Argo is a 2012 American drama / thriller film based on real events that happened during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The events of the film are adapted from U.S. Central Intelligence Agency operative Tony Mendez’s book The Master of Disguise and Joshuah Bearman’s 2007 Wired article ‘The Great Escape’. Mendez was the CIA operative who went into Iran to rescue 6 American diplomats who managed to evade the hostage takeover at the US embassy in Tehran. Ben Affleck stared & directed Argo which he also co-produced along with George Clooney & Grant Heslov. The movie also stars Victor Garber, Tate Donovan, Clea Duvall, Christopher Denham, Kerry Bishe with Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, and John Goodman in supporting roles. Kyle Chandler & Keith Szarabajka have smaller roles as well.

After the Persian Shah is deposed by the Iranian Revolution, the Iranian people conduct mass protests outside the US embassy in Tehran in retaliation for the support that the US government gave to the Shah and giving him asylum after he lost power. With demands that he be brought back to Iran to stand trial Iranians storm the embassy just as the diplomats inside shred and burn as much documents and identification of staff members as possible. 50 employees are taken hostage against gun point but 6 manage to escape through the back entrance and into the street. After being turned away by the British and New Zealand embassies, the 6 refugees are hidden & sheltered at the home of the Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor and his wife. The status of the 6 refugees are kept secret but US State dept looks for means to bring them back safely. CIA ex-filtration specialist Tony Mendez is brought in to the discussion and although he is at a loss to to come up with a proposal he dismissed all the ones at the table. However when he is talking with his son over the telephone that night he is inspired by watching  Battle for the Planet of the Apes and begins plans for creating a cover story for the escapees being Canadian filmmakers scouting for exotic locations in Iran for a similar science-fiction film.

With help from John Chambers, a Hollywood makeup artist who has assisted the CIA with disguises before, he gets in touch with  film producer Lester Siegel. Together they set up a phony film studio, publicize their plans, and successfully establish the pretense of developing Argo, a “science fantasy” in the style of Star Wars, to lend credibility to the cover story. Meanwhile at the embassy the revolutionaries being reassembling the shredded papers & documents, while tormenting the hostages. Posing as the Canadian producer for the movie Tony Mendez comes to Iran and meets up with the 6 refugees at Ambassador Taylot’s house. He provides them with Canadian passports and fake identities to prepare them to get through security at the airport. After much distrust and fear over the plan, they decide to go along with it knowing that they can’t stay hidden at the house forever. A scouting visit to the bazaar to maintain their cover story takes a bad turn, but their Iranian culture contact gets them away from the hostile crowd. Tony grills the 6 on their fake identities, cover stories and past to prepare them. However the night before their getaway is planned, Tony is told that the he operation has been cancelled to avoid conflicting with a planned military rescue of the hostages. However he decides to forge ahead forcing his boss Jack O’Donell to to hastily re-obtain authorization for the mission to get tickets on a Swissair flight.

At the airport tensions arise where the escapees’ flight reservations are confirmed at the last minute and a interrogation guard’s call to the supposed studio in Hollywood is answered at the last second. It also took a moment of courage by one of the 6 to start speaking in Farsi and convey the storyline of the movie to the guards, making it seem like the scifi-fantasy story is similar to the way the Shah was deposed. Just as the plane is taking off their ruse is uncovered and the Iranian guards head to stop the plane but they fail to do so and the 7 Americans can heave sighs of relief and joy. To protect the hostages remaining in Tehran from retaliation, all U.S. involvement in the rescue is suppressed, giving full credit to the Canadian government and its ambassador (who left Iran with his wife under their own credentials as the operation was underway; their Iranian housekeeper, who had known about the Americans and lied to the revolutionaries to protect them, escaped to Iraq). All the hostages were freed on January 20, 1981. Mendez is secretly awarded the Intelligence Award by the President but has to give it back and keep it a secret until 1997 when the details were publicized in 1997.

The movie has made a lot of adjustments to the story; some critics said that it unfairly glorified the CIA’s role and minimized the  Canadian government’s role (particularly that of Ambassador Taylor) in the extraction operation. Even president Jimmy Carter declared that 90% of the ideas & planning were Canadian and that Affleck’s character was in Iran for just a day and a half and that Ambassador Taylor, who orchestrated the entire process, was the main hero. The film was criticized for its claim that British and New Zealand Embassies had turned away the American refugees in Tehran and Bob Anders, one of the 6, said that the British put their lives on the lines for the refugees. In reality the scouting trip & the bazaar and the tense moments at the airport regarding the tickets and the interrogation never happened and neither did the chase at the runway. But Hollywood is…..Hollywood You have to take the inaccuracies with a pinch of salt. 8 outta 10 for me!

Which TV Character On These Shows Are You?

RIP Cory Monteith

Television’s Glee star Cory Montieth was found dead in his hotel room in Vancouver, Canada. The Calgary born & Victoria, BC raised actor / musician, most famous for his role as Finn Hudson was just 31. Cause of death is apparently a drug overdose.

Monteith parents divorced when he was seven, and he and his older brother were raised by their mother in Victoria. Dealing with the intermittent absence of his father, and feeling like an outsider among his peers, he started to display signs of a troubled youth; Monteith – once a promising student, who, at age 5, could read at a fourth-grade level – began delving into drugs and alcohol, which in turn affected his studies and school attendance. He would attend 16 schools before dropping out at te age of 16.  By that time, his drug and alcohol addiction had increased and Monteith turned to petty crimes, such as stealing money from friends and family, in order to fund his addictions. He considers his turning point for the better when his mom and a group of friends staged an intervention, and he was sent to rehab at 19.

Prior to breaking into show business, Monteith worked various jobs, including  Wal-Mart people greeter, taxicab driver, school bus driver, and roofer. He earned his role on Glee after sending his audition tapes of him drumming with some pencils and Tupperware containers and also one of him singing an REO Speedwagon song. Other than Glee he also starred on the MTV series Kaya which lasted 1 season. Although I do not like Glee I’ve seen Cory on his brief appearances in both Sargate SG1 and Stargate Atlantis. Among his movie roles as 2005’s Killer Bash, 2010’s Monte Carlo & 2011’s Sisters & Brothers. & Glee: The Concert Movie in 3D.

On March 31, 2013, it was announced that Monteith had voluntarily admitted himself into a treatment facility for substance addiction. He had previously received substance abuse treatment over a decade earlier, when he was nineteen. His treatment was completed on April 26, 2013. However he was found dead in his hotel room at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel inVancouver last night, dead due to an overdose.

Cory Allan Michael Monteith (May 11, 1982 – July 13, 2013)

Tables, Turned

Are as comfortable in front of a camera as behind one? Being written about, as well as writing?

Let’s take the first one. No – I’m not. I hate having my photo taken. Two reasons a) I’m fat & ugly and b) I’m not even the least bit photogenic. You know what I mean? There are times when I feel I look good. Not skinny but good enough. Some days I come out of the bathroom, shaved, shampooed and showered and as my hair is drying I take a look in the mirror. Damn! I’m having a good day. I immediately try and get my photo taken – the camera fucking hates me! The pic will look nothing like the guy I saw in the mirror. Hair all awry, sagging face, glasses crooked and double chin prominent. Where did the handsome dude in the mirror go?

So I hate having my photo done. I like taking photos though and I like having people, my friends mostly, pose for me. I like doing a bit of arranging and having the people spread out and stuff. I also like taking photos of dogs, cats & inanimate objects – especially food & drink! I like it when a good photo happens to come out of my 5mp camera on my phone. I love it when I can share them and when people like & appreciate them. Makes me feel good!

Being written about – well now, who would want to write anything about me? I’m not important enough to be written about. But I think it would be ok. Maybe someone who wants my point of view on something. I wouldn’t mind. Just don’t post a photo of me along side it. Well, ok but only if you must. This recent photo I snapped of myself is an ok one I guess. Just don’t mind the greying beard and balding head!

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Pizza Festival In Willingdon Island

Everyone who is close to me should know that pizzas are my favourite food. Blame the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – my love affair with pizza started after I saw the first movie of that franchise. And the city of Cochin has caught on to pizza in a big way. After so any years of having to settle for really bad pizza that was just flat bread with toppings we had three big franchises open outlets here – Dominos, Pizza Hut & US Pizza. In the last year I’ve seen an almost authentic Italian pizzarria open up at Woodlands on MG Road and now we have a month long pizza festival. Who doesn’t love pizza?

Trident Hotel on Willingdon Island is hosting ‘Pizzaria @ The Patio’ festival with some classic & different takes on the pizza. From the classic margherita to the Mediterranean, the Bianco pizza, to the sea food mix ‘Frutti di marre’ and the Cajun Spiced chicken pizza. Unlike most other places in India, you can have beef toppings on your pizza in Kerala. I’m intrigued by the ‘Hyderabadi Nawabi pizza’- which has lamb keema, onion rings & mint chutney baked cheese! Sounds magnificent to say the least. And ‘Oriental pizza, which as a spicy Schezwan sauce with oriental vegetables and chilli paneer.

Priced between Rs.395 to Rs.525 the pizzas will be served with a pint of beer. Excellent!

Venue : The Trident Hotel

Address : Willingdon Island

Date : On till Aug.10

Time : 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Omen III : The Final Conflict

In 1981 the 3rd and final movie of the Omen trilogy, Omen III : The Final Conflict, was released directed by Graham Baker this time and starring a then almost unknown Sam Neill as a grown up Damien. Harvey Bernhard & Richard Donner co-produced the movie which was written by Andrew Birkin. Joining Neill in the film are Lisa Harrow, Rosanno Brazzi, Don Gordon & Leueen Willoughby.

Damien is now 32 years of age and heading Thorn industries which has grown even more powerful under his leadership. He informs his assistant Harvey Dean that he intends to take the post of Ambassador to the United Kingdom, just like his adopted father Robert Thorn. In England the current US Ambassador is walking by the park when he is hypnotized by a dog sent by Damien and goes into his office and commits suicide in a ghastly manner that is witnessed by a group of journalists he had called for a press conference. The US President appoints Damien to the position after the latter asks for two favours in addition. Meanwhile an alignment of the stars in the Cassiopeia constellation causes the generation of a ‘superstar’, described as a second Star of Bethlehem. Damien & several priests realize the same thing that it is a sign of the Second Coming of Christ. Fearing that his plans for domination will be thwarted, Damien has his followers gather and orders them to kill all baby boys in England born on the morning of March 24, 1982 to be killed.

Across the nation followers of Satan go about killing the babies without getting caught while Dean lies that his own son was born the day before. While all this is happening Damien has met and begun a romantic relationship with television journalist Kate Reynolds and seems interested in her young son, who he turns into a disciple. Meanwhile the 7 daggers of Meggido were unearthed from the ruins of the Thorn Museum and finds it’s way to a collector who sells it to a church in Italy. Father Decarlo and 6 other priests each hold one of the daggers and move to England to kill Damien. One by one the priests are killed off by forces of the antichrist. At a fox hunt Damien is trapped on a bridge by two of the priests on both ends but he uses his influences on the horse to knock one of the priests off the bridge and falling below to his death. He then orders a pack of blood hounds to kill the other priest. Now only Decarlo remains alive and he tries to approach Kate and warns her about him. She is however struck by love for Damien and proceeds to have sex with him at his house, where he violently takes her from behind and has anal sex with her. Early in the morning she finds him lying naked in another room and sees the sign of the devil as 666 on his scalp, just as DeCarlo said. Aghast she leaves for her place just as he awakens. Unknown to Kate, Damien had had her son Peter follow the priest and the boy spied on their conversation.

Damien then confronts Dean about his son’s birth actually being on the 24th of March. Peter had also followed DeCarlo to Dean’s house and the priest had informed Dean’s wife Barbara that Dean had had all these babies killed on Damien’s orders. Damien now orders Dean to kill his own son but the latter refuses and rushes home. Barbara sees Damien’s dog threatens her child, but she drives it away. Then she has a vision of her son as a burnt offering. This causes her to fall under Damien’s control and she picks up an iron. Shortly afterwards Dean enters the house where he is killed by Barbara. With the Christ child safely out of reach, DeCarlo approaches Kate for  help again and in order to get her son back from Damien’s grasps she agrees to set him up. She has Damien & Peter follow her to an abandoned old church where DeCarlo is waiting to ambush the antichrist. However Damien spies DeCarlo at the last moment and pushes Peter in front of him. The boy receives the thrust of the dagger’s blade into his stomach as Kate cries out and Damien hits out at DeCarlo. An angry Damien then calls out to Nazarene, the child Christ, and searches for him in the building. Unseen by him Kate approaches from one side and with one of the daggers stabs him in the back, releasing a wail of demonic agony. Damien stumbles towards an image of Christ looming above in bright light and utters his last words “You have won….nothing!” As the movie ends, DeCarlo carries Peter’s body to Kate and a scripture of Revelation chapter 21, verse 4 indicating that when Christ returns to earth, peace will reign for all who faithfully awaited the Lord’s return.

Yeah right! Anyways, good film just falls short of being really good. I remember watching this back in 1991 and it had more of an effect on me. Still good enough for a 7 outta 10!

When I Look In The Mirror, I…

Finish this sentence: “When I look in the mirror, I . . . “

When I look in the mirror, I see a face marred by the loses & dreams of 37 years. A face that looks back on the past and sees unattented ambitions, dying hopes & unrealized dreams.

When I look in the mirror, I see a face that yearns for what was lost and what it hopes can be gained again!

When I look in the mirror, I see a face that remembers & winces at the mistakes that were done and the chances that were never taken.

When I look in the mirror, I see a face that still manages to smile when it thinks about the moments of fun & silliness.

When I look in the mirror, I see not a has been but a never was that was once a could have been!

When I look in the mirror, I see a face that laughs at things that he thought were important once and now knows are not worth much at all!

When I look in the mirror, I see a face that lights up at the very mention of things that mean the most to him. They may not mean much to someone else but to him they are everything!

When I look in the mirror, I see a face that is very much alone and beginning to adjust to the fact that it might always be so!

When I look in the mirror, I see me!

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My Life In Lyrics

mindbump suggested by The Soul Poet’s Journal

“If you could choose a lyric or verse from a song or poem to describe your life, which would it be and why?”

Since I’m a big time, die hard rock n’ roller & music lover in general, I’ve always connected with the lyrics in some of my favourite songs. Here I’m gonna type down some of those that seem to describe my life or comments about my life & about me!

“I don’t know where I’m going, But, I sure know where I’ve been, Hanging onto promises & songs of yesterday, but I’ve made up my mind, I ain’t wasting no more time, here I go again / just another heart in need of rescue, waiting on love’s sweet charity, I’m gonna hold on for the rest of my days, Cos I know what it means, To walk along the lonely street of dreams” – Here I Go Again by Whitesnake

“All I can say is that my life is pretty plain, I like watchin’ the puddles gather rain, And all I can do is just pour some tea for two, and speak my point of view, But it’s not sane, It’s not sane/ I just want some one to say to me, I’ll always be there when you wake, Ya know I’d like to keep my cheeks dry today, So stay with me and I’ll have it made” – No Rain by Blind Melon

“One minute I’m on top of the world And the next thing you know / I’m on the lame train, I got a first-class ticket on the nonstop to nowhere, Where it takes me I don’t know, I guess the tracks you make are your own” – Nonstop To Nowhere by Faster Pussycat

Damien : Omen II

A gap of 2 years and we’d see the release of 1978’s Damien : Omen II a 1978 film that serves as the sequel to the classic original. Directed by Don Taylor the movie stars William Holden, Lee Grant, and Jonathan Scott-Taylor & produced by Harvey Bernhard. Made on a budget of $6.8 million the sequel is a bit more scarier than the first one. In this movie we see Damien able to use his powers but still innocently unaware of what he is.

A week has passed since the burial of Damien’s parents and archeologist Carl Bugenhagen is frantically driving through the old streets in Israel to meet his friend Michael Morgan and asks him to deliver a box to Richard Thorn, uncle and now guardian of young Damien. He reveals that Damien is the Antichrist and that the box contains a warning and the means to kill Damien. Bugenhagen takes an unconvinced Morgan to  the ruin of Yigael’s wall, showing him an ancient depiction of the Antichrist with Damien’s face. Morgan is on board now but the tunnel above them collapses burying the two of them alive. 7 years later we see a 12 year Damien living with his uncle Richard, cousin Mark & Richard’s second wife & Mark’s step mother Ann. The two boys, who get along well, do not like Richard’s aunt Marion, who favours Mark and despises Damien, aware of the fact that Robert tried to kill his son in a church. After the two boys go off to their military school, Marion even threatens to cut Richard out of her will if he does not separate the two boys. The same night, the appearance of a raven wakes her and causes a fatal heart attack.

Through mutual friend Dr. Charles Warren, journalist Joan Hart (Elizabeth Sheppard) gets a few minutes to talk to interview shy industrialist as Richard is driven to the airport. A friend of Keith Jennings from the first film she has conducted her own investigation into Damien’s life and has been to Israel and seen the boy’s depiction on the wall at the ruins. She tries in vain to convince Thorn who gets angry and has her dropped off on the side of the road. Joan then goes to talk to Ann but Warren is forced to ask her to leave as Thorn calls him and informs him of what their conversation was about. Suddenly unsure of herself, she drives to the military school and sees Damien playing football – his face scares her and she drives off but her cars stalls and she is attacked by the same big raven. Blinded she stumbles into the path of a speeding truck and is killed. Thorn Industries manager Paul Buher’s plans of taking the company into agriculture is s shelved by senior manager Bill Atherton (Lew Ayres), who calls Buher’s intention of buying up land in the process immoral.  At Mark’s birthday, Buher introduces himself to Damien, invites him to see the plant, and also speaks of his approaching initiation. Buher seemingly makes up with Atherton, who drowns after falling through the ice at a hockey game the following day. A shocked Richard leaves on vacation. As Richard agreed to the agriculture project in principle and left him in charge of the company, Buher then initiates the plans on his own.

At the military academy Sgt. Neff (Lance Henriksen), takes the boy under his wing and warns him not to draw any attention to himself until the right moment. Neff also points him to Revelation, chapter 13, in which Damien reads about the beast. Finding its number,  666, scarred onto his scalp, Damien flees the Academy grounds in a terrified panic, distraught at being chosen as the vehicle for Satan’s will. Meanwhile some Thorn industry employees are killed, by the plant’s machinery going haywire and toxic fumes being sent out, before they can alert Richard of the fact that some people are being murdered for refusing to sell their land to the project. Some students from Damien’s class who are visiting the plant for a tour are also hurt but Damien alone is unhurt. At the hospital, Damien is still taken for tests as a precaution and a doctor discovers that Damien’s blood cell structure resembles that of a jackal, but, before he can report it, he is cut in half by a falling elevator cable. The box that Bugenhagen meant to send to Thorn is discovered in the ruins and sent to the Thorn Museum where Warren finds the Seven Daggers of Megiddo, the only weapons able to kill Damien, along with a letter explaining that Damien is the Antichrist. Warren rushes to inform Richard, who angrily refuses to believe it and throws him out of the house. Mark hears the argument and goes to confront Damine, who proudly admits to being the Devil’s son. Damien tries to convince Mark that he truly cares for him as his brother and asks Mark to join him, but Mark refuses. Damien kills Mark by introducing an aneurysm into his brain. Almost immediately, Damien is overcome with grief and horror when he realizes that he killed Mark.

His son’s death having shaken him, Richard later meets with Warren and the two travel to the ruins where a  horrified Richard sees Damien’s image. Seconds later, a switching locomotive impales Charles and crushes him against the carriage, destroying the wall and convincing Richard beyond doubt that Damien is the Antichrist. On his return he has Damien picked up from his school and talks to Ann about the boy. Ann here reveals herself to have “always belonged to Damein” as she is the Biblical Whore of Babylon. She kills Richard with the daggers but is herself killed by flames caused by Damien. As the museum burns, Damien is taken home by the driver, smiling as he is now heir to Thorn Industries.

Although the film received mixed reviews, I find it to be better & scarier than the first. Also the gradual realization & acceptance of Damen of his role as the anti-christ is well done. And hey this movie would also inspire songwriter & bassist Steve Harris to pen the classic heavy metal anthem Number Of The Beast. Props for that too! 8 outta 10!

V The Series (1984) – Part 1

After a very long delay and a second watching I would like to now look at the 19 episode V The Series that followed the two mini-series – V The Original Mini Series  & V : The Final Battle. If you haven’t seen the first two or read them, do so first before continuing on reading this post. Even though the series lasted just 1 season of 19 episodes, as a nostalgic favourite I’d like to split the season review into two posts.

The season begins right where we left off from the end of The Final Battle. On noting that Diana has escaped in a shuttle, Donovan follows pursuit and shoots down her shuttle forcing her to crash land and catches up to her. Then we fast forward 1 year later with earth celebrating their first anniversary of Liberation Day. The 5th column members who helped the Resistance movement have adjusted to life on earth and taking the antidote for the red dust every 12 hours to keep them safe. The humans in the resistance groups have gone their separate ways but Mike & Julie are dating while Martin is Mike’s new sound man for his camera work. Diana is being taken for trial, an associate of Ham Tyler (who now works for hire) shoots at her and she is thought to be dead. Actually she is being taken to a cabin in the woods to work for Science Frontiers, the company responsible for mass production of the Red Dust, at the behest of its CEO Nathan Bates. In exchange for revolutionary breakout science Nathan promises to keep Diana alive and in comfort. However Mike & Martin suspect the death was faked and find Diana. Martin knocks Mike off, wanting to kill Diana instead of reporting it back to the authorities. She gets the upper hand, burns the cabin with Martin in it and takes off with his pills. A dying Martin apologizes to Mike and tells him about her escape. Donovan meets Tyler and agree to pursue Diana together but they cannot stop her from signaling the fleet and Diana escapes to a Visitor Shuttle arrived from a new fleet hidden behind the Moon. Then Diana remarks that the Red Dust bacterium didn’t kill her although the last antidote pill did stop its effect. The Red Dust bacterium seems having no more effect on The Visitors: they can come back to Earth.

Meanwhile on earth, while her mother Robin is away, Elizabeth goes through a transformation and meta-morphs into a young, beautiful woman (Jennifer Cooke). She is taken care of by her grandfather Robert & Julie who then fight off an invading visitor group. After a brief struggle the visitors succumb to the rest dust and Julie takes Robert & Elizabeth to hide in a secret underground level beneath Los Angeles restaurant Club Creo – which is own by Elias! Willie, the vegetarian visitor who helped the resistance also works there. Diana discovers that the red dust does not work in warmer climates, meaning that 50% of the earth is still protected. She want to kill Nathan Bates, but has to change her plans, when Nathan tell her about a secret store of Red Dust toxin that he would release into the atmosphere should he be harmed. Diana is forced to deal with him, and Los Angeles is set up as an Open City, where humans and Visitors could both walk unarmed. As the visitors stream onto earth and occupy a lot of the cities the fighting starts yet again with further resistance groups being formed. Diana & new fleet security officer Lydia (June Chadwick) talks peace while readying the fearsome Triax superweapon that could reduce Los Angeles to rubble. Meanwhile, Resistance fighters activate a new weapon of their own: a captured mothership. Robert Maxwell is killed when he collides the mothership into the Triax in order to destroy it. Bates’ estranged son Kyle (Jeff Yagher), who helps a stranded Robin and helps get her to safety will also join the LA resistance.

Kyle meets Elizabeth and the two fall in love but things are complicated as Robin falls in love with Kyle as well. Mike is captured awakens to an ideal life in a world where the Earth has triumphed; however, this life is part of an alien holographic ruse aimed at gathering information about the Starchild Elizabeth. The top pupil at the visitor Youth Corps is Mike’s missing son Sean. Standing in the way of his rescue are a fearsome alien and the boy’s conflicted allegiance. Meanwhile Elizabeth, who is now an adult woman after days previously resembling a ten year old, reunites with her mother Robin, who has not seen her since her metamorphosis. Bates imposes a curfew in the open city of Los Angeles in an attempt to curb resistance activity; Donovan and Ham make plans to hit a Visitors’ conference. A citizen who rallies the Resistance to aid a downtrodden mining community has a dangerous secret agenda. Julie faces allegations of treason. When the Visitors place a force field around Los Angeles, the Resistance captures its creator as part of a plan to shut it down. The creator, a respected scientist who is kept prisoner by Diana, shows them how to destroy the force field but dies in the process. Diana then uses trickery to clone Elizabeth but the clone, who becomes savage as the cloning process is rushed, escapes and kills at random until she meets Elizabeth. A tracker sent to get the clone back kills the clone but he is in turn shot dead by Kyle.

Elizabeth beings to experience her powers of telekinesis. The leader send a military hero & his envoy Charles (Duncan Regehr) to take over the fleet from Diana with Lydia acting as Charles adjutant. While trying to defeat a visitor patrol Ham & Kyle are captured and Charles uses a new conversion (brainwashing process) to make Ham hate Donovan, feeding him false images of Mike initially kissing Ham’s missing wife and then sending the wife & daughter to be killed for visitor food. The resistance is able to free Ham but Kyle is still aboard the mothership. Charles arranges with Bates to have a prisoner exchange refereed by Bates himself; Kyle in exchange for Lydia, who is caught by Julie & Mike. However at the exchange Charles activates the key word for Ham and the latter shoots at Donovan. Elizabeth sensing something amiss in Ham uses her power to push his gun away but Nathan is shot instead. With the life of the leader of Los Angeles hanging by a thread, will the peace in Los Angeles last?

Souray @ Home & Making Pizza

Sheldon Souray has long been one of my favourite defenceman playing in the NHL. He’s currently lacing his skates up for the Anaheim Ducks in California but he’s has stints with Dallas, Edmonton, Montreal & New Jersey where he was drafted as a junior by the Devils. Here’s a video of how he lives it up at the beach near Anaheim

Here’s an older video of Shouray making pizza at his Edmonton house. He owns a pizzeria with Devil’s legend Martin Brodeur.

If I Could Become Immortal

You’ve imbibed a special potion that makes you immortal. Now that you’ve got forever, what changes will you make in your life? How will you live life differently, knowing you’ll always be around to be accountable for your actions?

Ah the great dream of mankind – to live forever! That and eternal youth is probably the most sought out in the history of our human race. And as for my little take on it, my little science fiction take on it, please read this post from June first before you go further.

Ok but in this case the question is only for me, what if I take a special potion that only makes me immortal. What changes will I make to my life? Well I’d try to travel a whole lot more. So as not to make people suspicious I’d have to move locations every 10 years or so otherwise people will notice that I don’t seem to age and that could create a lot of issues. So I’d get good forgeries done for my papers and identities and pick and choose different cities & countries and live in each one only for a period of about 10 years so as not to arouse the suspicions of the people I meet and befriend.I’d make sure that the city I go to next will either be in another country or if it is the same country then I will choose a city as far away as possible from the previous one.

Ofcourse that will also cause a lot of heartache when it comes to girlfriends/spouses. I can only have a relationship for about 10 years or so as they will age but I won’t. So in city one if I get married during the 10 year run, I will either have to make sure that I go “missing” and that I am never found or I will have to fake my death in such a way that people don’t suspect that I have actually faked it. Make sure that the ‘remains’ aren’t discovered or if discovered then they can’t make out that it is not me. This will be hard but I will have to do it or watch as a girlfriend/wife grows old & grey and die while I remain still young and immortal. It just has to be done but goodbyes will be hard and the heart will ache.

I’d also try out as many different professions as I can. Try out various courses, go exploring the various industries, lands and read and learn as much as I can. It would also be great to see how society progresses and if space exploration can be done as easy as the way we travel from country to country now. I would love to be able to see if there is alien life out there and establish first contact with as many species as possible. That’s what I would look forward to the most.

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Your 2013 Men’s & Women’s Singles Champions

At the age of 28 Marion Bartoli won her first Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon. At 28 years, 9 months, she is the fifth oldest first-time winner in the Open Era. She is the sixth woman in the Open Era to win Wimbledon without dropping a set, it has happened nine times in total. She is the first woman to win Wimbledon in the Open Era playing double-handed off both sides. It was her first victory on her 47th attempt.

Andy Murray won his first Wimbledon title and ended Britain’s 77-year wait for a men’s champion with a hard-fought victory over world number one Novak Djokovic. Wimbledon is Murray’s second Grand Slam title after he won the 2012 US Open.

The Omen (1976)

Another of those older horror movies that scared the crap outta me as a child. One of my favourite horror movies of all time and horror stories as outlined in the original trilogy of movies, here is 1976’s The Omen. A join US & UK production the movie was directed by Richard Donner stars Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, Billie Whitelaw & Harvey Spencer Stephens as Damien. The trilogy focuses on the birth, live, rise to power of the Anti-Christ and his death.

In Rome American Robert Thorn (Peck) is informed that his wife Kathy has given birth to baby boy who died soon after. A grieving Robert, not knowing how to tell this to his wife who isn’t aware of yet,  is convinced by father Spiletto into adopting an orphan whose mother died at the same moment. The priest says that the baby needs a family as it has no other relatives and this way Kathy need not know. Robert agrees and quietly adopts the boy, naming him Damien and returns with his family to the US soon after. A few years later Robert is appointed by the President, his old college buddy, to be the Ambassador to Great Britain and moves his wife & child to a large mansion there. Soon many disturbing events start to take place. First on Damien’s 5th birthday party, his nanny is hypnotized by a strange Rottweiler and she calls out to the boy before hanging herself to death in public. a new nanny, Mrs. Baylock, suddenly arrives to replace her, claiming the agency sent her after reading about the death in the newspapers. Also when arriving at a church to attend a wedding, Damien freaks out and attacks Kathy, causing Robert to take them away without getting out but since he seems calm afterward,  they dismiss it. At Robert’s office a priest from the Vatican, Father Brennan, warns the Ambassador of his son’s mysterious origins and hints that the boy may not be human. An annoyed Robert has him taken away.

The priest repeatedly warns Robert, by the River Thames, about the curse, which Robert ignores. The priest tells Robert that his wife is pregnant, and this puts her in danger from Damien. Suddenly, a lightning and wind storm occur, and he tries to enter a church for protection, which is however locked. He subsequently dies when a lightning rod, from the top of a church, falls on him and impales him through the side of his neck. Meanwhile Katherine finds out that she is pregnant and Robert is delighted but she tells him that she wants an abortion and it is obvious that she is getting irritated by Damien. Mrs. Blaylock, who is a demon possessing a human, keeps the Rottweiler with her and Damien, saying that the boy likes the dog and it will protect him even though both Robert & Kathy want it gone. Photographer Keith Jennings who has snapped a few pics of father Brennan and some pics at Damien’s birthday party sees that there is an unexplainable lines that seem to go through both the priest & the nanny and, after meeting with Robert, deduces that it predicted their deaths. He also shows the same line in a photo of him, implying that he is to die soon. While this happens, Damien riding his tricycle knows Kathy from the top floor and she falls and injures herself and loses the baby. While she recuperates, Robert & Keith travels to Rome and find the hospital’s maternity ward & it’s records had burned down, leaving no trace of Damien’s true family.

They do however visit Father Spiletto at a rural monastery and discover he has been burned on his right half and struck mute. Going by his directions to a ruined cemetery where they find a jackal’s skeleton in Damien’s mother’s grave, and discover that Robert’s and Katherine’s child was murdered to place Damien in their care. These shocking discoveries force Robert and Keith to believe Father Brennan’s warning that Damien is the Antichrist. A group of wild rottweilers attack both Robert and Keith, who, despite their injuries, manage to escape the cemetery. They then travel to Israel to meet Carl Bugenhagen, an archaeologist who gives Robert the the seven daggers of Megiddo – the only way to kill the Anti-christ is to stab him with one of them. Bugenhagen reveals to Robert that Damien will possess a birthmark in the shape of three sixes if he is the Antichrist. Initially Robert refuses to kill his child and throws the daggers away but is convinced when Keith is  is decapitated when a sheet of glass slides off a truck rolling back. Katherine, who was called earlier by Robert to get ready to go to Rome, is pushed by Mrs. Blaylock through the hospital windows and dies as she hits the ground.

A distraught Robert comes back to England and traps the dog in the basement and checks on Damien, finding ‘666’ on his scalp. A struggle ensues as the nanny appears and tries to kill Robert, but Robert is able to kill Mrs. Baylock. He then carries Damien with him into a church, while the boy screams “NO” and is about to stab him when police intervene and shoot Robert dead. At a joint funeral for his parents, Damien is left in the care of the US president and as the movie ends the camera then pans down on Damien, who turns to the audience and smiles innocently. Creepy kid!

Incidentaly the script’s original ending was that Robert Thorn succeeded in killing Damien, but Donner & the studio head wanted to continue the story and hence changed it. A good movie although a bit dragging at times and not scary enough for an adult now. 7.5 outta 10!

Won’t You Come To My Funeral?

mindbump suggested by Gothic Home

“If you knew when you were going to die and you had to plan your own funeral, what type of flowers would you choose? What songs would you choose?”

I’ve thought about this many, many times. Wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to plan your funeral to go exactly as you want to? The only thing cooler would be to actually attend it! Be a fly on the wall and listen & watch to what people are saying and doing. Being a staunch atheist I will not allow any of the usual religious nonsense to dictate how my funeral should be. I belong to a Hindu Nair-Menon family from Kerala but neither the NSS nor any temple priests will be allowed near by. No sir, take your mumbo-jumbo and shove it where the sun don’t shine!

And I don’t really want to be burnt on the funeral pyre. I think I want to be buried in the ground but without a casket. I certainly want a tombstone! ‘Buried Alive’ it will read! No, “Here Lies Roshan Menon – he gave so much and yet asked for so little!” or “Live Long & Prosper! Beam me up now!” or something fun like that. My body should be able to provide nutrients back to the earth that gave us so much when we are living. Or maybe I would want to be buried at sea. All live started in the oceans and we came from the waters; it would be fitting if we go back then once we die. Or….or….can I be launched into space to drift among the stars for all eternity? That would be so damn awesome!!

Anyways back on earth I’d want my funeral to be a fun event. Lots of good food, drinks and a party event. Music – my favourite songs by my favourite bands to be played all day until the last person has left. After all what is life – it’s only Rock n roll but I like it!