensemble cast, with Brad Pitt among the leads. Primarily, Brad Pitt plays a character called Ladybug, a former hitman who must battle fellow assassins while travelling on a bullet train.

The movie begins with Yuichi Kimura, “The Father”, boarding a bullet train in Tokyo in search of the attacker of his son Wataru. Meanwhile, guided by his handler Maria Beetle, operative “Ladybug” is assigned to retrieve a briefcase full of cash from the same train, replacing a sick colleague, Carver. Ladybug is reluctant, as his recent string of bad luck during his jobs resulted in accidental deaths. Also on the train are two English assassin brothers codenamed “Lemon” (Brian Tyree Henry) and “Tangerine” (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), who just rescued a man (“The Son”) from kidnappers and are taking him and the briefcase to his father, a Russian-born Yakuza boss called “The White Death” (Michael Shannon).

As the trip begins, The Son is killed by poisoning. Ladybug meanwhile discreetly steals the briefcase, but on his way off the train, he is attacked by another assassin, codenamed “The Wolf”, who recognizes Ladybug from his wedding, where his wife was killed. The Wolf mistakenly believes Ladybug to be one of her killers. Ladybug confusedly fights The Wolf, who accidentally kills himself with a deflected knife throw. Yuichi finds the person who attacked Wataru, a young woman codenamed “The Prince”, but she overpowers him. She explains that she pushed Wataru off a roof to lure Yuichi to the train as part of a plan to have him kill the White Death. To ensure his cooperation, she has someone holding Wataru hostage in the hospital.

Ladybug’s misfortune continues. He recognizes Lemon from a job in Johannesburg gone wrong (where Lemon shot Ladybug), offers to return the case in exchange for being allowed to leave. Lemon suspects that Ladybug killed The Son, leading to a fight. Lemon is knocked unconscious during the fight, and privately discusses Ladybug’s innocence to Tangerine, before splitting off to find him and frame him for the Son’s murder. The Prince finds the briefcase, booby-traps it with explosives, and rigs Yuichi’s gun to explode if fired. Ladybug encounters Tangerine, and after avoiding the White Death’s men, kicks Tangerine off the train as the train departs, but he climbs back aboard from outside. Suspicious of the two, Lemon shoots Yuichi but collapses after drinking from a water bottle Ladybug had previously spiked with sleeping powder.

The Prince (played by Joey “King”) shoots Lemon and conceals him and Yuichi in a bathroom. Ladybug encounters yet another assassin, “The Hornet”, who poisoned the Son and Wolf’s wedding party with the venom of a boomslang snake. After a struggle, both are exposed to the venom, but only Ladybug receives an anti-venom that saves him. Tangerine runs into the Prince and notices one of Lemon’s train stickers on her, realizing that she shot Lemon. Ladybug interrupts them, and Tangerine is killed before he can shoot the Prince. At the next stop, Yuichi’s father, “The Elder”, boards the train. He recognizes the Prince and informs her that Wataru is safe, as the henchman has been killed by his guard. After she flees, the Elder tells Ladybug he will remain to confront the White Death, who killed his wife while taking over the Yakuza.

Finding Yuichi and Lemon still alive, the four work together to make preparations to face the White Death. At Kyoto, Ladybug gives the White Death the briefcase. The Prince, revealed to be the White Death’s daughter, fails to goad him into shooting her with the rigged gun. The White Death explains that everyone on the train was linked to the death of his wife. He hired them hoping they would kill each other, not knowing Carver was replaced by Ladybug. The White Death’s henchmen open the briefcase, which explodes, knocking Ladybug and the White Death back onto the train. The White Death’s remaining henchmen board and battle the assassins, while the Elder duels the White Death.

The train crashes into downtown Kyoto. Emerging from the wreck, impaled with the Elder’s katana, the White Death tries to kill Ladybug, but the rigged gun explodes in his face. The Prince threatens Ladybug, Yuichi, and the Elder with a machine gun but is run over by a fruit truck driven by Lemon, who fell off the train earlier. Maria arrives to retrieve Ladybug, while Japanese authorities begin to clean up the damage caused by the train crash.

The movie is full of violence, insane twists and a general lack of logic only found in the films starting with Fast & something. The cast is colorful in terms of the acting ability and their ability to entertain the audience. The story runs out of steam by the end but the action sequences and humor are enough to allow audiences to stay invested until the end. Almost all the actors bring their “A” game except Joey King and Andrew Koji, whose performances were forgettable. Sandra Bullock had a small role but seems like talent wasted in this movie.

The non-Asian casting especially Brad Pitt as Ladybug and Joey King as The Prince, unlike the Japanese characters in the original novel attracted criticism. The criticism makes sense had this movie been set in the U.S.A or Europe, the white characters might have made more sense. However, the original setting of Japan has been retained but the characters changed. So, regarding the criticism, I do believe Asian characters can lead a good story, like Shang-Chi and Crazy Rich Asians but in a movie like Bullet Train, which lacked a strong plot and relied more on the humor and the action sequences, Brad Pitt was a good choice and was quite entertaining in the role. Joey King’s performance was forgettable and could have been played by almost any one. The movie does have a lot of diversity with Black, Latin, White and Asian characters so it doesn’t fit into the usual “woke” criticism of movies.


Bullet Train woke critics might complain about the “white-washing” but if you don’t get too upset about movie details and prefer to enjoy a great action comedy with some popcorn, go check this one out.


If you follow the Western media, an incorrect opinion about India and its democracy is being perpetuated relentlessly and being accelerated due to India’s neutrality in the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war. Now I have spoken about India’s neutrality in the war in one of my earlier articles show below. This article is not about the war or India’s decision to not join the Western bandwagon. This is about the media – free and fair media – but in India’s case, there are darker forces at play here emanating from India’s recent rise in economic and geo-political clout and the innate racism and superiority complex of older European and American media houses unable to swallow a changing world dynamic.

In this article, I am going to focus on 3 powerful media houses, which produce content consumed by the Western audiences and which have contributed to an increase in flawed views about India, its democracy and its democratically elected leader Narendra Modi – The Guardian, the BBC and Al-Jazeera. All of these media giants are extremely anti-India in their narrative and there are claims and reports, that many of them are secretly funded by donations from opposition political parties in India, to spew false facts and one-sided narratives against Narendra Modi and the BJP government. A common feature has been to label a Government elected by a majority of Indians as a Hindu Nationalist Government (interestingly not saying a word against the large number of openly Islamic republics where minorities are persecuted on a daily basis or the US politicians who believe in “America First” or that the USA is a “Christian” country) and which made the one mistake the European political elite cannot swallow, that is to be assertive and not kowtow to Western demands.


The Guardian is a British daily newspaper founded in 1821 as The Manchester Guardian, and changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers The Observer and The Guardian Weekly, The Guardian is part of the Guardian Media Group, owned by the Scott Trust. The Guardian is an openly centre-left paper and pushes the “liberal agenda” as defined by European and American definitions, extremely hard. The newspaper has an online website, where articles against Narendra Modi and India are extremely common. Hannah Ellis-Petersen, the South Asia correspondent is quite active at using her articles to spread an Anti-Hindu and Anti-Modi narrative. Interestingly for a “liberal” newspaper, their articles against Modi, usually have the comments from reader section usually locked or with any pro-Modi or comment against their one-sided takes, quickly moderated in the name of “no hate speech” although they allow any comments from readers falsely labelling Indian democracy as broken, flawed or Islamophobic regardless of the vitriol.

The Guardian collaborates with many Indians in the ancient British custom of “divide and rule“, to make it seem as if many Indians are oppressed by Modi but cannot speak up. The reality is that Modi is more popular than ever in India and keeps increasing his votes in every election. In their view, India’s democracy is only strong when Hinduphobia is widely accepted, Western NGOs are secretly funded to report falsely on so-called Indian “atrocities” in Kashmir and when candidates who are subservient to Europe, like past Indian National Congress leaders, win elections. Let us understand the true nature of such articles, the inability of Europeans to accept that Western ‘values’ are not the only values worth following and they are not “universal” – they may be universal in Europe and North America but they don’t apply to Asia, Africa and South America, continents with countries and civilizations far older than European states.

The Guardian’s only pro-India articles come through either while reporting certain Muslim activities in India or if the political parties of India, supporting foreign news agencies, score a win. The bias ingrained in their articles is open for all to see. Sadly, European and American masses, are unable to accept one universal truth – everyone has an agenda. The simple question they need to ask, before they accept the version of The Guardian against India or Modi is that, why are more and more Indians including Muslims and Sikhs voting for Modi? If they believe all the Indians who voted for Modi, are Hindus, uneducated and easily fooled then there is no point having a logical discussion with any of them. To understand the falsehoods, I would ask my Western friends to check historical articles from Hannah Ellis-Petersen and The Guardian and see how the tone shifts when it speaks of India under Modi and India under the Congress or articles against Modi and those against the Congress party scion Rahul Gandhi. Also note the negative tone in almost all of these articles and then compare it with other countries and you will notice a trend and understand that what you are being told is not the whole truth. However, The Guardian, aside from Hannah Ellis-Petersen’s openly Indo-phobic and anti-Hindu narratives, falls short when it is compared to the grand old master of the divide and rule – the BBC.


The British Broadcasting Corporation or BBC is the national broadcaster of the United Kingdom, based at Broadcasting House in London, England. It is the world’s oldest national broadcaster and has had a controversial history, with strong colonial vibes in its broadcasts and a “holier than thou” attitude when speaking about former colonies of the no longer “Great” Britain. Jimmy McGovern, in a 2007 interview, called the BBC “one of the most racist institutions in England“. In the 2008 edition of the peer-reviewed Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Alasdair Pinkerton analyzed the coverage of India by the BBC from India’s 1947 independence from British rule to 2008. Pinkerton observed a tumultuous history involving allegations of anti-India bias in the BBC’s reportage, particularly during the Cold War, and concluded that the BBC’s coverage of South Asian geopolitics and economics showed a pervasive and hostile anti-India bias because of the BBC’s alleged imperialist and neocolonialist stance.

The BBC in its long history has been accused by several national governments and individuals of left-wing and liberal bias. The never-ending saga of oozing elitism, racism, and the mental superiority of colonial mindsets—vividly captured in the ideology dubbed “White Man’s Burden”—is glaringly visible in the reporting done by the BBC. The BBC as the British did during their rule of India and Pakistan, continues the divide and rule policy of their ancestors by pro-Muslim coverage and Hindu and Sikh leaders in the United Kingdom have long accused the BBC of pandering to Britain’s Muslim community by making a disproportionate number of programmes on Islam at the expense of covering other Asian religions, such as Sikhism and Hinduism. BBC just like the British Colonial rulers continue to wage war against perceived “Islamophobia” while like Al Jazeera and The Guardian, ignoring minority persecution in Islamic countries.

Its bias against India, has existed since the sun set on the British Empire and its former colony started making its own decisions. In 2008, in the wake of one of the most horrendous terrorist attacks, sponsored by Pakistan, to hit India, the Mumbai terror attacks, it was heavily criticized for calling “terrorists” as “gunmen” as if it were some lowly gangland gunfights. In its latest attack on India and its democratically elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it decided to broadcast a one-dimensional take on the 2002 Gujarat Riots called “India: The Modi Question” – a question no Indian ever asked but the BBC felt necessary to protect India from Indians. As per the India: The Modi Question series’ official description, “it looks at the tensions between Indian PM Narendra Modi and India’s Muslim minority, investigating claims about his role in the 2002 riots that left over a thousand dead.” Interestingly no such documentary was made about the genocide of Kashmiri Hindus by Muslims sponsored by the Pakistani state. The BBC also is adamant about continuing its negative narrative on Modi’s policies, issues, and schemes after his re-election in 2019. As per their description, these include a series of controversial policies like Article 370, the CAA for allegedly treating Muslims unfairly (although CAA has nothing against Muslims but only tries to save persecuted Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists in Muslim majority states – a simple logic is that in a Muslim majority state, it isn’t as if the Muslims are in need of assistance), and reports of violent attacks on Muslims by Hindus.

Now, it seems that after proving his innocence in the court of the general public and the court of law, PM Narendra Modi will line up and face the investigation by the learned echo-chamber of the BBC, a news channel of a foreign nation. Basically India is still incapable of a functioning judiciary, free and fair democratic elections and people who know what is good for them. In its first hour-long video, the BBC raked over all those issues that have been thoroughly looked after by the Indian judiciary, including the apex court, the Supreme Court and did not find Modi guilty.

From the shoulders of vested interest groups in the horrific 2002 Godhra riot case, BBC dragged the same old rhetorical charge against PM Narendra Modi. For this, it included the notorious faces those who desperately wanted to implicate the then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi like Akar Patel, former head of Amnesty International, and Arundhati Roy, a Hindu-phobic Indian who is willing to sell out her own country and people in the name of her “intellectual superiority“. First of all, the BBC’s claim of investigating the unfortunate Godhra case reeks of their colonial superiority complex, and they have “no locus standi” in this case as it is India’s internal affair and has been properly handled by our independent judiciary. It desperately ran away from the fact that it was an unfortunate case of communal rioting and not a Muslim pogrom. In their eagerness to further their political motives, they virtually ignored the initiation incident involving Hindu pilgrims burned alive in train coaches. Bringing peace, law, and order into such an atmosphere of communal frenzy in a large area is easier said than done. Using that argument to pin blame on a criminal conspiracy for scripting the Muslim pogrom speaks volumes about the journalistic and unbiased credentials of the BBC and the groups involved that keep rubbing salt in the wounds of both communities.


Ah Al Jazeera, an international 24-hour English-language news channel owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network, which is owned by the monarchy government of Qatar. Al Jazeera was founded as part of Qatari efforts to turn economic power into political influence in the Arab world and beyond, and continues to receive political and financial backing from the government of Qatar. As a result, Al Jazeera has been criticized for being Qatari state media frequently and thus, should not be taken seriously but sadly Western rainbow flag bearers conveniently forget that about Qatar and consume vast quantities of Islamist propaganda against Israel and India, in particular, through side networks like AJ+ and the main network Al Jazeera. In 2010, U.S. State Department internal communications released by WikiLeaks as part of the 2010 diplomatic cables leak said that the Qatari government manipulates Al Jazeera coverage to suit the country’s political interests.

Al Jazeera is very well-known for its Islamist and antisemitic and Hindu-phobic rhetoric. The Kashmir insurgency is labelled as a “rebellion” incorrectly and terrorist suicide attackers are called “rebels” in a mouthpiece of the Islamist Qatari State which does not even pretend like The Guardian or BBC to promote fair and free narratives. Al Jazeera is also openly anti-Israel and spews nasty vitriol against Israel and its people at every given opportunity while ignoring the suffering of minorities in countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh where Hindus and Sikh temples are destroyed and Hindu women are abducted and forcibly married to Muslims and where minorities live in a state of constant fear. These stories are conveniently lost when told by Al Jazeera whose goal is to spread pro-Islamist propaganda across the world. Al Jazeera during the Second Intifada, used to label Palestinians killed by Israelis as “martyrs” while not calling Israelis killed by Palestinians the same way. Ask yourself – is that “fair and unbiased” reporting?

When it comes to India, Al Jazeera goes even further, spreading disinformation and lies in the form of altered political maps of India, thus showing Indian sovereign territory in the hands of Pakistan or China. It also went further by omitting the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as part of the sovereign territory of India. Now as a European or American ask yourself, would you trust a news agency which showed Florida or Alaska as independent nations or omitted it from the map of the USA? Or if Ukraine or Poland or the Baltic States were shown to be a part of Russia? But you’re allowing the hypocrisy to show by calling this same media agency unbiased and consuming its articles when it is portraying India in a poor light time and again. Truth requires accepting both sides of a narrative – not just the side which panders to your beliefs.

All these media houses, are openly backed by rich financiers and sometimes even states like in the case of Al-Jazeera. No one denies that there are good journalists working at these news agencies but the narrative and agendas are set from the top and it is up to Europeans and Americans to question narratives. If you are asking Indians and other Asians, Africans and South Americans to not believe that racism is rampant in Europe and North America and to not have such anti-European/anti-American views and for your values to penetrate, you also need to give in and accept that perhaps you are also receiving a false narrative from your media and they are forcing the opinions of the rich like George Soros, a man who is in all definitions an economic terrorist, infamously “breaking the Bank of England” and then using his money to buy influence and disperse views and narratives suited to his old, archaic opinions.

As the Indian foreign minister, S Jaishankar puts it Westerners are accepting the views of an “Old, rich, opinionated and dangerous” man who has the power to cause lasting damage to relations between the West and the Global South, if Westerners continue to consume his narratives. Europeans and Americans need to wake up and accept that the days of colonialism and Western dominance in all aspects is over. Narratives from olden days do not hold true and continue to accept all that your media tells you without questioning motives and agendas will continue to increase the gap between the West and the Rest of the World.

First, the stated reason given by these three media “giants” is that they want to establish that India is marching towards becoming a Hindu rashtra (nation). Evidently, the first video of the biased BBC Documentary opens with the disparaging remarks of fringe elements echoing the demand for making India a Hindu Rashtra. It needs BBC-level insanity and “confirmation bias” to link these random remarks of fringe elements to the psyche of Indian citizens and the Indian government. There is a continuous and fake narrative that Muslims are being oppressed under the Modi government and that laws are being implemented to achieve these objectives without understanding any of these laws – they even use politically inept individuals like Rihanna and Greta Thunberg who basically blabber whatever notes they are given by their string pullers. Through these well-crafted narratives of Muslim pogrom in India, they want to hamper India’s growing economic, diplomatic, and soft-power in the world. Through these falsehoods, foreign players like BBC, Al Jazeera, The Guardian and George Soros want to influence English-speaking elites urban class voters in India and set a global agenda of India-led by PM Modi becoming an anti-Muslim nation.

Outside India, the Western Media want to set a global agenda that under PM Modi India is becoming an Islamophobia nation. With acts like these, the BBC and its ilk want to act as the main opposition to PM Modi and dislodge him to halt the ongoing progress of the nation in every sphere. Further, through such degrading propaganda, several vested interest groups want to hurt the strategic ties between the two democratic nations, India and the UK. They want to jeopardize the UK’s economic revival by creating hurdles in a possible free trade agreement between the two nations.


It is high time that India gives a strong message to all these foreign players trying to pass on judgements on Indian issues. For political gains, the leftist lobby, in cahoots with the anti-India brigade keeps opening the wounds which take a lot of time to heal. That’s why it is eminently necessary to hold these conspirators accountable for their statements, claims and acts.


Top Gun: Maverick is a 2022 American action drama film directed by Joseph Kosinski. The film is a sequel to the 1986 film Top Gun. Tom Cruise reprises his starring role as the naval aviator Maverick. The film also stars Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Ed Harris and Val Kilmer. In the film, Maverick confronts his past while training a group of younger Top Gun graduates, including the son of his deceased best friend, for a dangerous mission. In this one, we assume age and politics would finally bring an end to Maverick’s devil-may-care ways but as like the real person behind the character, Maverick/Tom Cruise forces us to eat our words.

More than 30 years after graduating from Top Gun, United States Navy Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell is a test pilot. Despite many achievements, repeated insubordination has kept him from flag rank; his friend and former Top Gun rival, Admiral Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, now commander of the Pacific Fleet, often protects Maverick. After a test gone awry, Iceman again saves Maverick’s career by assigning him to the Top Gun school at NAS North Island for his next assignment, but not before Maverick is told by the Commander at the test school, that the era of manned fighter aircraft will soon be over.

Maverick is informed that the U.S. Navy has been tasked with destroying an unsanctioned uranium enrichment plant before it becomes operational (in a country that is a mix of China/North Korea/Russia). It is located in an underground bunker at the end of a canyon. It is defended by surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), GPS jammers, and fifth-generation fighters (seemingly Su-57s) as well as older F-14 Tomcats (no idea how these countries got it). Maverick devises a plan employing two pairs of F/A-18E/F Super Hornets armed with laser-guided bombs, but instead of participating in the strike, he is to train an elite group of Top Gun graduates assembled by Air Boss Vice Admiral Beau “Cyclone” Simpson.

Maverick dogfights his skeptical students and prevails in every contest, winning their respect. Lieutenants Jake “Hangman” Seresin and Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw—son of Maverick’s dead best friend and RIO Nick “Goose” Bradshaw—clash: Rooster dislikes Hangman’s cavalier attitude, while Hangman criticizes Rooster’s cautious flying. Maverick reunites with former girlfriend Penny Benjamin (a completely pointless waste of Jennifer Connelly), to whom he reveals that he promised Rooster’s dying mother that Rooster would not become a pilot. Rooster, unaware of the promise, angrily resents Maverick for dropping his Naval Academy application—impeding his military career—and blames him for his father’s death.

One of the best scenes of the movie

Cyclone removes Maverick as instructor following a training incident in which an F/A-18F is lost. Cyclone relaxes the mission parameters, so they are easier to execute but make escape much more difficult. During Cyclone’s announcement, Maverick makes an unauthorized flight through the course with his preferred parameters, proving that it can be done. Cyclone reluctantly appoints Maverick as team leader. A tough mission follows which involves Maverick being shot down by a SAM, trying to save Rooster. Believing Maverick to be dead, the others are ordered back to the carrier, but Rooster returns to find that Maverick ejected and is being targeted by an Mi-24 attack helicopter. After destroying the gunship, Rooster is shot down by a SAM and ejects. The two rendezvous and steal an F-14 from the damaged air base. Maverick and Rooster destroy two intercepting Su-57s, but a third attacks as they run out of ammunition and countermeasures. Hangman arrives in time to shoot it down, and the planes return safely. We are then shown Rooster helping Maverick work on his P-51 Mustang. Rooster looks at a photo of their mission’s success, pinned alongside a photo of his late father and a young Maverick, as Penny and Maverick fly off in the P-51.

The movie works not because of the new characters but rather due to Tom Cruise’s infectious charisma. The new group of pilots have some interesting moments but Miles Teller as Rooster just comes off as grumpy and Glen Powell as ‘Hangman’ comes across as cocky without being able to back it up. Jennifer Connelly as Penelope is brought as a love interest as the love interest from the first Top Gun movie, Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood played by Kelly McGillis was unable to prevent ageing unlike Tom Cruise who along with Paul Rudd seem to have stumbled upon some “forever young” serum which they do not want to share with the rest of the world.

The action sequences are amazing and this is a movie that flourishes on the big screen. It is a movie made for the typical Hollywood “Action Hero” or the “Last Big Movie Star” and Tom Cruise fits in beautifully. The movie also focuses on entertainment as movies should and not the New Hollywood habit of going Über-Woke and squeezing diversity even when it is not required. Otherwise we might have seen Penelope’s daughter whining about the different genders she thinks she has or some other nonsensical trend emerging out of the United States. Even the feminism is shown as it should by women being treated as women and as equals and men not ashamed of their masculinity, in the name of the non-existent “toxic masculinity”. Top Gun: Maverick works because it celebrates masculinity and accepts as normal and something not be ashamed of as Netflix movies and Instagram woke-fluencers would have men be.

If there is a sequel to Top Gun: Maverick, I hope that the movie continues the tradition of wanting to entertain above everything else because that is and always will be the recipe for a mass entertainer. Hollywood – stop focusing on Tom Cruise’s idiotic religious beliefs and focus more on making good movies that entertain, like he almost always does instead of trying to squeeze in idiotic trends that barely affect anyone in the world except for some permanently offended folk in the United States.


No movie of 2022 entertains the way Top Gun: Maverick does – watch it for the thrills, watch it for the action and watch it for the awesome Tom Cruise.


Kantara (transl. Mystical Forest) is a 2022 Indian Kannada-language action thriller film written and directed by Rishab Shetty. The film stars Shetty as a Kambala champion who is at loggerheads with an upright forest officer, Murali (played by Kishore). However, the movie mixes mythology with present day corruption and greed. The mythology of the movie involves the depiction of the “Buta Kola” a ritual dance performance prevalent among the Hindus of Tulu Nadu and parts of Kasargod in northern Kerala, India.

According to the mythology, a wild boar perished in Lord Shiva’s pleasure garden. The young boar’s offspring was adopted by Goddess Parvati, the spouse of Lord Shiva. The young boar became destructive as he grew older and began destroying the plants and trees in Lord Shiva’s garden. Lord Shiva became upset by this and decided to kill him. Goddess Parvati, however, defended the boar and asked her husband to pardon him. So instead of killing him, Lord Shiva banished the boar to earth and tasked him with protecting the people of earth. This particular became a Bhoota (divine spirit) known as Panjurli – a spirit which is an important part of the film.

The movie begins in 1847, we are shown that there lived a king who had a great kingdom as well as a loving wife and child, but could not find peace and satisfaction. He sets out on a journey to discover true happiness and comes upon a stone in a forest occupied by Panjurli Daiva, the deity introduced earlier, that protects the villagers that reside in the forest. He donates vast amounts of his land to the villagers in exchange for taking the stone with him. Panjurli warns the king that his family and successors should keep their word and not reclaim the land, which will incur the wrath of Panjurli’s companion, the ferocious Guliga Daiva. Fast-forward to 1970, the King’s successor asks a Bhoota Kola performer, who is possessed by Panjurli to make the locals hand over the land to him, which the performer refuses and states he will die vomiting blood if he tries to. The successor raises doubt on performer’s possession by Panjurli, to which the performer replies he would vanish if he is possessed, after which he runs into the forest and is indeed never seen again. As warned, the king’s successor dies mysteriously, vomiting blood a few months later on the steps of the court, where he was going to argue the land case.

The performer leaves behind his pregnant wife, who bears him a child Shiva. Shiva, is a Kambala athlete (An annual buffalo race held in the southwestern Indian state of Karnataka. Traditionally, it is sponsored by local Tuluva landlords and households) from the Kaadubettu village which forms the centre of the movie’s plot. In 1990, Murali, a forest officer, is tasked with converting the villagers’ land into a forest reserve which brings him into conflict with the villagers led by Shiva. Shiva is backed by his patron and the village’s landlord, Devendra Suttooru, who is the king’s successor in the present. Although Shiva is continually asked to perform the Bhoota Kola, he refuses due to the trauma of his father’s disappearance. Instead, his cousin Guruva takes his place. Next follows the part which screws up the movie’s essence. A whole hour of the movie is spent in Shiva and Murali’s cat-and-mouse antics and dull humor from Shiva and his friends.

Anyways summarizing all of that, Shiva’s escalations cause him to be jailed for opposing the Government’s takeover of the forest. His cousin Guruva asks Devendra, the landlord, to bail Shiva, but Devendra, who just like his father covets the land of the villagers, tries to bribe him to act as if Panjurli orders the villagers to give him their land in the next Bhoota Kola. Guruva refuses and Devendra kills him; learning that Murali has figured out his ulterior motive, Devendra decides to set Shiva against him. Shiva, after hearing about his cousin’s murder, meets Devendra, who lies about Murali being Guruva’s killer. Enraged, Shiva goes to kill Murali, but learns from his blacksmith friend Mahadeva that Devendra himself killed Guruva. Shiva is attacked by Devendra’s henchmen, but manages to escape and meet the villagers, whom Murali has told about Devendra’s land seizure. After Shiva reveals that Devendra killed Guruva, he and Murali set aside their grudge and unite the village.

Devendra and his henchmen attack, leading to an intense battle where several of the villagers are killed. After nearly dying in the fight, Shiva hits his head against Panjurli’s stone, gets possessed by the Guliga Daiva, and kills Devendra and his henchmen, in a crazed performance that borrows from some of Nicholas Cage’s wildest uncontrolled performances. A few months after the battle, Shiva performs the Bhoota Kola, and is possessed by Panjurli, where he, Murali and the villagers join hands in a symbolic gesture and blesses the villagers. Later, Shiva disappears into the forest after meeting what seems to be his father’s spirit.

The movie excels in its realistic depiction of the Buta Kola performance and providing an insight into some of the hidden rituals and beliefs in Hinduism. The movie’s start and end keep audiences hooked even though to a Western audience, most of the rituals will seem bizarre but these are ancient and belonging to a religion and civilization older than most others. The movie is however, let down by the middle portion and the dull writing. The dialogues between the villagers are repetitive and Shiva is portrayed as an angry man who runs to fight at the smallest slight and is only afraid of his mother. The actress who plays Shiva’s love interest, Leela, could have been played by a wooden pole and would have made a similar impact. The movie is redeemed by Rishab Shetty’s energetic performance but is let down in the middle by its writing and boring plot. Though it introduces a fascinating mythology not known to many Indians as well, it suffers due to the mistake of adding masala elements to something that could have been much more richer had the focus remained on the mythological plot.


Watch Kantara for its magnificent dance sequences, costumes and cultural history – ignore the masala elements to truly enjoy this movie.


Avatar: The Way of Water is a 2022 American epic science fiction film directed by James Cameron and a sequel to the 2009 box-office smash Avatar. 13 years is a long wait for a sequel. Avatar (2009) when it released, became a pioneer in terms of the cinematic experience. Wearing one’s 3D glasses and watching Pandora come to life on the big screen made for a fascinating experience. For those who have forgotten since obviously Avatar came out 13 years ago, in Avatar, we were introduced to the world of Pandora – a fictional exoplanetary moon inhabited by a sapient indigenous humanoid species called the Na’vi, as well as varied fauna and flora.

In the Avatar universe (set in the year 2154), we were told that humans had achieved a very technologically advanced, post-industrial society dominated by powerful corporations and industries who have also exhausted Earth’s resources which is where our current global situation seems to be heading. One of Earth’s most powerful corporations is the globally integrated Resources Development Administration (RDA), a public company which evolved from a Silicon Valley startup, that owns all resources off Earth. The Interplanetary Commerce Administration granted these sole rights to the RDA. Known RDA personnel on Pandora included head administrator Parker Selfridge (who was sent back to Earth after the RDA’s defeat in Avatar), Colonel Miles Quaritch (who returns in this movie despite dying in the first, in an Avatar form), Dr. Grace Augustine (whose character merged with Eywa but kind of returns in this movie in the form of her “daughter” born from her Avatar body. Don’t ask who impregnated her – even her fictional daughter can’t tell), Dr. Norm Spellman (who makes a return in this movie), and Samson 16 pilot Trudy Chacon (who died during the final fight against the RDA in the first movie)

Another quick info-bite about Pandora for the Avatar newbies before I begin my review, Pandora is depicted as being located in the Alpha Centauri A system, about 4.37 light-years (276,000 AU) from Earth. It is one of the many natural satellites orbiting the gas giant Polyphemus, named for the Polyphemus of Greek mythology. Pandora’s atmosphere is a mix of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, xenon, methane, ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, the latter three of which are unbreathable for humans, who wear Exo-Packs when outside their buildings or vehicles. The atmosphere of Pandora does have enough oxygen for humans (21%-22%), but too much carbon dioxide (16%-18%). The Na’vi have special organs (similar to kidneys) called Wichow that take advantage of this atmosphere to extract greater amounts of oxygen for their bloodstream. These organs use carbon dioxide and water in their bodies and convert them into methane and oxygen.

In terms of who the Na’vi are they are an indigenous species that live on Pandora. They are humanoid in appearance and are 9 to 10 feet (2.7 to 3.0 m) tall, having pairs of eyes, ears, arms, legs and feet like humans, as well as a nose, a mouth, and expressions recognizable to humans. The Na’vi differ from humans in having blue striped skin, pointed and mobile ears, large eyes, catlike noses and tails, and hands each with three fingers and a thumb (hybrid avatars, on the other hand, retain the five-fingered hands of their human DNA). While taller than humans, they have narrower proportions in body frame. Their bones are reinforced with naturally occurring carbon fiber. The Na’vi also have a distinctive tendril feature protruding from the back of their heads, surrounded by hair (resembling a long plait or queue), feeding directly into the brain. This organ allows them to connect with other organisms around them, transferring electrochemical signals such as thoughts and memories to the trees, plants, and other creatures.

Already so having satisfied the nerd within me, let us move on to the actual movie review. More than a decade after the Na’vi repelled the human invasion of Pandora by the Resources Development Administration (RDA) (also because James Cameron took that long to make a bloody sequel) , our hero Jake Sully lives as chief of the Omaticaya clan and raises a family with Neytiri, which includes sons Neteyam and Lo’ak, daughter Tuk, adopted daughter Kiri (born from Grace Augustine’s inert avatar), and a human boy named Spider, the son of Colonel Miles Quaritch who was born on Pandora (again who the mother is is as unclear as why the Na’vi’s method of connecting with nature and having sex is similar) and was unable to be transported to Earth in cryostasis due to his infancy. The big bad RDA returns to prepare their homeworld Pandora for human colonization, as Earth is dying (obviously as they probably sent Greta Thunberg back to school and completely ignored climate change). Among the new RDA arrivals are ‘recombinants’, Na’vi avatars implanted with the minds and memories of deceased human soldiers, with Quaritch’s recombinant serving as their leader.

Jake stages a guerilla campaign against RDA supply lines, but Quaritch and his subordinates conduct a counterinsurgency mission against Jake and kidnap his children which is a disadvantage he didn’t have in the first movie, although over there he was always hooked to a machine without which his Avatar could not function. Jake and Neytiri arrive and free most of them, but Spider is taken by Quaritch, who recognizes him as his son (no clue how). He decides to spend time with him in order to draw Spider on his side, and in turn, Spider teaches Quaritch about Na’vi culture and language. Aware of the danger Spider’s knowledge of his whereabouts poses to their safety, Jake and his family exile themselves from the Omaticaya and retreat to the Metkayina reef people clan at Pandora’s eastern seaboard. Although Jake and his family are given refuge, they are viewed with antipathy from some of the tribesmen due to their human heritage. Nevertheless, the family learns the ways of the reef people, Kiri develops a spiritual bond with the sea and its creatures, and Lo’ak befriends Tsireya, the daughter of clan chief Tonowari and his wife Ronal.

The next bit of the movie is a lot of teenage crap where basically jealous kids take one of Jake’s kids to the territory of a dangerous sea predator and abandon him there. Lo’ak is saved and befriended by Payakan, a tulkun, an intelligent and pacifistic cetacean species (basically like a whale) whom the Metkayina consider their spiritual family. Upon his return, Lo’ak takes the blame on himself, winning Aonung’s friendship, but is told that Payakan is an outcast among his species. On a trip to the Metkayina’s Spirit Tree, Kiri links with it to meet her mother but suffers a violent seizure. She is healed by Ronal, but when Jake calls Norm Spellman and Max Patel for help, Quaritch is able to track them to the archipelago where the reef people live. Bringing Spider with him, he commandeers a whaling vessel which is hunting tulkuns to harvest their brain enzymes for anti-aging remedies called amrita (a little side note for Western audiences – “Amrita” is actually called Amrit in Pali and Sanskrit and is part of one of Hindu mythology’s most famous stories – the churning of the primordial cosmic ocean by the Devas (Gods) and the Asuras (demons). It is supposed to give immortality and stop ageing to those that drink it. Please don’t assume James Cameron came up with it).

Quaritch begins to brutally question the indigenous tribes about Jake’s location; when this proves fruitless, he orders the whaling crew to wantonly kill tulkuns in order to draw Jake out. Lo’ak mentally links with Payakan and learns that the tulkun was cast out because he went against the pacifist ways of his species and fought back against the RDA whalers who killed his mother. When the Metkayina learn of the tulkun killings, Lo’ak takes off to warn his Tulkun friend Payakan, followed by his siblings, Tsireya, Aonung, and Rotxo (I think James Cameron came up with these names while being drunk in his director’s trailer and asking his assistant to write down anything he mumbled). They find Payakan being chased by the whalers, and Lo’ak, Tsireya, and Tuk are captured by Quaritch. With their children in danger, Jake, Neytiri, and the Metkayina set out to confront the humans. Quaritch forces Jake to surrender, but upon seeing Lo’ak imperiled, Payakan attacks the whalers, triggering a fight that kills most of the crew and sinks the vessel. Neteyam rescues Lo’ak, Tsireya and Spider, but is fatally shot. Jake faces Quaritch, who uses Kiri as a hostage. When Neytiri does the same with Spider, Quaritch at first denies his relationship with him but desists when Neytiri cuts Spider across the chest.

Jake, Quaritch, Neytiri, and Tuk end up trapped inside the sinking vessel. Jake strangles Quaritch into unconsciousness and is rescued by Lo’ak and Payakan, while Kiri summons sea creatures to help her save Neytiri and Tuk. Spider rescues Quaritch, but renounces his cruelty and rejoins Jake’s family. After Neteyam’s funeral, Jake informs Tonowari and Ronal of his decision to leave the Metkayina. Tonowari, however, respectfully identifies him as part of the clan and welcomes his family to stay. Jake and his family accept and forge a new life at sea, with Jake vowing to keep fighting the human invaders. Basically this movie, is not about Jake Sully as much as being about his kids. Kiri does at times give off a blue-haired feminist vibe at times which makes her annoying but thankfully she spends most of the time chilling in the ocean. The two boys are mostly the same except one gets into trouble all the time and the other is a good boy who ends up dying in the movie, so we need to remember one less name going into Avatar 3 which probably might be released when I am 43 (give or take a decade as James Cameron seems to have found some “amrita” of his own which is why he takes so long to make a sequel)

So why were the critics so mad at this movie? Basically the 3D experience got too old, the ocean world was not creative enough, the movie was too long and the “Avatar” concept was broken in this movie. Okay let me destroy these “issues” one at a time. 3D Experience got too old – um not really. Yeah we had a dozen or so Marvel 3D movies come out but atleast the Avatar world takes us on a unique journey instead of experiencing Thor’s biceps in 3D. Ocean world was not creative enough. All these “genius” movie critics saying that should realize most story tellers build universes based on their personal experiences, slightly altering the same. The Pandoran wolves and leopard type creatures from the first movie, also had roots in animals found on Earth except with more limbs or different appearances. So why are you expecting something super crazy now? Even the flying fish creatures, ridden by the sea people have a basis in the Exocoetidae. Next complaint was, it is too long. Um, Lord of The Rings anyone? To describe a fictional universe, you need to take your time. The Harry Potter series tried to rush through The Goblet of Fire and the Order of the Phoenix and we got two pretty average flicks compared to the awesome books. Last was the “Avatar” concept was broken. Well, the villains were all in Avatar suits and plus technology moved ahead in a decade so obviously they could not be lugging heavy boxes everywhere. Plus, most of the original soldiers were already dead so they would need to introduce a whole new set of enemies and give them sort of back story and that would have made the movie even longer.

Avatar – The Way of Water is a brilliant movie and way better than most of the “woke” Marvel movies we have been enduring lately since Endgame. It is creative, it adds a whole new universe to Pandora and it keeps you engaged till the very end.


Avatar – The Way of Water is as good as the original and still manages to leave audiences awestruck. Go watch it and explore a new world in Pandora.


Where the Crawdads Sing is a 2022 American mystery thriller drama (basically even the director and producer couldn’t decide the genre) film based on the 2018 novel of the same name. It was directed by Olivia Newman from a screenplay by Lucy Alibar, based on the novel by Delia Owens.

The movie follows an abandoned yet defiant girl, Kya, who raises herself to adulthood in a North Carolina marshland, becoming a naturalist in the process, while falling in love twice. When Kya’s ex-lover and town’s “pretty boy” is found dead, she is the prime suspect and tried for murder.

The movie delves into Kya’s past mostly – her growing up with siblings and a father who physically abused their mother. Kya talks about her mother leaving her father who is an alcoholic and a gambler too, Kya’s mother and older siblings flee one by one, leaving Kya alone with him until he too abandons her at the age of seven. She survives by selling mussels at Barkley Cove’s general store where the store’s owners James “Jumpin'” Madison and his wife Mabel Madison, treat her with kindness and sympathy. The townspeople, however know her as the “Marsh Girl”.

Over the years, her slightly older friend Tate Walker lends her books and teaches her to read, write, and count. They share an interest in nature and begin a romantic relationship until Tate leaves for college and breaks his promise to return to her on the 4th of July, devastating Kya and destroying her dreams of a normal life.

Kya, in the meantime, has her nature drawings and writings published and the income helps her keep her home and land. Her older brother Jodie reappears and tells her their mother died before she was able to reunite her children. Jodie promises to visit when he can. Her two other siblings have disappeared though.

In 1968, Kya begins a relationship with popular local quarterback Chase Andrews, who promises her marriage. Chase gives Kya a small shell which she makes into a necklace and gives to him. A year later, Tate returns to Barkley Cove wanting to rekindle their romance, but Kya is unsure and with Chase. Kya however, ends her relationship with Chase when she discovers he is already engaged to another girl in an awkward encounter in town.

Kya rebuffs Chase’s persistent attentions and when he tries to rape her, she successfully fights off his attempt, vowing to kill him if he does not leave her alone. The threat is overheard by a fisherman. Chase returns to Kya’s home and vandalizes while she hides in the bushes destroying her paintings and shells like a spoiled, angry little boy who cannot handle rejection like a grown up.

Days later, Chase is found dead at the bottom of a fire tower from which he had apparently fallen. The muddy bog floods at high tide, destroying any tracks from the killer, and no fingerprints are found in the tower. The shell necklace, which he had been wearing on the evening of his death, is missing from his body. Kya is charged with first-degree murder and prejudged by the suspicious townspeople who considering her to be different, believe that she is a criminal as well.

Despite knowing Kya had been meeting with a book publisher in Greenville at the time, the police and the prosecutor speculate she could have disguised herself and made an overnight round-trip bus ride to Barkley Cove, lured Chase to the fire tower during the brief layover and killed him. With only the unfounded theory, the missing necklace, and the fisherman’s testimony, Kya is found not guilty at her 1969 trial.

Kya and Tate spend the rest of their lives together. Kya publishes illustrated nature books, and is frequently visited by Jodie and his family. While boating through the swamp in her 70s, she imagines seeing her mother returning to the cabin. Tate finds Kya lying dead in the boat at their dock,. Boxing up Kya’s things, Tate finds a passage in her journal saying that to protect the prey, sometimes the predator has to be killed. It is accompanied by a drawing of Chase. Next he finds the missing shell necklace, meaning that Kya had indeed killed Chase to save her herself from having to live in constant fear of him. Tate throws the necklace into the marsh water.

Now, the movie by itself isn’t that bad for what it is – a romantic love story full of hardships, lost love and disappointment followed by redemption. However, it is portrayed as a mystery thriller which it definitely is not. The “thrills” are nowhere to be found – not in the slow boat rides through the marshes, not through the hum-drum fake accents of two of the three primary cast members who are English and not in the courtroom drama which is dreadfully dull.

The movie is driven by a strong performance from Daisy Edgar-Jones who portrays Kya and David Strathairn, who portrays Tom Milton, the kind man defending Kya in her trial. The two male leads are basically just pretty boys who do not really do much other than give Kya a headache from time to time. Even their “fight” in one of the scenes involves one guy just punching the cap off the other. The Madisons play their part well, as the kind black couple who take care of Kya, in a town which treats them as outsiders too.

The movie is gorgeously photographed and makes the marshlands look like a magical place. Had it not been for the annoying characters, one could think they were watching a tourism advertisement for North Carolina.


Go watch it if you like a romantic drama. Don’t watch it if you’re expecting a mystery thriller.


X is a 2022 independent slasher film written, directed, produced and edited by Ti West. It is from arthouse distributor A24 and a slasher movie about what really horrifies us. Writer/director Ti West (from The House of the Devil fame) builds a movie that a youth-obsessed society is far more terrified than a evil boogeyman, of not only growing old, but of confronting the fact that the elderly may still possess some very inconvenient desires.

The movie is set in 1979 Texas and stars Mia Goth as Maxine, an aspiring young porn performer who travels with her older producer boyfriend (Martin Henderson) to a remote farm outside Houston to shoot an adult film for the booming theatrical pornography market. Along for the ride are two other performers (Kid Cudi and Brittany Snow), as well as the director and soundperson (Owen Campbell and Jenna Ortega), the latter of whom quickly decides that her best talents lie in front of the camera, not behind it. Bobby-Lynne and Jackson strike up a romance, while Lorraine is unimpressed with the film’s content until she sees Jackson “performing”, with RJ attempting to make it seem like a serious cinematic piece.

True to form, the farm is isolated and creepy, and the group’s first interaction with the ancient proprietor (Stephen Ure), Howard, comes at the business end of a shotgun. Howard makes it clear that he disapproves of any youthful shenanigans on his property (and that’s well before he realizes what they are actually up to). He claims he wants to protect his elderly wife, Pearl (also played by Mia Goth) from any shocks. But just who needs protection — and from whom — quickly grows complicated and forms the crux of this disturbing story.

As filming commences without Howard’s knowledge, Maxine is invited inside the couple’s home by Pearl (after almost being eaten by an alligator in the couple’s pond of which she was blissfully unaware of) where they have a conversation. Pearl laments her age, expresses jealousy for Maxine’s youth, and makes a sexual advance towards her. She later watches Maxine have sex with Jackson and is aroused. Pearl pleads with Howard to have sex with her, but he refuses, claiming his heart is too weak. Night falls, and the film crew relaxes in the guesthouse. Lorraine, keen to shed her reputation as a prude and intrigued by the film, asks to participate in the shoot. RJ is immediately opposed to the idea and accuses the group of putting her up to it, though they assure him that they did not and that Lorraine’s choice to be in the movie falls on her alone, regardless of his feelings. RJ then films the scene of Lorraine and Jackson having sex.

Frustrated with the change in the script and in shock by Lorraine’s unfaithfulness, RJ sets out to leave the crew stranded at the farm while they are asleep, but he is stopped by Pearl, who attempts to seduce him. When he rejects her advances, she stabs him to death in a gory bloodlust. Lorraine and Wayne notice RJ is missing and go searching. Pearl kills Wayne with a pitchfork in the barn, right through his eyes, while Lorraine is invited into the couple’s house by Howard, who claims Pearl is missing and asks Lorraine to retrieve a flashlight from the basement. When Lorraine attempts to leave the basement, she discovers she has been locked in. After turning on the light, she discovers the rigged corpse of a male sex slave horrifying her.

Howard approaches the guest house and asks a gloriously nude Jackson and his “extra long Johnson” to help him locate Pearl. Jackson finds a submerged car in a pond (belonging to the corpse in the basement) before Howard shoots him dead, revealing himself to be complicit in Pearl’s violent tendencies. Meanwhile, Pearl enters the guest house and climbs into Maxine’s bed naked. Maxine awakens and screams, causing Pearl to flee the house, which Bobby-Lynne witnesses. In the farmhouse, Lorraine uses a hatchet to break through a panel in the basement door, but Howard attacks her, breaking her finger, and forces her back inside. Bobby-Lynne follows Pearl outside to the nearby lake and tries to guide her away from the water. Pearl angrily accuses Bobby-Lynne of being a whore before pushing her into the lake, where she is devoured by an alligator.

Maxine sees Pearl and Howard return to the guest house and hides under the bed. The elderly couple discusses the murders before having sex. Maxine manages to flee to the van, where she finds RJ’s corpse and the tires to the van, slashed. Armed with a pistol from the glovebox, Maxine enters the farmhouse and frees Lorraine, who angrily blames Maxine for what has happened. Lorraine panics and runs out the front door, only to be shot by Howard. As Howard and Pearl begin moving the bodies, intent on framing the crew as intruders, a dying Lorraine moves, startling Howard, who has a heart attack and dies.

Maxine retrieves the keys to Howard and Pearl’s truck and attempts to shoot Pearl, but the pistol is not loaded. Pearl tries to shoot Maxine, who dodges, while the recoil from the shotgun causes Pearl to fall and break her hip. As Pearl lies injured outside the house, she begs Maxine for help. Maxine refuses, and as Pearl berates her, Maxine runs her over with the truck, crushing Pearl’s head. Maxine drives away from the farm. The next morning, the police arrive at the house to retrieve the bodies. It is revealed that Maxine is the daughter of a fundamentalist Christian preacher, whose speeches frequently played on Howard and Pearl’s television. The police discover RJ’s camera and speculate about what it contains.

Since “X” is a slasher film, it’s not spoiling anything to note that most of these people will not make it out alive. An axe, a pitchfork and a shotgun are all in easy reach, and for good measure there’s an alligator in the pond. Howard and his wife, Pearl, give off sinister vibes, and West’s knack for zooming, cutting, manipulating point of view and layering sinister sounds creates an unmistakable anticipation of doom. Ti West wants to show that despite their physical superiority over the, ahem, monsters on the loose, the visitors are nevertheless doomed by their ignorance and inexperience, underestimating the threats on the farm until it’s too late. It never even occurs to them to consider what some people might still want — or be capable of. Basically a flaw inherent in almost every horror movie actor. Still, in the tradition of A24 arthouse horror such as Hereditary, Midsommar, and The Witch, the movie puts ideas in the foreground as much as it does bloodshed. West knows that slasher and porn films are less about violence and sex, respectively, and more about the shock and titillation of social transgression. With X, he has made a movie in which the most unsettling moments compel the viewer to question what society really considers taboo and why.

For one thing, X could hardly be more upfront about its son-of-“Chain Saw” atmosphere — which is to say it’s a deliberate, loving, and meticulous homage that isn’t simply trying to cash in on the legacy of the greatest horror film of the last half century. “X” is threaded with blithe references to key films — a car in a swamp like the one in “Psycho,” an ax through a door like the one that kicks off Jack Nicholson’s rampage in “The Shining,” an alligator borrowed from “Alligator” (ingeniously shot from high above in one jittery sequence), an ending that nods to the premise of Paul Schrader’s “Hardcore” (which came out in 1979). All in all, X is a highly enjoyable film and it makes me look forward to the prequel, “Pearl” which dives into the background of the film’s villain.


X is a comeback for the Slasher film genre, reminiscent of classics like Texas Chainsaw Massacre while asking deep questions about aging and desires. Prepare to be uncomfortable while enjoying this slasher flick.


Far Cry Primal is a 2016 action-adventure game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It is a spin-off to Far Cry 4, and the tenth overall installment in the Far Cry series. It is set during prehistoric times and follows the story of Takkar, an unarmed hunter who enters the land of Oros but will rise to become the leader of a tribe – the Wenja, using his special gift of taming animals and holding the title of “Beast Master”. Primal adapts the traditional Far Cry formula to its prehistoric setting, replacing modern firearms with primitive weapons like spears, clubs, and bows and arrows, and allowing players to summon animal companions (beasts) during battles. Everyday survival is a key aspect of the gameplay, as players have to watch out for both natural predators and rival tribesmen.

The game is set in 10,000 BC during the end of the Upper Paleolithic and beginning of the Mesolithic period in Europe. It takes place in the fictional Oros valley in the Carpathian Mountains of Central and Eastern Europe ,an open world filled with different types of flora and fauna especially prehistoric life. There is prehistoric wildlife such as woolly mammoths, dire wolves, cave bears, cave lions, woolly rhinos, brontotherium, Irish elk and saber-toothed cats along with forms of modern creatures like brown bears, badgers, and deer. As the game is set in prehistoric times, the traditional gunplay and vehicle gameplay featured in the Far Cry series were removed, and the player can only get access to melee weapons such as spears, clubs and ranged weapons such as bows and slings. The player cannot purchase weapons and must craft them using the materials scavenged in the world such as wood and stone.

However, to replace the vehicular combat abilities, Takkar is given the ability to control various beasts and use them to scout, hunt and even ride into battle. Besides facing natural predators, the player must also compete with other hostile tribes occupying the area. By attacking and seizing bonfires and camps, the Wenja tribe will move in and begin patrolling the nearby region, and the player will gain fast travel points as well as camps to rest in. Non-player characters will also task the player to rescue tribe-mates and perform other tasks which improve the village, as well as provide free crafting materials. The game also features a dynamic weather system and day-night cycle, which affects the gameplay.

At night, more predators are present, and many become more aggressive and dangerous, whereas at the day, the player can gather food and scavenge other resources such as tools for hunting. The player can also make use of fire as a tool for personal protection or hunting at night. The night time gameplay is one I enjoy as it truly creates an atmosphere of fear as the still waters have deadly crocodiles and bite fish while the long grass holds jaguars, wolves and the deadly sabre-tooth tigers.

In terms of the human combatants, the Wenja are hunted by two tribes in particular – the Neanderthal-like Udam tribe who live in the northern mountains, prize warfare and hunting, and frequently kidnap Wenja to cannibalize them. With the help of Tensay, a Shaman who becomes an ally whose missions allow Takkar to become a “Beast Master”, Takkar discovers that the Udam are eating Wenja flesh in hopes of gaining immunity from a terminal genetic disease, the “skull fire”, that is wiping out their tribe, then tracks down and apprehends the Udam commander Dah to learn more about the Udam’s techniques. Several Wenja reject Takkar’s decision to give shelter to an Udam warrior at first, and take him to a cave to be executed by drowning, until Takkar himself arrives in time to rescue Dah and chastise the tribe for disobeying him, earning Dah’s gratitude and help.

The other is when the agrarian, ritualistic Izila, another, more advanced tribe that lives in the marshlands of southern Oros, begin capturing Wenja prisoners for slavery and human sacrifice to the Sun goddess Suxli, Takkar invades their domains to rescue them, coming face to face with their leader Batari. After he refuses to become Batari’s slave, a war begins between the Wenja and Izila. Takkar then infiltrates the camp of an Izila commander named Roshani (Ali Momen) and captures him, allowing him to live in exchange for sharing Izila technology in both warfare and agriculture.

So let me discuss one of the best things about Far Cry Primal – the ability to control animals. Beast Master skills are abilities that allow Takkar to tame and control animals he encounters in the wilds of Oros. They are unlocked by recruiting Tensay the Shaman, then improving his hut and completing quests for him. There are 14 beasts that can be tamed in the wilderness of Far Cry Primal – in addition to three beasts that can be acquired by taking on legendary hunts. When you first unlock the Tame Wildcats and Tame Apex Predators abilities, these are the creatures I would advice taming first:

Jaguar: The Jaguar is perfect for players who are focusing on stealth, as this lithe jungle cat can silently take down enemies for you.
Cave Lion: The Cave Lion, while not as stealthy as the jaguar, is just as valuable, since it can automatically mark and tag nearby enemies. This makes infiltrating outposts and bonfires much easier when using this feline companion.
Cave Bear: The brown bear is a formidable ally of a beast, both because it can sustain and deal a high amount of damage, but also because you can ride it.
Sabretooth Tiger: Similar to the brown bear, Takkar can ride the Sabretooth – the big difference is that this fearsome prehistoric cat is by far the fastest predator in Oros. This means riding a Sabretooth will get you around far faster than on a bear.

Feeding your animal companions with meat sourced from prey brings them back to full health, with the same doing wonders for Takkar, too. Only a scarcity of meat would prevent you feeding your animals and yourself, but over the course of Primal it was more difficult to prevent my inventory sack becoming overloaded than it was to keep it stocked. That, of course, might change dramatically come final release. The chances of your companion making a successful kill are, invariably, dependent on the awareness and strength of your target. The wolf will dismember the native deer-like creatures with little difficultly, but even the bear is unlikely to succeed against an alert sabre-toothed tiger. One human is easy enough for your animal friend to handle, but if the attack alerts others from a tribe, it pays to call the animals back immediately before the arrows and spears flowing in from all sides do some permanent damage.

Disappointingly, you can only have one animal in play at a time, although you always have the option of calling in an owl to help. It acts like a high-altitude military drone, casting its telephoto eyes down upon the terrain in an attempt to seek out enemies, routes of infiltration, and resources to gather. Once the initial scouting run is complete, you can instruct your owl to—with better accuracy and fewer innocent casualties than any missile—dive out of the sky and tear to shreds whomever you’re pointing at. To prevent the death-from-above tactics being too powerful, the owl comes with a cooldown timer that prevents the constant spamming of its abilities.

Far Cry Primal is a case study in how a game’s setting can drive its every layer, from the tone of its story, to the dangers of its world, to the brutality of its combat. That setting is the Stone Age. Takkar searches throughout the game for the lost members of his Wenja tribe. They’re scattered across the Oros Valley, a dense wilderness of forests, swamps, and frozen caves, complete with mammoths and sabertooth tigers. As Takkar, you’ll build up a new Wenja village with a multifarious cast of characters. This reconstruction sets up Primal’s progression system. By recruiting the aforementioned Wenja–such as the shaman Tensay or the warrior Karoosh–you’ll unlock new items, weapons, and abilities. When you look past the facade, it’s essentially a new skin for the franchise’s traditional upgrade structure. But it lends character to what could be a lifeless system. As you build up your tribe from within, you encounter members of other groups, the majority of whom have plans contrary to your own. The identity of each of the game’s three tribes, and the political dynamic between them, sets up conflicts in a natural way.

A day/night cycle also adds more tension to the world: predators are more abundant and aggressive in the darkness. Even now, after dozens of hours in this valley, I still feel anxious as the sun goes down, hoping I have enough animal fat to ignite my club and ward off hulking carnivores. This focus on survival permeates Far Cry Primal. In the northern wastes, the cold becomes a factor, making each bonfire a glowing beacon of safety as you fight to stay warm. In Primal’s lush swampland, avoiding danger means avoiding the water, where underwater predators abound.

As a solitary hunter with simple tools, you’re also less equipped to defend yourself than the protagonists of Far Cry 3 and 4. Gone are handguns and grenade launchers–here you have spears, clubs, and slingshots. They not only bring a slow, measured pace to combat, but also add to Primal’s overall identity and tone. You’re a lone wanderer here, not a walking armory. However, the combat does become repetitive considering you can only use clubs, slings, spears and bows. There aren’t even swords as you’re still in the stone age. The plot also could have been more complex with perhaps one or two other tribes.

Far Cry Primal is, however, a huge, sprawling source of great gaming joy, and wisely, Ubisoft resisted the temptation to shoe-horn in any dubious multiplayer modes. Any worries about the lack of modern weaponry are quickly banished by the array of available arms. Takkar has a club, a spear and a bow, all of which are available in different iterations, can be set on fire and are fully upgradable. He gets the Stone Age equivalent of grenades, in the form of bags of bees that leave enemies flailing or bags of rotten matter that induce them to lay into each other or fire bombs which burn enemies from above when dropped by the owl. There’s one gadget – a grapple – which proves invaluable when negotiating mountainous territory, and provides a centrepiece for a few puzzle-solving side missions. The gameplay is pleasantly varied – there are plenty of sequences in which Takkar has to employ stealth, or use his hunter’s vision to track prey and effectively operate as a Stone Age detective.


Immerse yourself in a ruthless open world where only survival matters. Hours of engaging game play awaits all those who dare enter the unforgiving world of Oros.


The Big Bang Theory was an American television sitcom created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady which ran on CBS from September 24, 2007 to May 16, 2019, having broadcast 279 episodes over 12 seasons. It follows two roommates Sheldon and Leonard – both scientists – whose lives change when a beautiful new neighbor moves in next door. What follows is their journey of individual growth which involves them finding love and getting into several science based escapades with their fellow nerds – Howard and Rajesh. As with most of Chuck Lorre’s creations, it involves an annoying laugh track which went out of fashion with the ending of FRIENDS.

The Big Bang Theory however is enjoyable since it doesn’t pander to the LGBTQ movement unlike almost anything on Netflix or Amazon Prime these days where in the name of “inclusion”, it makes the LGBTQ community a majority instead of a minority. Anyways, as having such characters is currently “in” right now, we can’t help it as studios will milk any trend which gives them the most money. Coming back to the Big Bang Theory, you’ll notice that aside from Rajesh, who is the whitest Indian guy ever, there are hardly any minorities in the show who play a major role. Although if I remember correctly, in Season 3, episode 22, they do bring out the guy who used to live in the apartment across the hall before Penny – a cross-dressing, gay black dude which I guess was Chuck Lorre trying to tick every box in the LGBTQ in one character and also satisfy the minority hiring bit. For South Asians, the character of Rajesh seemed to be a trend in the right direction although his full name “Rajesh Ramayan Koothrappali” is a middle and last name hard to find among a billion Indians. Plus having a middle name like Ramayan is like saying Bob Bible Moore or Imran Koran Khan – seems idiotic and doesn’t seem like Chuck knows much about India or Indians. Although as we dig deeper into the characters, Rajesh Koothrappali is also the least knowledgeable about India, despite being Indian. He says Indians consider the cow to be a God which isn’t true or his facts about life in India which even to rich Indians would appear quite strange.

Anyways, atleast all the other racial stereotypes work out nicely. We have Howard Wolowitz who is creepy but funny; Leonard Hofstader who could be basically any straight white guy trying too hard to be a “feminist” and you have Sheldon Cooper, a Texan nerd with Aspergers, who as played by Jim Parsons, is a brilliant character and the reason why most of us stuck with the show. Penny is played by Kaley Cuoco, is your typical hot but not too bright blonde. Then you have two other characters – Bernadette Rostenkowski played by Melissa Rauch and Amy Farrah Fowler played by Mayim Bialik, who are love interests for Howard and Sheldon respectively. Both characters however are dull, boring and unfunny with Bernadette literally being a manipulative bully and Amy being the most exhausting characters ever to be cast on television. The show is mostly fun if you ignore Bernadette and Amy and focus on the five main characters and two supporting characters – Stuart Bloom (who owns the comic book store), Howard’s Mom Debbie (who is never seen but her interactions with Howard are golden) and Barry Kripke (a co-worker at Caltech who annoys Sheldon).

So who are the main nerds? First up is Leonard – an experimental physicist with an IQ of 173, who received his PhD when he was 24 years old. Leonard is a nerd who loves video games, comic books, and Dungeons & Dragons. Leonard is the straight man of the series, sharing an apartment in Pasadena, CA, with Sheldon Cooper. As mentioned earlier, Leonard has a crush on his new neighbor Penny when they first meet, and they eventually marry after a series of bad dates, breakups and finally realizing they are meant for each other.

Next is Sheldon Cooper – originally from Galveston, Texas, Sheldon was a child prodigy with an eidetic memory who began college at the age of eleven and earned a PhD at age sixteen. He is a theoretical physicist researching quantum mechanics and string theory, and despite his IQ of 187, he finds many routine aspects of social situations difficult to grasp. He is determined to have his own way, continually boasts of his intelligence, and has an extremely ritualized way of living. Despite these quirks, he begins a relationship with Amy Farrah Fowler, and they eventually marry.

Third is Howard Wolowitz – an aerospace engineer who got his master’s degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Howard is Jewish and lives with his mother, Debbie (Carol Ann Susi). Unlike Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, Bernadette, and Amy, Howard does not hold a doctorate. He goes into space, training as an astronaut and serving as a payload specialist. Howard initially fancies himself as a womanizer (but never succeeds), but he later starts dating Bernadette, and they get engaged and married. Howard also has a tendency to waste money on toys and argues with Bernadette because of his oddly low income as an engineer and her high income as a pharmaceutical biochemist and because Bernadette is also extremely manipulative and controlling.

Fourth, is Rajesh Koothrappali – A particle astrophysicist originally from New Delhi, India. Initially, Raj had selective mutism, rendering him unable to talk to or be around women unless under the influence of alcohol, which formed the basis for most of the gags on his behalf in the early seasons. Raj also has very feminine tastes and often takes on a stereotypical female role in his friendship with Howard as well as in the group of four men. Raj later dates Lucy (Kate Micucci), who also suffers from social anxiety, but it eventually ends. He later speaks to Penny without alcohol, overcoming his selective mutism. He begins dating Emily Sweeney, and their relationship later becomes exclusive. Raj also has a Yorkshire Terrier named Cinnamon. Despite his considerable quirks, Raj has the most success with women in the group but remains single at the end of the series for unexplainable reasons. Although there is one episode where all of his ex-girlfriends get together to tell him why he was such a bad boyfriend but do meet the list – a cripplingly shy girl who isn’t much in the looks department who leaves him when he suggested meeting his friends (Lucy), a seemingly normal dermatologist who likes cutting people and watching excruciatingly gory horror flicks (Emily), a deaf gold-digger who used him to pay off his credit card debts (another Emily) and a woman who herself couldn’t decide whether she wanted Raj or not and then blamed her issues on him by calling him needy and vain (Claire).

Now, the primary female character is Penny (surname unknown) – an aspiring actress from Omaha, Nebraska. Penny moves in across the hall from Sheldon and Leonard. She waits tables and occasionally tends the bar at The Cheesecake Factory. After giving up hope of becoming a successful actress, Penny becomes a pharmaceutical sales representative. Penny becomes friends with Bernadette and Amy, and they often hang out in each other’s apartments. Penny and Leonard form a relationship and eventually marry.

Much of the series focuses on science, particularly physics. The four main male characters are employed at Caltech and have science-related occupations, as do Bernadette and Amy. The characters frequently banter about scientific theories or news (notably around the start of the show), and make science-related jokes. Science has also interfered with the characters’ romantic lives with Leonard’s initial relationship with fellow scientist Leslie petering out due to a difference in opinions. Nerd media, like Star Wars and Star Trek play a major role in the characters’ lives – a little too much considering Sheldon gets laid for the first time with the characters watching the latest Star Wars movie in the background. The jokes are funny at times but the forced laugh track isn’t.

Stand-out characters are Sheldon due to Jim Parsons wonderful facial expressions and body language. Rajesh is another interesting character although as with all of Chuck Lorre’s characters since Two and a Half Men, he has to make one straight character extremely feminine and pathetic, which might be due to some of his own personal issues or might not. Guess Charlie Sheen had a point? *insert laugh track*. Penny works in the role she is given – the other two major female characters definitely do not. Leonard and Howard are fun at times too although the probability that any normal person would endure a guy like Sheldon for so long seems unlikely.


A light-hearted comedy one can enjoy but if you’re looking for intellectual stimulation better to just read a book.


Connor Iggulden is a British author who writes historical fiction, most notably the Emperor series and Conqueror series. In 2007, Iggulden became the first person to top the UK fiction and non-fiction charts at the same time. His series “Conqueror”, covers the Mongol Empire created by Genghis Khan – Iggulden covers Temujin’s humble beginnings and the background which resulted in him growing from Temujin to the man who would soon become Genghis Khan.

The narrative follows the early life of Temujin, the second son of Yesugei, the khan of the Mongolian “Wolves” tribe. His father is attacked by assassins and soon dies from his injuries. Yesugei’s first bondsman, Eeluk, assumes control of the tribe. Fearing the sons of the former khan may contest his leadership when they reach adulthood, Eeluk banishes Temujin’s family from the tribe, leaving them to fend for themselves on the harsh Steppes. The expectation was that Temujin’s family would perish in the unforgiving winter, but Temujin, along with his mother Hoelun, his four brothers Bekter, Khasar, Kachiun, Temüge, and his baby sister Temulun, survived against all the odds, albeit in poverty. In an argument over food, Temujin kills his older brother Bekter, much to his mother’s anguish.

After a few years of trading with other wandering families, the family establish a small home. But the Wolf tribe return to the area, and advanced riders, sent by Eeluk to ensure the family had perished, capture Temujin. He is taken back to the tribe where he is tortured, and kept in a pit, in preparation for a ritual murder. He is freed by Arslan and Jelme, father and son wanderers who joined the Wolves after looking for Yesugei, whom Arslan owed a debt. They join Temujin and his family and begin a new tribe, accepting other wandering families into their protection. Temujin assumes the role of khan.

Temujin returns to the Olkhunut to claim his wife Borte. Shortly after, Borte is captured by a Tartar raiding party (in real, Borte was kidnapped by the Merkits and not the Tartars). Temujin and his brothers chase down the captors and murder them, recovering Borte. The small army retaliates with repeated raids on Tartar camps. The Tartars respond by sending armies to crush the new menace. It is then that a Chin emissary approaches Temujin with an offer from Toghrul, Khan of the Kerait. Temujin joins his small fledgling tribe with Toghrul’s, and leads a joint army to advance on the Tartars. It is in the following battle that Temujin begins to show outstanding tactical abilities, as the Mongols ease to victory. Upon interrogating a Tartar prisoner, Temujin learns that the leader of the Olkhunut conspired with the Chin to lead the Tartar assassins to his father. He also learns that a massive Tartar army is advancing into Mongol lands.

Temujin returns to the Kerait, then travels to the Olkhunut tribe, where he murders the khan in his ger and assumes leadership of the tribe, and takes them back to join the Kerait. The Mongol alliance prepares for battle, when they are joined by the Wolves. Temujin and Eeluk agree to settle their feud upon victory over the Tartars. Under Temujin’s faultless leadership and strategy, the Tartar army is crushed. As the battle ends, Temujin and Eeluk fight, with Temujin emerging victorious. He claims leadership of the Wolves and takes the warriors back to the Kerait. Fearing an inevitable challenge to his leadership, Toghrul sends assassins to Temujin’s ger. The attempt is unsuccessful, and Toghrul is banished out of the unified tribe. Temujin proclaims himself khan of all Mongol tribes and bestows the name Genghis upon himself.

The book does deviate from some historical characters – Genghis’s childhood friend, blood-brother and eventual rival Jamukha is missing from the narrative. But it provides us with ample understanding of the hardships endured by the great conqueror Genghis and whose early life influenced his brutality in the future.

The next book in the series, The Lords of the Bow, covers the uniting of all Mongol tribes under one banner and led by the Great Khan – Genghis. It takes on the Mongol conquest of the Xi Xia kingdom and the war against the Chin, by-passing the Great Wall of China. The following summer sees the tribes gathered, waiting for Genghis to lead them where he will. They are anxious to be off, but he is determined to wait for the Khan of the Uighur to show up with the five thousand soldiers he wishes to have. While stuck in one place, the new Nation becomes impatient and tempers flare. In one incident, Genghis’ brother Khasar is forced to defend his honour against the sons of a lesser Khan. He is helped by the young Tsubodai, who is rewarded later in the book. In this book, we are also introduced to Genghis’s great general Tsubodai, the great strategist responsible for many of the Mongol Empire’s great victories.

The entire Mongol nation then begins to march southwards, to take the kingdom of the Xia. Facing them is the arduous crossing of the Gobi desert. Having crossed the desert the Mongol hordes attempt to take the kingdom of Xi Xia, the Mongols inexperience in siege craft shows when they are held at bay by the walls of Xi Xia, the division between the kingdom of Xi Xia and the Chin empire is also highlighted at this time. Eventually the Xia kingdom capitulates and Genghis wins a princess of the city as his bride as well as many other spoils of war. From this point on, there is tension between Borte (Genghis’ first wife) and Genghis’ second wife., Chakahai Also highlighted in this book is Genghis’ estrangement from his eldest son Jochi (whose legitimacy Genghis doubts) and the strife within Genghis’ family that this estrangement causes, especially between Jochi and his brother Chagatai.

The Mongol war strategies are also introduced in this book and some great battles especially the battle of Badger’s Mouth (also known as the Battle of Yehuling).

Bones of the Hills focuses mainly on the Mongol invasion of Islamic Central Asia, the war against Shah Muhammad II of Khwarezm and his son Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu and the brutal massacres at Urgench and Merv. Although relations between the Mongols and the Khwarezm were initially cordial, Genghis was angered by a series of diplomatic provocations. When a senior Mongol diplomat was executed by Khwarazmshah Muhammed II, the Khan mobilized his forces, estimated to be between 90,000 and 200,000 men, and invaded. The Shah’s forces were widely dispersed and probably outnumbered — realizing his disadvantage, he decided to garrison his cities individually to bog the Mongols down. However, through excellent organization and planning, the Mongols were able to isolate and conquer the Transoxianan cities of Bukhara, Samarkand, and Gurganj.

However, in the book, Iggulden proceeds stating the Mongols were outnumbered by the Shah’s forces. This could be because sieges and massacres are less exciting than the underdog turning the tables on a bigger and slower foe. Bones of the Hills also brings about the rivalry between Jochi and Chagatai to the forefront. Genghis Khan, continues to treat Jochi badly and the rift between father and son continues to widen. This finally results in Jochi rebelling and taking his Tuman north, until he is hunted down by Subotai, who being his friend, also is frustrated with his Khan’s stubborness. Ogedai becomes the heir to Genghis Khan, setting up the premise for his story to be told in the next book of the series.

The Mongol Empire in 1227 at Genghis Khan’s death

In the next book, Empire of Silver, Genghis’s tough and canny heir, Ogedai, is on the verge of becoming the new Khan. Inexplicably, Ogedai has delayed his coronation to complete a project many deem a folly: the building of Karakorum, a magnificent city amid the wild plains. His decision emboldens his arrogant brother Chagatai to violently challenge him, leaving their noble sibling Tolui caught between them. Yet even as they clash, the Khan’s armies extend his reach farther than ever before, into southern China and across the rugged mountains of Russia to the vulnerable heart of Europe, where the most courageous warriors the West commands await the coming onslaught.

It also brings in a new character, Batu Khan, a son of Jochi and made a prince of the nation by Ogedai Khan. Batu, being a grandson of Genghis, is given titular command of the army under Subotai sent to conquer Kievan Rus and the European kingdoms by Ogedai. Though Subotai is in overall command and the main tactician, the entire army is incorrectly labelled as the Golden Horde of Batu Khan.

The attack on Europe was planned and carried out by Subotai, who achieved his lasting fame with his victories there. Having devastated the various Russian principalities, he sent spies as far as Poland, Hungary, and Austria in preparation for an attack into the heartland of Europe. Having a clear picture of the European kingdoms, he brilliantly prepared an attack nominally commanded by Batu Khan and two other princes of the blood. While Batu Khan, son of Jochi, was the overall leader, Subotai was the actual commander in the field, and as such was present in both the northern and southern campaigns against Kievan Rus’. He personally commanded the central column that moved against the Kingdom of Hungary, and likely gave detailed instructions to his subordinates.

The book also brings about the end of the stories of Genghis’s brothers – Khasar (dying of boils), Khachiun (dying due to gangrene in the mountains) and Temuge (being killed for rebellion). Great generals such as Jelme and Jebe also disappear without too much written about them. However, it does bring up the sons of Tolui, Mongke, Kublai, Hulegu and Arik-Boke as key characters to unleash in the next book. It also brings up Baidur, son of Chagatai and Guyuk, son of Ogedai, who accompany Subotai on his great trek west which ends in Hungary, after the sudden death of Ogedai, forces Subotai to return to Karakorum with his great army.

Conqueror, focuses on the short reign of Guyuk Khan, a weak Khan and the subsequent ascension of Mongke Khan, a strong but brutal Khan in the mold of Genghis himself. Mongke sends Hulegu to carve out a Khanate for himself in the lands of the Middle East and Kublai to subdue the Song dynasty in China. Arik Boke rules the homelands of Mongolia. The book covers the destruction wreaked by Hulegu and sack of Baghdad. It also covers Kublai’s strategic mind and that he was a kinder ruler than the Mongol Khans before him. At the end, Mongke’s death at the hands of an assassin (artistic license apparently), unleashes a civil war between Kublai and Arik-Boke, with Kublai emerging victorious. But, what the book doesn’t cover is that since Ogedai’s death, the Mongol Empire was essentially split into various Khanates and not one united empire as it had been during the time of Genghis and Ogedai.


Read Conn Iggulden’s Conqueror series and be transported into the world of Mongols – immerse yourself the strategic genius of Subotai, the all-conquering spirit of Genghis Khan and the barbarism of Hulegu.

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