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No Country For Old Men

No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American neo-Western thriller film directed, written, and edited by Joel and Ethan Coen, based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name. Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin, it tells the story of a Texas welder and Vietnam veteran to whom chance and greed deliver a fate that is neither wanted nor denied; a cat-and-mouse drama set in the desert landscape of 1980 West Texas. It won four awards at the 80th Academy Awards –Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Bardem) and Best Adapted Screenplay, allowing the Coen brothers to join four previous directors honored three times for a single film. In addition, the film won three British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) including Best Director, and two Golden Globes.

The setting is in Terrell County, Texas in the desert like location of a desolate and large landscape. We heard Ed Tom Bell, the sheriff of the count, talking about he increasing violence in a region where he, like his father and grandfather before him, has risen to the office of sheriff. In a neighbouring county, assassin / hitman Anton Chigurgh, using the handcuffs, strangles to death the deputy who arrested him to escape custody and steals a car by using a captive bolt pistol to kill the driver. We then move to the desert where Llewelyn Moss is hunting deer and comes across the aftermath of a drug deal gone wrong. He finds dead bodies and a briefcase containing 2 million dollars and also finds the lone Mexican survivor, badly wounded and who begs him for water. Moss takes the briefcase and hides it at his small home but goes back to the scene late at night with some water.

He is ambushed by two men in a truck and they release a dog to hunt him. He shoots the dog dead and rushes home he sends his wife, Carla Jean, to stay with her mother, then drives to a motel in Del Rio, where he hides the case in the air vent of his room. Chigurgh hired to recover the money, abruptly kills his employers after obtaining a clue to Moss’s identity. Arriving to search Moss’s home, he uses his bolt pistol to blow the lock out of the door. Investigating the break in, Sheriff Bell notices the blown-out locktracks. Chigurgh tracks Moss using a chip embedded in the briefcase and kills a group of Mexican who were planning to ambush Moss and had rented the room next to him. Moss is able to escape before Chigurgh can get to him but is found in another hotel in Eagle Pass and a shootout ensues. Both are wounded and Moss makes his way across the border into Mexico and collapses and is taken to a hospital.

Carson Wells, another hired operative, fails to persuade him to accept protection in return for the money. Chigurh cleans and stitches his own wounds with stolen supplies and kills Wells at his hotel. Moss telephones the room and Chigurh answers. Lifting his boots to avoid Wells’s blood, Chigurh tells Moss that he will kill Carla Jean unless Moss gives up the money; he remarks that he will kill Moss regardless of whether he receives the money. Moss calls Carla and tells her to meet him at a motel where he will give her the money and she should fly away with her mother to be safe. nstead, she reluctantly accepts protection for her husband from Sheriff Bell. Carla Jean’s mother unwittingly reveals Moss’s location to a group of Mexicans who had been tailing them. Bell reaches the rendezvous in time to hear gunshots and see a pickup truck speeding from the motel where Moss lies dead. Carla arrives as night approaches and sobs sadly. Later Bell comes back to the crime scene where Chigurgh is also hiding and sees that the vent cover has been removed and the duct is empty.

Later, Bell visits his uncle Ellis, an ex-lawman, and tells him he plans to retire because he feels “over-matched”. Ellis points out that the region has always been violent. Carla’s mother dies soon after and after the funeral she walks into the house to find Chigurgh waiting for her. He tosses a coin and asks her to call it but she refuses stating that the choice is his own. Chigurgh leaves the house (unsure if he killed her or not but probably did) and as he leaves the neighbourhood he is hurt badly in a car crash. Bribing two youngsters who witness the crash, he quietly makes his way out. As the movie ends, a now retured Bell tells his wife of two dreams he had the previous night about his father.

Amazing cinematography during the desert scenes and well acted and shot. The ambiguous ending left made people baffled and also killing Moss offscreen didn’t make much sense to us. Anyway you look at it the movie is really good and despite the initial 25 mins or so when it drags a bit, it’s a movie worth watching. 8 outta 10!

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A Closer Look At The USS Prometheus

Alrighty then, let’s look a sleek and fabulous design for a class of starship. This one is a fan favourite and in my top 10 of ship designs and I absolutely loved it when I first saw it on the tv screen. I am taking about the awesome, the spectacular – USS Prometheus!

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The USS Prometheus (NX-59650/NX-74913) was a 24th century Federation Prometheus-class starship operated by Starfleet. Prometheus was an experimental prototype designed for deep space tactical assignments and equipped with regenerative shields, ablative hull armor, and multi-vector assault mode. She was the fastest ship in Starfleet with a warp factor of 9.99 when she was launched from the Beta Antares Ship Yards on stardate 50749.5 in late 2373. The vessel was also equipped with holographic projectors on every deck, allowing its EMH Mark II free range of movement throughout the ship. The Prometheus was, at least, the second starship to bear the name.

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Some time shortly after stardate 51462 in 2374, the Prometheus was hijacked by Romulans. During their escape aboard the ship, the Prometheus easily disabled the USS Bonchune when the Romulans decided to enable the multi-vector assault mode, for the first time, proving her potency as a combat vessel. Coincidentally, during the hijacking the Prometheus received a subspace transmission from the USS Voyager, which was stranded in the Delta Quadrant over 60,000 light years away. This transmission contained Voyager’s Emergency Medical Hologram, who initially escaped detection by claiming to be the Prometheus’ EMH, and also claiming that, as a doctor, he was neutral. Assisted by the Prometheus’ EMH, The Doctor was able to regain control of the ship by knocking the Romulans out using neurozine gas (that, naturally, didn’t affect the two holograms) and stop her from entering Romulan space. Despite their initial lack of understanding of the controls of the Prometheus, the two EMHs subsequently managed to destroy an opposing Romulan ship before the Prometheus was recovered by Starfleet. Following this, The Doctor spoke directly to Starfleet Headquarters about the fate of Voyager, before returning to his ship to assure them that they were no longer alone. (VOY: “Message in a Bottle”

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The warp drive of the Prometheus-class made the ships of this class faster than any other starship in the fleet at the time in the mid 2370s. The warp drive was capable of maintaining speeds exceeding warp 9.9. The Prometheus-class was designed with an unprecedented level of automation, and, combined with its advanced tactical systems, was one of the most powerful combat ships in the Alpha Quadrant. The primary battle systems on board the Prometheus included regenerative shielding, ablative hull armor, phasers, and photon torpedoes. A unique feature included in the Prometheus design was the multi-vector assault mode, which allowed the ship to split into three semi-independent sections that could each deliver massive force against an enemy target. All three sections were warp-capable. In this mode, the Prometheus could easily disable a Nebula-class at warp, or a D’deridex-class on the field of battle. (VOY: “Message in a Bottle” While other starship classes had similar capabilities, such as the Galaxy-class with its saucer separation feature, generally the saucer section of such classes had no warp drive and limited weaponry. (TNG: “Encounter at Farpoint”, “The Arsenal of Freedom”, “The Best of Both Worlds, Part II”

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In addition to standard automation systems, the Prometheus-class design also featured holoemitters on every deck, which allowed the ship’s Emergency Medical Hologram (Mark II) to access all areas of the ship (most EMHs were confined to sickbay only). Primary controls for the ventilation system were located in Jefferies tube 17, which was located five decks up from sickbay.

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So I hope you like the photos that I put up of the gorgeous beast. I lost the unboxing video of the Prometheus so here is the closer look video of the model. Enjoy!

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The Great Divide

When reading for fun, do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction? Do you have an idea why you prefer one over the other?

I tend to mostly stick to fiction and very rarely do I go for a non-fiction book. I like autobiographies and bios as well but the ones I have read are not that many. I remember loving the autobios of Bjorn Borg and Martina Navtratilova (which are co-authored) but still great reads into the minds and lives of big champions.

I don’t think I would much like reading books based on history that much although when I have, I have been engrossed in it. I prefer documentaries and movies based on history. I love stuff like that but reading through it hasn’t always captured my fancy as much as watching it on a screen has. Still it does have it’s charms.

Fiction has always appealed to me, I can get lost in a book and the way the best stories are written. I create the look of each character, building, house and apartment in my mind. The way the characters walk, talk, gesture – everything comes alive in my brain as I have a very active one. That’s kinda why I prefer fiction.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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RIP Jerry Doyle

Jerry Doyle, best known for his role as security chief Michael Garibaldi on the sci-fi series Babylon 5, has died, his family announced Thursday. He was 60. The actor was found Wednesday in his Las Vegas home, and the cause of death was not immediately known.

Doyle appeared on 109 episodes of Babylon 5 from 1994-1998, and was wed to co-star Andrea Thompson from 1995-1997. In recent years, he ventured into talk radio, hosting the political talk program The Jerry Doyle Show. He also was the founder of the political site EpicTimes. Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski penned a tribute for his former star, joking that while they disagreed on politics (Jerry “was just to the right of Attila the Hun”, Straczynski donated to Doyle’s campaign when he ran for Congress in 2000.

Doyle grew up in Brooklyn, New York, raised as the eldest son of a police officer and a housewife. He spent the first six months of his life in an orphanage before being adopted. In 1978, Doyle earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, while also receiving his flight training. Previously a corporate jet pilot and after a decade as a stockbroker on Wall Street, Doyle made an abrupt career change into acting in 1991, when he moved to Los Angeles. His first television role was on the series Moonlighting where he played the on-screen brother of Bruce Willis’ character. This was followed by a recurring role as a lawyer on the soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. Babylon 5 was his first significant starring role, starring as security officer Michael Garibaldi.

He began his own production company to move into production television and independent films, which he described as an “experiment”. Other work included a series on the aircraft of the Second World War entitled Keep ’em Flying, alongside producer John Copeland, who Doyle had previously worked with on Babylon 5. Doyle was a frequent guest on Newsmax Media TV, primarily on the program Midpoint with Ed Berliner. He had also been a featured guest on Fox & Friends.

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Personal Space

To what extent is your blog a place for your own self-expression and creativity vs. a site designed to attract readers? How do you balance that? If sticking to certain topics and types of posts meant your readership would triple, would you do it?

My blog is all mine. It’s a place where I come to express myself, share ideas and thoughts. My likes, my loves, my hates, my fears and my comments. I share news and what I think of it. I share jokes because everyone should laugh. I share photos I take or images I like. I share my views on movies and tv shows and music that I love. I share sports scores and what I think of a win, a loss or a trade or a sell.

I do this all and this is my space to do so, my little corner of the web. Facebook is fun and all that and I enjoy it a lot but this website / blog here is all me. It’s customized to my tastes. It represents me to a T. I like blogging a lot. I do it almost everyday as somedays I just can’t find the time to write or there’s a block. I don’t stick to a particular topic; as you can see I have a lot of categories here that you can check out on the sidebar.

If anyone likes them they are welcome to read, peruse, go through or just look at the pics. It’s your choice. I write for me and anyone else who likes them are welcome. I won’t change a thing.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Inside The Actor’s Studio

On the interview show Inside the Actors’ Studio, host James Lipton asks each of his guests the same ten questions (you’ll find them below). What are your responses?

What is your favorite word? – Fan-fucking-tastic
What is your least favorite word? – Religion
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? – anything that excites or moves me. Passion is a great inspiration.
What turns you off? – fake sincerity, show of being over religious and full of it
What is your favorite curse word? – Dickhole (I dunno, I use a bunch of them)
What sound or noise do you love? – the fizz of a freshly opened beer bottle / can
What sound or noise do you hate? – too many to dwell on
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? – acting
What profession would you not like to do? – cleaning anything toxic
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? – OK, I fucked up. Please forgive me!

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Wish

I long for a time where everyone – man, woman or child – can venture out into the streets at night, walk to a cafe / bar or movie theatre and make their way back home without any form of trouble. Instead of women getting heckles or worse, people will offer them rides back to their residence and ensure that they are safe and sound. When no kids will ever be in danger from a hostile grown up.

I also long for a time when people will have to look up a history book or documentary to know what war / crime / murder / rape / theft / racism / invasions / slavery / corruption / inequality and those sort of things are. And after they learn about it they will look upon their past generations as being savage, uncultured, uneducated and unethical and shake their heads in shame to be part of the same humanity that doled out these atrocities willfully and did almost nothing about it.

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USS Franklin

So it’s been a couple of days since I saw Star Trek Beyond and there’s a few posts that I thought I’d get out of the movie. Since I have done my review of the film let’s see what I thought about the hero ship featured in the movie. Hero ship as in, the USS Enterprise gets damaged and destroyed beyond repair in the first 25 minutes of the film and hence we get another ship. The USS Franklin.

The Franklin is an early Federation ship that went missing a 100 years ago and which the crew of the Enterprise find with the help of an alien named Jaylah. The Franklin, captained by from MACO Balthazar Edison  A human soldier from before the Federation’s formation, Edison became disillusioned with his life and purpose after peace was established with humanity’s enemies. When he and his crew were stranded in the nebula, he believed he had been deliberately cast aside. Having prolonged his life using the planet’s alien technology that also physically deformed him, Krall/Edison now plans to destroy the Federation in revenge. The crew of the Enterprise manage to fix the Franklin and take it into space.

I like the saucer section of the ship which reminds a lot of us fans of the NX-01 Enterprise (and Columbus) but I do like those jagged pylon sections that attach the main saucer section with the nacelles. Although the nacelles themselves look good on the ship. I might give the ship a grudging 6.5 outta 10 for the design and overall look.

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Are You Being Serviced?

What’s the most dreadful (or wonderful) experience you’ve ever had as a customer?

I think I have had some dreadful experiences as a customer but the eBay India one I had recently, like back in February was the worst. Having ordered a new phone for my mum and having the seller not send it was terrible. Even worse was the fact that I got not explanation – seller was trying to blame eBay, eBay was trying to blame the seller – and I was out of the money I had set aside to buy her the phone. Contacting their chat support was of no use either but I got the money in the end. And the seller’s staff called me a few weeks later and said that they would compensate me a measly Rs.300 if I redacted the low score I gave them. It’ ain’t happening douche!

I have some really good customer service reps who I have dealt with me. Some simple services and folk who won’t even know what customer service is but can do it all day long. They just want to do right by you and it’s in their nature to be of good service to you. Cheers to them, we can all learn from those people.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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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?

Snow? In Kerala? Riiiiiiiighttttt?

Ok, so if I were ever to  go to a mountainous region of the world and were out on my own climbing some peak or skiiing or whatever it is that you do near these places, and found myself in deep shit by a huge avalanche and covered so deep in snow, what thoughts would keep me alive and get through this?

Uh, life in general and the will to survive. The fact that I’d had a job to get back to and bills to pay and a family to get back to. Family as in dad, mom and sis and her family. They might miss me if I don’t make it back. So that will keep me alive.

Plus there are a bunch of tv shows that I would love to still watch so…..

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek Beyond is a 2016 American science fiction action film directed by Justin Lin from a screenplay by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung, based on the series Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry. It is the thirteenth film in the Star Trek film franchise and the third installment in the reboot series after Star Trek Into Darkness (2013). Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto reprise their roles as Captain James T. Kirk and Commander Spock, with Pegg, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, and Anton Yelchin reprising their roles from the previous films, with Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella joining the cast.

Set three years into the 5 year mission (that we saw they were setting out on at the end of the previous film) Kirk finds himself bogged down by the endless monotony of being the captain of a ship in space. The Enterprise docks at the new (and humongous) starbase The Yorktown to replenish their supplies and give the crew some much needed shore leave. Kirk has applied for the deskjob post of Vice Admiral of the Yorktown and meets Commodore Paris (Shohreh Aghdashloo) who command the starbase. He recommends Spock as his successor to command the Enterprise. Meanwhile we see Sulu meeting his husband (yes Sulu is revealed as gay here, in a nod to George Takei) and daughter Demora. Spock and Nyota Uhura deal with the end of their relationship, upon which Bones jokingly ribs Spock. An escape pod heads to the starbase and an alien female named Kalara comes out of it asking for help to save her people who are stranded on a planet in a nebula. Enterprise is sent to rescue them but fall into a trap.

The Enterprise is attacked by a swarm of ships and sustains massive damage. The swarm’s alien commander, Krall, boards the ship in order to retrieve an alien artifact Kirk had obtained in a recent mission. The Enterprise is ripped apart by the swarm and the saucer section crashes on the planet. The crew is scattered on the planet as their escape pods land and most of them, including Uhuru and Sulu are captured by Krall’s men. Kirk and Chekob search for the artifact that Kirk says he had hidden in the ship and discover that Kalara is an ally of Krall and escapes when she reveals herself attempting to retrieve the artifact. Kalara is killed as the two escape from the damaged ship and evade their ambushers. On the planet Spock is wounded and bleeding badly and is helped by McCoy as they try to find shelter and the others. Spock confesses to McCoy that Ambassador Spock has died, and Spock intends to leave Starfleet to take up his position among the Vulcans. Scotty meanwhile runs into some of Krall’s men but is rescued by an alien named Jaylah. She takes him to her makeshift home when he tells her he is an engineer; the home turns out to be the USS Franklin, an old starfleet vessel which has been missing for 100 years.

Scotty reunites with Kirk & Chekov and on fixing some of the ship’s systems is able to beam aboard Spock & Bones. using the ship as a base. The group plans to raid Krall’s camp on the planet to rescue the crew and transport them to the Franklin to escape the planet. Krall has managed to find the artifact, hidden with one of the crew members, bu threatening to kill Sulu and reveals what the artifact actually is -the missing half of an ancient bioweapon that can disintegrate a humanoid lifeform in seconds. He demonstrates the effectiveness to Uhuru by killing the crew member who hid the weapon. Krall, who rants about the Federation intends to attack the Yorktown and kill its inhabitants, and with its advanced technology go on to attack the Federation and destroy its unity. Using Jaylah’s advanced evading tactics as a distraction and a dirt bike (????) from the Franklin, Kirk and crew are able to get the crew beamed aboard the Franklin safely. Krall and his crew set off in the swarm ships towards the starbase, followed closely by the Franklin.

Discovering the way Krall’s drone vessels coordinate, the group disrupts their communications using a Beastie Boys song, causing mass confusion in the fleet that results in its destruction, and Krall and his remaining officers crash in Yorktown with the Franklin. The swarm ships cause havoc and destruction and some people are killed but starfleet crew manage to destroy or capture them. Only Krall escapes and heads his way to the ventilation system, where he attempts to unleash the bioweapon on the entire station. From the Franklin’s logs Uhuru and Kirk find out that Krall is in fact Balthazar Edison, the captain of the Franklin. A human soldier from before the Federation’s formation, Edison became disillusioned with his life and purpose following the establishment of peace with humanity’s enemies, and when he and his crew were stranded in the nebula, he became convinced he had been cast aside. Having sustained his life using the alien technology on the planet that also deformed him, Krall/Edison now plans to destroy the Federation in revenge for their perceived betrayal.

Kirk is able to stop Krall and ejects him into space where the former starfleet captain is engulfed by the bioweapon and is consumed by it. The Yorktown and most of the people are saved and the crew of the Enterprise is lauded for their efforts. Kirk is offered the promotion to Vice Admiral, but declines in favor of retaining his captaincy. Spock decides to remain in Starfleet and resumes his relationship with Uhura while Jaylah is accepted to Starfleet Academy on Scotty’s recommendation. As the crew celebrates Kirk’s birthday, we see them looking on as the USS Enterprise A is being constructed in the starbase.

Way better than the previous one, this movie harks back to a lot of the good points from the original series. The camaraderie and chemistry between the cast is there to see, more natural now after two films. The storyline has faults and I do not like the fact that yet another human is the big villain. Also swarm ships – from where did Krall and his men get this technology? The Franklin is conveniently just a few hours of repair away from being fixed. Dirt bikes in outer space – dear lord!!! Beastie Boys music is the cure for interrupting signals of the bad guys? Still it’s a fun movie to watch and the heart strings get tugged when you see the tribute to Spock and the original cast. And yes, young Anton Yelchin who was taken away from us so soon. I give this movie an 8 outta 10!

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Arsenal Sign Holding

Rob Holding has joined Arsenal from Bolton Wanderers for an undisclosed fee. The England U21 international defender joined Bolton as an eight-year-old and, after progressing through the youth ranks, broke into the first team last season. Holding becomes Arsenal’s third signing of the summer transfer window, subject to the completion of regulatory processes, joining Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka and Japan forward Takuma Asano. But like the 21-year-old Asano, Holding is unlikely to play a major part in Wenger’s Premier League plans for the upcoming season and is more of a long-term prospect. He made his debut against Burton Albion in August 2015 before going on to become a virtual ever-present throughout the second half of the campaign. His performances were rewarded with a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s U21s and he made two appearances in helping England win the Toulon Tournament in France over the summer.

In a brief statement, Bolton said; “Everyone at Wanderers would like to thank Rob for his efforts during his time with the club, and wish him well in his future career.”The 20-year-old scored one goal in 30 appearances before being named as the club’s player of the year at the end of a season which saw them relegated to League One. Holding is unlikely to immediately challenge Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista at the Emirates, but could potentially form an all-English pairing with Chambers at centre-back in the future. Chambers was brought in as a 19-year-old from Southampton two years ago in a deal reportedly worth up to £16m, but has mainly been a backup at Arsenal so far.