The Death of Stalin

The Death of Stalin is a 2017 political satire comedy film directed and co-written by Armando Iannucci. It stars Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, Paddy Considine, Rupert Friend, Jason Isaacs, Michael Palin, Andrea Riseborough and Jeffrey Tambor. Based on the French graphic novel La mort de Staline, the film depicts the Soviet power struggles following the death of Soviet revolutionary and politician Joseph Stalin (Adrian McLoughlin) in 1953.

The movie depicts the events that happen after Stalin’s death; which occurs after he is paralysed by a cerebral haemorrhage. At the time he was listening to the recording to a concerto music that Stalin had wanted to get a copy off and reading a note from pianist Maria Yudina hides a note in the recording for Joseph Stalin, saying he has ruined the country. The members of the Central Committee are alerted. The first to arrive are NKVD head Lavrentiy Beria, who discovers Maria’s note, and Deputy General Secretary Georgy Malenkov. As Malenkov panics, Beria guides him to take leadership, hoping to use him as a puppet.

Moscow Party Head Nikita Khrushchev arrives with the rest of the Committee, except for Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, whom Stalin added to one of his lists of enemies the night previously. Beria closes off Moscow, has the NKVD take over city security duties from the Red Army, and replaces Stalin’s enemy lists with his own, reprieving Molotov. Khrushchev and Beria struggle for symbolic victories such as control over Stalin’s unstable son Vasily and daughter Svetlana. Stalin dies, despite initially recovering briefly Khrushchev goes to Molotov’s home and attempts to enlist his support, but Molotov, a true believer in Stalinism, opposes any factionalism within the Party. Beria buys his loyalty by releasing his wife Polina Molotova from confinement. There is then a struggle for power as the funeral preparations begin.

On the day of Stalin’s funeral, Khrushchev lies to the Committee and Zhukov that he has Malenkov’s support. The Red Army overwhelms the NKVD and takes up positions outside the conference room. Zhukov and his men arrest Beria, and Khrushchev coerces Malenkov into signing the papers for Beria’s trial. Khrushchev and his allies find Beria guilty of treason and of sexual assault in a kangaroo court and execute him. As Beria’s body is burnt, Khrushchev gives Svetlana a ticket to Vienna and assures her that her brother will be cared for. Several years later, Khrushchev, now Supreme Leader of the Soviet Union after removing his co-conspirators, attends a concert given by Maria, while future leader Leonid Brezhnev watches him.

A very light-heartened look at the events of communist Russia with some absurd humour, what I was also stricken by was the American and British accents for the Russian characters. That detracted from what was a really good movie but it also lags in places and I was droning off. The best performances are by Buscemi, Friend, Tambor & Issacs. 7.5 outta 10 for me!

Arsenal’s Transfer Targets

Jean Michael Seri, Jonny Evans and Ousmane Dembele are all on Arsenal’s radar this summer but Gunners must sell to supplement their £50m budget. Unai Emery will have a transfer budget of around £50million for this summer and wants to strengthen in midfield and defence primarily. Head of recruitment Sven Mislintat and his scouting staff have watched a number of players but the budget dictates some Arsenal players will need to be sold. Here Sportsmail identifies some of the players under discussion and examines which players could be heading out the Emirates exit door.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund is valued at £15million and is expected to be the first arrival for Emery, the Greek centre back adds experience. Arsenal have also asked about Freiburg’s Caglar Soyuncu but his £30m price is an obstacle. Emery wanted Jean Michael Seri from Nice, now valued at £35million while at PSG and is keen to bring him to Arsenal but will face competition from Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester United, who have greater budgets to play with. Dennis Praet at Sampdoria for £18m and Roma’s Lorenzo Pellegrini for £26m would represent cheaper alternatives.

Jonny Evans is available from West Brom at £3million. Evans has a bargain price but it’s widely known that his agent wants a large commission of £4m, which has put off the likes of Manchester City and made Leicester re-think. Arsenal need a goalkeeper and Leno is ready to leave Bayer Leverkusen after they brought in Lukas Hradecky from Eintracht Frankfurt. He has turned down Napoli and wants regular first-team football. Bayer is asking £22million but it should be worth it.

Blast From The Past – Revisited Post

Write about a first kiss.

I studied in Carmel school, Kuwait at the time and they had a strict policy about the ratio of girls to guys. I remember that it was about 11 of us jokers against 35 or so girls! I was in the 4th grade. I sat next to, what I thought much later to be, two of the most cutest girls I have ever met. On my right sat Asma, who was this sweet but naughty Gujarathi girl. And on my left sat Michelle.

Michelle was Filipino and she was so cute. Thick curly hair, doll like fair skinned face and she had eyes that made you want to cry. Now, I am basing this mostly on the photos I saw of her much later, the ones I found about 10 years ago, long after I last saw her in person. Anyways, Michelle was the quietest girl in the school. She pretty much kept to herself and was so quite that sometimes the teachers forgot that she was even there.

Well, once she was ill and had to stay at home on a day that we were given a big homework to do. I remember that it was in Arts & Crafts (why did they have such a subject in school like that, I will never know). So Michelle didn’t do the work since she wasn’t there when it was assigned. The next day, our teacher was coming to each kid and checking the homework and when it came to Michelle – ofcourse she couldn’t submit it since she hadn’t done it.

Now Michelle was so silent & scared that she couldn’t even tell the teacher that she had been absent the previous day. The teacher scolded her loudly and gave her extra homework to present the next day. I wanted to say something in defense of Michelle but…you know how boys are at that age. So Michelle started crying, very quietly I might add, and it was getting to me. I must have said something like “stop crying or I’m getting drenched over here” or something. But she kept on crying. The bell rang and we all headed back to our buses.

Suddenly I realized that I had forgotten my water bottle and I rushed back to get it from the classroom. There sat Michelle, all alone, crying her little heart out. I was sad to see that and worried that she would miss her bus. So I went to her and pleaded with her to stop crying and get into her bus. She kept on sobbing. So I….picked her up, wiped her tears and told her that I would walk her to her bus if she only would stop bawling away.

That stopped her and she said ‘ok’ and off we went. We go onto our respective buses and went home. The next day, she smiled at me and gave me a small toy (I can’t remember what it was). And when no one was around, she said ‘I love you’ and kissed me! On the lips. One big smack! And I said ‘ok’!

I sat next to her for another two months and then it was summer vacations. The next school year, I had to move to another school (since boys were only allowed till the 4th grade in Carmel school) and I never saw Michelle again. But she is a part of my childhood no matter what else I will ever do in my life.

Prompt from 365 Blog Post Ideas and Writing Prompts at See Jane Write

Arsenal Announce Unai As New Manager

Unai Emery is to become our new head coach. He joins the club after completing a two-year spell at Paris Saint-Germain, where he recently landed the treble of Ligue 1, Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue.  Unai, 46, previously spent three seasons with Sevilla, leading them to an unprecedented three consecutive Europa League titles, establishing the club as a major force in the Spanish league.

Announcing the appointment, chief executive Ivan Gazidis said: “Unai has an outstanding track record of success throughout his career, has developed some of the best young talent in Europe and plays an exciting, progressive style of football that fits Arsenal perfectly. His hard-working and passionate approach and his sense of values on and off the pitch make him the ideal person to take us forward.  “We conducted a confidential, wide-ranging and rigorous search involving extensive background references, data and video analysis, and personal meetings with all the candidates we shortlisted. All were interested in the position and we were unanimous in our choice of Unai to drive the next chapter of our history.”

Unai said: “I am thrilled to be joining one of the great clubs in the game. Arsenal is known and loved throughout the world for its style of play, its commitment to young players, the fantastic stadium, the way the club is run. I’m very excited to be given the responsibility to start this important new chapter in Arsenal’s history. I have met Stan and Josh Kroenke and it’s clear they have great ambitions for the club and are committed to bringing future success. I’m excited about what we can do together and I look forward to giving everyone who loves Arsenal some special moments and memories.”

Unai started his coaching career at Lorca Deportiva in 2005 after playing mostly in the Spanish second division. He went on to coach Almeria, Valencia and Spartak Moscow before joining Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain.

The Pool It Is

Would you rather swim in the ocean, lake, or swimming pool?

I have never swum in the ocean or a lake. I have swum mostly in swimming pools, mostly during a 2-3 month stint when I went to a club. And a few times I have taken a swim in a river. The Periyar river mostly.

I haven’t been swimming since my early 20s. Being a fat obese guy might have a lot to do with it. Actually, the only thing that is stopping me from doing it. When I was 18-19 I went to Abad Plaza where they had a sauna, steam room (a doctor told my parents that steam rooms with eucalyptus oil on a cloth tied against the steam blower is good for people with asthma and breathing issues). While there, I learned swimming in their pool on the open air roof.

Have you gone swimming in a pool in the night when it is raining heavily? It’s like you are in a storm in the sea/ocean. Or rather it feels like what I have seen on tv or movies. Especially when you are under water. As a mediocre swimmer and never haven been in almost 2 decades, I would prefer a pool.

Prompt from 31 DAYS OF WRITING PROMPTS FOR MAY at The SitsGirls

Santi To Leave Arsenal

Arsenal have announced Santi Cazorla will leave the club this summer, with his contract coming to an end next month. The Spaniard joined from Malaga in 2012 but had his time at the Emirates hampered by injuries, causing him to not have a first-team appearance to his name since October 2016, due to an Achilles’ injury, which needed a skin graft. Cazorla has had surgery on his injury several times and in November 2017 doctors told him he should be “satisfied” to walk again after contracting gangrene in his right ankle.

Chief executive Ivan Gazidis said: “Santi is always one of my favourite players to watch. His natural ability with both feet, his speed of thought and movement were central to our best performances in recent years. He plays with a joy and freedom which is very rare. We wish him well for the future and thank him for his important contribution to our club.”

The Independent reported last week that Cazorla was in line for a place in Mikel Arteta’s coaching staff should he have been given the job of replacing Arsene Wenger at the Emirates, but it talks have broken down and Unai Emery is expected to be announced as the club’s new manager. In total, Cazorla scored 29 goals in 180 appearances, helping the Gunners win two FA Cups in the process. Cazorla joined Arsenal from Malaga in 2012 for £17 million and emerged as one of their most influential players on the pitch in his role as a deeper-lying playmaker. Arsenal struggled mightily to make up for his absence, with their lack of a dominant central midfielder one of the reasons for two consecutive Premier League finishes outside the top four.

“I am very sad to be leaving after so many great times,” Cazorla said. “I have loved my time with the club. I will always remember the special moments we had together. The FA Cup in 2014 is something we will never forget. “I am very proud to be part of this club’s history.”

Arsenal Set To Announce Unai Emery As New Boss

Arsenal are set to appoint Unai Emery as their new manager. Manchester City assistant manager and former Gunners captain Mikel Arteta was strong favourite to succeed Arsene Wenger. Emery emerged as the unanimous choice following a recruitment process in which all candidates were spoken to. The 46-year-old Spaniard is available after leaving Paris St-Germain where he won one Ligue 1 title and four domestic cups in two seasons in charge. Previously he guided Sevilla to three consecutive Europa League triumphs between 2014 and 2016. Emery announced last month he would leave French champions PSG when his contract expired at the end of the season. He was replaced by former Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel, who had also been linked with the Arsenal job.

Emery’s English is not completely fluent but the language barrier is not expected to be a problem. An announcement and news conference are expected later this week. After Wenger’s departure was announced, the betting odds on Emery replacing him were at one stage as long as 66-1 – placing him behind the likes of former Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood. Other candidates included Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri and former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti, as well as former Arsenal players Arteta, Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira.

The recruitment process was led by Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, head of football relations Raul Sanllehi and head of recruitment Sven Mislintat – though the final decision would be down to majority shareholder and owner Stan Kroenke. Wenger, 68, left the Gunners at the end of season after 22 years in charge, during which he won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, including two Doubles.

Russia 2018 : FIFA World Cup

Well, well it’s that time again. Once every four years the world stops to watch the top 32 football nations of that period battle it out in tournament that lasts about a month and we will see shocks, upsets, despair and glory in the end. I am excited about it but I might only be able to watch a few games due to me working evening shifts. I’ll surely watch the games during the weekends and the ones that – looking at the fixtures and the times in India.

Germany seems to be the strong favourites as defending champions. They will have to overcome free casino cash no deposit Mexico, Sweden and South Korea to get out of their group and into the knock-out stage. Brazil are also in the running but I don’t like them and I hope they fall early. They have been handed a tough group to navigate first though. Serbia, Switzerland and Costa Rica are all hard-working and capable sides, so Brazil will not be expected to breeze through to the knock-out stage. The 2010 world champions Spain are not the force they were once and have a fascinating group that will see them come up against Iberian rivals Portugal as well as Morocco and Iran, but they should have enough in the tank to finish in the top two.

France are among the favourites to win the competition 10 years after their first and only triumph. It is not surprising to see Les Bleus so highly rated (13/2) considering that Didier Deschamps has an impressive pool of talent to draw from, which includes the likes of Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann. Argentina’s qualification campaign almost ended in disaster and they needed a moment of Messi magic in the last game to secure their place at the tournament. But they recently suffered a 6-1 hammering at the hands of Spain, which, while a friendly, simply does not bode well and they will have to emerge from a difficult group containing Croatia, Iceland and Nigeria.

I would put Portugal and Belgium as dark horses and perhaps Russia can do some damage with home turf advantage. I hope we have a good one!

Lulu Mall, Sundaes, Movie, Pizza & Cramps

So for yesterday I had booked tickets for my cousin and I at Lulu PVR’s 7:30 pm showing of Deadpool 2. We agreed to meet at around 6:30 pm. I reached about 20 minutes before that and went to the top floor food court to see if I could get a drink. In a few minutes he reached and called me saying that he wanted some ice cream before the movie. So I said sure and we went to the Merriboy stall and ordered some Death by Chocolate sundaes. We had to go an ATM counter to get some money out as their machine was down.

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We still had 30 minutes before the movie started after we finished our sundaes so we quickly visited the loo and then went to the PVR lounge. We ordered cokes and popcorn and then settled into our recline seats and waited through the trailers and ads and the National anthem. The hilarity then ensued.

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After that we went to the Dominos stall to split a pizza with a couple of chicken wings each but I got severe cramps on my right thigh that hurt like hell. I tried walking it off but it took about 10 minutes to get it back to normal. We ate dinner quickly and then went to get our rides back to our homes.

Deadpool 2

Deadpool 2 is a 2018 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Deadpool, distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is the eleventh installment in the X-Men film series, and a sequel to the 2016 film Deadpool. The film is directed by David Leitch from a script by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and Ryan Reynolds, with Reynolds starring in the title role alongside Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, and Jack Kesy. In the film, Deadpool forms the team X-Forceto protect a young mutant from Cable.

More violent and more funny with lots of inappropriate humour that leaves you laughing all the movie through, Ryan Reynolds is back as the Merc with the mouth. For the past two years he has been working as a mercenary killing his targets in all sorts of violent ways. On his anniversary with Vanessa, as they start to plan their family, one of the targets he missed, tracks them down and kills Vanessa (by accident; the bullet was meant for Wade). Wilson kills the man in revenge, but blames himself for her death, and attempts to commit suicide six weeks later by blowing himself up. Wilson has a vision of Vanessa in the afterlife, but the pieces of his body remain alive and are put back together by Colossus. Wilson is left with only a Skee-Ball token, an anniversary gift, as a final memento of Vanessa.

As a sort of healing, Wade joins the X-men reluctantly and Colossus, and Negasonic Teenage Warheadrespond to a standoff between authorities and the unstable young mutant Russell Collins / Firefist at an orphanage, labeled a “Mutant Reeducation Center”. Wilson realizes that Collins has been abused by the orphanage staff, and kills one of the staff members. Colossus stops him from killing anyone else, and both Wilson and Collins are arrested. Restrained with collars that negate their powers, they are taken to the “Icebox”, an isolated prison for mutant criminals. Meanwhile, a cybernetic soldier from the future, Cable, whose family Collins murdered, travels back in time to terminate the boy before Collins ever becomes a killer. Cable breaks in to the facility and fights Wade, whose collar breaks off in the melee. He attempts to defend Collins, but Cable defeats him and takes Vanessa’s token. Wilson forces himself and Cable out of the prison, but not before Collins overhears Wilson deny that he cares for the young mutant.

Near death Wade has another vision of Vanessa who urges him to help the kid. Wilson organizes a team of mutants he calls X-Force to break Collins out of a prison-transfer convoy and defend him from Cable. The team launches its assault on the convoy by parachuting from a plane, but all of the team-members except for Wilson and the lucky Domino die in the landing. While the pair fight Cable, Collins frees fellow inmate Juggernaut, who repays Collins by agreeing to help him kill the abusive orphanage headmaster. Juggernaut destroys the truck he and Collins are in and they escape. Cable offers to work with Wilson and Domino to stop Collins’ first kill, which will lead to more. He agrees to give Wilson a chance to talk Collins down before attempting to kill the boy again.

At the orphanage Juggernaut overwhelms them until Colossus, Negasonic Teenage Warhead and her girlfriend Yukio arrives to distract the huge monster. After Wilson appears to fail in talking down Collins, Cable shoots at the young mutant. Wilson leaps in front of the bullet and dies, reuniting with Vanessa in the afterlife. Seeing this sacrifice on his behalf, Collins does not kill the headmaster. This changes the future, in which Cable’s family now survives. Cable uses the last charge on his time-traveling device, which he needed for returning to his family, to go back several minutes and strap Vanessa’s token in front of Wilson’s heart before they arrive at the orphanage. This time, when Wilson leaps in front of the bullet it is stopped by the token and he survives. Collins still has his change of heart, while the headmaster is run over by Wilson’s taxi-driver friend Dopinder.

In the mid-credits scene Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Yukio repair Cable’s time-traveling device for Wilson. He uses it to save the lives of Vanessa and X-Force member Peter; kill X-Men Origins: Wolverines version of Deadpool; and kill actor Ryan Reynolds while he is considering starring in the film Green Lantern. Fucking hilarious – I am trying to think of another movie during which I laughed so hard recently and I am failing. Everyone in the theatre was rolling in the aisle with mirth. It is so damn funny. Such inappropriate humour and it works so well. 9.5 outta 10!

Change Needed

Write about something you’ve been avoiding.

I’ve been avoiding finding a different job to work in. I need to find a new place and make a move within the next few months if not in the next month. It would be better for my health and I could also use with a good hike in my loans quick cash salary. I am not talking about 2-5k more but way, way more.

I am not ready to blog about other stuff that has been happening. Let’s just say that I am done with being so frustrated at work. I could use a change of pace and it’s now a good enough time that I have spent in my current cialis 5 place of employment that I can move without there being much question about any lack of stability.

I also need to get out of these night shifts if I can. I don’t mind it so much but I get so tired and jaded that I cannot wait for the weekend to begin so I can rest.

Prompt from 365 Blog Post Ideas and Writing Prompts at SeaJaneWrite