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Hurry Boy, She’s Waiting There For You

mindbump suggested by Pachydom Elephant Decor

“Have you ever considered taking a trip to Africa? What would be your favorite thing to experience in such a country?”

First of all, Africa is not a country. Now then, onto my answer.

Not recently. My idea of certain areas of Africa is places where it might be dangerous to be in, unless you have a good guide and a strong group of people with you. But I’m sure that some countries like South Africa or Morocco are pretty great to visit and I would love to be able to see the sights. I might also bless the rains down there and take some time to do the things we never had.

Egypt and Algeria are other places that I love to visit especially Egypt. What a culture and rich history. And now? Tunisia as well interests me. Maybe the Ivory Coast and Cameroon. But not Nigeria; not even in a million years. Oh yeah Madagascar maybe. I’d love to go on an Africa Safari but only after I know all about their safety measures and facilities. I’d like to see the animals up close but only under certain conditions. Otherwise the zoo or Animal Planet will do just fine.

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Arsenal 1 West Bromwich Albion 0

Arsenal avoided a third straight Premier League loss by beating a lacklustre West Brom at The Hawthorns. The Gunners started the fixture with their lowest points tally after 12 games in 32 years, but Danny Welbeck’s powerful header gave them victory. Welbeck scores his sixth Arsenal goal to earn win. Welbeck – denied by a Ben Foster save in the first half – powered in Santi Cazorla’s cross after half-time. West Brom came closest when Saido Berahino headed onto the bar during a late rally but were deservedly beaten. Now West Brom have not scored in 300 minutes of live play.

Banners calling for Wenger to leave his role were visible among the travelling support. His side are 11 points worse off than at this stage last season despite the additions of Alexis Sanchez, Calum Chambers and Welbeck – who was shifted out of the central striker’s berth for Olivier Giroud – but produced the game’s decisive moment. His header – one of 17 Arsenal attempts at goal – arrived after a first half in which Foster was the only goalkeeper called into action, denying Welbeck from 12 yards. The West Brom keeper then presented Giroud – back in the starting XI for the first time since breaking his leg in August – with an open goal near the corner flag, but the angle proved too acute. Arsenal looked solid with Laurent Koscielny back at the heart of their defence, and with all of their wins this season coming against sides in the bottom half, the breakthrough inevitably arrived. Cazorla, chosen man of the match, was impressive throughout – completing 93% of his passes in the opposition half.

Arsene experiment with having the most attacking looking side with Sanchez, Welbeck and Giroud all starting and if they can gel well, maybe that is something to try out more often. But the Gunners cannot just scrap by these sides, they need to close them out scoring 3-4 goals and boss them out. Kos is back and that leaves our defense looking more solid and strong. More injuries – what the fuck is it with Arsenal and injuries? Monreal goes out injured just as Kos comes back! So now we have Wilshere, Arteta, Debuchy, Gnabry, Walcott (how many games has he played in the last 2 years?), Szczesny, Ospina, Sanogo & Diaby out injured. Our first and second choice keepers out injured!

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Under The Snow

You were caught in an avalanche. To be rescued, you need to make it through the night. What thought(s) would  give you the strength to go through such a scary, dangerous situation?

What the heck am I doing caught in an avalanche?! I live in one of the hottest places in the world that has never seen snow and does not have anything remotely connected to winter – ever! The only ice we see in our drinks and snow is a Canadian rapper, isn’t he?

I’ve only seen snow once, and do not remember the experience at all as I was just 2 years old when my family visited the UK to see some relatives. That’s it! So if I am caught in an avalanche, I will keep the images of a warm fire, hot toddy and brandy in my mind. I will think of all the shit that I have been through and still being alive to talk about it, I must know how to survive or am lucky in that regards. That will keep me alive and give me the strength to wait it out until help arrives.

Is that a St. Bernard with a barrel of brandy with him?

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

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Guardians Of The Galaxy

Guardians Of The Galaxy is a comic series that I have had no idea about till very recently. I must admit that I was never that much into comics as a kid and kinda stopped being interested in reading the superhero comic books and cartoon series by age 13. Ofcourse I was a fan of the big ones like Superman, Batman, Spider-man etc but beyond knowing the names and superpowers of some of the rest, I knew very little. With the success of the recent spate of Marvel superheroes coming to life on the big screen (and one fine tv series) in a big way, I am atleast interested in learning much more about the Marvel universe. And also, I prefer to call these as Science fiction movies with action themes, as that’s basically what they are. So, Guardians Of The Galaxy is a 2014 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The film was directed by James Gunn, who wrote the screenplay with Nicole Perlman, and features an ensemble cast including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, and Benicio del Toro.

What’s cool about this film? First of all let me take a minute to praise the casting. Chris Pratt’s time is now and he is making big bucks in big movies and will go on to be a big star for years. Dave Bautista was actually pretty decent in his role as Drax the Destroyer though he does look and behave a lot like like a wrestler who has been “pained”. But it works here. The voice of Bradley Cooper, thought not really recognizable as him, works well for the character of Rocket the genetically engineered racoon. Groot ofcourse has captured a lot of hearts and launched the “I Am Groot” saying and seems to be a fa favourite. Zoe Saldana plays the orphaned assassin Gamora who was sent by Thanos to work for Ronan and does justice to that role. Lee Pace is ok as the main villain of Ronan as does Karen Gillan as Nebula, the other adopted daughter of Thanos, and the female villain. Michael Rooker is awesome in his “not a bad man, not a good man” character of Yondu Udonta. John C Reilly, Glenn Close & Benetio Del Toro are good as always but why waste Del Toro in a small role?

The movie is quite light hearted in nature, even when compared to the other superhero movies of late, this is probably the most hilarious one with lots of jokes. I think the cast gelled well and there is a lot of chemistry between them. The special effects are awesome and I just love the scenes in space and the spaceships fighting. The scenes in the dead planet of Morag looked awesome as does the planet Xandar which is awesome looking. Some of the aliens and alien technology looks great as well. Designs of the ships, spectacular! Buildings – great. But what is even better was the choice of the music. As a young kid back in 1986 Peter had a walkman with a cassette tape of his mum’s favourite songs and he keeps that with him and we hear the songs playing throughout the film as part of the soundtrack. The dancing and miming to the song on Morag is fun to watch. I think the choice of music is big factor in the fun element of this film.

So overall how good is this film? I give it an 8 outta 10, thoroughly enjoyable though the villains are mostly predictable and a bit stale. I felt that they could have done more with the villains and perhaps utilized Del Toro a bit more. The revelation of Peter being half-alien – I could have seen that coming a mile away and about the time the mother died (please note I know nothing about this character prior to this movie) and Yondu remarking that it turned out well that they did not deliver Quill to his father per their contract. Makes me think what plans they have for Peter’s heritage being revealed in further movies (“Peter, I am your father”, “NO!”. Lol, maybe or maybe not!

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If I Could Join Any Band…

mindbump suggested by Bri is unashamed. Are you?“If you could become a member of any band, which would it be and why?”

Barenaked Ladies. I don’t have to think twice, I would choose the Barenaked Ladies. Why? a) I love all their songs and have so much listening to them and love their lyrics b) It would be so much fun and c) They are one member short after singer/songwriter/guitarist Stephen Page left back in 2009.

Their dynamic is best at 5 even though they have had 2 good albums and some excellent songs since then. I really think that they would benefit a lot with that additional member and bring back the 5 member equation. Their songs are so fun to sing along, they make me laugh. Some of them touch my heart and some of them make me think. I love this band and they are one of my top 2 fav bands of all time. At one time I would have said I want to be the lead guitar god in a metal/hard rock band and even though I still love all kinds of hard rock and metal, BNL is just unique.

So here are a couple of songs that I think I would be great at singing with the band:

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Flowers In The Attic (1987)

A movie that (I remembered very little of it) I had watched in my cousins’ house back in 1989. Flowers In The Attic is a 1987 film starring Louise Fletcher, Victoria Tennant, Kristy Swanson, and Jeb Stuart Adams and based on the 1979 novel of the same name by V. C. Andrews. Directed by Jeffrey Bloom & produced by Sy Levin & Thomas Fries, the incest story is toned down in the final cut of the film.

The Dollanganger family – mother Corrine, teenagers Chris & Cathy and 5 year twins Cory & Carrie – are devastated when their doting father is killed on his 35th birthday in a car crash. He left the family with a heavy debt and Corrine is forced to sell most of their belongings and finally the house. Broke, she takes her kids with her to her wealthy parents’ huge estate. She tells the kids that the reason they never saw their grandparents till now was because of something that she did many years ago and that her father was upset with her. After a long journey they reach the estate and Corrinne’s religious fanatic mother Olivia takes them in, with the condition that the children are to be locked in a bedroom on the top floor and that her husband Malcolm not know of their existence. Olivia & Corrine leave the children in the locked room.

Later Olivia reveals the shocking truth to the kids; their father was Corrine’s uncle and Malcolm’s much younger brother making the children products of an incestuous marriage. As penance for her incestuous relationship, Corrinne was whipped by Olivia in front of a bedridden Malcolm. Corinne tells the children that their confinement will only be for a short time: her father is deathly ill, and once she is able to win back his love, he will write her back in his will, giving her a large inheritance and they will be free when he dies. The children are given access to the attic, which has a secret door through the closet in their room, which they clean up and make it a garden/playroom and where they spend most of their time. Olivia has John the butler bring the children their food on a daily basis but Corrinne’s visist become sporadic as the weeks turn into months and finally she stops coming. Olivia becomes obsessed with Chris & Cathy thinking that they will become lovers, when she finds them sleeping in the same bed one morning and another time when she finds Chris talking with Cathy as the latter is bathing in the tub. The grandmother smashes Cathy’s ballerina music box, given to her by her deceased father and calls then sinners. Chris chases her out the second time but she later catches Cathy alone and cuts of most of her hair.

Olivia them starves the children for a week who become ill without food and their skin becomes pale. Cory is the worst off and Chris is forced to feed him his blood to keep him alive. When Corrinne finally shows up with gifts, dressed in the finest and looking healthy and well fed, and says that her father has forgiven her and is planning a party for her, after which he plans to change his will. As Cathy lashes out at her and Chris questions her long absence their mother gets upset and says that she won’t return to see them until they apologize. The food starts coming back but the kids are still sick. Chris & Cathy remove the door secretly from it’s hinges and sneak off to see the party, watching their mother dancing with a man and being given a ring by him. They also find her bedroom which is lavish & luxurious with a giant wardrobe. They try to escape at night but find guard dogs loose in the grounds. Cory becomes too sick to move and the children ask Olivia and Corinne to take Cory to the hospital during an argument in which Corrinne & Cathy slap each other. Cory is taken to a hospital but later Corinne returns to inform them he has died.

The devastated children learn that Cory’s pet mouse has died after eating a cookie from their breakfast tray and Chris does research using books from the attic library and comes to the conclusion that their are being poisoned using arsenic mixed with sugar on the cookies. That night sneaks out to steal some money and overhears the plans for a wedding – between Corrinne and the man she was dancing with – to be held in the mansion the next day. The next morning the remaining 3 children dress in fancier clothes found in the attic and, on finding Olivia sneaking into their room, Chris beats her unconscious with a broken bedpost. They then find out that their grandfather has been dead for over 2 months and find a copy of his will in which he had left all his wealth to Corrinne; however a clause states that if it is ever revealed Corinne had children from her first marriage, she will be disinherited and lose all of her money. They realize that Corinne was the one poisoning the cookies, not their grandmother. They kids crash the wedding revealing their mother’s actions to everyone there. Corrinne denies that they are her children but the damage is done.

As Cathy confronts her mother about poisoning them and killing Cory in the process, she tries to make her eat some of the poisoned cookie, Corrinne stumbles out to the balcony and trips and falls to her death, strangled by her own wedding gown caught on the side of the house. The children then leave the estate watched by their grandmother who glares at them from a window. The narrator (an older Cathy’s voice) says that the children did manage to survive all by themselves although Carrie was “never truly healthy”. She wonders aloud if her grandmother is still alive, anticipating Cathy’s eventual return to claim the family’s fortune.

Interesting movie with a unique story, some sadness and melancholy and a bit of psychological horror. The incestuous relationship between Chris & Cathy is toned down for the film (in the book they fall in love during the 2 years they spend in the house and Chris angrily rapes her at one point). There’s even a jealously angle hinted in the beginning as the father clearly favours Cathy and when she hugs him closely on getting a gift, Corrinne is seen watching them from behind a door. I see that movie was successful but was panned by critics and fans of the novel. I still like it though it is quite dull in places. 7 outta 10!

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Arsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0

Finally, something positive. Arsenal procured their passage to the knock-out stages of the Champions League with a 2-0 win at the Emirates against Dortmund. Yaya Sanogo, starting only because Danny Wellbeck was injured, scored his first goal for Arsenal as they defeated Borussia Dortmund and ensured their passage into the Champions League knockout stage. The 21-year-old netted after 19 appearances without a goal when he finished off a one-two with Santi Cazorla with a low shot early on. Alexis Sanchez made it 2-0 after the break with a superb low curling shot. Sanchez also had a shot pushed away, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain struck the crossbar with a dipping volley.

That the first goal was scored by a player who was the source of some ridicule on social media when the teams were announced before the match. Sanogo’s ungainly style has irked some fans and there was further astonishment when he was named ahead of Germany World Cup winner Lukas Podolski. But he finally managed to temper some of that criticism when he converted his first effort after starting the move with a ball-juggle and backheel to Spaniard Cazorla. However of much concern is that he and Arteta both had to leave the match injured. Major concern I might add as ou players keep getting injured every other game. Wellbeck, Walcott, Wilshere, Szcz?sny – not to mention Debuchy & Ozil who have been out for a while and with Koscielny & Giroud just coming back from long weeks out! What the fuck!

Goalkeeper Martinez was finally forced to make a big save in stoppage time when he dived to keep out substitute Adrian Ramos’s effort. The win moves Arsenal to 10 points in Group D and a victory over Galatasaray coupled with Dortmund losing to Anderlecht in the final round of games would see Wenger’s side go through as winners. Monreal, Chambers, Gibbs, Arteta & Chamberline had good performances and it was fun to see. Can we build on this? Can we go on and win more games and go something this season? I dunno. One win is not going to change my mind on Wenger. He still has got to go.

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Games We Play As Kids 2

I loved reliving couple of the games I played with friends and cousins a couple of posts ago that I started thinking of more games we played as kids. I wonder what kids these days play.

I have mentioned before that I loved Monopoly as a kid and we played a lot of that as well as Hind Trade – which is just the Indian version with Indian places on the board – a lot during a few summers. I’m up for a game now if people were interested! What else? Oh yes card games. Now I never learned how to play Black Jack or Rummy but we played quite a few rounds of Donkey. I hope you know how to play Donkey. It was fun. Except when you become the donkey. And who hasn’t played “Name, Place, Animal, Thing” as a child. Oh, the evenings we spent playing these two games.

We played lots of Anthakshari. I don’t know what the game is called in English; it where you split into 2 or more groups and you sing a song and the next group has to sing another song that begins with the ending letter of the last word that they previous team sung. I’ve only seen it being played in a couple of Hollywood movies as well but it’s very popular among Indians. Oh we played a ton of General Knowledge quiz games, my eldest cousin always being the quiz master. This would go on late into the night. Like 1 or 2 am during the Summer holidays. Ah, those golden years will never come again.

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2 Good Shows Cancelled

Following American tv can be a seriously frustrating thing these days. You can get hooked on good tv shows, not the really major numbers pulling shows but still great in their own way, and they get cancelled far too early in their lifetime. Recently I learned that two of my favourite shows of recent years, both crime dramas and both that have lasted 3 seasons, have been cancelled. Both shows have suffered from bad broadcasting decisions from their respective networks, which I think has hurt their successes in the long run.

First comes Unforgettable, a police procedural drama television series that aire on CBS. It stars Poppy Montgomery as Detective Carrie Wells, a female police detective with an unusually detailed and photographic memory along with Dylan Walsh and a talented group of supporting cast that included Jane Curtin, Dallas Roberts, Tawny Cypress & James Hiroyuki Liao (the last four are only in seasons 2 & 3). After the first season of 22 episodes ended in 2012 CBS canceled Unforgettable, only to reverse their decision and renew the show for another two seasons. On October 10, 2014, CBS canceled the show again. Even with only 13 episodes they put long gaps in between the two halves of the short seasons off 2 & 3 and that affected the American public’s awareness of this fun show.

Next up is crime drama series Perception on the cable channel TNT, and is produced by ABC Studios. The series stars Eric McCormack as Dr. Daniel Pierce, a schizophrenic neuropsychiatrist who assists the FBI on some of their most complex cases. His former student and close friend FBI agent Kate Moretti is who he works with, and the cast also has Kelly Rowan, Arjay Smith & Levar Burton as part of Dr. Pierce’s circle of friends. Scott Wolf joined from season 2 onwards as an ADA and former husband of Kate, who rekindles their relationship as they work closely to solve crimes. Season 1 was just 10 episodes long and it was renewed for 14 episodes in season 2 and 3 but they air it with 10 episodes followed by large gaps of a few months to finish the final 4. I think that hurt this show a lot.

Sadly these shows are far better than a lot of the crap that gets shown on tv for years and years.

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If The Sun Refused To Shine

What would you do if the sun didn’t rise tomorrow?

Well for that to happen something would have to happen to the earth – perhaps something massively catastrophic that the earth stop rotating and hence only one section of the planet gets to see the sun and the part where I live gets only night time because we can’t see the sun! Wow what could bring that up? Or perhaps we fly outta orbit away from the sun and become a rogue planet that does not revolve around the sun or is too far away that we can’t see it.

Either scenario would be disastrous for all life on earth. So I would panic. What other reason could cause it? I suppose something could block out the sun from the sky. That would only mean that we can’t see it but it’s still there. Black clouds. Something polluting the atmosphere. I dunno, take your pic. Whatever it be, it will be chaos for us and we all could die.

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In Clear Sight

I was reminded, by something only slightly related, of an episode of a usually light-hearted tv show that I saw ages ago. Sometime in the 90s, though I cannot remember the name of the show. Yet this episode remains prominent in my memory.

A teenage boy, around 16, while visiting someone at the hospital along with his friends meets a girl his age who is being treated for blindness at the same hospital. He falls in love with her instantly and refers to her as the most beautiful living being he has ever seen. This girl, a mutual friend of his other two friends,  had lost her eyesight in a childhood accident and is about to undergo a surgery to correct the blindness or have eyes donated to her or something like that. She hasn’t seen anyone in 10 years and is quite nervous about the operation. This boy befriends the blind girl and they spend a lot of time together, as he makes her laugh and she becomes less nervous about the surgery. Just before the surgery, she tells him that she knows that he is in love with her and that she loves him too and she kisses him.

The nervous teen waits until the surgery is over and is informed that it was a success. It will take a couple of days for the bandages to come off and he spends as much time as possible with her. Yet he is nervous at her seeing him as he doesn’t think he is handsome enough. The other two friends encourage him and say that she loves him so it shouldn’t matter. Well the big day arrives and the doctor takes the girl’s bandages off and she sees her parents faces for the first time in 10 years and is overjoyed. Next up in the evening she meets the two friends, seeing their faces for the first time and she says that the boy & girl are even cuter/prettier than she thought they were. From the back comes the boy who loves her……and she is disappointed. He isn’t handsome, his features aren’t as appealing and he isn’t tall. Her face betrays what she is thinking even though she tries to hide it. And he knows! She doesn’t think he is attractive enough for her liking.

Later he approaches her, knowing that the brief love they shared was only because he was there for her when she needed someone. She tells him that she is sorry if he is hurt, but it would be better if they could stay friends. He says it’s ok and wishes her well. And he never sees her again. Ever had to feel that heart-broken?

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Games We Play As Kids

What silly games did you play with your childhood friends and cousins while growing up?

Have you guys played Seven Tiles? I remember playing it a lot when I was a kid but I can’t remember the rules of the game. One team stacks 7 tiles (or stones as we used to do when I was young) and one person (is it a person or a team) throws a tennis ball and tumbles the titles. The the team runs around and has to avoid getting hit by the ball as you throw it at their feet and while dodging it, your group has to manage to pile the 7 titles on top of each other. If anyone in your group gets hit by the ball they are out and have to stand by and watch without helping their team. If the team throwing the ball gets everyone out before the 7 tiles are set up, they win. If not, the other team wins. Is that how it goes? That’s what I can remember.

Hide and seek in the dark? I played this with my cousins (about 10-12 of us at a time) a lot after I moved with my family back to India. So ages 11 to perhaps 14 or 15 I remember playing this during the evenings of our summer holidays when a lot of us would stay at the large family home in Mattancherry. Simple – you switch off all the lights and hide and one person, after he or she counts to 100, will have to stumble about & find all of the rest in the darkness. Ofcourse this can lead to funny situations if you hand accidentally grabs something “delicate” but we avoided those situations for the most part. And it was a lot of fun. I particularly remember that one of my cousins, who was hiding, couldn’t hold back his fart and he let rip a stinker and he was found out!

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Gift Of Spinning Yarns

What makes a good storyteller, in your opinion? Are your favorite storytellers people you know or writers you admire?

Well it kinda depends – some people, laymen, are great at telling a fine tale and do it animated with wild gestures, use of expressive vocabulary and intonation. I like to be able to do that as much as possible but sometimes in the excitement and in a hurry to tell the tale you go too fast for that.

Some people just have that gift that make them so fascinating to listen to and as a result can make even a grocery shopping list interesting to listen to. I’ve known a few people in person who can make you hang onto every word they say and laugh out loud mainly due to their expressiveness at a humorous situation. They can be found in the middle of small or large crowds.

And in the written format there are quite a few authors who are great to listen to but that is not always the case. I know a few writers, excellent at the written down word but dull as a door knob to listen to on interviews and such.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

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Arsenal Collapse At Home To Man Utd

Kieran Gibbs turned Antonio Valencia’s cross into his own net before Wayne Rooney sealed victory with his side’s first shot on target after 85 minutes. Olivier Giroud came off the bench after three months out injured to pull a goal back for the hosts with a fierce strike in stoppage time, but it came far too late to rescue a point.

Predictably sub-standard and becoming a bit of a joke really. That’s the way I can best describe this current Arsenal side under Arsene Wenger. The man has not only lost the plot, he cannot inspire his players to beat the worst Manchester United side any of us can remember at home. At the Emirates stadium! This is a tragic comedy of sorts as to what happened last night. Arsenal’s attacking players could not get the better of the unlikely trio of defenders that United coach Van Gaal had to pick because of an injury crisis – Chris Smalling, Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair – who surprisingly held out until Olivier Giroud’s ferocious strike in stoppage time. If Arsenal cannot beat the worst United side in recent memory than what the fuck can they do?

Yes they went ahead on a bizzarre own goal from poor Gibbs but we weren’t good enough. First half, we dominated things for 25 minutes and by the time the first half whistle went in we should have been up by a goal or 2. Wilshere was the guilty party of not putting the ball in or passing to another forward. But credit where credit is due, David De Gea was a star for United. Arsenal players couldn’t get the ball past the defenders & the goalie – a make shift defense at that – and they should be ashamed. Who is to blame? A huge chunk should be on Wenger as his transfer choices, dependence on mediocre player, selections and tactics are all a joke now. Sanchez, Wellbeck and Chambers played very well but it wasn’t enough.

Yes so Wilshere and Wojciech Szczesny got injured and had to be taken off but that does not excuse the fact that  Wayne Rooney’s late strike meant that United had two shots on target and they scored twice. That’s all  they needed. We had 23 shots on target and got 1 goal. I’m sorry but Wenger has to go, so do players like Flamini, Monreal, Arteta, Carzola – we need stronger players in midfield. Wenger is not the man to change his policies & tactics at his age, so say goodbye to him and thanks for the memories. Shameful!

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Dracula Untold

In one of a countless depictions of the legend, Dracula Untold is a 2014 reimagining of the story of Vlad the Impaler and creating an origin story for the Count. A dark fantasy with supernatural elements film it is directed by Gary Shore in his feature film debut and written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. Luke Evans portrays the title character, and Sarah Gadon, Dominic Cooper, Art Parkinson, and Charles Dance appear in supporting roles.

After being sent by his father to be trained as a soldier for the powerful Turkish Sultan, Prince Vlad has grown to become a feared warrior earning the nickname the Impaler after slaughter thousands. Grown weary of fighting, he returns to take his place as the prince of Transylvania and rules in peace. While in the woods Vlad and his men find a Turkish helmet and fearing an invasion, he sends the rest of his party back home while he proceeds with 2 soldiers towards the trail that leads to a cave on a mountain side. Inside an ancient vampire attacks and kills the two soldiers but Vlad is able to escape at the mouth of the cave as the creature cannot go into daylight. Vlad rushes back to his castle finds out from a local monk that the creature is vampire, once a man who made a pact with a demon in return for special powers.

While celebrating Easter in the castle with his wife Mirena and their son Ingeras and their subjects, a Turkish contingent enters the castle and ask about some dead Turkish soldiers that they found.Vlad offers the regular tribute of silver coins but denies having killed the soldiers. The Turks then demand an additional 1000 young boys to be sent for training, a practise that was stopped for years. Vlad refuses and since his army is small goes to see the current Turkish Sultan, who he knew from their childhood, and asks that the boys not be taken. The Sultan, Mehmed, instead insists that the boys be sent with the soldiers and also includes Ingeras be included just as Vlad himself was. A desperate Vlad goes back to the cave and pleads with the vampire for help. The vampire offers him his blood, which will give him the powers of a vampire for 3 days; if Vlad resists the temptation to drink human blood for those 3 days he will return to normal at the end of it. Vlad agrees and drinks the blood, gaining heiaghtened senses, super strength and the ability to transform into a flock of bats but his skin burns in sunlight.

As the Turkish army attacks at night Vlad is able to single handedly destroy most of their forces and sends his people to a monastry. Enroute Mirena learns of his new found powers but is ok as long as he returns to normal at the end of those 3 days. As they near the monastery, the Transylvanians are ambushed by Turkish soldiers, and while Vlad and his men successfully repel them, Vlad’s sudden increased strength arouses suspicion among his subjects. The next day the monk traps him in a small building and opens the flaps to burn him. Some of the people join in and burn the building but using his powers Vlad is able to send a black cloud to block the sunlight & escapes the fire, and angrily reveals that he became a vampire for the sole purpose of protecting his people from the Turks. That night as a huge army attacks, Vlad transforms in swarm of bats and kills a lot of them but a small decoy kidnaps Ingeras and Mirena is pushed, falling to her death.Vlad is unable to save her and as she lays dying in his arms, she begs him to drink her blood before the sun rises completely, and make him a vampire permanently. He does and as Mirena dies, Vlad is transformed into a vampire. As this happens the old vampire is released from his curse and can now escape the cave.

Vlad then transforms a few of the injured survivors among his people into vampires and they attack the Sultan’s camp, killing off all the soldiers. Mehmed uses bags of silver coins to weaken Vlad but in the end Vlad kills the sultan, drinking his blood and freeing his son and takes the name Dracula, son of the Devil! However the other vampires demand that the boy be killed being the only human in their group. The monk who had previously led the Transylvanians against Vlad appears and keeps the vampires at bay with the Christian Cross. Dracula orders the monk to take Ingeras away, then uses his power to clear the black clouds in the sky, burning all the vampires into dust and he himself becomes a charred corpse. Ingeras is crowned prince of Translvania as the Turkish empire’s threat is no more and Vlad the Impaler is presumed dead. However, Shkelgim, a slave who had earlier approached Vlad to be turned into a vampire, secretly takes Dracula into the shadows and revives him with his blood. As the movie ends, it is now present day (London I think) and Dracuala is walking on the streets when he sees Mina, a young woman who looks a lot like Mirena, and strikes up a conversation with her. The vampire who cursed Vlad watches them from afar, and anticipates what he has planned for Dracula in the future, saying, “Let the games begin.”

It’s an ok movie for Dracula I guess, nothing special or memorable. Focusing on the real prince but adding the origin story for the later legends probably will set it apart. The ending seems to me like they want the movie to be the first of a series about Dracula. Who knows? I’ll give it a 7 outta 10!