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The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review

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The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a sequel to the the very popular 2011 film, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and returns with the same director from the original film, John Madden, as well as a quite a lot of the original cast and  few new additions. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel stars Maggie Smith,  Richard Gere, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Lillete Dubey, Tina Desai, Judi Dench and Tamsin Greig.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Trailer

In this film we follow the story of Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel) and his struggles as an operator of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The hotel has reached full capacity and needs to expand to a new location to grow. But it proves difficult to do for Sonny, with many things to be done before it can happen and Sonny must also prepare for his marriage with the love of his life, Sunaina (Tena Desae). Guests of the hotel are also trying to get on with their lives as we watch Douglas Ainslie (Bill Nighy) and Evelyn Greenslade (Judi Dench) try to get into a relationship, while Muriel Donnelly (Maggie Smith) goes through her own health issues. At the same time all guests and Sonny are left wondering, who is the mysterious man called Guy (Richard Gere) and what his agenda at the hotel is?

This movie really was a lot of fun, I went and watched the first film after seeing this as I hadn’t seen it before and while I do like the first film as well, I would say that I had more fun with The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. To me it seemed a lot more funnier with more jokes to hear and see as well a lighter tone than the first. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel also has a good overall message about life and is a fairly well done sequel to the first film. In the cinema I was in people were laughing quite a lot at the jokes and that’s always a good sign that people enjoyed it.

All the guests of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

All the guests of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Dev Patel who plays Sonny, the hotel manager with a dream to expand his Exotic Marigold Hotel into a chain hotels across India, is joy to watch on screen. I thought his performance was so fun and entertaining that I just had to see what he was like in the first film when I got home. In this one I enjoyed all of his entertaining quips and the lemmings joke he made about the hotel guests was particularly funny. I know Dev Patel from watching a him perform in The Newsroom and he was very good in there and he’s great in this film, hopefully there are a lot more film roles for him in the future.

Lillete Dubey and Richard Gere in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Lillete Dubey and Richard Gere in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Richard Gere who is new to the hotel makes an appearance early on in the film and I’m happy to say he isn’t just in the film for a little bit and then not seen again. While he’s not the main character, he does have a lot of scenes and they were all in good fun, with many of them being quite funny. Maggie Smith who plays Muriel also brings a lot of laughs particularly with her tea comments early on in the film, but also as a central character Muriel is interesting and her character shares a lot more about herself in this sequel than in the original film, which was interesting to see. Both Judi Dench and Bill Nighy are great as well and in fact all actors were good fun to watch, they are old enough now that I guess acting in a film is fairly routine for them, but I enjoyed how everyone was.

Richard Gere and Dev Patel in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Richard Gere and Dev Patel in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

In terms of the directing from John Madden who handled both of the films, it’s pretty much the same as it was in the first. However the tone of this second film is a bit more lighthearted, more funny and a bit more fun than the first. I found when I watched the first one that things seemed a bit slower and there were a lot more sad moments throughout it, however this second film is not without its own sad moments as well. The overall message about living life at the end of this film is positive and I like when a film comes with a nice message at the end of it.

The music in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is good, there’s a mix between new modern music and a lot of Indian music. There is a lot of emphasis in this one with regards to Dev Patel’s character learning to dance to some songs for his wedding which is fun to watch. Being set in India there is also a strong use of bright vibrant colours and in many scenes the colour really pops out everywhere, strangely the Exotic Marigold Hotel isn’t that colourful (with the walls all brown, white or grey), but a lot of other things are (especially the characters).

Maggie Smith in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Maggie Smith in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Overall The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a solid sequel to the original film. All the cast are very entertaining to watch and the films lighter tone allows it to be much more funny than the first one. Richard Gere, Dev Patel and Maggie Smith deliver some great performances and jokes here and there. While sequels usually are much worse than the original film, this one was good fun to watch and leaves the audience with a nice message about life and living it by the end. John Madden put together a fairly well made and entertaining sequel with The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

8 out of 10

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Sea Of Solitude Review

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Sea Of Solitude Review

Sea Of Solitude is a game which was developed by Jo-Mei Games and was published by Electronic Arts. It is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC via Origin. It is a single player third person adventure game. The game has the player control a character named Kay who explores an abandoned and flooded city.

This was a game which caught my eye only very recently when I first heard about its release. After watching the trailer, I thought the art style, strong colours and animations looked very interesting. Also as a person who went mad one day and subscribed to EA’s Origin Premiere late last year so that I could play some games I had missed out on over the years, I was pleased to see something new added to the store that wasn’t a typical Electronic Arts style major franchise game. Knowing I could get this one for free was enough to give it a go. But if you’re not part of that program to get it for free, I’d say that the $26.95 asking price for this digital title is certainly worth it.

The game isn’t too long, most hardened gamers will probably be able to finish this one in a single session, which I actually managed to do yesterday morning. I didn’t time myself, but I’d say to expect about 3 or so hours out of it, a bit more if you look around for collectables.

Sea Of Solitude Review

Sea Of Solitude Review

On the surface, Sea Of Solitude is about a young girl named Kay, who is searching through a city, which is for some reason flooded. You start the game all alone on a tiny boat, way out at sea on the water. You make your way to the city, where you find a monster clad in darkness is blocking your path. Through exploration and activating certain things, Kay brings light to an otherwise dark city.

Underneath the main plot though, is a game with strong messages and themes related to loneliness and relationships. Kay as a character is someone who has become lonely, isolated and quite depressed after issues with her family and her boyfriend. The game sends the player on a journey to free Kay and other characters from suffering from the effects of loneliness and related themes. What I didn’t expect this weekend, was to play a game which seemed to have the objective of tackling these mental health issues in this way and I never expected to play something this weekend from the gaming genre with such deep meaning to it.

In many ways, Sea Of Solitude reminded me of my experience with Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice which was also a game that focused on mental health issues and is still a game I hold in very high regard. Both of these games were experiences that I could not put down once I started playing as I just had to find out what was going to happen with my character. Games tackling these mental health themes and the issues involved are quite rare in this medium, so when an experience like this does come along, it’s very unique and interesting. The difference between Sea Of Solitude and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is that Sea of Solitude is a little lighter in tone and not the intense gruelling experience that Senua’s was. This makes a player’s time with Sea Of Solitude one that is peaceful to experience.

Sea Of Solitude Review

Sea Of Solitude Review

The art style in Sea Of Solitude is something I enjoyed looking at. The animations are very rounded, colours stand out on the screen and the use of blacks in contrast with visibly bright blues, whites and orange was what I loved the most. The music and also the voice acting, was soft and did fit in well with the tone of the game’s themes and art style. All together, visuals and audios seemed to be just right.

The gameplay in Sea Of Solitude is something I’d say is probably a little simple. It’s essentially a platforming game where you will jump, swim, drive a boat and shoot flares onto enemies. There aren’t any button combinations to learn or any level up systems. The game is accessible to people of most ages and even to people new to gaming could easily pick this one up and get through it.

Overall coming out of playing Sea Of Solitude, I was filled with positivity and happiness. The story is quite heavy when playing through it, but very warm in the end. The art style and animations are nice to see and the sound and voice acting was just right. I do like to see that the games industry can use the medium to tackle such heavy topics and release games like this which show how well this medium can tell a story and provide its audience with something of great meaning. I’m happy to recommend Sea Of Solitude for your gaming collection.

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Stuber Review

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Stuber Review

Stuber is a film which comes directed by Michael Dowse and stars Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani and Betty Gilpin. The film is an action comedy adventure about an Uber driver and a policeman who go on a wild ride together.

Going in to see Stuber I didn’t really know where to set my expectations. Knowing only that the film was a comedy, meant I went in for the lols and didn’t expect all that much from the story. But coming out of the film, I’m sorry to say, but it’s not really that great.

The film starts off okay and the opening scene features both Vic (Dave Bautista) and Sara (Karen Gillan) engaged in a dangerous shootout with some bad guys. Both are seriously injured and Vic loses his eyesight, which means he gets some urgent surgery. His eyes need time go recover, but as soon he’s able to walk he calls for an Uber and continues on with his police business, which is catching the bad guys who got away in the opening scene. This is where Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) comes in and the journey between this awkward duo begins.

I wish I could say that it was all good once the Uber ride began but it wasn’t. The film is only really mildly funny. Dave Bautista who I do really like in action films really isn’t great at comedy. Kumail Nanjiani basically was just screaming and yelling the whole time and talking about his Uber rating and reviews. I admit I did find some of the bad reviews he got from his previous customers in the film funny when they were shown, but that’s about it. Some of the jokes were also drawn out way too long. Dave Bautista’s character being blind was kind of funny in the first minute when you saw him trying to walk around without being able to see. But it’s only funny once and they did this joke over and over again almost all the way until the end!

In addition to this, for quite a bit of the film, I wondered if this was some sort of product placement or advertisement for Uber. There were so many mentions of Uber, Uber reviews and the difference between Uber products and services. What are we paying to watch here? Who cares about Uber!?

In the end I would suggest avoiding Stuber at the cinema this week and choosing literally any other film currently showing. After leaving this I instantly thought that Stuber needs to be on my list of worst movies of 2019 which I created just after seeing this and that says a lot because I was not compelled to make one after seeing X:Men Dark Phoenix.

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The Biggest Album Debuts of 2019: Updated Chart

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Biggest Album Debuts of 2019

The Biggest Album Debuts of 2019 – Billboard has been publishing a list of the most popular albums in America every week since March 1956. They include the “equivalent album units” for the albums in the top ten. What’s not included is a way to view the biggest debuts for each year.

For anyone else who is curious, here is a chart that ranks the biggest album debuts of 2019.

NOTE:

  • This only covers first-week album sales in America that debuted in the top ten on the Billboard 200 chart
  • EPs are included in this list
  • “Equivalent album units” factor in traditional album sales, concert ticket/merch bundles and streaming numbers

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL AND UPDATED LIST

ArtistAlbumFirst Week “Units”
Jonas BrothersHappiness Begins414,000
Ariana GrandeThank U, Next360,000
Billie EilishWhen We All Fall Asleep313,000
Backstreet BoysDNA234,000
BTSMap of the Soul: Persona230,000
KhalidFree Spirit202,000
Juice WRLD

Tyler, the Creator

Death Race for Love

Igor

165,000 (1) (2)
Vampire WeekendFather of the Bride138,000
DJ KhaledFather of Asahd137,000

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL AND UPDATED LIST

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