Serena ObhraiTesting out for a bio section for Serena Obhrai where you can find more about her work as well as keeping up to date with her by following her on Twitter as @Sweena
Here are all the Zath articles written by Serena Obhrai...
July 13, 2010
Toy Story 3 (PG)
Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Ned Beatty, Don Rickles, Michael Keaton, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Estelle Harris
Director: Lee Unkrich
Running time: 103 minutes
Eventually, we’re all just going to have to admit that some of our best friends have been inanimate. I’ll be the first to come clean; I have no problems with that sort of thing. Then Pixar happily came along in 1995 and gave us a bundle of animated inanimate friends to get us through our days. When Pixar released their trailer for the third installment of pixilated goodness, I just knew it was going to please every fiber of my being. I remember chatting to some friends at the time who were mortified at the prospect of Pixar simply cashing in and trying to squeeze this franchise for all it was worth. I’ve personally never seen Pixar to be that type of company, but who can tell nowadays when every other film released is either some spin-off, sequel, prequel or end of a trilogy.Continue reading »
July 11, 2010
Iron Man 2 (12A)
Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Samuel L. Jackson
Director: Jon Favreau
Running time: 124 minutes
Say the name ‘Tony Stark’ and the comic book geeks among us feel the surge in our chests, the ladies can’t stop their pupils dilating and the gents… well, they’re simply envious. It’s extremely difficult for someone with so much wealth, power and sex appeal to not develop a gigantic ego – especially if they had a pretty big one to begin with. But, despite Stark’s superciliousness, he has a certain je ne se quois that makes him admirable. We learnt in the first Iron Man film that he was willing to put aside his love for fame and power to do what was right. But, somehow, he’s managed to screw up again and the sequel takes you on a journey of the contents of his mind.Continue reading »
June 2, 2010
There’s something really special about Glee. It’s not the singing and it’s not the teen drama. It’s not the spectacularly gorgeous male teacher and it definitely isn’t the cheerleaders. As the series rolls on, I begin to wonder what it is that makes it so magical to watch. Guys and girls alike are hooked.
Taking pieces from almost all high school dramas to date, Glee has managed to overcome every one of them. Reminding you of the moments you hated about your peers and the moments you wished you could live in forever, the characters all take you on quite a peaceful sojourn. You remember the idiot that always repeated the same inane action to wind you up everyday (slushies) and you genuinely recall the difficult times of being bullied so badly you were ready to dig a massive hole in the ground and stay there forever. The simple scene construction of everyday life in high school is not only tried and done to death, it’s now being done so that when you watch it you’re happy you no longer have to do it. Even if you’re still at school, you can recall moments that you’re happy are over.Continue reading »
March 29, 2010
Recently, the people at Dell have been doing a few swanky things that have grabbed my attention. From their 3D gaming technology to their new teeny-tiny Alienware M11x laptop that has a motherboard so powerful it’ll make playing with Robocop seem like child’s play, to their current new release; the Dell Studio 17 Laptop with HD Multi-Touch screen. Yes, that’s right – you can now finger your laptop in public and it’s acceptable.
At first glance, you can’t help but notice the size of the machine with its whopping 17.3-inch screen. In fact, the computer is so big the keyboard has its own number pad. I’m not entirely convinced that this is a necessary feature for any laptop, given the nature of a laptop is for it to be portable and convenient to transport. Another thing that lets this beast down is simply that the weight of the Studio 17 starts at an incredible 3.2kg – of course, depending on how much you decide to kit it out, this number can only go up. Just for the record, the one I have definitely weighs more than that.Continue reading »
March 26, 2010
Cast: Nicholas Cage, Chloe Moretz, Mark Strong, Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Running time: 117 minutes
What do you get if you combine a homemade superhero costume, a complete nerd and some poor fighting skills? You get your ass handed to you, that’s what. All that time spent as a kid wondering what superpower you’d want to have or style of Lycra you’d be adorning when you had said superpower resulted in nothing, didn’t it? Countless hours were wasted drawing pictures with a cape – and without a cape – only for them to then be tossed to the side when you finally came to the realisation that this dream would never be made a reality. Well, what if it did?Continue reading »
March 18, 2010
Last weekend, I attended the Dabs IT & Gadget Show we recently brought you news of, at Wembley Stadium. It was definitely the biggest hoo-ha I’ve seen for an event that was only fairly mediocre, at best. I was forced to book my tickets for this a couple of months in advance because the organisers claimed that the event was in high demand. After doing so, I was then sent a follow-up email (a couple of weeks before the event) asking me to once again confirm my attendance for the event, as well as asking me how many tickets I would like (up to a maximum of four).
A couple of days before the event I received an email reminding me of the high number of attendees, asking me to bring along my ID, otherwise me and my guests would not be permitted entry. Finally, I was asked to print out the ticket to bring along with me. I took three friends along and we turned up at the door expecting a mad rush of people.Continue reading »
January 29, 2010
We Live in Public (15)
Cast: Josh Harris, Tom Harris (and many others)
Director: Ondi Timoner
Running time: 90 minutes
This documentary will make you think. A lot. About how far we’ve come in the last decade and about where we’re headed. You’ll start to wonder what you did before the Internet took over our lives and you’ll pontificate about life before ‘reality shows’. Even sitting on the toilet requires the presence of your precious iPhone. We’re now so consumed by social media that it’s actually quite difficult to spend your waking day alone and connected to nothing.
Or is it?Continue reading »
January 29, 2010
When you get invited to an event to play games and talk about the history, development and future of games, you turn up. The other day, I was lucky enough to meet and hang out with some of London’s games bloggers/writers, not to mention Adam Griffin from Dell UK and Michael O’Dell of Team-Dignitas. The purpose of the event? Well, Dell will soon be releasing some new hardware – the Alienware M11x – and aside from that they’re seriously looking into 3D gaming options for hardcore gamers. Discussion, gaming, pontificating, and a little bit of furious ‘let’s just agree to disagree’ ensued.
After poking around and playing Flatout Ultimate Carnage viewed on the Alienware OptXTM AW2310 3D monitor, it was clear for everyone to see that this next year will be inundated with everything 3D. Pubs are now showing football matches in 3D and there will be more 3D films released in 2010 than any year previous. All fingers point to people simply wanting more of the multi-dimension action right up in their faces. But, what makes this viewing experience so different and more appealing than what we already have?Continue reading »
January 7, 2010
Sherlock Holmes (12A)
Cast: Bronagh Gallagher, Eddie Marsan, Geraldine James, Hans Matheson, James Fox, Jude Law, Kelly Reilly, Mark Strong, Rachel McAdams, Robert Downey Jr., William Hope
Director: Guy Ritchie
Runtime: 128 minutes
Who’s to say whether Arthur Conan Doyle’s much loved, now revamped, super-sleuth would have been appreciated by the great man himself. What I can say, though, is that after watching Sherlock Holmes you’ll easily feel a funny tingling sensation which you can’t really work out is good or bad. Guy Ritchie was handed several million dollars to toy with – and play with it he did. This production combines a whole heap of tomfoolery, bare-knuckle fighting and CGI that leaves you pondering.
The story is as basic as you can get; there’s a threat against Parliament and Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr) and Dr. Watson (Jude Law) have to put a stop to it. That’s it, I promise you. Going into any more detail than that would somehow be assuring you that the story is actually any good. It isn’t. But, once you see past that, you can actually let the little holes in the plot go over your head just enough to have a grin plastered on your face for the entirety of Holmes’ half-naked rollercoaster ride around Victorian London.Continue reading »
December 28, 2009
If there’s something that’s going to take over the market next year, it’s the invention and use of the touchscreen as a UI. And, a company that like to use it quite a bit are LG. More specifically, with their new LG Pop (GD510) mobile phone. The phone is sleek, it looks sexy and fits in the palm of your hand – even if you’re a lady with small hands. So, is this affordable phone going to take off and do well next year?
The screen is a nifty 3-incher, making it the world’s smallest touchscreen phone. It weighs next to nothing, even with the battery inside it, and although it’s on the bottom range of LG’s touchscreen phones, if you’re after something fairly easy to use and can’t afford an iPhone, then this may be for you. The UI is probably the most simple of the touchscreen UIs out there, although a little slow at times. You really do have to force your finger on the screen to make it know you’ve pressed a button.Continue reading »
November 21, 2009
Recently, I went to check out the happenings of the Comica Festival in London, courtesy of Ctrl.Alt.Shift. If you don’t know anything about this festival, then here’s a good place to start. It combines the yearlong comic/anime/manga collective where artists (famous or not) get to show off their new work for the world to see. The festival runs from the 5th of November until the 26th, so make sure you can get down to the select locations in London to check it out.
Ctrl.Alt.Shift ran a competition to uncover the public’s reactions to what unmasking corruption meant to them, and the results and winners of the competition can be found at the Lazarides Gallery in Soho until the 30th of November (entry is free). There was some pretty awe-inspiring artwork there, to say the least. Being able to walk among the artists and their work as they depicted whatever it was that corruption meant to them was quite the revelation. From dirty needles, to government conspiracies, to grannies not quite living in the real world, all original pieces of artwork were made using a variant of methods – one was even made into wallpaper and attached to the wall.Continue reading »
October 31, 2009
A few months back, Zath brought you news of Google’s new communication toy, Google Wave. I was lucky enough to be sent an invite to get a chance to play with it and it definitely is a fun toy to play with. It sure does invite a brand new way of communicating with the masses and looks like it should do well when released and all your friends have it too. But, how useful is it really?
Well, let’s take a look.Continue reading »
October 23, 2009
The more this LDNnudetech calendar debate goes on, the more I’m just laughing inside. Laughing because people can get really uptight about the silliest of things and generally laughing because people assume they know more than others and feel the need to pontificate and/or judge because of it. The Evening Standard is behind it and so is the Telegraph. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s simple; 24 successful, hardworking men and women in the London tech scene have posed nude (naughty bits covered) for a calendar, of which there will only be 5000 copies made. All of the proceeds will then be going towards Take Heart India; a youth-run charity that has IT-based projects in India for blind and disabled students.
The main point of argument some seem to keep having is that people, especially women, don’t need to be taking off their clothes in order to make a point or raise money for charity. They need to use their brains, obviously. However, on the same vein, it appears it’s completely acceptable for men to do whatever they like. This argument has never and will never ring true for me for the simple fact that if you look around you, sex, in some form or other, is everywhere. Why are people still so outraged about this? I would’ve thought that, by now, it was quite clear to see that we actually quite like nudity and naked flesh – and that we’re not living in the 1950s! Both men and women can, and like to, look good naked. And, we like looking at them.Continue reading »
October 21, 2009
Cast: Edward Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai, Bob Peterson,
Director: Pete Doctor, Bob Peterson (co-director)
Running time: 96 minutes
Pixar are notorious for creating magnificent pieces of visual work with suitably moving storylines to accompany the animation and soundtrack, thereby undoubtedly producing spellbinding works of art. I am hoping that my previous needlessly complex sentence construction will go somewhat towards explaining how the facets of this film mean to do well when put together, but ultimately don’t manage to cut the mustard. Don’t get me wrong, Up feels like it should do well. But, for some reason, I just can’t get the Pixar magic out of this production.Continue reading »
October 11, 2009
Last week I was invited to attend the 17th annual Raindance Film Festival by a pretty special company called Ctrl+Alt+Shift. I say special and mean it in the most unique fashion. The collection of short films they had on show for people to watch was mesmerising.
As part of a competition in 2008, Ctrl+Alt+Shift had five places up for grabs whereby upcoming filmmakers had the opportunity to learn from some very talented stars and create their own pieces of work alongside them. The aspiring filmmakers were to write a treatment based around one of three global issues – war & peace, gender & power and HIV & stigma.Continue reading »
October 10, 2009
I’ve got a problem. Well, it’s more of an obsession. Any time anyone mentions the words Toy Story, all the little Serenas inside me jump around in glee. They go mental, actually. After watching the first one at the tender age of 12 (in the tender year of 1995), I fell in love with it immediately. It resonated so much with my own experiences of growing up and how important your true friends are that when the sequel was announced four years later, all the little Serenas threw a party in celebration. News of the third to complete the trilogy definitely made all the little mes go bonkers and head to Vegas.
But, the flimsy Toy Story 3 teaser trailer that Disney/Pixar released a few months ago was so poor that it made me a little sad. I watched it and felt like throwing a tantrum because of the fact that after NINE YEARS of waiting for news of the third film they released a trailer that revealed nothing but the fact that there was a third film. What a waste of time.Continue reading »
September 11, 2009
Cast: Jesse Eisenburg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig
Director: Greg Mottola
Running time: 107 minutes
In recent years, there has been a wave of indie teen films seeping out of Hollywood like pus from an eye with a sty. So, with that, we have yet another one up for release in the form of Adventureland and my first impressions were to simply ignore it given how appalling Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist was. Alas, the invite dropped in my inbox and I couldn’t refuse. I figured I had to go in with an open mind else I wouldn’t enjoy it – and you know what? I was pleasantly surprised by how this film subtly grabs your attention and manages to keep it throughout.Continue reading »
September 9, 2009
District 9 (15)
Cast: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, David James, Vanessa Haywood, Nathalie Boltt, Sylvaine Strike
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Running time: 112 minutes
If District 9 was a clear-cut ‘aliens invade the earth’ film, I would have screamed so loud you’d have heard it over there as you sipped on your lemongrass tea, tapping away on Facebook thinking no-one was watching you. But, thankfully, it wasn’t. I really don’t have time for films that try to tell you what will happen if aliens were to invade the earth – or if the world was going to end in some other fashion. Post-apocalyptic films are really quite boring now, so I am glad to say that this film was different. Very cleverly so.Continue reading »
September 8, 2009
Last week, I was invited to the launch of the new LG Chocolate BL40 mobile phone at the Design Museum. The phrase “receiving champagne on entry” used in this context does not refer to some sexual act, but does show you their gracious hospitality. The event was snazzed up with the use of partially dressed models holding different handsets (including the recently launched LG Crystal) and posing for you in a variety of fashions. All excellent eye-candy as far as I’m concerned.
Another piece of technological eye-candy is the actual phone itself. Boasting a 4-inch 21:9 widescreen VGA display with a modest main display resolution of 345 x 800 pixels, and a video resolution of 640×480 with a 5MP camera, I don’t think you can say LG have done a bad job here. In fact, they haven’t. And they know it.Continue reading »
August 24, 2009
Being a big Monopoly fan (read: ‘dork’) I was quick to get this application downloaded. Even the Make Your Own Monopoly couldn’t satiate me. As a Monopoly collector (try not to snort whilst laughing please, it’s rather undignified), you’re always after the next best thing in the property world. Having not been too excited about the games that have been released for the PC, I was a little reluctant to get too excited about the Monopoly iPhone app.
Being a game of more than 10mb, it took a little while to download (I had to do it on my computer as it refused to download on my iPhone without a wi-fi connection), so I occupied myself by making tea. And then another one; although this time I found some biscuits too. The download and the transfer was a bit of a faff, but once I had actually managed to get it onto my iPhone, I started her up and was definitely not disappointed.Continue reading »