Sunday, March 22, 2020

Corona, Corona and more Corona

The world is getting too much crazy with Corona Virus also now known as COVID-19 (also known as Wuhan Virus, where it started and China Virus, but I will stick with COVID-19. After China, the most affected ones are Italy and Iran. In fact Italy has completely closed down its country meaning no coming in and out and it is the most restrictive movement of people in a democracy since World War II. Iran has the most deaths and the numbers are rising faster, although it is not clear if the numbers of deaths and infections are being under reported or not, just like in China, which we would never know. Spain has also joined the club, imposing a near complete lock down of its country. Saudi Arabia has banned international flights, United Arab Emirates has also followed suit and borders are being closed right and left in order to desperately contain the Virus which is sparing no country.
The United States have imposed a 30 days ban on all flights and to and from Europe and declared a National Emergency as the cases are rising faster. Apart from the Fear of Corona Virus, the economic collapse of the world trade is also continuing with the Stock Market nose diving everywhere and people are hurting who are daily wagers and who work in retail business like stores, restaurants, etc. Companies have started to tell their employees to work from home if they have that option. And during all this panic, people are fighting over hand sanitizers and toilet paper, in fact many videos have surfaced about how people are literally being physical with people who have supplies of toilet papers in their carts. But as panic grips people, there is no shortage of goods or toilet paper, it is just that people don’t want to spend extra 10 to 15 cents more on toilet paper that is readily available in less well known stores and it is only the well known ones that are showcased on the media that is being seen by people as having shortage of it. Anyway due to this Virus, the world has already entered into an unofficial recession and the longer it lasts the longer it will devastate economies world wide with the wider effects being felt by poorer countries. A vaccine although a top priority right now is almost a year away if by any chance we get a vaccine before that time frame. People are now hoping that the approaching summer season with halt the spread of the Virus and hopefully things will start to return to normal but how normal it will be remains to be seen as this Virus is not sparing anyone rich or poor.

On the lighter side-Movies-Mysterious Mr. Moto (1938-B&W)- Peter Lorre, Mary Maguire

The Japanese Detective goes undercover to discover a gang of Killers. Entertaining but dated movie. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Midway (2019)-Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson

The story of the battle of Midway in World War II with exciting war sequences. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Frozen II (2019-Animated)-Voices of Kisten Bell, Idina Menzel

Sequel to the first movie, in which the gang tries to find the source of Elsa’s power. I did not find this particular sequel as enjoyable as the first one. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019)-Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning

The Sequel to Block buster Maleficent sees Aurora tying the knot among the tumultuous events of both the human kingdom and forest kingdom. Good movie. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Black and Blue (2019)-Naomie Harris, Tyrese Gibson, Frank Grillo

A black cop tries to repair ties with her neighborhood after she witnessess cops gunned down a black drug dealer. Action packed and good acting but uneven. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-A Beautiful day in the Neighborhood (2019)-Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Chris Cooper

Based on true story about the friendship between Mr. Rogers and a Journalist. Great acting by Tom Hanks as usual. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Jojo Rabbit (2019)-Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie

A young boy who hopes to join Hitler’s Army discovers that this mother is hiding a Jewish girl in his house. Quirky and eccentric movie. Recommended with caution

Sunday, March 15, 2020

On the lighter side-Movies-Knives out (2019)-Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana De Armas

A detective tries to solve a mysterious death of a rich man among his family members. Curious and fast paced but thoroughly enjoyable. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Once Upon a time…in Hollywood (2019)-Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt

A famed actor who has seen better days and his stunt man try to make it to success in 1969 Los Angeles. Enjoyable movie and great acting. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Hustlers (2019)-Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez

A group of strippers working to make ends meet devise a scheme to cheat their clients. Enjoyable movie but definitely not for kids. Recommended

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Elections 2020 in the United States

As an independent observer watching the ritual that the U.S. goes thru every four years to elect a new President, this year is no different except that an interesting array of Presidential hopefuls in the Democrat party are vying for the highest office in the Land. On the Republican side, there was short lived Challenger to the incumbent President but he dropped out early so the President is unchallenged for the reelection bid. But the Democrats who are falling over each other to promise the People of the United States the moon to get elected (like every politicians do around the world), this year is an interesting line up. There is a Self described socialist and then there are super liberals that they think only the west and east coast exists and they don’t have to worry about the Middle America and the South.  From all these candidates, they are promising like Medicare for all, open borders, Jail reform, environmental initiatives and what not. The most contentious is the Medicare for all (more on this later in another post), and they are providing rosy pictures of how much the Americans and the United States will save based on their own calculations and inspiring or energizing their supporters without giving us how their calculations will make sense in the time of major debt explosions, meaning how will they pay if something unexpected happens.
Numbers are being thrown at like these candidates will wave a magic wand and Dollars will appear out of nowhere. Also people tend to forget that all these fanciful ideas need to a Congressional approval and as every American knows, Congress is as united as your family and your in-laws ( in most cases). In fact, these candidates just want to get rid of the current President in any which way they can and in order to do that they are promising things that may not be able to be fulfill. Another thing that is not being advertised is that in the current Democratic front runners, there are two Jewish candidates and openly gay candidate plus two females. How will the candidate overcome this to be voted by Middle and Rural America is anybody’s guess. Plus one of the candidates has a fanciful slogan to him called a Democratic Socialist. How this will again resonate with the Heartland of America is up in the air. Again with all the ideas being thrown around, including raising taxes on everybody to pay for ideas like Medicare for all, elimination of Student debt, Free college education and increased expenditures without having a vague plan from where it is going to be paid. As anybody knows that we don’t know about the future so all these plans may well end up in the garbage since it assumes a ten year period coverage and with the Corona Virus spreading, the growth of the economy may not support these fanciful ideas apart from resistance from the American public and court challenges. The United States is a Democracy and every citizen has a say in what does happen in their country, it is not a Autocrat or Monarchy where one person can order and things start happening. Apart from this, the politician promises are limited in what they can achieve and all these fanciful ideas need money and support and if majority of the citizens are against it for whatever reason then you will get another four years of chaos in Washington.

On the lighter side-Movies-Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)-Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg

 The continuing adventure in Zombieland as our motley group of friends’ fight of evolving band of zombies that are faster and more intelligent and also find survivors who are literally in denial of the zombies surrounding them. Entertaining movie with comedy and horror mix. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Lighthouse (2019- B&W)-Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson

Two lighthouse keepers try to survive in a isolated island lighthouse. Intriguing horror/ drama movie. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Downton Abbey (2019)-Matthew Goode, Alice McCarthy

The wealthy Crawley family saga continues as they prepare for a royal visit. Although I have not seen the show but this movie was interesting to watch. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The White Storm 2: Drug Lords (2019-HK)-Andy Lau, Louis Koo

A rich businessman tries to take down a drug lord whom he used to work with in this action packed thriller. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Gemini Man (2019)-Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen

A hit-man faces his younger self in this action packed but not that great movie. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019-Animated) Voices of Jason Sudekis, Josh Gad

The flightless birds and the pigs join forces to fend of a common enemy. Not as great as the first one but still entertaining. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Phantom of Chinatown (1940-B&W)- Keye Luke, Lotus Long

The Detective Mr. Wong investigates a murder of an archaeologist who is murdered while lecturing to a group of people of his findings. A short murder mystery but since I have seen Charlie Chan movie and this one was rather tame and not up to my standard. Recommended with caution

Sunday, March 1, 2020

On the lighter side-Movies-Ad Astra (2019)-Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones

An astronaut travels the Universe to locate his father whose experiment now threatens the Universe. Interesting, but slow moving movie. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Freaks (2019)-Emile Hirsh, Bruce Dern, Grace Park

A girl discovers a dangerous world when she ventures outside the house in which she is locked up by her paranoid father. Action and drama and science fiction mix in this original movie. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Abominable (2019-Animated)-Chloe Bennet, Albert Tsai

Three teenagers try to evade evil people in order to return Yeti ( the big mysterious creature supposedly in the higher up in the mountain range of Himalaya) to his parents. Cute little comedy animation movie. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Rambo: Last Blood (2019)-Sylvester Stallone, Paz Vega

Starts slow but picks up later to culminate in a great finale in the Last (supposedly) episode series in the Rambo Character series. Recommended with caution.

On the lighter side-Movies-The courier (2019)-Olga Kurylenko, Gary Oldman

A courier delivery person finds out one of the packages she is going to deliver has a bomb. All around action movie. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Ready or not (2019)-Samara Weaving, Adam Brody

A bride is forced to fight for her life after her in laws subject her to a deadly game on her wedding night. Enjoyable and fun movie. Recommended 

On the lighter side-Movies-IT: Chapter Two (2019)-Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy

The boys have grown but as they want to forget their childhood trauma about the scary clown Pennywise, it comes back to haunt them once again and they have to battle it out once more. Enjoyable and scary movie. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Scary Stories to tell in the dark (2019)-Zoe Margaret Colletti, Michael Garza

Scary stories turn into reality in this not to scary movie. Now the movies which were supposed to be R rated are turning out to be PG-13 for a wider audience and that makes the scares less scary and are toned down to earn more money instead of going all out with scares. Recommended with caution.

On the lighter side-Movies-47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019)-Sophie Nelisse

Sequel to the first movie as four teenage girls try to explore an unwater cave not knowing that it is also the home to deadly sharks.  Suspenceful but real stupid decisions derail this movie. Not Recommended

Sunday, February 23, 2020

On the lighter side-Movies-Don’t let go (2019)-Alfred Molina, Storm Reid, David Oyelowo

After a man’s family is killed, he starts receiving phone messages from his dead niece. He tries to uncover the mystery. Standard blend of Science fiction, mystery and crime. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Angel has fallen (2019)-Gerard Butler, Frederick Schmidt

The Secret service agent is framed for an assassination attempt on the President and must evade law enforcement to uncover the truth behind this framing. Action galore but not as exciting as the first two in the series. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Dora and the lost city of Gold (2019)-Isabela Merced, Eugenio Derbez

The Animated series comes to life as Dora and her friends try to save Dora’s parents and discover the mystery of the city of gold. Enjoyable fun movie. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Good Boys (2019)-Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams

Pre teen boys embark on a journey with stolen drugs and pursuit by various characters. Foul mouth R rated comedy but fun to watch. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019-Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba

A lawman and a criminal join hands in order to stop a super strong villain. Action and comedy combo with great action sequences. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Crawl (2019)-Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper

A woman tries to save her father in a huge storm while fighting off alligators. Action and suspense combine in this horror, action movie. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Toy Story 4 (2019-Animated)-Voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen

A new toy named “Forky” joins the other toys and their adventures. Enjoyable fare for all ages. Recommended

Monday, February 17, 2020

The Impeachment that never was

As I don’t adhere to any political party and as a neutral observer, the impeachment seems a non starter to me. The Democrats in the House of Representatives wanted to get rid of the President any which way they can and the Impeachment process this late in the Presidency when the elections of the President is so nearby just does not seems the right decision to me. First it was the Russia Investigation and every day the news of this investigation was making me sick and tired of the antics of the Democratic Party. And ultimately what happened, the investigation came to an inconclusive end. Then when this investigation was done, the impeachment process started since the Democrats alleged that the President interfered and used his influence in the Ukraine. I don’t understand this, how a small country besieged by Russia can can influence or the President can seek their influence in the elections.
It was a foregone conclusion that the Senate with the Majority in the hands of the Republicans will not vote for impeachment of the President come what may. The Democrats needed two third or approximately 67 votes to impeach the President and with the majority of Republicans on the side of the President, the Democrats had no chance to get some of the Republican senators to switch. I am no scholar of the U.S. Constitution but I believe and what I have read from my college years that the Constitution grants the U.S. President unlimited powers almost akin to the Monarchy but not quite there. The Democrats knew this but still desperate to show that the President has done some wrong kept on investigating and still are not satisfied with the leaving him alone. Maybe most of the people may not agree with my assessment but the facts are there that the economy is stronger than ever and the Democrats have no legs to stand on their impeachment quest.  Maybe if they turn down the hatred and rhetoric and work on winning an election with moderate views, they will earn more respect and more votes. The Current President will remain as he is so no use going after him with inconclusive facts and concentrate on winning the next election (which uptil now I don’t see the Democrats winning)

The world is being Coronized

I have not being writing much for the past several months, since I was not in the mood to write long ass essays to what I think what is happening in the world but I owe it to myself and my readers to start writing again in addition to giving them my reviews on the movies that I watch. Anyway the latest scare that is scaring up the world and bringing with it the ugly aspect of racism is the virus called Corona or what the World health organization finally decided to call it COVID-19 (Corona Virus Disease Year 2019) and it is still being called it a Wuhan virus, the city where it all started and which is still in an unprecedented lock-down only China can initiate. Before it was called the China Virus (and some people I believe still call it that name).  Although most of the deaths have been reported in China along with the majority of infected people, 26 countries have reported the Corona virus among their individual citizens.
Most of the foreigners have been evacuated to their respected countries but some curiously have not due to weak health infrastructure at home or some other reason. The virus has not slowed down and it is doubtful that the full tally of fatalities (up til the time of this writing 1770 mostly in China) will ever be truthful but China being China with strict censorship in place, the tally of those having died of the Virus will never be known. Also with this disease, the racism against Chinese people has started to creep in. I would not blame them as people are genuinely scared of what they don’t know and they will blame a particular race or region or anybody who has the disease, they will discriminate and this will not stop. Here I am not endorsing racism or behavior of people but a fear of the unknown brings the worst in people which should not be but it is here and people need to stop this racist attitude. The people of the world are all in this together and we should be fighting this disease and urging the Chinese government to open up its society so that if another virus occur, it should be tackled early on and effectively instead of waiting for a few weeks and censoring news and people cause the economy of China and the world are so intertwined right now that the world cannot afford to waste time and wait for the only one country to tackle viruses cause the virus does not have a now or need a visa or passport to travel across countries.  

On the lighter side-Movies-Blackkklansman (2018)-John David Washington, Adam Driver

An African American Cop teams up with a Jewish cop to infiltrate a local Ku Klux Klan group to stop violence. Enjoyable movie. Based on true events. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Village of No Return (2017-China)-Qi Shu, Qianyuan Wang

A Taoist priest brings a machine to a remote village that can erase their past memories. Comedic situation ensues. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Draug (2018-Swedish)-Elna Karlsson, Thomas Hedngran

In the 11th Century, a rescue to find a missing missionary goes horribly wrong. I regret watching this no budget movie. Available on Amazon Prime Video. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Marshes (2018-Australia)-Dafna Kronental, Sam Delich

Three biologist travel to the deep marshes in Australia to do some research only to encounter a killer. Horrible movie with the best part coming briefly for a moment. Available on shudder. Definitely not recommend

On the lighter side-Movies-Green Book (2018)-Viggo Mortense, Mahershala Ali

A white guy decides to take a job driving a well heeled African American painist in the racist Deep South in this highly entertaining movie. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Them that follow (2019)-Olivia Colman, Kaitlyn Dever

A pastor’s daughter threatens a secret Snake loving small church in Middle America. Not that great of a movie. Not recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Spider-Man: Far from home (2019)-Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson

Spider-man tries to save the world far from home in Europe in this another block buster but lack luster movie. Recommended with caution

Sunday, February 16, 2020

On the lighter side-Movies-Annabelle Comes Home (2019)-Vera Famiga, Patrick Wilson

The evil doll is kept locked behind a glass cabinet but the owner’s daughter inadvertently unlocks the door, causing to doll to wreck havoc until it is locked backed in for another sequel. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Anna (2019)-Sasha Luss, Helen Mirren

A government assassin unleashes her lethal skills against enemies. Stylish violence and action follow suit. Recommended 

On the lighter side-Movies-Paradise Hills (2019)-Milla Jovovich, Emma Roberts

A girl wakes up in a utopia type island meant to reform them but hides evil wrongdoers. Curiosity sake, the movie is good but nothing much. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Child’s play (2019)-Aubrey Plaza, Mark Hamill

An unnecessary remake about a boy who gets a doll which is evil. Usual gore and special effects stuff. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Extreme Job (2019- Korean)-Myeong Gong, Lee Hanee

A police undercover operation takes a culinary turn when the restaurant they take their stake out turns out to be hit with restaurant goers. Good movie marred by sub par subtitles. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Avengers: Endgame (2019)-Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans

After the end of the last movie, Avengers: Infinity wars, the rest of the superheroes gather to fight Thanos, one and the last time. A massive, three hours endurance test, it was still a great movie to watch. Highly recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-X Men: Dark Pheonix (2019)-James MaAvoy, Sophie Turner

One of the X-Men develops dark powers and the X-Men debate how to end her powers without destroying her. A movie with huge budget that flopped massively. But it was okay to watch on small screen. Recommended with caution

Sunday, January 19, 2020

On the lighter side-Movies-MA (2019)-Octavia Spencer, Diana Silvers

A lonely woman starts inviting teenagers to her house for partying but shows her evil side when they start to question her intentions. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019)-Voices of Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart

After their owners leave for work or school every day, the animals come to life and have their own way to kill time in this continous adventure of the pets. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-John Wick: Chapter 3: Parabellum (2019)-Keanu Reeves, Ian Mcshane, Halle Berry

This third outing finds John Wick escaping and fighting assassins when a huge bounty is put on his head. Highly stylized action sequences. Highly recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Alita: Battle Angel (2019)-Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz

A revived cyborg fights evil and try finding herself in this visually stunning fantasy, sci-fi movie. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Captain Marvel (2019)-Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson

A super hero female protects earth from warring aliens in this excellent action, adventure, fantasy movie. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil (2019)-Dong-seok Ma, Sung-kyu Kim

A crime boss after getting attacked by a killer, teams up with a cop to track the killer down. Good action movie. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Aladdin (2019)-Will Smith, Mena Massoud

Live action remake of the Disney ® animated movie with a poor street thief getting hold of a genie and uses him to get to his dream girl. Good movie. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)-Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga

Another updated version of Godzilla (like they don’t have any more ideas left) in which the Monster face off against other alien monsters. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Men in Black: International (2019)-Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson

An unnecessary sequel to the Men in Black franchise in which a male and a female agent try to find a mole in their organization. Nor recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Hustle (2019)-Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson

Two female con artists try to scam men in this sometimes hilarious and sometimes slow movie. Recommended with caution

Friday, January 3, 2020

The Eleventh Anniversary of My Father’s death (3rd January)

How time flies, this year will be the eleventh year, my Father left for this heavenly abode. And last year after a hiatus of ten years since 2009, I was able to visit my Father’s grave to pay my respects and hopefully able to do it on a yearly basis as I miss him dearly and every day. I am still in shock and I can’t believe that I will not be able to see him in this world. I miss him so much; his voice and his presence were such a blessing. When one’s parents are alive, one does not cherish them as much as when you realize that you would not be able to see them forever (or atleast in the afterlife if you believe in one). But I am happy that he lived a full life. So my advice is that if they live from you far, call them at least once a week or even earlier and visit them on only on occasion but regularly every week even if you are super busy since they gave you birth and they love you the most in this world and nobody can replace them. I love you and miss you DAD.   

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year 2020

This time, I was unable to stay awake during the last day of the year as I was exhausted by the overwhelming work, our clients send to us. But walking back was a festive to watch as people were moving towards Times Square to witness the famous ball dropping with cops every where. Any way Happy New Year to every body and may all your wishes come true. Last year for me was the best one in a long time. I started a new job and I was able to see my mother after more than six years and I was the nicest feeling to see her after all these years. Hopefully, I can go to see her every year from now onwards (based on my financial situation and also health wise). And I was lazy enough to post fewer posts than usual but this year I hope to increase it much more. So again Happy Year to every body and be safe and don’t make any New Year resolutions because it does not long last (maybe a few months or the initial two months)

On the lighter side-Movies-Pokemon Detective Pikachu (2019)-Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith

A man teams up with an unusual detective to find his missing father. Hit or miss movie with characters made from the Japanese animation hit, Pokemon. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-The girl in the fog (2017-Italy)-Toni Servillo, Alession Boni

A detective is sent to an isolated Italian town to deal with the disappearance of a teenager. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Trough (2018-HK)-Nick Cheung, Jinglei Xu

An undercover cop battles a criminal organization. An action with signature Hong Kong Violence.  A little bit confused at best. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Britanny runs a Marathon (2019)-Jillian Bell, Jennifer Dundas

After a visit to a doctor’s office, an obese woman tries to change her life around by exercising and running for New York City marathon. Funny and inspirational.  Available on Amazon prime Video. Recommended