Arsenal 3 West Ham United 1

It was so worth it to stay up till 12:15 and then wait till after 2am for the match to get over. Lukas Podolski struck twice as Arsenal came from behind to beat West Ham and move back above Everton in the race for a Champions League place. Matt Jarvis headed the Hammers in front as they threatened to extend Arsenal’s winless league run to five games. But Podolski levelled with a shot on the turn two minutes later for the impressive FA Cup finalists. Olivier Giroud’s classy finish and Podolski’s driven second sealed the win as Arsenal moved up to fourth. Fresh from sealing a place in the Cup final courtesy of their penalty shoot-out win over Wigan, the result was just what Arsene Wenger’s side needed to enhance their chance of qualifying for the Champions League for a 17th successive season.

With Everton playing against Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on Wednesday night, the Gunners could ill afford another slip-up following their recent poor league run. And they showed all the resilience – and quality – needed to stay the pace and hold off the determined challenge of Roberto Martinez’s in-form side. Podolski took his goal tally for the season into double figures, while Giroud’s crucial strike, early in the second half, was his 20th of the campaign. Arsenal, despite making five changes to their starting line-up, actually made a sluggish start to offer West Ham early encouragement. Antonio Nocerino’s persistence bursting in from the right-hand side created the chance and when the ball popped up in the six-yard box, Jarvis nodded in only his second league goal of the season.

Arsenal would have felt the pressure had they gone in behind at the break but they were quickly level as they found a way through a West Ham defence that had previously kept 13 clean sheets this season. Again Cazorla was the creator following a poor clearance from Stewart Downing and this time his pass was not wasted as Podolski swivelled to drill a left-foot shot across Adrian and into the bottom corner. The goal lifted the mood around the Emirates Stadium and 10 minutes into the second half Arsenal went ahead thanks to a touch of class from Giroud. The striker displayed a brilliant first touch from Thomas Vermaelen’s long ball back into the box following a corner and with his second drove the ball through the legs of Adrian from just inside the corner of the six-yard box. Arsenal’s pressure finally paid off 12 minutes from the end when substitute Aaron Ramsey headed down for Podolski to fire past Adrian and keep the Gunners firing on two fronts.

19-2 (English Version) – Season 1

19-2 is the English version of the French language Canadian series that debuted in 2011. The English 19-2 has a different cast (with one exception) and different directors but basically follows the same storylines and theme as the French version. Shot & set in Montreal, 19-2 focuses on the lives of two beat cop (patrol officers) of the Montreal Police Department. 19-2 refers to their patrol car unit #2 of the fictional station #19, driven by veteran Montreal cop Nick Barron (Adrian Holmes) and his new partner from a small town Ben Chartier (Jarred Kesso). Also starring are Mylene Dinh-Robic, Benz Antoine, Conrad Pla, Laurence Lebouf, Bruce Ramsey, Dan Petronijevic & Maxim Roy as Detective Isabelle Latendresse and Nick’s estranged wife. Tyler Hynes, Jayne Heitmeyer, Sarah Allen & Tattiwana Jones have recurring roles.

Officer Barron is traumatized and has deep pangs of guilt; his partner Jean-Pierre Harvey and he were on patrol one night when they answered a call about a possible break in at a factory. Barron feels that that there is no need for backup as the place is quiet and they go in – Harvey gets shot in the end and although Barron gets the bad guy, his partner suffers from brain damage and is mostly restricted to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, needing special care at a nursing center. After a long break from work, Barron comes back to work and his supervisor Sergeant Julien Houle (Pla) assigns officer Ben Chartier, newly arrived in Montreal from a small town in the country, as his partner. Barron is resentful, not willing to babysit ‘bambi’ or a rookie but the orders are from above. With Commander Gendron (Ramsay) just waiting for Nick to screw up, the pressure is on. After a couple of days Ben, who has a reputation as a very clean and by the book cop in his hometown, is asked by Gendron to basically report back to him on Nick if he screws up. The straight forward Ben thinks it over and even though he & Nick are not getting along much, he tells the commander that he cannot do that to his partner.

Instead of complicated cases and detective work and cliched cop shows, this show is more gritty, emotional an character driven. Other than the huge guilt that Nick is carrying, there’s his relationship with his son an estranged wife Isabelle, who is also his senior being a detective, a role Nick himself decided to pass over earlier in his career. He is plagued by hallucinations of Harvey, who he also visits regularly at the clinic. Ben’s past is shown as also being estranged from his family; he arrested his alcoholic father who drove while drunk and almost killed a kid, leaving him on the side of the role. His older brother and father resents him while his mother tries to keep the peace. That led to his decision to move to Montreal, a move which did not go well with his longtime girlfriend Catherine and they break up after trying the long distance thing. The other cops are given time to shine – Beatrice Hamelin (Dinh-Robic) is a lesbian and a new affair with a wild medic costs her her service pistol and a reprimand from her boss. Tyler Joseph (Antoine) is an alcoholic who can barely function on some days and is being carried by his partner Beatrice who covers for him due to loyalty. But he manages to screw even his new friendship with Ben, crashing a date that Ben has with Amelie – a social worker who he met while on the job and who it turns out is Nick’s much younger baby sister.

Nick is also in an on & off relationship with fellow cop Audrey (Lebouf), which does not sit well with Isabelle as they all frequent the same bar run by Marie. Just when he looks set to commit to Audrey and gifts her a rescue dog, he & Isabelle share a night of passionate sex. The next day Isabelle changes her tune (did she do that on purpose to push a wedge between him & Audrey, who also gets along great with their son) much to Nick’s despair as he really wanted his family back. But the pick of the bunch is J.M. Brouillard (Petronijivic) who struts around like a real ladies man, being obnoxious and prissy – when Nick & Ben gets a call from a lady friend of Nick’s who is being beaten by her husband, it turns out to be J.M and he pleads to his fellow officers not to report the incident as it could very well mean his job. And the woman also pleads saying that JM will change. Over time Nick & Ben do bond but also have a huge fight when Nick catches Ben & Amelie in bed together at the family cabin. Things take a turn for the worse when Harvey dies and Audrey, who was on solo patrol near a college, is beaten brutally by a group of college students into a state of unconsciousness and ends up in a coma. The other cops finds a video of the assault uploaded to the internet and track the leader of the group.

It turns out that the assault was for revenge for a friend of theirs being busted for selling drugs and the commander tells Isabelle to leak the identity of the assailant leader to the rest of the squad. The cops surround the assailant, who pleads for his life, and they are about to beat him senseless but Ben makes the others stop and bring the assailant in. In the midst of all this Nick is called up by higher ups and told that he was specifically brought in from his hometown to Montreal, with his transfer request going through without a hitch, as they felt that he was the right man for a job. There is a leak in the division, a leak to criminal & drug gangs and all roads point to Nick – which is why they wanted a decent, straight laced cop to be his new partner. Ben cannot believe it but he is told that he is to find out if Nick really is the leak & informant, as the season ends.

Gripping, brutal, well acted and well shot. No frills, no cliches, no fancy stuff and no feel good made up goody things – just street cops on duty. Well done 19-2, I was hooked from the fist 5 minutes onwards. The show has been renewed for a second season of 10 episodes but I want a longer season.

Vishu – Spring Equinox

Vishu is traditionally celebrated as a New Year in the Malayalam Calendar, and the day is often considered as the first day of the Zodiac Calendar. However, if the equinox occurs after dawn on the first day of the zodiac calendar, then the Vishu celebrations will be on the next day, ie the second day of the calendar. In 2014, first day of the calendar falls on 14 April but the equinox occurs after 7am. Therefore Vishu will be celebrated on 15th April 2014. The Vishu Kani is meant to bring luck and prosperity for the year starting from Vishu Day Medam 1st. As Vishu marked the first day of the Malayalam Zodiac, it is considered an appropriate time to offer oblations to Hindu gods.


Ofcourse I’d be giving the gods the finger instead, if they existed. Anyways, I don’t hold any of the religious views or anything like that. I like that it’s another holiday, another new year for this culture. As a kid I liked the fact that we, my cousins & I, got money from our elders and that means buying cassette tapes or going to the movie or go get some junk food like burgers and shakes. And the sadya! Yes, I rarely go to weddings or other functions anymore so for the past 10 years or so sadyas for me are restricted to Onam & Vishu sadyas – so just twice a year. And I look forward to them.

I prefer a simple sadya; rice, kalan, sambhar, maybe some olan, cabbage thoran, some pickle and pulliserri, poppadoms and finally semia payasam. That’s it! No 100 curries or stuff, just the simplest stuff. And then I’d be so full that I’d have to lie down.

This entry was posted in Kerala.

Roshan Says To “Chillax”

After a long day at work or school, what are your favorite ways to wind down and decompress?

There are some simple ways to chillax and mellow out after the grind of the day is over. Especially after a long, tough week you need to de-stress. I like to either unwind with a couple of cold beers or some vodka on the rocks with generous splashes of Sprite or 7up. Some good food – hopefully some pizza or burgers or fried chicken for dinner will be available.

Other ways is to put on a funny movie and watch it from my bed or maybe some good tv show episodes one after the other. Or perhaps some music. Good ole hard rock music to destress oneself, get your rocks on and rock your blues away for an hour or two. Air guitar and air drumming with unabashed enthusiasm also helps. That also helps me to unwind.

Some good weed might do the trick but then I never get my hands on any. It’s harder in this country and in this city. But it helps to smoke some and relax.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

When Will I Be Famous?

Have you dreamt of becoming famous? What would your claim to fame be? Comedy? Acting? Writing? Race car driving? Go!

“When will I, will I be famous / I can’t answer, I can’t answer that” – 80′ pop duo Bros

Ok, other than the horrendous fact that I and my cousins actually listened to and enjoyed the songs of that long dead 80s boybandish, pop duo – who on this earth hasn’t ever wished that he/she would be famous? I am no different and have always had dreams of being rich & famous and heavily popular to millions and millions of adoring fans. Ever since I was a young kid, I have dreamed of being a famous singer and then a famous guitarist and then a famous singer / guitarist.

Then I wanted to be a famous tennis champion winning millions of dollars as I won all the great grand slam titles. And a football great, scoring lots of goals and winning championships for my club and then….gasp…leading India as the captain to the World Cup by scoring the winning goal in the dying seconds of the final match. And then as I became a fan of hockey / ice hockey, become the first Indian to play in the NHL and become scoring champion, points champion and MVP of the playoffs as I captain my side to become Stanley Cup champion all in my debt season! Yeah, no small feat there.

And ofcourse the acting dream. Be discovered and become a famous actor, Emmy & Oscar wins galore, be paired with a beavy of hot & beautiful actresses and have affairs with sexy female models from across the globe. Also more lately I’ve wanted to be a famous director / film maker who would make groundbreaking movies that make a billion each! Also a famous novelist who wrote books that moved you to tears while making you laugh out loud the very next chapter! All big dreams!

Still waiting!

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com

#94 Says Goodbye In Style And As Captain

On an emotional night in Edmonton for the players, staff and fans as the Oilers celebrated veteran forward Ryan Smyth’s final game in style, coming away with a 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. The fans, however, were more interested in seeing Smyth go out on a win after a career that saw him total 386 goals, 456 assists and 842 points in 1,270 career games. Smyth, was unable to get the power-play goal that would have given him the franchise record, remaining in a tie with Glenn Anderson at 126 for his career. Smyth was loudly cheered all night and no show of respect could have been bigger than the Canucks players coming back out on the ice to shake his hand after the final whistle, before the sobbing Alberta native said goodbye to his coaches and teammates. Smyth concluded his NHL career after spending 15 of his 20 seasons in the league for the Oilers, ranking second on the franchise’s all-time list with 971 games played. He was given the Oilers captain’s ‘C’ for the game.

This entry was posted in Hockey.

Arsenal Make It To The FA Cup Finals

Struggling to assert themselves in the game despite creating a lot of chances, Arsenal scraped their way into the FA Cup final by beating holders Wigan on penalties to keep alive their hopes of ending a nine-year trophy drought. Jordi Gomez’s penalty put the Latics on course to reach another final, but Per Mertesacker’s late equaliser maintained Arsenal’s hopes of winning their first silverware since they claimed this trophy in 2005. The teams could not be separated by extra time and, when it went to penalties, goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski saved Wigan’s first two spot-kicks, from Gary Caldwell and Jack Collison, to put Arsenal on the way to a meeting with either Hull City or Sheffield United.

Mikel Arteta, Kim Kallstrom and Olivier Giroud were all on target for Arsenal – while James McArthur and Jean Beausejour scored for Wigan – leaving Santi Cazorla to send the Gunners fans wild with celebration and relief with the decisive penalty. Arsenal had the better of the chances before penalties, with Wigan keeper Scott Carson twice denying Yaya Sanogo, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hitting the woodwork in extra time. And this win will seem crucial for Arsenal because earlier in the day, Everton moved ahead by 2 points into 4th place, pushing Arsenal to 5th with just 5 games remaining in the league. Wenger stuck with his policy of replacing Wojciech Szczesny with Fabianski and playing Sanogo in attack, and the youngster almost made the crucial early breakthrough. McManaman was the central figure as Wigan went ahead after 63 minutes, referee Michael Oliver having an easy decision as Mertesacker dived in recklessly in the area. An injury to Monreal, which required his replacement by Kieran Gibbs, meant almost a four-minute delay before Gomez could take his kick, but he remained commendably cool to beat Fabianski with a perfect penalty.

Wenger needed to react but his decision to replace Lukas Podolski, rather than the struggling Sanogo, with Giroud was met with a loud chorus of jeering from the increasingly anxious Gunners fans. Arsenal, as they had to do, finally demonstrated a greater sense of urgency, and a frantic few seconds led to the equaliser after 82 minutes. Sagna had headed against the post and Carson had again saved superbly from Gibbs before Mertesacker arrived at the far post to score with a stooping header from Gibbs’s scuffed shot. The Gunners had gathered momentum and only the woodwork saved Wigan as Oxlade-Chamberlain’s powerful shot rattled out off the angle of post and bar with Carson helpless. Then came penalties – and the shot at a trophy Arsenal have waited for since 2005. Next up is either Sheffield United or Hull City.

Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Do you find it easy to make new friends? Tell us how you’ve mastered the art of befriending a new person.

Until a few years ago, like maybe 26-27 years of age, I used to be a very open & friendly person. I still am to a certain degree but I no longer have that naive notion that everyone is a friend and that if I am friendly enough, I will be well liked. Since my early 20s I have learned the hard way that people will take advantage of you if you let them, that you can go into situations with the least amount of trepidation, maximum openness and friendliness and with the best of intentions at heart but you will most likely get burned unless you are also equally cautions and skeptical of people and their intentions.

I can’t pretend a stranger is a long awaited friend. He/she might well turn out to be so but that will take it’s own sweet time and if anyone – depending on their nature – wants to be friends and is open and honest, well why not? But I prefer to be careful, take my time in getting to know the person and avoid being taken advantage of or attacked when the chips are down. It’s just the way I see things at the moment and I’m not sorry about it. Yet I can honestly say that I am a very friendly person, only I am a more cautious person than before.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

The Legend Of Hercules

From director Renny Harlin comes one of two 2014 movies about the mythological demi-god of ancient Greece – The Legend Of Hercules. Co-written by Harlin with Daniel Giat, Giulio Steve, and Sean Hood. The film stars Kellan Lutz, Gaia Weiss, Scott Adkins, Roxanne McKee, and Liam Garrigan.

The movie starts off with King Amphitryon invading a neighbouring kingdom and killing their king. In a battle scene that looks way too CGI-ish for my tastes (almost animation cartoon like) and very 300 like, the Amphitryon is victorious as he easily defeats Galenus and seizes his kingdom. He boasts to his estrange wife Queen Alcmene and she clearly dispises his lst for power & gold. She goes to pray to the goddess Hera and is visited by a woman, who the goddess has inhabited, and who prophesies that Zeus will visit Alcmene and impregnate her with a son who will end Amphitryon’s reign. The only witness to this exchange is Chiron, the queen’s loyal adviser. That night as the king celebrates with his men, Alcmene is visited by Zeus and he has sex with her. The king sees her in bed and believes she has taken a mortal lover but finds no one. Alcmene soon gives birth to a healthy baby boy named Alcides, but she secretly acknowledges his true name: Hercules.

Cut to 20 years later and Alcides is frolicking with his love, princess Hebe of Crete and is spied upon by his older brother Iphicles. The two young men on route to the palace are attacked by a large ferocious lion and Alcides wrestles with the lion, crushing it. As they reach the palace for a party Iphicles claims the credit and clings to the pelt of the lion and claims that Alcides had fled as a coward when the lion attacked them. At the banquet Amphitryon announces the engagement of Hebe and Iphicles, as he is annexing the kingdom of Crete. A shocked Hebe & Alcides try to run off together but they are caught by the guards and Alcides is sent away to Egypt on a campaign with other soldiers. It is then that Alcmene tells Alcides of his true lineage and the name Hercules. He however does not believe her and sets off to Egypt with the soldiers, under the the command of Captain Sotiris. In Egypt the Greeks are ambushed by a large group of enemy soldiers and in the fight all the Greeks are killed except for Alcides & Sotiris. To protect his prince’s identity Sotiris claims that Alcides is dead and the prince calls himself Hercules.

Hercules & Sotoris are sold as slaves and made to fight as gladiators in arenas earning a name for themselves and eventually winning their freedom when they fight against previously undefeated warriors (including a pair that look like ancient Greece’s version of former wrestling legends, The Legion of Doom) and even though Sortoris gets injured, Hercules single-handedly defeats 6 warriors in Greece earning their freedom. Meanwhile Alceme, in mourning for her son, finally tells the king about Hercules’ real father and is killed by Amphitryon. Meanwhile deserters of Amphitryon’s army joins Hercules Chiron brings Hercules’ news of his mother, who vows to avenge her death. Sotiris and Hercules seek refuge in the home of the human vessel of Hera, who foretells Hercules’ destiny. Hebe, is saved by Chiron before she can commit suicide and is brought to Hercules for a joyous reunion. Hercules and Sotiris begin a fight against Amphitryon’s campaign of tyranny, angering Amphitryon who seeks to destroy them. Iphicles, aided by his mercenaries, murders Sotiris’ wife and uses his son as a bargaining chip. Sortis has to lead the king to Hercules who is tied to pillars and whipped.

Hercules watches on in horror as Iphicles murders Chiron under Amphitryon’s orders. In anguish he acknowledges his father and calls upon him for strength. Hercules breaks free from his chains and crushes Amphitryon’s guard. Amphitryon and Iphicles escape. Hercules and Sotiris gather their soldiers and attack the palace and after a fight, Hercule is about to kill the king when Iphicles arrives with a knife at Hebe. Hercules hesitates but Hebe thrusts the dagger through her shoulder, killing Iphicles. Hercules finally avenges Alcmene’s death and kills Amphitryon with the same blade that killed his mother. He then rushes to Hebe’s aid and carries her away to be taken care off. We then see Hercules & Hebe as king & queen, ruling the kingdom with a new baby in their arms.

Critics panned this movie and I agree. It’s not a well made or well acted film and certainly lacks the charm & charisma of movies made on Hercules back in the 60s & 70s. It bombed at the box office. I’d give it a 5.5 outta 10!

This entry was posted in Movies.

Ryan Smyth Retires

One of my favourite hockey players, the Edmonton Oilers’ no#94 has decided to hang up his skates after 19 seasons in the NHL. (from TSN.ca) Smyth said Friday his body was still willing, but with his young children getting older, his mind was wandering. “The mental side of the game, I didn’t have it at times,” Smyth told a news conference at Rexall Place, with his family on hand. “I’ve got a wonderful family that I miss out on a lot of their stuff. That (became) a factor. “There comes a time in my life where you have to turn the page.” Smyth and his wife Stacey have two daughters & 1 son.

The 38-year-old known for his famous mullet was also a stalwart on Team Canada. He was drafted sixth overall by Edmonton in 1994 and spent most of his 18-season career in Alberta’s capital. He mixed grit with a scoring touch and became the face of the post-Wayne Gretzky Oilers, leading the team to a Stanley Cup final appearance in 2006. Smyth thanked everyone from former teammates to the Oilers’ massage therapist in a speech that saw the scrappy forward fight back tears. Sitting beside him at the news conference was Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish. Smyth has 386 goals and 456 assists and 974 penalty minutes in 1,269 games heading into Edmonton’s Saturday season finale against the visiting Vancouver Canucks. He added 59 points (28-31) and 88 penalty minutes in 93 career playoff games.

He also earned the nickname “Captain Canada” for his loyalty to Canada’s men’s national team. The team is preparing a tribute to the Banff, Alta., native during Saturday’s game. Asked what he’ll miss the most about the game, Smyth said the it will be the journey itself. “Being on the ice surface, the adrenalin, the excitement, obviously your teammates,” he said. Smyth played at least 40 games as an Oiler in 14 of his 18 seasons. He blossomed in his first full season with the team in 1996-97, when he had 61 points (39 goals and 22 assists) in 82 games. Smyth was a steady force up front in Edmonton early in his career. The six-foot-two 191-pounder played a key role in the Oilers’ 2006 Stanley Cup run. Smyth had 16 points (7-9) in 24 games that post-season as the Oilers dropped a seven-game series to the Carolina Hurricanes.

He was shipped to the New York Islanders at the trade deadline during the 2006-07 season. Long-term contract negotiations between Smyth’s agent, Don Meehan, and Oilers then general manager Kevin Lowe went to the 11th hour but the two sides couldn’t reach a deal. With Smyth due to become a free agent that summer, Lowe didn’t want to risk losing him for nothing in the off-season. Smyth said goodbye to Edmonton during an emotional news conference at the city airport. He played two seasons with Colorado and two more with Los Angeles before he asked Kings GM Dean Lombardi for a trade in 2011. A deal was finalized in June of that year. He has provided some veteran leadership on a young Oilers squad over his last three seasons. Saturday will be Smyth’s last chance to set a team record for power-play goals. Smyth and Glenn Anderson have 126 each, one ahead of Gretzky. Internationally, Smyth played at two Winter Games, helping Canada win gold at the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002. Smyth also won gold at the World Cup of Hockey in 2004 and represented Canada at seven straight world hockey championship during his prime.

This entry was posted in Hockey.

Shirts, Shoes & Stuff

Last evening’s lovely rain duped me into thinking that today might be a cool day weather wise to go out for a bit of long delayed shopping. It was instead a rather hot day and even now, at 6:40 pm, still 33 degrees Celsius. Anyway I had planned to go shopping with my cousin Sujith, as I’d called him and asked him if he wanted to join me. He was game and so we decided to meet at Men’s Studio near Kacheripady by 11 am. Unfortunately for us the sun was blazing hot by then. As I live nearby, I reached much earlier than he did and I went in and sought a salesman at one of the counters. I looked at well over 30 shirts before selecting around 8 and tried them out before selecting 2 to buy for now. I’ve asked them to keep one in reserve for me and that I would come by on Monday and buy it. I had the money but I also wanted to buy a pair of shoes and decided to get that first.

Sujith and I went to get some coffee and a small bite to eat and step out of the hot sun for a while. As we drank our cold coffee, sitting on couches next to the ceiling to floor length windows of the cafe, we stared at a stupid tank lorry driver who, knowingly or unknowingly, drove from a side road onto MG Road and basically blocked the busy street for over 20 minutes. With the Metro railway work being done on Mg Road, as it is the road is heavily congested and now a large queue of cars, buses, autos and bikes were now piled up on the road as a illegal turn to the main road was done by this guy. It was fun to watch for us as he twisted, drove and turned for many minutes but I’m sure the driver of the lorry was under pressure and many people on the roads and on their vehicles were cursing him.

IMG-20140411-01117

We then went to buy shoes but – the preferred place that I go to was closed so we tried a couple of other places. We waited for a while to be served but no one came for a long time and so we left the first place. The second place said they had a large 70% discount as part of a clearance sale. They lied! Someone should tell them what the meaning of a discount is – marking a make believe large amount as the original price and then slashing it and showing an amount, which is the actual rate, is not a fucking discount! Everything was charged quite high and I knew that I could the same shoes at a lower rate in my preferred store so I decided to wait for a couple of days and try my luck again.

We then went for lunch and had pizzas (videos will be uploaded soon) and Appy Fizz to wash it down. More walking in the sun for checking out shoes and we ended the evening with frappes (bad choice as I was too full with those). But it was so hot and we were sweaty and I was tired. After an hour sitting in another cafe we left to our respective homes.

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 is the 2013 sequel to the 2009 computer-animated comic science fiction comedy film produced by Sony Pictures Animation and distributed by Columbia Pictures. It was directed by Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn, produced by Kirk Bodyfelt, and executive produced by the directors of the first film, Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Most of the main cast reprised their roles: Bill Hader as Flint Lockwood, Anna Faris as Sam Sparks, James Caan as Tim Lockwood,Andy Samberg as Brent McHale, Neil Patrick Harris as Steve, and Benjamin Bratt as Manny. Will Forte, who voiced Joseph Towne in the first film, voices Chester V in this one. New cast includes Kristen Schaal as orangutan Barb and Terry Crews as Officer Earl, replacing Mr. T in the role.

The movie starts off right where the first movie ended. After Flint Lockwood and his friends saved the world from the food storm super-inventor Chester V, the CEO of Live Corp and Flint’s hero from childhood, is tasked to clean the island. He relocates the residents of Swallow Falls to San FranJose, California where Live Corp is also based and takes Flint to work in his company to invent new things. However the FLDSMDFR survived the explosion and is still in Shallow Falls and affecting the environment there. After getting the company tour by Chester’s assistant Barb, a talking orangutan with human intelligence, Flint gets to work. Six months later, Flint humiliates himself during a promotion ceremony when his invention, the “Celebrationator”, explodes. But his spirit soars when Chester comes to him and recruits him for a secret mission – the FLDSMDFR is causing food to mutate into living things, with characteristics of animals, and huge cheeseburgers are attacking the cleanup crew. Seemingly fearing the world’s inevitable doom, Chester tasks Flint to find the FLDSMDFR and destroy it once and for all.

Despite Chester’s demands to keep the mission classified, Flint recruits his girlfriend, meteorologist Sam Sparks; her cameraman Manny; police officer Earl Devereaux; Steve, a monkey who communicates via a device on his head; and “Chicken” Brent. Much to Flint’s dismay, his father Tim joins the crew and they travel to Swallow Falls on his fishing boat. While the others go to search for the FLDSMDFR, Flint makes his father stay behind in the boat to keep him safe. They find a jungle like enviornment has overgrown in the area and find a vast habitat of living food animals called foodimals and meet a cute strawberry named Barry. The group is initially attacked by many of the living food but they later understand that the new creatures are just reacting to being attacked by humans. Tim meanwhile goes to his old shop and finds a family of humanoid pickles and bonds with them by fishing. Chester comes to the island when he finds out that Flint has his friends with him and does his best to separate Flint from the rest. After escaping a Tacodile attack, Sam notices that the foodimal was protecting its family, and begins to suspect Chester is up to no good.Sam attempts to convince Flint to spare the foodimals, but Flint is intent on making Chester proud. Sam leaves in anger, and Flint’s other companions go with her (including Steve). In the jungle, Manny confirms Sam’s suspicions when he reverses the Live Corp logo to reveal that it is in fact “Evil Corp”. In addition, Sam proves that the foodimals mean no harm by taming a Cheespider. Upon realizing Chester’s intentions, the group is then ambushed by Evil Corp employees.

Flint finds his machine but changes his mind on seeing a family of cute marshmellows and Chester grabs the opportunity to seize control of the FLDSMDFR which he plans to make his company’s foodbars using the foodimals.  A crushed Flint is knocked into the river but rescued by the marshmallows. Flint is taken to his father, and they and the foodimals all work together to allow Flint and Barry to infiltrate the Evil Corp building that is under construction on the island. Flint frees the trapped foodimals and confronts Chester, who threatens to make food bars out of his friends. The foodimals fight the employees of Live Corp and with Barb’s (who had a change of heart as Chester treats her badly) help Chester is vanquished. With the island safe from Chester and Evil Corp destroyed, Flint returns the FLDSMDFR to its place and the foodimals continue to live in peace as more are born. The film ends with Flint fishing with his father for the first time, finding it enjoyable. During the end credits, Barb reveals to have a crush on Steve by asking him out on a date.

Silly, funny and entertainment for the whole family, although it’s not as good as the first one.. 7 outta 10!

Horror Themed Pizza Pies

Papa’s Pizza in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.

I’ve heard & seen baristas make intricate designs on their coffees with foam, so learning that there’s a pizza place that carve famous movie icons into their pie is just fucking awesome.

Take a look at some of their edible works of art that include Chucky, the Reaper, a zombie, and of course Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees.

RIP The Ultimate Warrior

Former wrestler James Brian Hellwig more famously and later officially known as The Ultimate Warrior or just Warrior has passed away. He was just 54. Warrior was best known for his appearances in the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) from 1987 to 1991 and again in 1992 and 1996, and in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 1998. Warrior passed away on April 8th, 2014 at the age of 54. After a brief bodybuilding career, Hellwig joined a few fellow bodybuilders, including Steve Borden aka Sting, who were trying to make the transition to wrestling. He began his professional wrestling career as Jim “Justice” Hellwig of Powerteam USA in 1985 and performed for smaller promotions he debut for WCW in 86 and stayed till he moved to the WWF/E in 1987 where he got an early push.

Less than a year after his WWF television debut, Warrior won the prestigious Intercontinental Championship, defeating The Honky Tonk Man in 27 seconds at the first ever SummerSlam on August 29, 1988. The Warrior was heralded as the wrestler to become the biggest star of the 1990s, and the successor to Hulk Hogan, who had remained wrestling’s biggest star throughout the 1980s and went on to defeat Hogan at Wrestlemania VI after a Warrior Splash to become the first, and as of 2013, only wrestler to hold the WWF Intercontinental and World Championships simultaneously. Warrior would go on to feud with Savage, and the rivalry culminated in a ‘Career Ending’ match at WrestleMania VII with the Warrior victorious, forcing Savage to retire. Apparently disputes over his high payment demands and royalties led to him being suspended in 1991 until his return mid 1992. Between November 1992 and July 1995, Warrior was semi-retired. During his time away from the WWF, Warrior opened the short-lived “Warrior University”, a professional wrestling school based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Though he made brief returns since he retired in 1999 and has been a motivations speaker & writing comics.

On April 5, 2014, the Ultimate Warrior was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2014.  Warrior appeared at WrestleMania XXX and delivered a promo on Raw the next night. He’s been married twice and has two daughter with his second wife. Warrior collapsed outside of an Arizona hotel at approximately 5:50 p.m. on April 8, 2014. He was reported to be walking with his wife to his car during the moment of his initial collapse and was pronounced dead at the hospital. Cause of death not given at this time.

Warrior (June 16, 1959 – April 8, 2014), born James Brian Hellwig

Comic Hero Archie To Be Killed Off

Guess what? They are going to kill off Archie Andrews!!!

Archie Comics announced on Tuesday that the famous comic book character will heroically sacrifice himself while saving the life of a friend in a July installment of “Life with Archie,” a comic book series that tells the story of grown-up renditions of Archie and his Riverdale gang. “We’ve been building up to this moment since we launched ‘Life with Archie’ five years ago and knew that any book that was telling the story of Archie’s life as an adult had to also show his final moment,” Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO Jon Goldwater said in a statement. Archie’s final moments will be detailed in “Life with Archie” No. 36, while issue No. 37 will jump forward a year and focus on his friends Jughead, Betty, Veronica and Reggie honoring the legacy of their red-headed pal.

Archie first appeared in comics in 1941 and went on to become a colorful icon of wholesomeness. In recent years, Archie Comics has tackled such issues as gay characters and the zombie apocalypse in Archie’s fictional hometown of Riverdale. I remember reading Archie’s comics since 1984 or 85 and loving every story and the antics of the Archie’s gang. What bastards! They are going to kill him. I know they have other series of comics in which he will still be alive but…the bastards are killing him!

Oh cruel world, what’s next? Will we see Scoobie Do get infected with rabies and have to be put down?

Bitten – Season 1

Bitten is a Canadian television series based on the Women of the Otherworld series of books by author Kelley Armstrong. The series is set in Toronto and upstate New York and is shot mostly in the Toronto region. The series is based on the werewolf myths and focuses on the life of Elena Michaels, who in this universe, is a rare female werewolf and the family or pack that she belongs to. The series stars Laura Vandervoort (Elena), Greyston Holt as Clayton Danvers, Greg Bryk as Jeremy Danvers, Paul Greene as Philip McAdams & Steve Lund as Nick Sorrentino. Regular costars include Michael Xavier as Logan, Genelle Williams as Rachel Sutton, Natalie Brown as Diane McAdams & Fiona Highet as Sheriff Karen Morgan.

Elena who grew up as an orphan meets Clayton, a professor of anthropology when she applies to become his assistant, while at university. Although she initially doesn’t like him the two become lovers and later he takes her to meet his rather unusual family of all men all who are werewolves that belong to a single pack. Fearing that Elena saw him change from wolf to human form, the pack’s alpha Jeremy – as per the rules – is supposed to kill her – but a lovelorn Clay bites Elena in wolf form which converts her into a werewolf. The pack is surprised to note that she survived the transformation as women don’t usually do so. Elena now a werewolf joins the pack which also includes Antonio and his son Nick, Logan & Peter among a few others. After 4 years she has a falling out with Clayton after learning that it was he who turned her into a werewolf and leaves the fold, joining Logan in Toronto and begins a new life as a photographer. She makes friends with Diane and meets Philip, Daine’s brother, and begins a relationship with him. However when unaligned wolves, called mutts, start dumping dead bodies near the Danver’s estate and the estate comes under police investigation Jeremy calls all the pack members, including Elena, back home.

Elena and the pack members hunt the mutts and initially think that it’s a solitary mutt or two who want to challenge the pack for membership. However the members are being killed one by one and finally it’s down to only Jeremy, Logan, Nick, Clayton & Elena. She must find a balance between her new life, lover and friends in Toronto and her obligation to help Jeremy and the family back in NY. Not to mention the humans she loves cannot find out that she is a werewolf as the rule is to kill them in order to keep the secret. Philip is struggling with her constant absence and travel to NY. The pack soon finds that a Daniel Santos is assembling a team of mutts to challenge Jeremy of the pack leadership and among them are Victor Olson, a pedophile who had troubled Elena when she was a child and criminal killer Thomas Leblanc who enjoys hurting people. Logan is also concerned as his girlfriend Rachel is pregnant and it’s a boy – as per werewolf rules, they take the baby boys away from the mother and raise the child within the pack as humans cannot know the truth of the pack.

All things head for a showdown as Santos wants not just alpha status but also Elena for himself; as female werewolves are rarely seen, a child born of two werewolves will be extremely powerful, making him important among all wolf clans. The finale leads to a showdown at the Danver estate in which all the mutts are killed and Santos is taken prisoner and killed after one of the mutts, Karl, changes allegiance to Jeremy. However the finale shows us that behind the mutts challenge lay the leadership of James Williams, a former member & powerful older wolf but instead of admitting defeat, Williams confronts Jeremy and reveals his intention to take Elena. In the chaos of the battle, Rachel is kidnapped by James Williams who turns out to be Malcolm Danvers, Jeremy’s father. Elena discovers the head of Philip and screams.

I have to say that the series started out rather dull with a lot of passive emotional stuff in the forefront and some bad acting but the show does pick up and improve a lot from episode 6 onwards and things get really interesting and intense. The bad CGI wolf effects are also a downer. What will season 2 bring us?

Express Yourself!

Do you love to dance, sing, write, sculpt, paint, or debate? What’s your favorite way to express yourself, creatively?

Dance : No thank you. Not only am I overweight I also have 2 left feet. The only thing I excel at in dancing is the “standing in one spot and moving my arms in a circular motion” dance. What? It’s more complicated than it looks!

Sing : Yeah I sing a lot; in the comfort of my bedroom. At my laptop playing music on my mp3 player or on Youtube. I have sung a few times on stage in front of a few people (and they lived to tell the tale) but I haven’t taken lessons or anything. Still music is very important to me and I live for listening to music and to sing along with my favourite songs.

Write: Hello! I’m blogging a lot, am I not? I find it soothing and relaxing and even exciting. I just changed my WordPress theme and, as simple a theme as it is, just the way it looks now makes me excited to write new posts just so I can see how it looks and changed everytime I update it. I only wish I could make a lot of money by writing, like novel and such.

Sculpt : Nope, never tried it out ever. Wish I had taken lessons as a child or even in my early 20s. It’s something that looks like a great talent to have.

Paint/Draw : As a kid I used to draw a lot. Paint not so much, unless you count the colouring I did of my drawings. I used to get big book of blank pages just so that I could draw stuff in them. It occupied me for hours and hours on end. Again, I regret that I never went to classes as a child and I haven’t drawn since I entered my mid teens.

Debate : Mostly online on Facebook but very little of it face to face. I’ve done some of it at school and later on at a few work places, where they make you attend some as part of your training. I enjoy them but usually the topics here are rubbish, repetitive and so cliched that I get bored in 5 minutes.

Always find ways of express yourself, you are unique and you deserve to be noticed for your uniqueness.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.