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Twenty Five Seven

Good news — another hour has just been added to every 24-hour day (don’t ask us how. We have powers). How do you use those extra sixty minutes?

Sleep what else? Especially when you work night shifts or late evenings shifts and reach back home at 4:20 am then sleeping in an extra hour is like magic. It does wonders for the body and spirit and certainly your health. So I might do that extra sleep in for the extra 60 minutes.

If not sleep then I will spend it online like I am now. More Youtube videos or Facebooking or Twitter posts reading and replying. Or maybe watch an episode of a favourite tv show.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Zootopia

Zootopia is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated buddy cop comedy adventure film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 55th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. The film is directed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore, co-directed by Jared Bush, and stars the voices of Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, Nate Torrence, Tommy Chong, J. K. Simmons, Octavia Spencer, Alan Tudyk, and Shakira.

This is set in a world where all the animals have evolved to become anthropomorphic and civilized, living in mostly harmony. A young bunny girl named Judy Hopps dreams of becoming the first bunny to join the police course. Bullied by a bigger red fox kid named Gideon, Judy uses everyone’s doubt to spur herself on and be top of her class at the academy. Mayor Lionheart assigns her to a prescient in the big city, Zootopia. Judy is full of hope and wants to make a difference but excluded from handling the top-priority missing predator cases and assigned to parking duty by Chief Bogo, who doubts her potential. During one of her shifts, she meets Nick Wilde and Finnick, partners in crime, who con their way to get free Jumbo pop which they then melt down to sell as ice pops and make a huge profit. Judy abandons her shift to arrest Duke Weaselton, a thief who stole what appear only to be onion bulbs. Upon Weaselton’s apprehension, Judy is reprimanded by Bogo.

Bogo is however reluctantly forced to assign the case of the missing Bennett Otterton due to pressure from the assistant mayor Bellwether and the fact that Judy volunteers in front of Mrs. Otterton. She is given 47 hours by Bogo to solve the case or resign. Judy tricks Nick into assisting her by covertly recording his confession to tax evasion. Judy and Nick determine that Mr. Otterton was last seen entering a limousine, which is tracked to the Tundratown crime boss, Mr. Big. He informs the pair that Otterton, his florist, had “gone savage”—reverted to a feral state—and attacked his chauffeur, Manchas. Judy and Nick locate Manchas, who mentions Otterton had been yelling about “night howlers”. Soon after, Manchas himself goes savage and chases the pair out of his home. Judy calls ZPD for support but when the cops arrive Manchas is no where to be found. Nick defends Judy, reminding Bogo that they still have ten more hours to solve the case. As the pair leaves, Judy learns from Nick that as a child, he was bullied for being a fox and subsequently became a con artist, believing that he would be stereotyped regardless.

Judy and Nick consult Bellwether for access to the city’s traffic camera system and identify Manchas’ captors as wolves, which is what Judy believes Otterton had meant by “night howlers”. Judy and Nick locate Otterton and the missing predators at Cliffside Asylum. After the two witness Lionheart consulting about the predators’ condition, the pair escape with the evidence, and the police swarm the area, arresting Lionheart. Bellwether is sworn in as the new Mayor. However, during a press conference, Judy suggests a biological connection between savaged animals and predators, hurting Nick, who angrily walks out. Fear against predators spreads across Zootopia, protests spawn, and a guilt-ridden Judy resigns. She goes back home to help her parents sell their produce but while speaking to Gideon she realizes that “night howlers” are flowers that have a severe psychotropic effect on mammals. Judy returns to Zootopia, reconciles with Nick, and locates Weaselton, who confesses that the “onions” he had been collecting were night howler bulbs for a ram named Doug. The pair find Doug and his team of sheep at a secret laboratory creating a night howler serum which he has been injecting into predators via a dart gun.

Judy and Nick race to the ZPD with the evidence, but Bellwether (the mastermind behind this operation) intercepts them, attempting to take the evidence with her men. Bellwether shoots a dart at Nick, who seemingly becomes savage and attacks Judy, but it turns out the pair were acting, having swapped out the serum for blueberries, and recorded Bellwether’s confession. With enough evidence, the ZPD arrest Bellwether and her accomplices for their crimes. Upon being interviewed, Lionheart denies any knowledge of Bellwether’s plot, but asserts he imprisoned the savaged predators to protect the city. Later, Judy is reinstated into the ZPD, the savaged mammals, including Otterton and Manchas, are cured by an antidote, and Nick joins the ZPD as the first fox police officer and Judy’s partner.

Good solid fun and total enjoyment with a good story and theme. I enjoyed that a lot. 9 outta 10!

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Star Trek Continues : Come Not Between The Dragons

Star Trek Continues has another good episode out, released online just a couple of days ago, with the awesome title Come Not Between The Dragons. Along with regulars Vic Mignogna (Kirk), Todd Haberkorn (Spock), Chuck Huber (Dr. McCoy), Chris Doohan (Scotty), Kim Stinger (Uhura), Grant Imahara (Sulu), Wyatt Lenhart (Chekov), Michele Specht (new addition for this show, Dr. McKenna) & Kipleigh Brown (Barbara Smith) appears guest guest star Gigi Edgely (from Farscape fame) as Ensign Eliza.

A ‘nomadic extremophile’ called USDI that intruded the Enterprise by causing a hull breach and spreads panic on the ship. No one knows its intentions and the security team chase the sightings; it crashes into the quarters of Ensign Eliza, scaring her. While the crew tries to capture it, a strange pulse keeps hitting the ship that alters the behavior of everyone. As people grow increasingly antagonistic towards each other it is upto McKennah to fix it. Due to the mood altering pulses, Kirk’s more brash side surfaces and he starts sending everyone (Bones and Scotty) to the brig. Spock’s anger comes out as the pulse affects his ability to suppress his emotions (like all Vulcans usually do) and he lashes out; a clash with USDI lands him in the infirmary with broken ribs and ruptured spleen.

Finally Eliza figures out that the creature is scared of something or someone and was using Enterprise as a hiding spot. Eliza realizes that USDI’s father may be abusive due to her own experiences with her father. It is found that the pulses which are affecting the crew are coming from another creature outside the ship. This much larger creature of the same species appears to be USDI’s dad and for some reason he’s pissed off at USDI. The Enterprise crew has figured out a way to be immune to the pulses but the ship itself is at risk as USDI’s dad prepares to ram it. A few photon torpedoes and UDSI himself coming to a rescue of his father avoids a major disaster. Though Kirk does give his child protective services speech which ends awkwardly in silence. He later expresses his doubts about his smooth talking abilities to Spock. After a profound moment of self realization and Spock observes that Kirk may not have the necessary experience in this matter. In the final scene Kirk lets Eliza speak to USDI’s dad and convince him to avoid lashing out to his son. They finally get a positive response from the dad who states he is ready to change.

A simple episode about creatures much larger than humans and the ship coming in contact with our crew and almost causing irreparable damage but the sane choice wins out in the end. Very similar to classic Trek and it fits in easily with stories from the original series. This episode gets a solid 7.5 outta 10 from me.

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The Witch

The Witch is a 2015 American–Canadian supernatural psychological horror film written and directed by Robert Eggers, in his directorial debut. The movie stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson,
Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger & Lucas Dawson.

Set in 17th century New England, the extremely fundamentalist (and newly arrived in the New World from England) man named William is banished from a Puritan plantation alongside his family for the crime of “prideful conceit.” They leave the community on a horse & cart with 4 kids in town and a baby on the way. They make a farm in a remote area near a brook and the woods where they dare not venture. The wife, Katherine, soon gives birth to her fifth child, Samuel. While being closely watched by eldest child Thomasin, Samuel vanishes, kidnapped by a witch in the woods, who kills him and uses his blood and fat to make a topical ointment for her body (in a creepy and dark scene). Needless to say, Thomasin is blamed for being negligent and the family believe that a wolf stole the child. A devastated Katherine spends his days either crying or praying. With failing crops, William takes his oldest son Caleb, into the woods to hunt. While relying on their dog’s tracking, Caleb confronts his father about his unbaptized fate. William, in turn, confides to his son that he traded Katherine’s prized silver cup for hunting supplies.

Later while at the brook the mischievous twins Jonas & Mercy, out playing with their black goat Black Philip, taunt Thomasin for losing Sam. Mercy, pretends to be a witch and says that the goat speaks but Thomasin scares her younger sister by claiming herself as the Witch of the Wood. That night, Katherine blames Thomasin for the disappearances of her silver cup – and hintingly, Samuel. As the children retire to bed, they overhear William and Katherine discussing sending Thomasin away to serve another family. The next morning Thomasin sees her brother sneaking out to go hunting and tags along on the horse. Their dog gives chase to a hare and Caleb follows, leaving Thomasin astride the horse, which throws her and knocks her unconscious. Caleb, now lost in the woods, finds the corpse of his now-disemboweled dog. Scared he is lured into the arms of a young woman deep in the forest. Thomasin awakens and guided by her father’s calls, finds her way home. As Katherine confronts Thomasin about going into the woods, William reluctantly admits that he stole her silver cup. Caleb returns to the house late at night, naked and wet in the rain and delirious.

Sure that he is befallen to the spells of a witch, Katherine prays over him. Caleb wakes up and rambles on his passion for Christ and dies (just before it seems as if he is being lifted up to awaiting arms) while the twins, who accuse Thomasin of being a witch and she in turns tells her parents of Mercy claiming that Black Philip talks, fall into a trance. An angered William boards up all three remaining children inside the stable with the goats. At night Katherine sees visions of Caleb and Sam and begins breastfeeding the infant, in actuality a raven pecking at her exposed breast. The witch is seen suckling the milk from a goat and scaring the children. William wakes up in the morning and goes outside to see the stable destroyed, the twins missing, the goats dead and only Thomasin alive. William is then gored to death by Black Phillip. Katherine, hysterical from her husband’s death and the twins’ disappearance, tries to strangle Thomasin, who kills her mother in self-defense.

A devastated Thomasin goes into her home and wraps a blanket around her and sleeps at the table. At night she is called to by Black Phillip, who answers in a human voice and appears as a man. He convinces her to sign a deal with the Devil, offering her the sights of the world and the life she wants to live. Thomasin walks naked into the forest where she finds a coven holding a Witches’ Sabbath. The witches begin to levitate and a cackling Thomasin joins them, rising into the trees and completing her transformation and identity as a witch.

The movie is dull and dragging at times. The main horror for me in the film is the fundamentalist Christianity spouting and babble about sinning, forgiveness, praying, hellfire and brimstone, sinners and all, born of sin, sin, sin, sin, making witches and Wiccans out to be the evil that they are not. Seriously the religious fervor in the family is beyond nuts! Sheesh! Top notch acting by the actors. I give this film a 7 outta 10!

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The Wanna-be Wanderer

Tell us about the top five places you’ve always wanted to visit.

  1. Canada – for the longest time, Canada has been the place that I’ve always wanted to not just visit but live in. I love their cities, towns and countrysides. The people and the places and the beauty, I wanna eat maple syrup on ice, poutine and drink Canadian beer while watching my fav Canadian bands.
  2. England -England has been a big draw for me. Mainly because of English Premier League football, Wimbledon and English pubs. I wanna eat fish n chips at a local place and drink pint after pint at a pub.
  3. Sweden – Big draw for me since the late 1980s. I wanna live in Stockholm or Malmo and drink beer with the descendants of Vikings. I also love, love, love Swedish women and I hear that they are really friendly too!
  4. USA – parts of the country. Like Seattle or San Francisco or Portland or New York or Chicago. Some places are amazing and I want to visit the towns and eat their glorious food and drink their awesome drinks.
  5. Holland – Lovely cities and towns, smoke hash and drink beer. Go to the sports stadiums and enjoy the scenery of the amazing country that is Holland.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Women – “Lightly Beaten”

Dear Pakistan – please do  not listen to these morons!

The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has proposed its own women protection bill, recommending ‘a light beating’ for the wife if she defies the husband. The 20-member CII is a constitutional body which gives recommendations to parliament regarding Islamic laws. However, parliament is not bound to consider its recommendations. The bill was drafted after the CII rejected Punjab’s controversial Protection of Women against Violence Act (PPWA) 2015 terming it un-Islamic. The CII will now forward its proposed bill to the Punjab Assembly. The council has proposed that a husband should be allowed to ‘lightly’ beat his wife if she defies his commands and refuses to dress up as per his desires; turns down demand of intercourse without any religious excuse or does not take bath after intercourse or menstrual periods.

It has suggested that a beating is also permissible if a woman does not observe Hijab; interacts with strangers; speaks loud enough that she can easily be heard by strangers; and provides monetary support to people without taking consent of her spouse. Available with The Express Tribune, a copy of the 163-page bill proposes several bans on women. It says there should be a ban on co-education after primary education, ban on women from taking part in military combat, ban on welcoming foreign delegations, interacting with males and making recreational visits with ‘Na-Mehram’. It says female nurses should not be allowed to take care of male patients and recommends that women should be banned from working in advertisements. It recommends that an abortion after 120 days of conceiving should be declared ‘murder’. However, it says a woman can join politics and contract a Nikah without permission of parents.

The bill suggests that anyone who tries to force women to marry with the Holy Quran or facilitate this should be awarded 10-year imprisonment. Similarly, the proposed bill says if any non-Muslim woman is forced to convert, then the oppressor will be awarded three-year imprisonment while the woman will not be murdered if she reverts to her previous faith.

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Inside the Bubble

A contagious disease requires you to be put into quarantine for a whole month (don’t worry, you get well by the time you’re free to go!). How would you spend your time in isolation?

Well that would be…it’s not something nasty is it? It won’t cause certain body parts to get damaged and/or fall off will it? If that is the case then no thank you. If not…let’s see.

Ok so if I had to go through that the good thing is that I would be free for a month. As long as I get the sick leave from work and do not loose too much of my salary, yeah I could go for doing nothing all month long. I will spend it much as I spend my downtime – I will be holed up in my room, listening to music, watching Youtube videos and browsing the internet, keeping up on Facebook and Twitter and watching tv shows, marathoning scifi shows and all the movies I could possibly want to watch. I might even read a few books.

I would just relax and chill at home let myself recuperate and enjoy the freedom. Not being able to go out will suck but I can get food delivered right? And ofcourse yes, if I could get a day or two in advance so I could buy some beer too – that would be awesome.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Xhaka Signed, Who’s Next?

Arsenal have completed a £30million deal for Granit Xhaka. The Gunners have been chasing for the midfielder for a while, and he has signed on a long-term contract. Speaking after the 23-year-old’s move, Arsene Wenger said: “Granit Xhaka is an exciting young player, already with good Champions League and Bundesliga experience. “We have been watching him for a long time now and he is a player who will add quality to our squad. “We wish Granit a good Euro 2016 with Switzerland and look forward to welcoming him to Arsenal ahead of next season.”

Jose Mourinho is desperate to pip Arsenal to the signing of Alvaro Morata, according to reports. The Portuguese is expected to be announced as Manchester United’s new manager this week. He is expected to go on a spending spree, as Express Sport understands he will be handed a £200m transfer kitty. Morata is thought to prefer a move to Arsenal, but according to the Daily Star, Mourinho has set his sights on the 23-year-old striker. The Gunners are said to have tabled a £51m bid for the Spaniard. Wenger faces competition to bring N’Golo Kante to the Emirates, according to reports. The French midfielder has attracted interest from the Gunners and United, even though the former just signed Granit Xhaka. But the Daily Mail claim that Paris Saint-Germain have expressed an interest in the £20m-rated Leicester star. Despite Kante preferring to stay in England, his request has fallen upon deaf ears with PSG aren’t giving up on him.

Wenger is keen on Napoli’s Senegal international Kalidou Koulibaly as he looks for a top-class centre-half. The Gunners have also identified Juventus forward Alvaro Morata as their No1 striker target this summer and are preparing to take their spending this close-season towards the £80m mark. Wenger has identified a midfielder, a centre-half – to be a first-choice partner to Laurent Koscielny – and goal-scorer as he looks to shake up a squad that finished second in 2015-16 but a distant 10 points behind champions Leicester.France-born Koulibaly, 24, has also been watched by Chelsea and Manchester United but would cost around £20m. Arsenal have also looked at Atletico Madrid’s French defender Lucas Hernandez as well as a raft of young players , such as Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney, Bolton defender Rob Holding and Fulham wing whizkid Ryan Sessegnon. They also want to relaunch a bid for teenage Argentine forward Maxi Romero of Velez Sarsfield.

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Gord Downie Diagnosed With Terminal Brain Cancer

2016 is hell bent on killing as many celebrities and beloved people as possible. Gord Downie, the frontman for the Tragically Hip and one of Canada’s biggest rock stars, has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. The band announced the news on its website on Tuesday. “We have some very tough news to share with you today, and we wish it wasn’t so.” The diagnosis, they said, had come in December. “Since then, obviously, he’s endured a lot of difficult times, and he has been fighting hard. In privacy along with his family, and through all of this, we’ve been standing by him.”

The band, which has been together for more than three decades, was formed at an Ontario high school in the early 1980s. The group swiftly became a mainstay on the Canadian music scene, releasing 13 studio albums – nine of which reached No 1 in Canada – and winning 14 Juno awards, which recognise excellence in Canadian music. The group was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2005. Downie, 52, has also released three solo albums. Downie’s doctor, James Perry, said on Tuesday that the musician had undergone surgery and six weeks of chemotherapy and radiation after being diagnosed with an invasive brain tumour known as glioblastoma. Downie has so far responded well to treatment, but the tumour is impossible to completely remove from the brain, said Perry. “It’s my difficult duty today to tell you Gord Downie’s tumour is incurable.”

The Tragically Hip said plans were in the works for Downie and the band to tour Canada this summer, despite the diagnosis. “This feels like the right thing to do now, for Gord, and for all of us … So we’re going to dig deep and try to make this our best tour yet.” The tour will coincide with the release of the band’s latest album, Man Machine Poem. The Tragically Hip will unveil their tour dates later in the week. The 14-time Juno Award-winning group – the most ever for a band and the fourth-most ever for an artist at the annual Canadian music awards – remain a beloved marquee act in their native country.

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Can’t Get it Out of My Head

Have you ever become obsessed with something? Tell us about something that captivates your attention like nothing else.

Well like a lot of other people I too have my obsessions. Food – pizza in particular – is an obsession where I must find the best options for getting the best kind of my favourite food dishes. Music is an obsession as is movies and tv shows. We all have those don’t we? Drink? I wouldn’t call it an obsession as I’ve been drinking less and less beer or vodka these last few months.

What I am really obsessed with is science fiction and in particular Star Trek. No shocks there if you have been a reader of my blog for the past few…well weeks should do it! I love Star Trek and wish we lived in a reality that has the technological & social advances that is seen in Star Trek. Get rid of racism, poverty, crime, hatred, hunger, most illness and cures for most things including amputation, easy access to homes and enough luxuries and travel through space to different planets and moons. That is the dream for me. Also I want to go beyond what they have shown in Star Trek and advance it 10 fold. Star Trek advances 5000 years later and I have an idea what that will look like. And I want to live in that time and reality.

I know it can’t happen and that it is just a dream but I can’t stop thinking about it. I wanna see the universe and I wanna pilot a spaceship through the galaxies.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Mask

We all wear masks. Whether we admit it or not. Whether we like it or not. Whether we are aware of it or not and no matter how much you deny it, you do wear a mask(s). At home, at work, with friends, with people you meet for the first time, when you are up for a job interview, when you need something, when you meet with law enforcement, when you are in trouble, when you are with family.

The only time you do not wear a mask is when you are by yourself and in some cases when you do have those loved ones you can trust wholeheartedly. Otherwise it’s one mask off, another one on. We change them more frequently than we change clothes and it is the same way in most places. No surprises for me when I see a person who seems to let the mask slip in a moment of vulnerability and/or perceived solitude or due to fatigue or exhaustion.

It’s up to us to look behind the mask, beyond the face shown and see who the person really is.

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Canada Wins World Ice Hockey Championship

Connor McDavid’s first goal of the world hockey championship proved to be golden. McDavid’s goal in the first period stood as the winner as Canada successfully defended its world championship title with a 2-0 win over Finland in the tournament final. The 19-year-old Edmonton Oilers centre had registered eight assists in the first nine games of the tournament, but was one of just two Canadian forwards not to have recorded a goal coming into the gold-medal game. McDavid ended his drought at the 11:24 mark of the first period, driving to the net and deking out sprawling Finnish netminder Mikko Koskinen. Matt Duchene added an empty-net goal with one second left on the clock to seal the win.

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X-Men: Apocalypse

X-Men: Apocalypse is a 2016 American superhero film based on the X-Men that appear in Marvel Comics. It is the ninth installment in the X-Men film series. Directed by Bryan Singer, with a screenplay by Simon Kinberg from a story conceived by Singer, Kinberg, Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris, the film features an ensemble cast starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn and Lucas Till. In Apocalypse, ancient cyber-mutant Apocalypse awakens and plans to take over the world, so the X-Men need to stop him and defeat his team, the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse.

In ancient Egypt the immortal psychic mutant En Sabah Nur rules ancient Egypt until he is betrayed by his worshippers, who entomb him alive just as he and his fellow mutants perform a ritual to transfer his consciousness from his aging body to a new one. He is accidentally awakened in 1983 by Moira MacTaggert and a cult worshipping En Sabah Nur, causing an earthquake that is heard across the globe. Believing that without his presence humanity has lost its way, En Sabah Nur decides to destroy the world and remake it in his image. En Sabah Nur recruits new Horsemen, beginning with Cairo pickpocket Ororo Munroe. He also takes in underground black marketeer Caliban’s enforcer Psylocke siding with him and leading him to Angel. In Poland, Erik Lehnsherr lives with his new wife and daughter, Nina, but when authorities attempt to capture him for the incident at the White House, his family is accidentally killed in the crossfire. En Sabah Nur approaches the heartbroken Erik and takes him to Auschwitz, where he upgrades his powers. Erik destroys the camp and joins Sabah Nur, completing his new Four Horsemen.

This team ambush the X-Men’s mansion and abduct Professor Charles Xavier as Apocalypse wants to transfer his consciousness into the latter’s body as when he does so, he will also gain Xavier’s powers to control everyone on earth. It’s upto Raven / Mystique, Beast, Jean Grey, a newly recruited Cyclops & Nightcrawler, with CIA agent Moira McTaggart and Quicksilver (who saves everyone from the exploding mansion when he arrives to meet Xavier and find his father Magneto) to get Xavier back and kill Apocalypse before he destroys the world. In the fight Magneto and are convinced to turn on En Sabah after spotting his true nature through his brutal attack on Quicksilver and Mystique (who happens to be Ororo’s role model). They must also ward of Col. Stryker and the US military who fear the Mutants. Lots of action, especially in the second half and some comedic relief with Quicksilver and Nightcrawler.

So what did I think of this movie? It was good but not as good as I was expecting. The villain wasn’t as awesome as I had hoped while watching the trailers even though he had some good scenes. The special effects were awesome but I felt that they had too much focus other than the main story. I do like it but I think they could have done a lot better. We finally learn how Xavier became bald! I thought the cast was awesome with special mention to Sophie Turner (who looks awesomely sexy) and Michael Fassbender. And Olivia Munn – smoking hot!!! 8 outta 10!