Saturday, July 28, 2012

Now what next for health care?

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the Health care law with some restrictions, now what is the next step for it? Nobody knows for sure since conflicting statistics are coming out recently with the restricted upheld that more than 3 million more people will remain uninsured and also some of the companies are planning to drop their health care coverage for their employees since there will be more competition. There is also much anxiety about how the small businesses will react since companies with more than the stipulated number of people will have to buy insurance or pay a penalty for each employer (which is not that much as compared to the health care insurance). Then there is the case of the Republican Party pledging to repeal the whole health care law if they win the White house without any specific plan to replace it with. The whole thing will start to unravel next year depending upon who wins the White house and starting in 2014 the full force of the law will take effect. It is these kinds of uncertainties about the taxes and the whole ideological clash between the two parties that is creating much confusion and wait and see attitude on the part of the businesses and as it has been said in numerous articles this is the main cause of the uncertain growth of the U.S. economy.

On the lighter side-Movies-Silent House (2011)-Elizabeth Olsen

Remake of the Uruguayan Movie about a girl who helps clean up her family vacation with her father and uncle and ends up trapped in the house with some unknown presence. Stars one of the twin Olsen sisters. Dark and slow. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Three Stooges (2012)

The three stooges-Larry, Moe and Curly comes to the big screen after many years and it is not all that bad starting with their orphanage upbringing and then saving it from being demolished. If you have seen the three stooges, you have this updated version of it. Not Bad. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Fields (2011)

Little bit of mystery and horror about a boy who goes to live with his grandparents in a house surrounded by vast fields of corn and gets terrorized along with this grandparents. Not a good way to kill your time. Not Recommended

Saturday, July 21, 2012

On the lighter side-Movies-The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)-Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Dennis Leary

Reboot of the Spider Man movie in 3D with amazing effects and good story line. But nevertheless the same Spider Man that you have seen before, only now it is in 3D and in IMAX theaters and updated special effects. Highly Recommended to be watched only in a theater (which I did for a change).

On the lighter side-Movies-30: Minutes or less (2011)

Sometimes very funny movie about a pizza boy who is kidnapped and gets strapped with a bomb in order for him to rob a bank and give the money to the kidnappers so that he can get the bomb unstrapped from him. Hilarious movie. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Psycho (1960)-Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Martin balsam, Janet Leigh

A fantastic Hitchcock movie about a Psycho guy who manages a motel with his dead mother. A suspenseful, horror movie. If you have not seen it before, check it out. Highly Recommended and a Must See.

On the lighter side-Movies-Lockout (2012)-Guy Pearce

Escape from New York in Space with Guy Pearce as the ex-convict released on the condition that he rescues the daughter of the President of the United States from a penal space ship. Usual action updated here for the new century. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Casa De Mi Padre (2012)-Will Ferrell

Literally 'House of my Father' is the Will Ferrell take on Spanish Novella about a father whose two sons have to fight off Mexican drug lord in this sometimes hilarious movie. Will (who does not speak Spanish that great) is really the star here as your see his expression in Spanish go haywire. All subtitles in this Spanish movie. Recommended with reservations.

On the lighter side-Movies-The girl with the dragon Tattoo (2011)-Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer

Long movie about a murder of a girl that happened 40 years ago and the journalist who gets involved with one of the richest families in Sweden covering it up. Remake of the movie made in Swedish with beautiful Swedish scenery. A little bit of violence. Not for all tastes. Recommended with reservations.

On the lighter side-Movies-War Horse (2011)

Beautiful story about a horse from its birth to its becoming a war horse during the World War I era. Good acting by everybody .Very much Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Ides of March (2011)-Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Paul Giamatti

Ryan Gosling stars in this political drama surrounding the campaign for President and how dirty politics plays its part in transforming a naïve Gosling campaign manager to also play the same. Good movie. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Hunter (2011)-Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill

Willem Dafoe stars in this Australian movie who is sent by a secret European company to track down and hunt the rare Tasmanian tiger in the outback. Slow moving but with beautiful Australian scenery. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Battleground (2012)

More or an action movie rather than a horror movie about six robbers who rob and run into a forest to meet a Vietnam veteran who still thinks that the war is not over and is ready for a kill. Okay action movie but just that. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Anonymous (2011)

Confusing Sixteen Century British movie about a plausible theory that all the work of Shakespeare was not written by him but some certain earl. Jumping from one era to another makes it more confusing. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Stakeland (2010)

A different kind of a horror zombie movie with less blood and gore and more story. It has to be seen to believe. It is about a boy whose parents are killed by zombie virus who travels with a zombie slayer to a promised land called 'Canada'. Recommended with reservations.

Friday, July 6, 2012

On the lighter side-Movies-A very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas (2012)

A decent entry to the Harold and Kumar series, this time Kumar accidently destroys the Christmas tree that Harold's Future Father in Law has grown by himself and both of them start looking for a replacement before the Christmas Eve arrives. As usual it has forced scenes of 3D which becomes annoying after a while. Extremely funny in some parts but very foul mouthed as usual. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-21 Jump Street (2012)-Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube

Foul mouthed movie version of the TV series about two high schools who join the Police force only to go undercover as cops to flush out drugs from a high school. Funny but with very obscene language. Recommended with reservations.

On the lighter side-Movies-The Shining (1980) - Jack Nicholson, Shelly Duvall

Frightening movie based on a Stephen King novel about a caretaker who takes a winter job at a huge haunted Hotel and slowly goes mad and homicidal. Excellent scenery and award winning acting by Jack Nicholson makes this one a must see. Highly Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) -Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep

Dustin Hoffman as a suddenly single father who takes care of his son, when his wife walks out on him. Fantastic, touching and moving picture acted beautifully by all. A must see and highly Recommended.

On the lighter side-Movies-Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)

The original is far better than the remake and the music by John Carpenter is fantastic. This is about a nearly abandoned Police Station in Los Angeles where a sole cop defends it along with a convicted murderer against unseen attackers during one night. The new remake does not capture the tough times, Los Angeles was in. Better stick to this original. A must see. Highly Recommended.

On the lighter side-Movies-The Exorcist (1973)-Linda Blair

I saw this movie while I was young and it was a terrifying experience (now I am numb to horror movies). But Linda Blair as the possessed soul being exorcised by the Priest is the best horror movie of all time (according to me). Add to the terror is the beautiful and haunting music and you have the best of both cinematic world. A must see and highly recommended (though intense for kids and not for the squeamish).

Monday, July 2, 2012

On the lighter side-Movies-Wrath of the Titans (2012)-Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson

Sequel to the blockbuster about Greek gods fighting each other and humanity with good special effects and action but not as great as the original one. Recommended with reservations.

People, votes, politicians and policies

Every time, I see a post on Middle east conflict or something happening near the Middle East, there are tons of comments about how we should get out of the area and let it leave it to fend for itself and then I see how people who write these comments vote for Politicians who vote for this trouble spot or make policies that drag us into that hot shot. Granted that out of many comments, many of the people may not have even voted or voted for the politicians who oppose our policies in the middle east but even if there are few who do vote, then the commentators are equally responsible for our involvement since they don’t take to task such politicians once they are elected. These politicians who get elected on the basis of their opposition to the middle east policies but once in congress they change their minds ( I don’t know why) and vote to stay in that troubled hot spot. There is no greater part of the world that has given the U.S. much grieve and anguish than is the Middle east and no matter how hard we try to stay away, we keep on getting drawn to it even while opposing some of the policies that gives us trouble. So even voting for the so called right politician does not guarantee that your voice will be heard on the Middle East issue since there are larger interests at hand than the interests of a bunch of small voters who may or may not understand the complexities that is the MIDDLE EAST.

The Real Estate meltdown reasons

There have been many reasons attributed to the real estate meltdown. Greedy bankers, investors, buyers, speculators, opportunists etc. You can also add the television shows that showed people flipping houses like it was buying groceries. A few days ago I was watching a show from the height of real estate market and flipping was the thing to do, showing people making unrealistic profits. All these shows along with gargantuan profits that people were making made it seems like it was lottery with everybody winning. Some people were buying rundown and fixer upper houses, repairing and renovating them and then selling them at high profit. No wonder this party was going to end with a busted balloon. And now people whose houses are underwater and foreclosed or are on short sale have been blaming everybody but themselves. Look at the great state of Nevada, Florida, Arizona and California, all speculative real estate markets now struggling to recover from the meltdown. Untold millions of people have their houses foreclosed and short sale by the banks. The blame game is still going on but to put in perspective, nobody put a gun to people's head to buy a certain property, they did that of their own free will and now crying foul is like saying we were force fed into the housing frenzy. If you have seen my earlier post on housing reforms, you will see that a strict mechanism should be in place so that unqualified buyers should be given loans and full disclosure should be provided so that the potential buyers are under no delusion that what they are getting into.