RIP Sridevi Kapoor

Veteran actress Sridevi died in Dubai on Saturday after a cardiac arrest. She was 54. Popularly hailed as the first female superstar of Hindi cinema, the actor was in Dubai with her husband Boney Kapoor and younger daughter Khushi to attend nephew and actor Mohit Marwah’s wedding. The actor had married film producer Boney Kapoor with whom she had two daughters. Sridevi, who made her acting debut at the age of four, had many big hits like “Chandni” and was especially noted for her impeccable timing as a comedienne.

She took a 15-year-long break from movies in 1997, a year after her marriage. She returned in 2012’s “English Vinglish”. Sridevi stunned fans with her performance as a villainous queen in “Puli”, which also marked her comeback to Tamil cinema after a gap of more than two decades.

Sridevi started her career as a child artist in M.A. Thirumugham’s devotional Thunaivan at the age of four, and continued to act as a child artist in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada films. She made her Bollywood debut as a child artist in the hit Julie (1975) and played her first adult role at age 13 with the Tamil film Moondru Mudichu (1976). Subsequently, Sridevi established herself as one of the leading actresses of Tamil and Telugu cinema, with roles such as 16 Vayathinile (1977), Sigappu Rojakkal (1978 ), Varumayin Niram Sivappu (1980 ) Meendum Kokila (1981), Premabhishekam (1981), Moondram Pirai (1982), Aakhari Poratam (1988 ), Jagadeka Veerudu Atiloka Sundari (1990) and Kshana Kshanam (1991).

In Bollywood, she made her debut as a lead actress in Solva Sawan (1978 ) and gained wide public attention with the movie Himmatwala (1983). She appeared in a string of commercially successful movies such as Mawaali (1983), Tohfa (1984), Naya Kadam (1984), Maqsad (1984), Masterji (1985), Nazrana (1987), Mr. India (1987), Waqt Ki Awaz (1988 ) and Chandni (1989). She also received critical acclaim for commercially successful movies such as Sadma (1983), Nagina (1986), ChaalBaaz (1989), Lamhe (1991), Khuda Gawah (1992), Gumrah (1993), Laadla (1994) and Judaai (1997). Sridevi has won five Filmfare Awards and has been nominated ten times.

Weird Little Afternoon Dream

I had this weird but vivid dream this afternoon. Yes, in the afternoon! I was watching a movie and was falling asleep as I have been ill since late Wednesday night and so took an almost 2 hour nap. Plus it is hot as well. So in this dream, I was traveling in a van driven by my cousin and I was in the passenger seat. There were two other cousins in the back seat. I was sleepy and loopy and almost falling unconscious. We were headed to a wedding in town.

As we neared the wedding hall, I realized that I was shirtless and my dhoti was untied and almost falling out of my seat. I tried in van to tie it back my hands just couldn’t get the co-ordination needed for it. We reached the hall and there were so many people there outside. Yet as the door opened, magically a white shirt appeared on my back and I managed to do the buttons on. I also magically had black pants on under my dhoti and I grabbed the ends of the dhoti to cover it from falling down. I staggered my way to a seat and sat there for a while, holding my head in my hands. My cousins called me as they were eating lunch and I sat with them but couldn’t even manage to look at the food.

I went on inside the hall and found a bathroom. I found a stall and closed the door as I felt like pooping and puking at the same time and my head was woozy. I lowered my pants and my underwear to do my business but still managed to get dirty as I puked at the same time. I  managed to wash it off and now had to wear the wet pants under my dhoti and walk around. I went to a kitchen and met two of my aunts who wanted to give me lemonade to make me feel me better but I walked away still feeling the effects and wanting to get home and to sleep. I managed to get to a car and my grandmother’s sister – who in real life has never driven ever – drove me half way to my home!

She stopped on the way to get me some medicine but it did not clear my wooziness and I was barely able to walk straights. Soon the rest of my family caught up with us and I walked back into the van and they took me to a hospital. Turns out I had a tumor in my brain and that was what was causing my wooziness and lack of coordination. The doctors started talking about what we could do when I woke up from my sleep! Weird, huh?

Arsenal 1 Osterunds FK 2

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said his side were complacent as they survived a huge scare against Swedish minnows Ostersunds FK to claim a place in the last 16 of the Europa League. The Gunners won the first leg 3-0 but one of football’s great shocks looked possible at half-time after the visitors struck two goals in 70 seconds. Graham Potter’s side, who have risen from Sweden’s fourth tier since 2010, were on top in the first half and led 2-0 thanks to Calum Chambers’ own goal – deflecting in Hosam Aiesh’s shot – and Ken Sema’s clinical strike. But the Gunners – who named a reasonably strong side only three days before their Carabao Cup final with Manchester City – improved slightly after the break and Sead Kolasinac finished from Hector Bellerin’s cross to relieve the sense of dread inside Emirates Stadium.

“We were not at the races in the first half,” said Wenger, who saw his side booed off at half-time and full-time. “I think in the second half it was much better and we should have scored a few goals. “In the first half we were in trouble and in danger because we were complacent, not focused and were open every time we lost the ball. We had no ideas with the ball and that’s why we were in trouble. Arsenal, who have never won the Uefa Cup or Europa League, will discover their last-16 opponents at 12:00 GMT on Friday. Ostersund are only the second team to win a game at the Emirates in the Gunners’ last 28 matches – a run dating back to March 2017. Chambers was arguably at fault for both strikes. For the first, he turned home Aiesh’s shot and for the second he was beaten to the ball by Sema and then turned away from the winger’s superb finish.

Things got better in the second half, although had they got worse this would probably have gone down as Wenger’s lowest point as Arsenal boss. Granit Xhaka replaced young midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles at the break and the Gunners looked reasonably comfortable once Kolasinac took advantage of Ronald Mukiibi’s air-kick from Bellerin’s cross to lash home. Danny Welbeck had four chances to score, but he headed two straight at Aly Keita, chipped the other to the goalkeeper and shot straight at him again in the last minute.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a 2017 spy comedy film produced and directed by Matthew Vaughn and written by Vaughn and Jane Goldman. It is a sequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014) which is based on the comic book series Kingsman, created by Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar. The film features Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Edward Holcroft, Hanna Alström, and Sophie Cookson reprising their roles from the first film with Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Pedro Pascal, Elton John, Channing Tatum, and Jeff Bridges joining the cast. The plot follows the members of Kingsman needing to team up with their American counterpart, Statesman, after the world is held hostage by Poppy Adams and her drug cartel, “The Golden Circle”.

The movie starts off with Eggsy Unwin, who has officially joined Kingsman, taken his late mentor Harry Hart’s title of Galahad, and begun a relationship with Tilde, Crown Princess of Sweden. On his way home from work he is ambushed by Charlie Hesketh, a former Kingsman trainee who lost his arm and vocal cords during the Valentine incident, replacing them with cybernetics. Eggsy evades Charlie and his henchmen in a car chase across London, but Charlie’s severed cybernetic arm hacks into the Kingsman servers through the computer system of Eggsy’s car. While Eggsy has a birthday dinner with his friends and Tilde, Charlie passes on the information gained to Poppy Adams, the leader of the world’s largest drug cartel, the Golden Circle. Poppy uses the information to launch a volley of missiles that destroy the Kingsman headquarters and wipe out all of the agents in Britain, aside from Eggsy and Merlin, Kingsman’s tech support.

Eggsy and Merlin now the only Kingsman staff left alive drink their sorrows but discover that they have a connection to Statesman, an American private intelligence service posing as a Bourbon whiskey distillery in Kentucky.  There, they discover that Harry survived his shooting thanks to Statesman technology, but is suffering from amnesia. They also learn about the Golden Circle from Statesman head Champagne, and the two agencies agree to work together to bring it down. Statesman agent Tequila later develops a blue rash and shows signs of mania, and is replaced by another agent, Whiskey, as Eggsy’s partner. Eggsy plants a tracking device on Charlie’s ex-girlfriend Clara Von Gluckfberg during a sexual encounter at Glastonbury Festival, but his revelation of the mission to Princess Tilde strains their relationship.

Eggsy manages to get Harry out his amnesia by jogging his memory, by threatening to shoot a Cairn Terrier puppy that resembles Harry’s late dog, shortly before Poppy broadcasts a message telling the world about a toxin she has added to all her drugs, which causes users to develop symptoms like Tequila’s before progressing to paralysis, and ultimately, death. She offers the antidote to the world if the President of the United States ends his country’s War on drugs and grants her cartel immunity from prosecution. The President decides to have everyone affected quarantined, intending to let them all die in order to put Poppy out of business. Eggsy, Harry, and Whiskey track Clara to the Golden Circle’s antidote factory in Italy but it is broken by Whiskey while they are ambushed. Harry suspects Whiskey and shoots him dead but Eggsy , believing Harry to be delusional as a result of his recovery, saves him with the same technology that Statesman used to save Harry.

Prince Tilde calls Harry and she too is affected by the blue rash due to taking drugs upset about her relationship. Eggsy, Harry, and Merlin discover the location of Poppy’s hideout, “Poppy Land”, in Cambodia and fly there to steal the laptop which can deploy the drones carrying the antidote. Upon their arrival at Poppy Land, Eggsy steps on a land mine, but Merlin sacrifices himself to save him and Harry. The duo beat out Charlie, Poppy’s two robot dogs and a bunch of her man before inject Poppy with a concentrated dose of her toxin and heroin. Poppy gives them the laptop password in exchange for the antidote, but dies of an overdose from the heroin. Whiskey interrupts them before they can deploy the drones, revealing that he wants all drug users to die after his pregnant wife was killed in a robbery committed by two methamphetamine users.

Eggsy and Harry fight and kill Whiskey, then deploy the drones to release the antidote and save the affected victims throughout the world. In the aftermath, the President is impeached for conspiring to commit genocide on the drug victims, and Statesman purchases a distillery in Scotland to help rebuild Kingsman. Statesman tech support specialist Ginger Ale is appointed to the position of Whiskey, Eggsy marries Princess Tilde, and Tequila joins Kingsman, which acquires a new tailor shop in London.

Fun but not as good as the first one but just barely gets an above average grade. I’d say it’s good enough for an afternoon watch. 7 outta 10!

Might Stay In This Weekend

Man, I am tired. I worked Monday 10:30pm to 6:30 am – I had to leave the office at that time since I had to come in by 8:30 pm for a session. So Tuesday that’s the shift that I worked and yesterday I worked a 7:30 pm to 4:30 am shift. This morning I reached home by 5:10 am and then ate a quick breakfast that I had packed from the office cafeteria and slept by 6:15 am.

Woke up at 1:30 pm feeling tired and exhausted and all that stuff. Post a late lunch I watched a movie while lying on my bed feeling still half like a zombie. And I still have two more work days to go for this week. Oh man, at this rate I guess that I will be as dead as a zombie by early Saturday morning. Still 2 days to go to the weekend.

I guess I will stay in this weekend if this is how I feel. I had planned to go and buy some beers from the self service Bevco in Gandhinagar and then come home quickly on Saturday evening and then order in some food for the folks and me. I might still do that but right now, even going to shower and shave seems like a big task.

Gibson Guitars On The Verge Of Bankruptcy

It’s a sign of the times or atleast musical times. Iconic guitar company Gibson , whose Les Paul and SG instruments have been played by generations of musicians, including stars such as Slash, Bob Marley, Angus Young and Carlos Santana, was founded more than 100 years ago in Michigan are reportedly on the verge of filing for bankruptcy. CEO Henry Juszkiewicz is thought to be in a race against time to decide whether to exchange the company’s debt, look to try and pay it off using his equity or try to declare the company bankrupt.

Gibson’s Chief Financial Officer Bill Lawrence recently left the firm just six months before $375 million of senior secured notes were due to mature, according to a report by the Nashville Post earlier this month. He had been working for the company for little over a year before departing. Gibson, which has annual revenues of more than $1 billion, has another $145 million in bank loans that will be due immediately if those senior secured notes are not refinanced by mid-July, the report said. The U.S.-based company has hired investment bank Jeffries to help with its current financial situation.

On Thursday, Gibson issued a statement that said an ongoing streamlining strategy would soon help it record the “best financial results the company has seen in its history within the next year.” It also said the firm would have the ability to pay back the company’s debt in whole within seven years.

Food Review #215

Burger Hut – the cheap option for foodies who want a quick, no frills & simple burger. I had a choco shake (cheapest at Rs.70 and large too) with medium french fries. Excellent shake and for that price it is awesome. If only they stopped adding ketchup to the burgers!!

Internet Outage Again!

Well, I’ve had another long outage in terms of internet at home this afternoon. With me getting home by 6:30 am and sleeping till 2 pm not having internet till just a couple of minutes ago is just not done. My current ISP provider, Asianet Broadband, though having a few good plans is having a lot of issues lately with providing me service. I keep having to call them very frequently and raising complaints.

Today what happened was, according to the technician who I just spoke to, a vehicle (most probably a stupid truck that delivers to one of the businesses nearby or the construction crew vehicles, hit the post that has the Asianet device that gets me internet to my apartment and thereby the cable got broken. This happens atleast once every 3 months. Added to frequent little outages that last a few hours and a server going down in the area every month or so, it has started to really bug me.

So I am happy with the plans and speeds but to be honest it’s not that great anymore. Plus their customer support sucks – most of the outsourced associates have no clue as to what to tell you and they even go out of their way to let you know (not outright but it’s the way that they say it) that they are outsourced and they will let the “OFFICE” know about it. I dunno but I may have to look out for another ISP.

Is Valentine’s Day Special?

Valentine’s Day. Is it a big deal in your world?

I meant to blog this prompt on the 14th or perhaps a or two day before it but I guess it skipped my mind. Valentine’s Day is a good day to celebrate your love for someone and I have no issues with it. In fact I support it wholeheartedly. I am not one of those morons who keep saying that Valentine’s day is a made up holiday or event – so is every other day including you holy days! There is no need to get all high and mighty with this stupid claim. I agree that Hallmark and other such companies capitalize on the sentiments of this day but then so do they and others on other events or holidays or celebrations. So don’t just get your knickers in a twist on this one day because it has no religious twist added to it or no one died or sacrificed themselves on the day for it’s origins.

It’s a day for you to celebrate the love and relationship you have with your loved one. Spend it on a nice evening meal with whatever – music, candles, romantic setting, quick getaway, hotel room booking, expensive meals – that will please the one you want to show your love & appreciation for. Your husband or your wife or significant other. Show them that today is just a special way of showing how much you appreciate them being there for you. And that should be great. Do not feel compelled to do it only on this day because of international pressure. But do it because you want to do it.

I guess anyday can be made special. So you know what – throw your lover offguard by doing something similar on a random given day? That makes it even more special.

Prompt is from 28 Days of Writing Prompts at The SitsGirls

Shopping For Shirts

Well it’s was long overdue. I finally went to Men’s Studio in Seemati and bought two shirts for myself. I am down to just a handful of shirts and one of the ones I like as it is very comfortable to wear tore when I caught a part of it on a sharp edge of a metal thing sticking out of a staircase at work. It’s not a big hole but I notices rips around the collar and well I needed to buy new shirts anyway. I always only keep 7-8 shirts with me which is crazy I know but being a big fat guy means less choice in the ready made shirt department.

Anyways, I always leave buying new clothes till the last moment and so I just needed to go and buy a couple of shirts. I had a coffee and a sandwich for a late breakfast and then headed to Men’s Studio and checked out some shirts. I selected the only three that I liked outta the small selection for my size but there was a plain blue one which once I wore it looked rather tacky. So I selected these two and paid for them and then headed back home.


I was in the clothing store for just 15 minutes. 15 minutes to select three shirts, try them on and then pay for them and leave! Hahaha try that one out ladies! Seriously I have spent hours waiting for my sister and girl cousins while they shopping for clothes. Watch a 3 hour movie, eat lunch and get a few beers in that time.

That First Pull Of The Heart Strings

Write About Your First Crush

In 1989 I met this girl named Sofia who had just moved to my school. She was a class ahead of me but about 2 years older. She had fair skin, curly brown hair and she was tall. Taller than me too! But I had this magnificent crush on her. Probably my first real crush. I remember all those feelings I had for this girl. And it was love at first sight for me. I remember I had just turned 12 and I met her as she was one of the new girls in the school where boys to girls ratio was around 5:1.

I was in the 8th grade and she was in the 9th, so I was 13 and she was 15 at the time. She never talked to many folks at the school which made it hard for me to muster up the courage to go and talk to her but I got a chance when I was picked to be part of this choir / group singing thing for our school’s annual day celebrations and so for 2 months I was with her during the practice hour each day. I even managed to ask her for her number and spoke to her a few times.

Ofcourse nothing came of it and she told me that I was younger than her and so it wasn’t something she would be interested in. I wasn’t very heartbroken or anything really as she soon left the school (no idea why) and I lost touch. About 5 years later I saw her while I was waiting for the bus and shouted her name and she smiled in recognition and that was the only other time I have ever seen her. I used to have the song Street of Dreams by Rainbow as “our” song and I would play this song and imagine it was me singing to her, while she danced around me in a white sweater and a grey skirt! I remember it so well even it was almost 30 years ago!!!

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

Movie, KFC & Ice Creams At Lulu Mall

Yesterday I finally went back to Lulu Mall again and my first movie in a theatre in well over 2 months. The last one was Justice League in November! That just won’t do. So anyway, back on Feb 1st we knew that Black Panther would be releasing in Lulu PVR theatres on the 16th. My cousin Sujith, who is my usual movie going companion, and I had agreed to go and watch the film together if he had Saturday off (his work, though in the same company, gives him rotating days off while mine is Sat/Sun fixed).

So after leaving from the office at almost 5am on Saturday morning I came home and watched tv for a bit and then slept till 11pm. I woke up and had a bit to eat and then downed some coffee to wake me up. I ironed my shirt by 1:30 pm, shaved and took a shower and left home by 2:30 pm. I reached Lulu Mall by 3pm just in time to have a quick small chicken kebab wrap for lunch and a Sprite at McDonalds in Lulu Mall. Sujith joined me at a quarter past 3 and he drank a coke and we waited till 20 minutes to 4pm.


After that we quickly ensured that we don’t get bothered during the movie by visiting the loo and then went to the theatre, showed the booked tickets on my phone and talked till 5 minutes before 4pm where we ordered some popcorn and 7ups and went inside to relax on the big recliners. We got our drinks and snacks brought to us post the playing of the national anthem and then settled in to enjoy the movie.

Post the movie we walked around the large top floor and settled on KFC for an early dinner. Sujith said it’s been ages since he had been to one and the last time we tried going to the KFC restaurant in Lulu Mall there was a huge crowd there. This time it was a decent size crowd and we managed to get to the counter in 10 minutes. We ordered a 6 piece bucket that also comes with French fries and we got Pepsis. We chatted and ate our fries and chicken and drank the cola as we chatted about the movie. After that we had ice creams from Baskin n Robbins and then left for our homes.

Black Panther

Black Panther is a 2018 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the eighteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Ryan Coogler from a screenplay by him and Joe Robert Cole, and stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa / Black Panther, alongside Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis. In Black Panther, T’Challa returns home as king of Wakanda but finds his sovereignty challenged by a long-time adversary, in a conflict that has global consequences.

Apparently Wakanda, formed around a mountain where a meteorite of the alien metal vibranium crashed centuries ago, has 5 tribes that went to war with each other in order to rule Wakanda. A warrior ingested a “heart-shaped herb”, that was affected by the metal, and gained superhuman abilities. He became the first “Black Panther”, and united the tribes to form the nation of Wakanda, though the Jabari Tribe chose not to follow the Black Panther’s rule. Over time, the Wakandans used the vibranium to develop highly-advanced technology and chose to isolate themselves from the rest of the world by posing as a Third World country.

In 1992 Prince N’Jobo, who has abandoned Wakanda after became convinced that Wakanda’s isolationist policies had done more harm than good, and vowed to share its technology with people of African descent around the world in order to help them conquer their oppressors, is confronted by his brother, King T’Chaka, then the Black Panther. When N’Jobo threatens the undercover agent Zuri, T’Challa is forced to kill his own brother and leaves his nephew, who was born to N’Jobo and his American wife, on his own as an orphan. In 2018, T’Challa is taking his role as king after his father’s death when, as part of the ceremony, he is temporarily stripped of his powers, and the Jabari Tribe’s leader M’Baku challenges T’Challa for the crown, but T’Challa defeats M’Baku in ritual combat, becoming the new king. He allows M’Baku to live.

T’Challa is joined at the ceremony by his mother, the current Queen Ramonda and younger sister Shuri as well his General Okoye and Nakia, a spy and his love interest. Ulysses Klaue, a black market arms dealer who N’Jobu had enlisted to infiltrate Wakanda and steal a cache of vibranium, had recently surfaced to sell a stolen Wakandan artifact to a buyer in Busan, South Korea, T’Challa’s closest friend W’Kabi—who lost his parents as a result of Klaue’s actions—urges him to bring Klaue to justice. T’Challa, Okoye & Nahia go to a nighclub in Busan to capture Klaue and run into CIA agent Everett K. Ross, who is posing as the buyer to apprehend Klaue. Klaue tells Ross that Wakanda’s international image is just a front for a technologically advanced civilization, before being broken out by Erik, now an ex-U.S. black ops soldier who goes by the name “Killmonger”.

Ross is seriously injured during the attack, and T’Challa decides to take him to Wakanda where their technology can save him rather than pursue Klaue. Shuri heals Ross with vibranium, while T’Challa confronts Zuri about N’Jobu. Killmonger kills Klaue and takes his body to Wakanda as a token, revealing his identity to the tribal elders and challenging T’Challa for the throne. He challenges T’Challa to ritual combat; during the battle, Zuri begs that he be killed in T’Challa’s place, so Killmonger kills him. Killmonger defeats T’Challa and hurls him over a waterfall. Killmonger is fed the heart-shaped herb, giving him the power of the Black Panther, and orders that the remaining heart-shaped herbs be incinerated. Nakia manages to extract one herb before the rest are burnt. Killmonger enacts his father’s plan and prepares shipments of Wakandan weapons to be distributed to operatives around the world, supported by W’Kabi and his army.

Nakia takes Ramonda, Shuri and Ross to the Jabari tribe where the group finds a comatose T’Challa, rescued by the Jabari in repayment for him sparing M’Baku’s life. Healed by the heart-shaped herb brought by Nakia, T’Challa requests that M’Baku provide his aid to defeat the usurper to the throne, but M’Baku declines. T’Challa returns to Wakanda to complete his combat with Killmonger, as he had neither surrendered nor died. Killmonger commands W’Kabi and his army to attack T’Challa. While the Dora Milaje are initially loyal to Killmonger, they become disgusted with his actions and battle him, causing him to reveal he had stolen a Black Panther suit for himself. In the battle (with huge rhinos wearing vibranium armour) Shuri and Nakia fight alongside the Dora Milaje, while Shuri instructs Ross to remotely pilot a jet to shoot down the planes carrying the vibranium weapons before they can leave the country. M’Baku and the Jabari eventually arrive to fight alongside T’Challa.

T’Challa and Killmonger fall into Wakanda’s vibranium mine and continue to fight below. Okoye tells W’Kabi, her husband, that she who would kill him before abandoning the throne, causing him and his army to surrender. T’Challa uses sonic mining technology to temporarily disrupt Killmonger’s suit and fatally stab him. Killmonger declines an offer to be healed and imprisoned, choosing instead to die free as he watches the sun set over Wakanda. Rejecting Wakanda’s isolationism, T’Challa establishes an outreach center in Oakland to be run by Nakia and Shuri. In a mid-credits scene, T’Challa appears before the United Nations to reveal Wakanda’s true nature to the world. In a post-credits scene, Shuri continues to help Bucky Barnes with his recuperation.

I really like the movie but the fight scenes between T’Challa and his cousin Eric leaves a lot to be desired as it was dark and the CGi was choppy. Perhaps the fact that I was watching it in a PVR screen where they don’t do dark scenes well also is to blame but the fighting left me feeling unfulfilled. There’s a lot more to the film and it was done well. 8 outta 10!

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a 2017 drama film written, produced, and directed by Martin McDonagh. It stars Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell. McDormand plays a mother who rents three billboards to call attention to her daughter’s unsolved murder. The film also stars Peter Dinklage as James, Kerry Condon as Pamela, Caleb Landry Jones as Red Welby, Abbie Cornish as Anne & Samara Weaving as Penelope.

Mildred, a grieving mother whose teenage daughter, Angela, was raped and murdered 7 months ago passes by three rundown billboards on a rarely used road just outside of the town of Ebbing. She goes to meet Red Welby and rents the boards for a year and pays the month’s rent in cash. The boards, once painted and fixed up reads, in sequence read “RAPED WHILE DYING”, “AND STILL NO ARRESTS?”, and “HOW COME, CHIEF WILLOUGHBY?”. This upsets the townsfolk, Chief Willoughby and racist officer Jason Dixon. Willoughby is dying of pancreatic cancer and the townsfolk’s sympathies lie with him and both Mildred and her son Robbie are harassed.

Willoughby visits Mildred and tells her he finds the boards unfair as he and his department have done everything to find the girl’s killer. Dixon threatens Red and arrests Mildred’s friend and coworker, Denise, on trivial marijuana possession charges. Mildred is also visited by her abusive ex-husband Charlie, who blames her for their daughter’s death. Even her dentist, who supports Willoughby, is hostile towards her and when he tries threaten her, Mildred uses his own drill and injures him. Willoboughy brings her in for questions but coughs up blood during the session and is taken to hospital. Later he spends an idyllic day at the lake with his wife and two young daughter and later kills himself in the barn.

Willoghby leaves suicide notes for several people, including one to Mildred, in which he explains that she was not a factor in his suicide, and that he secretly paid to keep the billboards up for another month, amused at the trouble this will bring her. Mildred is threatened by a stranger in her store. Dixon reacts to the news of Willoughby’s death by assaulting Red and his assistant. This is witnessed by Willoughby’s replacement, Abercrombie, who fires him. Mildred is devastated when the billboards are destroyed by arson and in retaliation she tosses Molotov cocktails at the police station, which she believes is unoccupied for the night. However Dixon who was in there to read a letter left for him by Willoughby, advising him to let go of hate and learn to love as the only way to realize his wish to become a detective, is burned but escapes.

Mildred’s acquaintance James witnesses the incident and provides Mildred with an alibi, claiming they were on a date. Dixon is treated for his burns and temporarily confined in the same hospital room as Red, to whom he apologizes. After he is discharged from the hospital Dixon is at a bar when he overhears the stranger who threatened Mildred bragging in a bar of an incident similar to Angela’s murder. Dixon stages an altercation with the dude and scratches him to get some of the man’s dna under his nails and sends it to be tested. He also notes the Idaho license plate number of the man’s vehicle. Meanwhile, Mildred goes on a date to thank James for the alibi; Charlie enters with his 19-year-old girlfriend Penelope, and admits to burning the billboards. Mildred instructs Charlie to treat Penelope well and leaves.

Abercrombie informs Dixon that the DNA sample does not match DNA found on Angela’s body, and that the man was overseas on military duty at the time of the murder. Mildred and Dixon conclude that the man must be guilty of some other rape, and set out for Idaho with a gun. On the way, Mildred confesses to him the police station fire; he replies without surprise. They express reservations about their mission, but agree to decide what to do on the way.

I hate that the movie ended that way not letting us know what they are going to do and if Angela’s murderer is ever found. Brilliant acting by the way with some stellar performances from an outstanding cast. 8.5 outta 10!

Ostersunds FK 0 Arsenal 3

Arsene Wenger praised his Arsenal side for the way they overcame unfamiliar surroundings as they easily beat Swedish side Ostersunds FK to more or less guarantee their place in the last 16 of the Europa League. The game was played in -4C temperatures on a 4G plastic pitch at the Jamtkraft Arena, but the visitors made light of alien conditions to win comfortably. Left-back Nacho Monreal scored the Gunners’ first from close range when Ostersund goalkeeper Aly Keita fumbled Alex Iwobi’s strike. Then the home side’s centre-back Sotirios Papagiannopoulos diverted Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s cross into his own net after the Armenian seized on a loose pass.

Ostersund improved after the break but any prospect of a revival was ended by Mesut Ozil, who made a well-timed run into the area and squeezed his shot past Keita for the third, before the hosts had a late penalty saved. “I think we adapted quite well to the pitch,” Wenger said after the game. “[Ostersund] were maybe a bit cautious at the start and we took advantage of it. “I feel that at 2-0 at half-time, it was important for us not to concede a goal and win the second half. “The risk at the start was that I didn’t know how tough the pitch would be for our players. But overall we have no game over the weekend, so it was an easier decision. “The only risk was the injuries. I’m happy we had no problems.”

The 27-year-old Danny Welbeck has only made 12 starts this season, after the club signed France striker Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon for £46.5m in the summer. With Lacazette out for up to six weeks after knee surgery, this was a chance for Welbeck, who has scored five goals this term, to remind everyone of his ability. He skewed an early header badly wide and at other times passed when he should have shot, frequently striking the ball without conviction. The Swedish club’s English manager Graham Potter, who has led them to three promotions since 2010, could at least reflect on a bright performance from striker Saman Ghoddos. The Iran international forced Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina into a couple of saves and led the line with pace and determination. Arsenal host the second leg of the last-32 tie at Emirates Stadium next Thursday (20:05 GMT).

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things

Ice cold beer in large pint glasses
Football with goals and exquisite passes
Star Trek and Stargate and superhero shows
Fighting the big bad evil alien foes

Bacon on burgers and tall ice coffees
Large gourmet pizzas and chocolate toffees
Murder mystery novels and listening to rockers sing
These are a few of my favourite things

Atheist discussions and talking about scientific theories
Sitcoms, Marvel & DC and scifi movies on my tv
Discovering a nice cafe to relax and chill
And not making mountains out of daily molehills

And when it’s really dark and keeping my eyes open feels steep
I find that thinking about my favourite things makes me sleep