Brighton & Hove Albion 2 Arsenal 1

Brighton beat Arsenal for the first time since 1982 to increase the pressure on Gunners boss Arsene Wenger. Lewis Dunk put Brighton ahead when he hooked the ball home from a corner after it dropped to him inside the six-yard box. The Seagulls added a second when Laurent Koscielny’s misplaced pass was intercepted and Pascal Gross teased a high cross into the box for Glenn Murray to head past Petr Cech. Arsenal pulled a goal back when Brighton failed to clear their lines. Granit Xhaka fed the ball into Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who cleverly flicked the ball home with the outside of his boot.

Arsenal dominated possession in the second half and had a late chance to equalise through Aubameyang but he could only shoot straight at Mathew Ryan. The Gunners were also fortunate not to have Sead Kolasinac, who had already been booked, sent off for a challenge that ended Ezequiel Schelotto’s involvement. Arsenal were meek in back-to-back 3-0 defeats to Manchester City in the¬†Carabao Cup final¬†at Wembley last Sunday and at the Emirates in the¬†Premier League¬†four days later. Losing to Pep Guardiola’s irresistible champions-elect is one thing, but to a Brighton side battling relegation will not be so palatable for Arsenal fans growing increasingly tired of Wenger’s reign. It was the first time the Gunners had lost four consecutive matches since October 2002 in a run that saw them beaten by Everton, Auxerre, Blackburn and Borussia Dortmund.

They were defending champions that season and ended the campaign as runners-up to Manchester United but retained the FA Cup. Over 15 years later and things are not quite so rosy for Wenger with the club seemingly in terminal decline. Wenger, initially at least, did not look like a man under pressure at the Amex as he warmly embraced Brighton counterpart Chris Hughton and shared a joke with a photographer. However, by early in the second half with his side 2-1 down his mood darkened and he nervously pulled apart a coffee stirrer as he sat on the bench.

The travelling fans, who held up ‘Wenger out’ banners at the final whistle, will want the Arsenal board to wake up and smell it.

The Chamber (1996)

The Chamber¬†is a 1996¬†crime¬†thriller film¬†based on¬†John Grisham’s¬†novel of the same name. The film was directed by¬†James Foleyand stars¬†Gene Hackman, Faye Dunaway and¬†Chris O’Donnell. Among the supporting staff are Robert Prosky, Raymond J Barry & Lela Rochon.

The book is a big favorite of mine. The story is about Klansman Sam Cayhall (played by Gene Hackman) who is tried and found guilty of bombing the office of Marvin Kramer, a Jewish civil rights lawyer in Indianola, Mississippi, in 1967, killing Kramer’s five-year-old twin boys and leading to the amputation of Kramer’s legs and his later suicide. After two mistrials Sam is tried again for murder in the bombing, and is eventually convicted and sentenced to die in the gas chamber at the Mississippi State Penitentiary. Enter Adam Hall.

Now without a lawyer, Sam becomes a¬†pro bono¬†case for a team of anti-death penalty lawyers from the large ‚ÄĒ and ironically Jewish ‚ÄĒ¬†Chicago¬†law firm¬†of Kravitz and Bane. Representing Sam is his own grandson, Adam Hall, who travels to the firm’s¬†Memphis¬†office to aid Sam in the final month before his scheduled¬†execution. Although lacking experience in death penalty cases, Adam is determined to argue a¬†stay¬†for his grandfather. Sam, despite his violent past, is one of the few living links to Adam’s family history. Sam’s¬†alcoholicdaughter, Lee Cayhall Booth, slowly reveals the family’s tragic past to her nephew, Adam.

As Adam tries to find a way to stay the execution he learns that Sam was actually the accomplice. Before the Kramer bombing, Sam usually used very basic bombing and planned them to minimize damage and not to kill but only to serve as a warning. Rollie Wedge, was the bomb expert and timed the bombing so that Kramer would be at the office at the time; the two sons were there only because their mother was ill. Sam refuses to coroborate this new evidence as he took an oath of loyalty to the Klan. At the same time, Lee, faced with the unearthed ghosts of the family history and having lapsed back into full-blown alcoholism, reveals to Adam that in the early 1950s, as children, she and Adam’s father had witnessed their father murder the family’s African-American neighbor, Joe Lincoln, during a fight that had started because Adam’s father, Eddie, had wrongly accused Lincoln’s son of stealing a toy soldier.

Eddie had blamed himself for the murder, as well as Lee, for failing to stop Sam, the guilt of which was a factor in Eddie’s later suicide and Lee’s alcoholism. Lee also reveals how their father had been indoctrinated into the Klan as a child, showing Adam an historic photograph of Sam as a young boy attending a Klan lynching. Wedge has his men beat up Adam when the young lawyer comes questioning but the Klansman is later arrested by the cops. Adam’s motions for a stay are denied by the courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Despite Sam’s finally authorizing the release of relevant Sovereignty Commission files, the Governor refuses to grant clemency. Sam is executed in the gas chamber, though Adam remains as a confidant and advocate for his grandfather up until his execution, and he and Lee embrace at the end, in the hope that maybe the ghosts of the past are gone.

There are several changes from the book though not for the better. The film is too short to make a compelling story and it suffers greatly due to that. I give it a 7 outta 10!

RIP David Ogden Stiers

Veteran actor David Ogden Stiers, best known for his role as the arrogant surgeon Major Charles Emerson Winchester III on ‚ÄúMASH,‚ÄĚ died Saturday. He was 75. His agent, Mitchell K. Stubbs, tweeted that he died of bladder cancer at his home in Newport, Ore. He is also known for the role of¬†District Attorney¬†Michael Reston in several¬†Perry Mason¬†TV movies.

Stiers first appeared in the Broadway production¬†The Magic Show¬†in 1974 in the minor role of Feldman. Subsequent early credits include¬†The Mary Tyler Moore Show,¬†Kojak, and¬†Rhoda. Stiers also appeared in the pilot of¬†Charlie’s Angels¬†as the team’s chief back-up. In 1977, Stiers joined the cast of the¬†CBS-TV¬†sitcom¬†M*A*S*H. As¬†Major Charles Emerson Winchester III, Stiers filled the void created by the departure of actor¬†Larry Linville’s¬†Frank Burns¬†character. In contrast to the buffoonish Burns, Winchester was a well-spoken and talented surgeon who presented a different type of foil to¬†Alan Alda’s¬†Hawkeye Pierce¬†and¬†Mike Farrell’s¬†B.J. Hunnicutt. Stiers received two¬†Emmy Award¬†nominations.

After M*A*S*H completed its run in 1983, Stiers expanded his work on television with regular guest appearances on North and South; Star Trek: The Next Generation; Murder, She Wrote; Matlock; Touched by an Angel; Wings; and Frasier, along with a recurring role in Season 1 of Two Guys and a Girl as Mr. Bauer. In 1984, he portrayed United States Olympic Committee founder William Milligan Sloane in the NBC miniseries The First Olympics: Athens 1896. Beginning in 1985, Stiers made his first of eight appearances in Perry Mason made-for-TV movies as District Attorney Michael Reston. He had guest appearances on ALF and Matlock. He appeared in two unsuccessful television projects, Love & Money and Justice League of America (as the Martian Manhunter).

For efforts as the narrator and as of Disney‚Äôs enormous hit animated film ‚ÄúBeauty and the Beast,‚ÄĚ he shared a Grammy win for best recording for children and another nomination for album of the year. In 2002, Stiers started a recurring role as the Reverend Purdy on the successful¬†USA Network¬†series¬†The Dead Zone¬†with¬†Anthony Michael Hall. In 2006, he was cast as the recurring character Oberoth in¬†Stargate Atlantis. I will forever remember Stiers as the lead guest character in that thought provoking TNG episode that is at the heart of great scifi.

Stiers was gay but never spoke publicly about his sexual orientation until 2009, as he feared that public knowledge of his sexuality would harm his career; much of his work would consist of family-friendly roles.