Fifty Shades Of Grey

Fifty Shades Of Grey is a British-American erotic-romantic film directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson with a screenplay by Kelly Marcel, based on the 2011 novel of the same name by British author E. L. James. It stars Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey and has sadomasochism as a central theme. Supporting roles go to Jennifer Ehle, Eloise Mumford, Dylan Neal, Marcia Gay Haden, Rachel Skartsen & Callum Keith Rennie.

Anastatsia or Ana, an English literature major at Washington State University’s satellite campus near Vancouver, Washington goes to interview 27 year old billionaire business man Christian Grey for her college’s newspaper. Her roommate, Kate Kavanaugh was supposed to do it but fell ill and Ana stepped in as a replacement. After stumbling through the interview at his Seattle headquarters, she seems to have created an interest in Christian who even visits her at the hardware store she works after classes. He also agrees to a photo-shoot for the college paper after which he asks her out for coffee. While talking to Ana, who clearly is smitten with the eligible bachelor, he leaves abruptly saying that he is not the man for her. However he later sends her first editions of her favourite author’s books as a gift.

After Ana graduates she goes out drinking with her friends to celebrate and gets too drunk and calls Christian berating him about his behaviour towards her and says she is returning the books. Concerned he goes to the bar and takes a passed out Ana home to his permanent residence on the top of a large hotel. They soon start seeing each other though Christian says he wants her to sign an NDA preventing her from revealing details about their alliance. Christian explains that he only has interrelations involving bondage that is clearly defined in a signed contract. Ana reveals that she is a virgin. While considering the agreement and negotiating her own terms, she and Christian engage in some of Christian’s desired sexual practices. Christian says she can have her own room and that he won’t go to sleep with her on the same bed after their sexual stuff and that he normally doesn’t go the romantic things like dinner & movies or date nights. But he bestows Ana with gifts and favors, such as a new car and laptop computer.

After their graduation ceremony, where Ana’s dad meets Christian and learns that he is her new boyfriend, Ana and Kate move to Seattle and Ana grows closer to Christian. One night, she accompanies him to his parents’ house. During dinner, Ana suddenly mentions she is leaving the next day to visit her mother in Georgia. Later, Christian becomes frustrated when Ana expresses she wants romance rather than the one-sided relationship he proposes. She is shocked when Christian unexpectedly arrives in Georgia. He leaves soon after to tend to an emergency in Seattle. Once she returns home she moves in with Christian who still wants to experiment sexually and although she takes part in some, Christian remains distant and refuses to become more intimate. He does mention to her that he was introduced to bdsm by a friend of his mother when he was 15 and he played the submissive role to her dominant for 6 years. While still considering the contract, and in an effort to understand Christian psychologically, Ana asks him to demonstrate how he would “punish” her for rule breaking.

Christian whips Ana’s buttocks six times with a belt, making her count out each strike. When he attempts to help her up, she angrily shoves him away, upset and disgusted. It is far from Ana’s romantic expectations, and she leaves after concluding that Christian is wrong for her, despite the fact that she is falling in love with him, and that his practices border on being deviant and excessive. Both are troubled by flashbacks while the film ends abruptly as Christian leaves a business meeting distracted with images of Ana.

I wonder how they participated in such intimate scenes and engaging in BDSM in this movie. I found the movie interesting while slightly disturbing. Even romantic as the endearing Dakota Johnson manages to portay Ana as a character we can root for. 7.5 outta 10 for me!

RIP Wes Craven

Wes Craven, the famed maestro of horror known for the Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream franchises, died Sunday after a battle with brain cancer. He was 76. Craven, whose iconic Freddy Krueger character horrified viewers for years, died at his home in Los Angeles, his family announced. Survivors include his wife, producer and former Disney Studios vice president Iya Labunka. Wesley Earl Craven was born Aug. 2, 1939, in Cleveland. His father died when he was 5. Raised in a strict Baptist household, he graduated from Wheaton College with degrees in English and psychology, then earned a masters in philosophy and writing from Johns Hopkins.

Craven’s first feature film was The Last House of the Left, which he wrote, directed and edited in 1972. A rape-revenge movie, it appalled some viewers but generated big box office. Next came another film he wrote and helmed, The Hills Have Eyes (1977). Craven re-invented the youth horror genre in 1984 with the classic A Nightmare on Elm Street, which he wrote and directed. He conceived and co-wrote Elm Street III as well, and then after not being involved with other sequels, deconstructed the genre a decade after the original, writing and directing Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, which was nominated for best feature at the 1995 Spirit Awards. In 1996, Craven reached a new level of success with the release of Scream. The film grossed more than $100 million domestically, as did Scream 2 (1997). Between Scream 2 and Scream 3, Craven, offered the opportunity to direct a non-genre film for Miramax, helmed Music of the Heart (1999), a film that earned Meryl Streep an Academy Award nomination for best actress in the inspirational drama about a teacher in Spanish Harlem.

Craven again pushed the genre boundaries with the 2005 psychological thriller Red Eye, starring Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy and Brian Cox. And in 2006, he wrote and directed a romantic comedy homage to Oscar Wilde featuring Emily Mortimer and Rufus Sewell as a segment in the French ensemble production Paris Je T’aime. Craven then produced remakes of The Hills Have Eyes (2006) and The Last House on the Left (2009). His most recent written and directed film, My Soul to Take (2010), marked his first collaboration with Labunka, who also produced Scream 4. Craven directed several other thrillers and horror movies during his career, including Swamp Thing (1982), Deadly Friend (1986) and The People Under the Stairs (1991).

Wesley Earl “Wes” Craven (August 2, 1939 – August 30, 2015)

Beers @ The Moon And Sixpence Irish Bar

So while I was in Chennai I went to this highly recommended Irish Pub that was in the basement of the rather famous Hablis hotel in the Guindy area. This is a place that my cousin told me about several months ago and although it is expensive it is worth going to. They have imported beers and were setup by Irish folks and hence it is an experience that we cannot get commonly in India. So on Friday the 14th of August I found myself in the Moon and Sixpence.

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I saw that they had Gunniness stouts and I ordered one. Here is a pic of the beer just after it was poured.

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So it is a draught beer and not the usual stuff I guess. It tasted tinny and metallic and not at all pleasant to drink. I was highly disappointed after all these years hyping up the beer in my mind and dreams. It was a let down. Perhaps it was a bad batch or something. But still I was so down – and at that price. I could have bought 8 beers at the Bevco here!

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The next beer was so much better, the rather tasty Hoegaarden Whit beer from Belgium. Just nice & refreshing with a lemony tasty. Delicious with some French fries.

Newcastle 0 Arsenal 1

Arsenal managed to make a big deal out of winning against a team that were down to 10 mn by the 16th minute. An own goal from defender Fabricio Coloccini gave Arsenal an unconvincing victory over 10-man Newcastle. Arsenal scored early in the second half when winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s angled shot on the rebound clipped Coloccini’s heel and went into the net. The hosts had earlier seen striker Aleksandar Mitrovic sent off in the 16th minute for a rash challenge on Gunners midfielder Francis Coquelin. Newcastle failed to register a single shot on target in the entire contest.

Arsenal have not lost at St James’ Park in the league since December 2005 and have won their last eight games against Newcastle, scoring 21 goals and conceding just six. Newcastle boss Steve McClaren has still to to taste victory in the Premier League after four matches at his new club. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger described his side’s start to the season as “very average” before this game and although the Gunners secured three points at St James’ Park their strikers continue to misfire. After Mitrovic’s 16th-minute dismissal, Arsenal dominated possession in the final third of the pitch but were unable to turn that superiority into goals. Theo Walcott’s best effort was to lift a chance he should have scored over the crossbar while substitute Olivier Giroud made little impact when he came on.

With the transfer window set to close on Tuesday, Arsenal’s supporters will be hoping Wenger has a goalscorer lined up from somewhere. This kind of showing will not win the league. 4 games played, 3 goals scored, 2 of which are own goals. What a pathetic showing so far. Wenger needs to get his head outta his own ass and resign!

Killjoys – Season 1

I was so happy when SYFY / Space announced that they were going to show two space themed shows on their channels as part of a co-production. Finally after a dearth of real science fiction shows set in space, we get two. Here is a look at the first of these two Canadian shows that have won so many fans from the scifi lovers section.

Killjoys just completed their 10 episode first season and is a tv series set in a distant part of the galaxy, a section known as the Quad (it is the future, no estimates given or what happened to earth and how humans came to be living there) which is a part of a star system referred to as “The J”. The Quad contains the planet Qresh and three moons – Westerley, Leith, and Arkyn. The Quad is run by a nebulous entity known as “The Company” that is very militaristic and Killjoys are a separate entity of the RACK and perform the work of bounty hunters. Dutch (English actress)) Hannah John-Kamen is a level 5 RAC agent or Killjoy who is partnered by her close friend John Jaqobis (Aaron Ashmore) who is a level 3 Killjoy and they travel across the Quad on a spaceship that has a female AI named Lucy. One of the running jokes is that Lucy seems to adore John and he is her favourite. In the pilot, after coming back from a dangerous & successful mission, John discovers that his estranged older brother D’avin (Luke Macfarlane) is wanted on a level 5 alter – which is a kill mission – for crimes he did during his time as a soldier in the military.

John uses Dutch’s clearance to get hold of his brother before a rival killjoy Fancy Lee can kill D’avin and though Dutch is upset at first she understands. Dutch is able to get D’avin’s kill status revoked and he tries for and enlists as a level 4 killjoy and joins the team. But his PTSD is keeping him awake and night and after a few missions he learns that a doctor (guest star Amanda) experimented on him to make him a killing machine and erased part of his memory. When she reactivates that part of the programming, D’avin turns violent beating up Dutch (who he just had sex with) and almost killing his brother by stabbing him with a sword. A broken up Dutch is able to threaten the doctor to reverse his situation and a grief stricken D’avin is returned to normal but at the cost of the trust he had with both Dutch & John. As D’avin works to earn that trust back Dutch’s past catches up with her. Khlyen (Rob Stewart) is a mysterious figure from Dutch’s past, who seems to have trained her as an assassin from a young age. He’s shown being kind to her and helping her when she’s poisoned, but flashbacks reveal him making her kill as a child. Khlyen is determined to make Dutch embrace his training though she refuses.

Adding to the mix of supporting characters are fellow Level 5 agent Fancy Lee (Sean Baek), Alvis (Morgan Kelly), is a religious/resistance leader who practices penitence by suspending himself from body piercing hooks and sometimes gives the Killjoys useful tips. Pawter Simms (Sarah Power) is a doctor with a dark past (and kind-of present), Pree (Thom Allison) is the owner of The Royale, a bar the main characters frequent, and is a gay man. Bellus Haardy (Nora McLellan) is often the one to whom Dutch, Johnny, and D’Avin report. They also receive new warrants from her. Bellus is one part cheerful swagger, one part threatening glower, and one part helpful mentor. The universe of Killjoys, albeit one without aliens, is a dark and dangerous one and towards the end a civil war seems to breaking out between the forces of the company and the resistance. D’avin is kidnapped by Khlyen and is taken aboard a mysterious spacecity that orbits the Quad.

Amazing show, great cast and characters. Nice special effects, fun loving stuff and all that. I hope we have this show for years to come.

Middle Seat

It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?

I think it depends on the person. If they seem nice & interesting (and/or is a hot woman) I could have a nice conversation with them and be their new best friend. I would like to know more about where they come from and whats it’s like living there and would like to hear more about their life back where they come from.

If they are loud and too obnoxious or sound like a person that I have no interest in talking to, I won’t switch seats but I will keep my answers short and soon pretend that I am very tired and would like to sleep for a bit or shut my eyes for a while. Hoping that they will take the subtle hint.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Pickup Lines #1

Are you an orphanage? Cause I wanna give you kids.

I was feeling a little off today, but you definitely turned me on.

Are you my Appendix? Because I have a funny feeling in my stomach that makes me feel like I should take you out.

Sorry, but you owe me a drink. [Why?] Because when I looked at you, I dropped mine.

Are you a parking ticket? ‘Cause you’ve got fine written all over you.

You look cold. Want to use me as a blanket?

I was so enchanted by your beauty that I ran into that wall over there. So I’m going to need your name and number for insurance purposes.

Is there an airport nearby or is that just my heart taking off?

I’m not staring at your boobs. I’m staring at your heart.

You’re the only girl I love now… but in ten years, I’ll love another girl. She’ll call you ‘Mommy.’

Sixteen & Life

Tell us all about the person you were when you were sixteen. If you haven’t yet hit sixteen, tell us about the person you want to be at sixteen.

I was a regular teen but extremely naive, innocent and positive. I had such a positive outlook on life. I trusted blindly, I believed in people, I thought the best in everyone until proven wrong and I went into everything with a blind eye. I was eye open wide, deer caught in the headlights, babe in the woods kinda 16 years old. I was well liked and people trusted me back but I was also the kinda person who got into trouble for trusting too much because when someone wanted to take advantage of the fact that I was an easy target.

I never recovered from things that happened between the ages of 16-21. I am the person that I am because of those years. I was in the wrong crowd, the wrong place, with the wrong set of people for me. I never had a chance. I don’t blame any of them though – I blame myself! I should have known better and been more wiser and choosier. I didn’t and wasn’t. I fell for it. I paid the price. I still am paying the price. Regrets are what I think of most about the person I was when I was 16. It will haunt me for the rest of my life.

I do miss the 16 year old me though.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Food Review #46

As posted recently, while I Chennai I found myself in the Phoenix Mall where they had the Chennai branch of the Hard Rock Cafe. I was delighted that I got a chance to go there and really did enjoy the lunch. Now this is a burger! Awesome huge BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger & a Liquid Lust drink at the Hard Rock Cafe. That burger tasted like an orgasm! Amazing! The fruit mocktail was really good too. I also took a quick video of the rock band posters on part of their walls.

Work Week Schedule For Food & Coffee

I suddenly have suddenly stopped eating breakfast on weekdays. It just happened like that. Weekends I follow my usual routine of getting breakfast by 8:30 or 9 am at the most along with two cups of coffee. However, while Monday might be an exception, I skip breakfast altogether during the weekdays and only have 2 cups of coffee all morning until I have my lunch at around 1:30pm-2pm. This has become a regular thing for me.

Although when I go out I feel like having some really good food and lots of it, my work week has been like this in terms of food – I wake up around 8-8:30 am and drink one large cup of milk coffee after I wash my face and brush my teeth. At around 10:30 am or 11 am I drink another large cup of coffee but without milk. By 1:30 pm I will have shaved and showered and I eat lunch. Anytime between 5 pm to 6pm I have a coffee and a small snack with my colleagues at the office cafeteria and by 8:30 pm I have dinner.

On some days, depending on how tired or sleepy I am, I will have a cup of coffee at the office between 11pm-12am. That is not regular but I do need it on some days.

Arsenal 0 Liverpool 0

Liverpool maintained their unbeaten start to the Premier League season as they played out a thrilling goalless draw with Arsenal at Emirates Stadium. In a game littered with chances, brilliant goalkeeping and defensive mistakes, it was almost beyond belief that neither side could carve out a victory and deliver an early psychological blow among the contenders at the top of the table. Liverpool dominated the first half but found Petr Cech in magnificent form as the former Chelsea goalkeeper saved miraculously from Christian Benteke and turned Philippe Coutinho’s shot on to a post.

Coutinho also struck the bar in the third minute – and while Arsenal’s opportunities were few, they were furious that Aaron Ramsey’s early strike was ruled out for offside. Arsenal regrouped and dominated much of the second half, Alexis Sanchez hitting the post and Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet producing a fine reflex save from Olivier Giroud. When Arsenal bought Cech for £10m from Chelsea in June, the instant wisdom was that his presence alone could be worth an extra 10 points to the Gunners. Time will tell, but this was the night when the 33-year-old showed just how important a signing he could be as the Gunners try finally to mount a serious Premier League title challenge. He spread himself brilliantly to turn away Benteke’s close-range effort when it seemed certain the Belgium striker would score, then showed he still retains the old athleticism to stretch and tip Coutinho’s curling shot against an upright. If any Arsenal fans harboured doubts about his purchase, this was a display to dispel them.

Arsenal showed great spirit to recover from a first half in which their defending was horrendous to have the better of the second. It should be placed in context by the fact they were robbed of their first-choice central defensive partnership of Per Mertesacker through illness and Laurent Koscielny with a back injury. But this game and the results of the 1st 3 games have shown me that we won’t be ready to challenge for the league this year or the next unless things change. And they have to change a lot!

Fate Or Choice

Do you believe in fate or do you believe you can control your own destiny?

I don’t believe in fate. Not as in fate that has already been set out for you and you are just following like a wind-up toy monkey! No that kind of fate I do not believe in at all. But I do believe that our “fate” is determined by the actions and choices and decisions we make earlier on in our life. Especially in key moments that can decide the rest of or atleast a larger part of our lives.

Unfortunately there is no way that you can reverse a decision in life once it becomes a fact. Hindsight always being 20/20 you can’t change your decision. I wish I could have done so many things differently. I can’t change things. Hence I cannot do much to change things that are directly affected by the decisions (for the most part). Hence yes those things do affect the rest of your life or hopefully just some of it. But I do think that when one gets the chance to make a change that will enable you to control your destiny, grab it with both hands and go with it with full gusto.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Food Review #45

For the 45th review it is the airplane food served to me on an Air India flight on the 10th of August. Quick little video of what they served – a veggie sandwich that was cold and about half the size of a proper sandwich meal, a box cartoon of Mango juice and a small bottle of water. Ohh exciting!

Pitch Perfect 2

I had watched the first movie twice last year (once on cable and once on dvd) and liked it a lot, much more than I expected to. The sequel, simply titled Pitch Perfect 2 came out this year and is once again directed & co-produced by Elizabeth Banks and stars Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Alexis Knapp, Hana Mae Lee, Ester Dean, Chrissie Fit, Kelley Jakle, and Shelley Regner as The Bellas. Banks, Skylar Astin, Adam Devine and Anna Camp return in their previous roles while Katey Sagal has a supporting role as a former Bella and Snoop Dog has a cameo.

It’s been 4 years since the events of the first film and the Bellas have won the nationals 3 years in a row. During a performance at President Obama’s birthday gala, disaster strikes when Fat Amy’s airlifting solo goes awry with her bottoms ripping and both her butt & front being displayed for all to see and they are suspended from performing in any a cappella showcase. Beca makes a deal to allow the Bellas be reinstated if they win the Worlds a cappella tournament. While the girls start practising for the worlds, Becca meanwhile has been secretly also working as an intern in a real studio impresses her boss with her mashup skills for Snoop Dogg’s Christmas album and is given a chance to become a producer. Only her boyfriend Jesse knows but Fat Amy soon finds out and advises Beca to tell the other Bellas.

The Bellas welcome freshman Emily Junk, who auditions for and impresses the ladies, to the delight of her mom who was a former Bella in the 80s. That night, the Bellas have a party with the Treblemakers and several other a capella students, where Benji awkwardly develops a crush towards Emily. The Bellas later attend a car show where they were initially due to perform, to meet their replacements, German powerhouse “Das Sound Machine” (DSM) – led by intimidating duo Pieter Krämer and Kommissar. They then attend an exclusive riff off, but lose to DSM in the final round when Emily flubs an attempt to sing her own song. The Bellas have another disaster when at another event things go wrong mid performance when Cynthia-Rose has her hair set ablaze by pyro. In response Chloe takes all the Bellas on a retreat, which is run by former leader of the Bellas Aubrey Posen, saying that they need to regain their lost harmony. While there Becca admits that she has been working as an intern because she is worried about her future after graduation. Each Bella talks about their dreams and hopes and they sing and talk about how much being a Bella has meant to them.

The senior Bellas graduate and all head off to Copenhagen for the Worlds a capella tournament, with Jesse and Benji to cheer them on. The Bellas perform along with Emily’s original song with the help of several former Bellas, including Aubrey and Emily’s mother, winning them the competition. Afterwards, Emily is given a proper initiation by the senior Bellas.

Funny and cool like the first one, though I still can’t stand most of the songs and style of singing. It’s good that the movie is funny plus I love Anna Kendrick and Brittany Snow. Good fun movie for the weekend. 8 outta 10!

Green With Envy

Tell us about the last time you were really, truly jealous of someone. Did you act on it? Did it hurt your relationship?

I’m jealous all the time. Of a lot of people. People who have more money than me. Who have a nice apartment or a house. People who have married the love of their lives. Who have a nice, cute family with a couple of kids. Jealous of people who can play instruments really well. Who stay in fancy hotels and drive expensive cars and get to jet to all these great places.

Why should some people be so lucky? Tall, slim, well built, great clothes, nice shoes, latest gadgets, beautiful women with them, great perks, fancy meals, fame, success, money and lots of other things. Why them and not me? Some of them don’t even deserve it at all. I should have some luck. But I never do.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Krispy Kreme – Donut & Coffee

Another first for me while in Chennai was trying out a Krispy Kreme coffee and a donut! Now this is yet another international franchise which I had heard so much about (it’s what Homer Simpson loves right?) but I had never ever seen one before. A surprise was that when I reached the Chennai airport on my way back home to Cochin, I saw that they had a Krispy Kreme outlet in the airport, past the check in section.

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Not having had lunch – or rather I had bought a sandwich at the airport but it was cold and tasteless so I threw it away after a couple of bites – I bought myself an iced cappuccino and a chocolate glazed donut (I forgot the name of the donut).

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I selected the donut after much oogling, drooling and staring at the selections they had on offer. I must say that that display really looked amazing. I loved it. Enjoy the pics!

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Nothin’ But A Good But Not Too Exciting Time

Imagine that tomorrow, all of your duties and obligations evaporate for the day. You get the day all to yourself, to do anything you please. What types of fun activities would make your day?

It will be the usual stuff and nothing too exciting. I might go out for a while, spend the morning in a cafe drinking a nice large cold coffee with a snack or a sandwich. I might read a book or listen to some music while I am there or even log on to social media on my phone. A good 2-3 hours like that would be great. After that I would head to a bar or a beer parlour and drink a couple of beers while watching football on the television and enjoy the afternoon. A late lunch would be something like a pizza or maybe a burger or even Chinese or tandoori food.

I could also watch movies or tv shows all day and hang out in my bedroom. Or listen to music all day and sleep in. Order in some food, bring out the vodka or white rum with coke and chill in the living room watching stuff on tv. Or go hang out with some friends and or cousins and have a good time. Or maybe just bring my sister and her kids to my place and enjoy a nice dinner with my folks as well. The simple stuff that I tend to do most weekends or a holiday in between.

I guess I am simple, boring, nothing much exciting happening in my life kinda guy.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com