Sunday, March 26, 2017

On the lighter side-Movies-Under the Shadow (2016-Iran)

During the Iraq-Iran war, a mother and a daughter have to content with supernatural forces. Decent entry in horror by Iran. Recommended for curiosity sake

On the lighter side-Movies-Lights out (2016)

A boy who has trouble sleeping at night gets help from his sister who suspect her mother of being controlled by a spirit. Enjoyable horror movie. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Free States of Jones (2016) – Matthew Mcconaughey

A former confederate soldier disillusioned with the Civil War returns to Mississippi to lead a rebellion against the confederate. Based on a true story. Although it flopped at the box office but for curiosity sake I would recommend it with strong acting by MCconaughey.

On the lighter side-Movies-Hap Ki Do (1972-HK)-Sammo Hung, Angela Mao

Chinese martial artists against Japanese occupiers in China. Martial arts action galore. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-In the line of Duty 4: Witness (1989-Hong Kong)-Donnie Yen, Cynthia Khan

Three cops try to protect a suspect from CIA and corrupt cops in this martial arts action in the long running series. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-For a few bullets (2016-Hong Kong)

Two men on the opposite side of the law try to retrieve an artifact from criminals. Good action comedy. Recommended with caution

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Assimilation of Immigrants

Most of the arguments against the immigrants have centered on their assimilation into the host countries culture and society. Although no amount of assimilation would be enough for the true natives who may feel that the immigrants would always be inferior to them and would not share the same history as theirs no matter what the immigrants do. This may include the color of their skin, the religion and culture they practice and other visible signs of differences. But here I am discussing that for more moderate natives, the immigrants have not be able to assimilate voluntary or by official discrimination on the state level who have grudgingly accepted the immigrants but have not made any effort to integrate or assimilate their immigrant population completely. But even the natives don’t know or about clueless of what assimilation means and even if they agree on some criteria, the immigrants would always be referred to by the country of birth first and then the question where you are actually from. Immigrants can still assimilate without losing their identity and they can enforce their identity on to the native born children but no matter what the immigrants would be still considered a minority but that is okay in the United States as most of the immigrants have assimilated in this culture but in Europe, either because of its historical hostility or uneasiness with immigrants or because of the official stance of some governments, the immigrants even the second and third generation have not yet assimilated into their host country’s society which I blame mostly on the governments and the natives who have not be so welcoming as in the United States and Canada and Australia. The immigrants I believe are here to stay especially the second generation and ignoring their needs and desires to assimilate will continue to create problems for host countries.

On the lighter side-Movies- Don’t knock twice (2016)

A mother deals with demonic spirits in order to connect with her troubled daughter. Decent horror entry. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Nerve (2016)-Emma Roberts

A high school girl is encouraged by anonymous group of watchers to play an increasing deadly truth or dare game. I enjoyed the movie as it shows the dangers of social media and anonymity that it has for billions of people. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Sadako vs. Kayako (2016)-Japan

The spirits of the horror movies The Ring and The Grudge face off in this movie similar to Freddy vs. Jason and other similar themed movies. For curiosity sake watch it, everybody else stay away. Not Recommended

Friday, March 17, 2017

On the lighter side-Movies-Red Billabong (2016-Australia)

Two estranged brothers fight a supernatural creature in this Aussie adventure, mystery movie. Okay time killer. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Officer Downe (2016)

An officer returns from the dead to fights crime in the streets again and again. Violent and some funny parts in bit. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Toro Loco: Sangriento (2015-Chile)

A vigilante is aided by a group of people in his quest for revenge. Okay action movie. Recommended for curiosity sake.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

On the lighter side-Movies-Jason Bourne (2016)-Matt Damon

Jason Bourne is back as he is lured back to find out more about his past. Action and suspense galore. Recommended

The current wave of racists attacks

Recently there have been waves of attacks on immigrants and non white people. Some people have been caught and some are still at large. Apart from attacks on Muslims and their mosques, there have been attacks on Indians who have been mistaken for Middle Eastern. The biggest attacks have been on Jewish cemeteries which have been vandalized and threats against Jewish Cultural centers and other Jewish educational institutions have been threatened with bomb hoaxes. These threats and attacks since the election of the new President and it may or may not be a direct consequence of his America First Policy. The failure of the President to effectively condemn and address these threats has also encouraged people to continue their attacks and threats sometimes with impunity. Right now the immigrant communities are living in fear due to this increase in violence against them. But the effect of these threats has also shown increasing cooperation among different religious and racial minorities and also support from white people who are equally appalled by these acts. Although racists attacks in the U.S. is nothing new and have been happening every year but the increasing trend in the first few months of this year is worrying. The harassment and attacks will not deter immigrants to leave the country or change their routine. Most of the people have left their countries to come to the U.S. by their own free will and sometimes by circumstances but there are many who have been born here and call this country their home and it is the only home they know with friends and families settled here and they are as much American as any other group with the same kind of activities and attitudes towards life. Also without these immigrants, the population of the U.S. alongwith several advanced countries will continue to decline. So all these threats and attacks should be condemned by everyone because the U.S. is the country of immigrants and all the attacks being done by people who believe it is their country should go back to books and read where they and their ancestors really come from before calling out people to go back to their country.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

On the lighter side-Movies-Siren (2016)

A bridegroom one night from his wedding enters a nightclub and seemingly releases an imprisoned girl who turns out to be his worst nightmare. Okay horror movie with a twist. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Phantom of the Theatre (2016) - Hong Kong

A supposedly haunted theatre aiming to open up again with a new show is plagued with more killing. Not worth the time or effort. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Larceny (2017)-Dolph Lundgren

A federal agent is tasked to infiltrate the Mexican prison to retrieve some classified information and gets involved with Mexican Mafia. Nothing special and what set me off was the cheap effects employed like in some shootings the bullets did not hit the hero even though he was in clear sight. Some Indie and direct to video movies are good but after watching this crap, I am not going to waste my time on some silly and stupid American movie and be choosy about what I watch even if I watch some subtitled Asian movie

Sunday, March 12, 2017

On the lighter side-Movies-Jackie (2016)-Natalie Portman

President Kennedy’s wife tries to continue with her remarkable life after his assassination. Okay movie. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Incarnate (2016)-Aaron Eckhart

A scientist tries to save a child from demonic possession. Effective horror movie. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Moana (2016)-Animated

When a drought ravages a Polynesian island, an Island princess embarks on a journey to reverse the trend. Great family movie. Recommended

Friday, March 10, 2017

On the lighter side-Movies-Nocturnal Animals (2016)-Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal

Two interconnected stories about an art gallery owner who receives a manuscript from her husband about an abduction gone wrong, and how it is supposedly related with her current life. Complicated but entertaining. Recommended with caution.

On the lighter side Movies-Hacksaw Ridge (2016)-Andrew Garfield

True story about the first conscientious objector who was awarded the highest U.S. military honor. With a slow start, it gradually gets better with a bloody and gory ending. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Kill Command (2016)

Elite soldiers are pitted against machines in an exercise which turns deadly. Ok movie but since there is so much better to choose from, you can skip this one. Recommended with caution.

On the lighter side-Movies-Manchester by the sea (2016)-Casey Affleck

A troubled widower gets custody of his teenage nephew after his brother dies suddenly. Slow moving drama with good performance by Casey Affleck. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Bad Santa 2 (2016)-Billy Bob Thorton, Kathy Bates

Sequel to the first raunchy Bad Santa, as Bad Santa tries to thwart a robbery in a nonprofit organization. Raunchy and in bad taste. Not Recommended

The changing conditions of immigration-2

Although the majority of the immigrants just want to provide a better life for their families but there are indeed some who want to inflict harm on their host countries and it is this bunch that is bringing a bad name to the general immigrant population. I can understand that when people are desperate and fleeing poverty and violence, it is human nature to help these kind of people but in the disguise of some refugees there have been many instances that criminal elements and those with killing agenda will slip by in an uncontrolled immigration and it is that instance that the world is trying to tightens its borders while at the same time trying to help innocents people fleeing dangerous situation in their home countries. And it is not just the Western world becoming wary of the large number of immigrants among their midst, even other countries like Pakistan have started to push back immigrants from Afghanistan. Although nobody can tell for certain what the future holds for these refugees/immigrants but by the trend that is being witnessed, it is with certainty that a welcome mat for those fleeing poverty/war is being taken away from them and fatigue has set in for natives who are tired of welcoming these refugees who are testing their patience of their hosts and also some among them are ruining the chances of other legitimate refugees to migrate to the relatively peaceful countries.

The changing conditions of immigration

Lately the condition of immigration to western advanced countries have been under a threat as refugees from war torn and poverty ridden countries try to reach the promised land in Europe and the United States and Canada and sometimes Australia. Many western countries have already begun to suffer a refugee fatigues and the parties who were already anti immigrants have been gaining votes and voters to stand up the immigrants mostly Muslim ones from far off countries. Germany which had generously open up its borders to all kind of refugees have started to see voters resentment against these immigrants and now have decided to speed up deportation to countries which are considered somewhat safe. The U.S., long a haven for all kind of immigrants have recently voted in a president who is anti immigrant (that is illegal) and the policies he is enacting will surely impact the immigration from central and south America. The walls to all kinds of immigration are being enacted in all western countries and even legal immigration is coming under scrutiny. It is now becoming increasing undesirable to coming to countries illegally and expects a welcome smile from the natives. Most of the illegal immigration in Europe has been Muslim which scares a lot of natives because they don’t want the nature of their countries to change to include people who don’t look like them. And in some countries the way these immigrants have been staying is bad that crime has gotten hold of in some areas leading to the blame game of immigration equating crime.

The Euro experiment under threat

Since the Britain referendum resulting it to quit the European Union, some of the other nations on the periphery of being unhappy with the union are contemplating going their separate ways. By far the unhappy out of all Europeans are the French who are complaining about the increasing immigration (mostly Muslims) and annoying control of laws from the European Union headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Then there is Greece who has been constantly trying to get aid in order to repay the old debt so that it can stay afloat. Since Greece does not have control over Euro currency and hence cannot devalue them out of this debt, they are in dire straits and the people are fed up with all this austerity as it has been going on for last so many years. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that without substantial forgiveness of debt by the European Union, Greece cannot continue on the current path. European Union especially Germany is no mood to forgive any of the debt that Greece has accumulated and IMF will not be on board with another round of money provided to Greece. Now there is news that European Union has sounded alarm on the enormous debt load of Italy as being unmanageable in the long run. With all this going on Germany is the only one which is holding onto this European experiment with various statements coming out of that country to abandon the Euro currency as they are also fed up with providing money to government with no sign of repayment. I don’t know how long this experiment will last with the Euro currency but it is only shaky ground right now.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Return of Terror in Pakistan

After a relatively lull of a few months, terror came back to Pakistan with a vengeance including several suicide bombings in as many days. The war against terror was prematurely announced as a victory (remember the U.S. had the same). The biggest ones were the suicide bombing in the heart of Pakistan, Lahore where at least 11 people died including six policemen and the second one was at a shrine in South Pakistan where almost 90 (last count) people died and several dozens injured. This has led to the inevitable but belated respond by the Pakistani Security forces to launch a crackdown against all terrorists. Pakistan has accused Afghanistan of harboring terrorists on its soil and has launched counters attacks in Afghanistan to eliminate the terror havens there. The crackdown is ongoing with much of it being directed at Afghan nationals and refugees which have been blamed for numerous crimes before and are now being blamed for the suicide bombings. Another favorite target being blamed for suicide bombings is India. I don’t want to dwell much into this as without any evidence this is the usual place to start. Pakistan is said to have arrested the facilitators of the Lahore attack who said that the attack was planned in Afghanistan. After hosting the Afghans for almost 38 eight years, Pakistanis are having second thoughts about their Afghans guest who have been blamed for the rise of crime to terrorism (if this sounds familiar, it is). Due to a few black sheep whole generation of refugees are being blamed for crime and terrorism in which all people citizens and non citizens suffer.

On the lighter side-Movies-Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe (2015)-Hong Kong

A Chinese action fantasy about weird creatures and the quest to exterminate them. Enjoyable fare. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Camp (2014-Japan)

Two sisters going towards camping are stranded in a cabin with five mental weirdo who sexually abused and rape them, ultimately getting what they deserve. Japanese rape revenge movie with nothing to say about. Not Recommended

Monday, March 6, 2017

Banning Valentine day

As everybody knows by now, Valentine’s Day is considered an International day of love and celebrated even in countries where there is no tradition of extending or expressing love. Lately another country Pakistan decided that expressing your love for someone is forbidden and one of the high courts’s declared a blanket ban all over the country. This is the third Islamic country to do so, before it was Iran and Saudi Arabia. The truth is that Valentine’s Day in Islamic countries is still associated with love for your girl friend. Nobody has mentioned to them that the love can be expressed to your loved ones including your mother, daughter, sister and all your extended loved ones. Although the emphasis is on the so called immoral activities being done on Valentine’s Day, it is not the fault of the holiday but the individuals indulging in those activities. But what is the exchanging of flowers and chocolates threaten the Islamic countries but it is okay to do honor killings and allow suicide killings instead. But you know even putting the ban on Valentine’s Day does not mean everybody is following that rule as activities are held privately all through the country with immunity. It is human nature that banning some activity in the name of whatever moral grounds makes it more attractive to indulge in it. If some people want to have some fun, let them have it and if some people decide to do otherwise, let them have it too. Pent-up frustration can lead people to involve in dangerous activities which are far more deadly than banning harmless activities on Valentine’s Day.