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Roadies Xtreme Hits The Ground Running In The Capital City For The Most XTREME Season Ever

MTV, the voice of the youth is back with the country’s longest-running reality show’s fifteenth and most XTREME season ever, Roadies Xtreme. Bringing in a tinge of adventure and surprise for the audience and gang leaders, original Roadie, Rannvijay Singha will be ushering in the ‘unexpected’ this time around. To determine who gets to be in their gang, adventure squad – Girl Boss, Neha Dhupia, Indian Television’s heartthrob, Prince Narula and seasoned Roadies judge, Nikhil Chinapa. The 4th gang leader will be Raftaar this season.

Roadies Xtreme
Roadies Xtreme

Gourav Pilania of Quirkybyte was invited to attend the official press conference before the auditions kicked off. All the gang leaders addressed the media officials about their experiences and new strategies.

How do you empower the girls through this show? Do you try to give any special treatment to the girls?

Neha Dhupia: Giving special treatment won’t take the girls anywhere. Roadies is the most gender neutral place I have seen and worked. Shweta Mehta didn’t win because she was given ‘special treatment’ but her hard work and will took her to the finals.

Neha, what challenges do you feel as you are the only female gang leader?

Neha: I don’t feel any challenges as such. In the 1st year, faith was a big challenge. You have to garner the faith that you come in my gang and we will do wonders. The audience did not have the faith either. Rannvijay supported and helped me a lot throughout. He put me at ease and I have never felt that division.

What are the 5 things you need to have or to be to become a part of Roadies Xtreme?

Neha, Rannvijay & Prince: The first one would be the mental strength. You also need to have resilience. You should be aware about the tasks. You got to have that survival instinct and the last one would be the fire in the belly and that will to win.

Nikhil, how do you perceive the growth of Roadies?

Nikhil: It has grown massively over the years. We can call it the Roadies franchise. As the show has grown over the years, it has become a lot harder. This season is going to be ridiculously hard. The love and fanboyism for this show has been immense and it has only grown and grown.

Prince, share some of your thoughts on your experiences and the new season that is about to kickstart?

Prince: Roadies is my alma mater. It was a great kickstarter for me and owe it all to Roadies. When I was first approached to be gang leader on Roadies, I felt like life had come full circle for me. My main aim is now to win the show and this time I will come out with full force.

Rannvijay, what will be your role this season?

Rannvijay: My role will be that of somebody who will be bringing in twists and turns at every level possible. I will be making sure that the contestants and gang leaders, both face Xtreme challenges and emerge stronger than ever.

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Featured

Internet’s First Ever Reality Show is Here!

In an exclusive interview with Quirkybyte’s Gourav Pilania, Jitendra Kumar, aka Jeetu, of TVF Pitchers opened up about his journey & gave details about the 2nd season of TVF Pitchers.

TVF is coming up with internet’s first ever reality show “TVF presents Airtel connected LIVE”. It is a LIVE web-reality event which will take place from August 18 – 20th. Featuring fan favorite Jeetu (Jitendra Kumar), the LIVE reality show will see him being dared to live alone in a house.

Jitendra Kumar is one of the famous Indian actors on the internet. He is widely recognized for his roles as Jeetu (TVF Pitchers), Munna Jazbaati (The Q-tiyapa Intern) and Arjun Kejriwal on comedy sketch- The Viral Fever. His role of Munna in The Q-tiyapa intern is one of the highly appreciated performances and earned more than 2 million views. Apart from working in web series like Permanent Roommates and TVF Pitchers, Kumar has worked in the feature film ‘Shuruat Ka Interval.‘ Born in Rajasthan, he is a graduate with a degree in civil engineering from IIT Kharagpur.

Quirkybyte: Tell us something about the new show ‘TVF Presents Airtel Connected Live’.

Jitu: My colleagues made me play Truth & Dare & gave me a task that I have to stay in a room for 3 days. The room will be locked, there will be cameras all around & it’s gonna be live. The interesting bits will be shown to the audience in form of episodes. It will start from tomorrow on our TVF’s youtube channel.

QB: You have kept the TVF Pitchers fans wait far too long. When is the 2nd season of TVF Pitchers coming out?

Jitu: We are doing writing for the show as of now. The writing will take around 3 months. It’s a lengthy show & the expectations are huge this time considering the success of the 1st season of TVF Pitchers. So, we are hoping that we will be able to release it in early 2018.

QB: Tell us something about your journey from IIT KGP to this very moment.

Jitu: I used to be like a normal IIT student to be very honest. Then I joined the dramatics society there in IIT Kharagpur. It was fun but I never thought I would actually be this famous actor one day. Arunabh came to the college and told us about the concept of the show. Arunabh told me that it will be a full time paid job & I went to Mumbai. We did a couple of videos which didn’t work at all. I left all this & started looking for a job. I got one in Bangalore but I had issues there. I left that & subsequently I applied in NSD (National School Of Drama). I didn’t get into NSD either & then I told my family that I am going to Mumbai. The family went on a hunger strike as normal Indian families would but I managed to convince them somehow. I landed in Mumbai & I started doing acting. I would do acting for 5 days and I would teach Physics & Maths in the remaining two days which would cover my expenses. Then it all started flowing. In 3-4 years, TVF Pitchers came out & then Permanent Roommates came. I also did a TV show apart from the regular videos.

QB: Have you taken any formal training in acting?

Jitu: No, I haven’t taken training as such but I used to attend all those 7-day workshops before the play. Those workshops aren’t so professional but it’s enough to give you a good idea what acting is all about.

QB: Is there any other project that you are working on apart from this show?

Jitu: Not really. Our main focus is on TVF Pitchers now. But there will be regular short shows like usual.

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Movies News

10 Upcoming Movies Which Will Make You Weep

Everyone has that list of movies which hit the emotional chords in its truest sense as you relate to some character or a situation in the movies. Be it Andrew Garfield’s Breathe or Jake Gyllenhaal’s Stronger, we are in for some stories which will emotionally drain us. We have made a similar list of movies which will be released this year & you shouldn’t miss out on.

1. Wonder (November 17, 2017):

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Stephen Chbosky is coming with yet another drama film & we can’t wait. Chbosky wrote the novel ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ & also directed the movie which was highly appreciated. Julia Roberts & Owen Williams are playing as the parents of a kid (Jacob Tremblay) who is failing to surmount the problem of a facial difference.

2. Breathe (October 13, 2017):

 

A movie directed by Andy Serkis starring Andrew Garfield only means one thing that it’s going to be great. In Breathe, Garfield plays the role of a handsome brilliant man who becomes paralyzed following the polio illness. The trailer was absolutely heart-wrenching & we can’t wait.

3. Stronger (September 22, 2017):

If you haven’t seen the trailer of Stronger yet, you need to do that right away. The Nightcrawler star Jake Gyllenhaal is back again with a story which will make you teary-eyed. The story follows Jake losing his both legs in the Boston Marathon bombing & adapting to a new life. The background music is absolutely scintillating & will give you chills. Who knows Gyllenhaal might just get an Oscar for this one & if he doesn’t, we should riot.

4. Call Me By Your Name (November 24, 2017):

It is adapted from a novel which is of the same name. The story is about a 17-year-old guy & 24-year-old guy getting into a relationship. Luca Guadagnino is directing the movie & the trailer has opened its doors to the Oscars. The film has an approval rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

5. The Mountain Between Us (October 6, 2017):

The romance-disaster film stars Idris Elba & Kate Winslet in roles of a surgeon and journalist respectively who are stranded. This is all you are getting from us if you haven’t seen the fast-paced trailer which will blow your eyes. We can’t wait for Idris Elba’s acting prowess to be unleashed.

6. God’s Own Country (September 1, 2017):

You see the trailer of some movies & you are instantly convinced with what you see. God’s Own Country is an absolute masterpiece that’s going to be released on 1st of September this year. The film is about two guys starting to develop feelings for each other. The background music & cinematography is scintillating.

7. Only The Brave (October 20, 2017):

The man who directed Oblivion is back again with a film which will take you on an emotional rollercoaster. Joseph Kosinski is the director with Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, Kitsch Taylor & Jennifer Connelly as the cast. It’s about a crew of firefighters who lost 19 members in a wildfire.

 

8. A Question Of Faith (September 29, 2017):

The film stars Richard T. Jones, Kim Fields & C. Thomas Howell. It’s about three families from different cultures living in the same community who are all brought down to believe in one thing which is faith. The trailer looks genuinely great & it’s surely going to make some people teary-eyed.

 

9. Same Kind of Different as Me (October 20, 2017):

The movie is directed by Michael Carney & written by Ron Hall, Alexander Foard, and Michael Carney. Greg Kinnear is playing as the main lead & Renee Zellweger’s plays with her voice in the trailer. The trailer will give you goosebumps & I can’t personally wait for this one.

10. Crown Heights (August 25, 2017):

Crown Heights is based on a true story of Colin Warner who was wrongfully convicted of murder. It stars Lakeith Stanfield & Nestor Carbonell. The pre-release reviews are full of praise especially for Stanfield whose acting was appreciated by everyone.

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News Television

5 Things To Expect from Sigourney Weaver in Marvel’s The Defenders

The wait to see Matt and Danny doing flippy punches and spinny kicks while Jessica and Luke just shove people out of their way has finally ended as Marvel’s The Defenders is scheduled to be released almost three weeks from now. August 18 is the date & the 4-year long wait for ‘The Defenders’ has finally come to an end but it’s not just about Luke Cage’s sheer power or Jessica Jones’ wit as we saw in the second trailer; there is more to it. Sigourney Weaver will play the role of the main villain in ‘The Defenders’ & she absolutely bossed it in the trailer like she has done throughout her illustrious career. A top class villain was needed to bully the 4 heavyweights popularly known as ‘The Defenders’ & Marvel has delivered it in the form of Alexandra Reid which will be played by the iconic Sigourney Weaver. Marvel fanboys just cannot stop talking about her.

 1. Sigourney Weaver’s role of Alexandra matches the 1 vs 4 battle in its truest sense

Alexandra (Sigourney Weaver) is the head of an ancient organization. She is seen destroying New York City in the second trailer of The Defenders with absolute ease. When you have got 4 tanks as your opponents, you must have something which can blow them away & Alexandra has been given that power by the writers of the show which is why there is so much hype around The Defenders. Sigourney Weaver has been in this field forever & she knows how to pull off these roles.

2. Sigourney Weaver’s (Alexandra) involvement with Gao & possibly The Hand

There are lots of speculations right now about Sigourney Weaver’s allies and amidst all rumors, we saw Weaver with Gao which gives you a hint as what Weaver will offer in The Defenders. As we have seen previously, The Hand doesn’t hesitate in working with corporate partners so it will be interesting to see the capacity in which they will be working for Alexandra Reid. The Defenders are facing The Hand as it is pretty evident by the trailer itself but the most interesting part would be their involvement with Alexandra Reid which is played by the iconic Sigourney Weaver.

3. Top class acting

This will be the first time Sigourney Weaver will be working within the Marvel Universe. The main villain of The Defenders is popularly known as Ripley from the Alien franchise & she was also in Ghostbusters. Her horizons of acting are very wide & it’s a well-known fact that no one does it better than her. When Sigourney Weaver was signed up for the main villain role of Alexandra, there was a great sense of jubilation among fans.

4. Epic dialogues

‘The thing about war is it only works if both sides believe they are the good guys. The truth is we’re not so different. We fight to get back what was once ours. But in the end, and this is the end, it’s just a city. You get used to watching them fall.’ These were the words spoken by Alexandra to Elektra which shows that we won’t miss on some high quality is written dialogues.

5. Character’s dimensions are incredible:

defenders

The showrunner Marco Ramirez said in one of his interviews – “Sigourney is the kind of person you can buy as the smartest person in the room, who you can also buy as a person holding a flamethrower. Her character is a very powerful force in New York City. She’s everything Sigourney is: sophisticated, intellectual, dangerous.”

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Movies News

4 Reasons To Get Excited for Dunkirk

From the director of Interstellar, Inception & Batman..” That’s a great marketing strategy to hook people into watching the movie. Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is releasing in India on 21st July & we can’t wait. The reviews have arrived & the majority of them are rating Dunkirk Christopher Nolan’s best movie till date.

1. It’s a Christopher Nolan movie

Christopher Nolan is a cinematic genius & whatever he touches automatically hints you that it is a masterpiece. He has made people wait for 3 long years and Dunkirk’s trailer plus the reviews suggest that it’s worth the time.

2. Hans Zimmer: The new age Beethoven

If you want to feel goosebumps, you need to listen to Hans Zimmer’s background scores. The new age Beethoven’s chemistry with Nolan is absolutely amazing. Van Hoytema did the cinematography in Interstellar & Christopher Nolan chose him once again.

3. British class: Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance Cillian Murphy & Kenneth Branagh

Christopher Nolan has cast a full British team in Dunkirk. The cast oozes class & wonderful craft which the fans are dying to watch on the big screen.

4. Brilliant early reviews & use of IMAX cameras:

Dunkirk
The early reviews have arrived & the majority of them are calling Oscar worthy stuff. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian considered Dunkirk to be Christopher Nolan’s best movie till date. Michael Condry tweeted – “Wow. ‘Dunkirk’ is Nolan’s, and year’s, best. 98% with 40+ reviews. Big praise, to say the least.” Christopher Nolan is revolutionizing the concept of IMAX & it is nothing but a treat for us.

Did You Know?

Don’t Miss: 10 Iconic Roles Rejected By Famous Actors In Hollywood

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Movies News

10 Iconic Roles Rejected By Famous Actors In Hollywood

Time is limited and some opportunities never repeat themselves. When you are an actor, it is actually a very hard pill to swallow if a character or a role that you apparently turned down goes on to become a favorite among movie buffs. There have been various roles over the years that you don’t know which was turned down & we all don’t have a clue about. Let’s take a look at some of them.

John Travolta – Forrest Gump, Forrest Gump

This quote of Forrest Gump’s is pretty apt here. “My mama always said, ‘Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’” The movie won 6 Oscars but most importantly Tom Hanks got the Oscar for best actor. Poor John Travolta.

Will Smith – Thomas Anderson/Neo, Matrix

Yes, you heard it right. The lead role of Matrix which Keanu Reeves did was offered to Will Smith in the first place. After the movie became a big hit, Will Smith said in one of his interviews that he was ‘not mature enough as an actor’.

Matt Damon – Jake Sully, Avatar

Avatar is the highest grossing movie of all time. Matt Damon was offered the lead role of Jake Sully by the director James Cameron which he rejected & eventually went to Sam Worthington. Matt Damon still regrets turning down the role. Who wouldn’t?

Angelina Jolie – Dr. Ryan Stone, Gravity

Gravity received ten Academy Award nominations and won seven. Sandra Bullock who played the role of Dr. Ryan Stone was also nominated in best actress category. Life can be cruel at times.

Matthew Broderick – Walter White, Breaking Bad

‘I am not in danger. I am the danger.’ Breaking Bad is considered one of the greatest TV shows of all time & Walter White is one hell of a badass.

Julia Roberts – Leigh Anne Tuohy, The Blind Side

Sandra Bullock is a lucky lady. This time it was Julia Roberts who turned down the role which got Sandra Bullock an Oscar in her bag. It was a powerful role to pull off & Sandra Bullock pulled it off with ease.

Miles Teller & Emma Watson – Sebastian Wilder & Mia Dolan, La La Land

La La Land received 14 nominations at the 89th Academy Awards. Emma Stone won the Best Actress award for her amazing performance. It will take some time for Teller & Watson to sink in.

Sean Connery – Gandalf, Lord of the Rings

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Even the great Sean Connery can get it wrong sometimes. Gandalf’s role was rejected by Sir Sean Connery which was then given to Sir Ian McKellen. We are as gutted as you are, Sir Sean!

Irrfan Khan – Dr. Mann, Interstellar

It must have been so hard to reject the master that is Christopher Nolan. You heard it right. Irrfan Khan was offered the role of Dr. Mann & he rejected it because of his commitments to The Lunchbox. Matt Damon eventually went on to play that role. This wasn’t the first time Irrfan Khan had rejected a Hollywood offer. He had previously rejected a role in Body of Lies. After Interstellar, he also rejected The Martian. We are all surprised as you are.

Kevin Costner – Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption

Can you imagine Kevin Costner turned down the lead role in one of the greatest movies of all time; if not the greatest. Tim Robbins got the chance & he totally nailed it. ‘Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’.

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Celebs

Emmanuel Lubezki: The man, The myth, The legend

Despite adding various layers and dimensions to the story in terms of lighting and framing, Emmanuel Lubezki power to evoke strong human emotions is his greatest asset & how he does it every single time is quite extraordinary in itself.
To bring something to the story, the maverick in a cinematographer has to break its shackles in order to woo the audience. The level and demands that a cinematographer has to meet are usually on a whole new different level & you have to do it even if it has to come the hard way. Adding a new layer to the story with not just restricting it to the noticeable beauty is a tough nut to crack and Emmanuel Lubezki cracks it with ease every single time. Emmanuel ‘Chivo’ Lubezki is a force to be reckoned with & if you don’t know him already, you will be a disciple of his by the time you end reading this piece.
Gravity.. Birdman.. The Revenant… You name it & he will deliver something spectacular every time. Getting 8 Academy Award nominations speaks about his talent & winning it 3 times in a row gives you a little hint of his stature that he holds in the field of cinematography. Lubezki’s art of dazzling with pure natural lights is an absolute joy to watch. In one of his interviews, Lubezki said – “What you don’t want is to repeat a formula over and over or impose a formula to a movie that…when you impose yourself and you impose a formula and you’re not open to explore and to find what is right for the movie, I think you’re doing a disservice to the story and what you’re trying to express.” Lubezki’s love for embracing the idea of exploring various techniques (The Revenant’s locations: Natural Lights) & making the audience hooked into the story is something which stands him out from the rest.
Emmanuel Lubezki has always brought something special in Terrence Malik’s movies. He did a great job in ‘The Tree of Life’ but what he managed to do in Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Children of Men’ was something else. It paved the way for other cinematographers to try what was never seen until now. While Gravity & Birdman shared a common theme of ‘one-continuous-take’, in ‘The Revenant’ he wanted to use as much natural lighting as he could. When you compare the idea of using less CGI with the locations used in The Revenant, it’s hard to sink in as how he pulled off all those shots. To merely encapsulate what he must have gone through the shooting is enough to give you chills.
Emmanuel Lubezki
 Despite adding various layers and dimensions to the story in terms of lighting & framing, Emmanuel ‘Chivo’ Lubezki’s power to evoke strong human emotions is his greatest asset & how he does it every single time is quite extraordinary in itself. Emmanuel’s nickname of ‘Chivo’ which means goat in Spanish might be given by his friends based on how he looks but the work that he is consistently doing; Lubezki will undoubtedly be cinematography GOAT one day. Greatest of all time.
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Celebs

MTV’s VJ and Ex-Roadie Varun Sood Feels Splitsvilla Is More Difficult Than Roadies

In an exclusive interview with Quirkybyte’s Gourav Pilania, Varun Sood opened up about his time in Roadies & his affection for dogs and a lot more.

Varun Sood, ex-Roadie & Splitsvillain has stamped his place in the television business. Varun made his debut as VJ by hosting NBA Slam alongside Rannvijay.

In an exclusive interview with Quirkybyte, we caught up with him as he was the show-stopper for Roadies bottom wear by Beevee launched in collaboration with Viacom 18.

Quirkybyte: How was the ‘Roadies Bottomwear’ by Beevee product launch show?

Varun: The show was fantastic. This was the 2nd time I walked the ramp. For a show like MTV Roadies, it felt amazing.

QB: You were chosen as the show-stopper for Roadies Bottomwear for Beevee. How does it feel as you are an ex-Roadie yourself?

Varun: I never imagined that I could be associated with a brand like Roadies & be a show stopper with their own clothing line. It feels amazing to be a part of it. It’s like one of those ‘dream come true’ moments.

QB: The products that will hit the market soon are perfect for someone who wants to indulge in any outdoor activities or gymming. Tell us how are they different from other brand clothing products?

Varun: A lot of trouser companies & jeans companies look very uncomfortable. I wouldn’t wear them & go for a bike ride but Roadies bottom wear by Beevee collection is so comfortable that I can actually wear joggers, cargo pants & jeans and go out for a bike ride and go out for a trek. The products are very flexible & it move s with your body. That’s the different part. It’s tailor made for a person who is into adventure activities & trekking. People have also started becoming fitness oriented which is good to see. These products are perfect for the youth.

QB: Tell us about your experiences in Roadies & Splitsvilla. How has it changed the course of your life?

Varun: Roadies has changed my life to a different life. From a guy who wanted to be in Indian Army like his dad & his grandfather to become an MTV VJ. I was anchoring a show when I was 19 with no experience at all with so much confidence coming out & so much exposure. Representing India as a youth influencer in Singapore & Bangkok; it’s immense. I got my chance in Splitsvilla as well. It has been an amazing journey for me. A lot more ahead but everything has been great until now.

QB: Which one was more difficult to survive: Roadies or Splitsvilla?

Varun: Splitsvilla was a lot more difficult to survive in.

QB: Which one among the two has been the driving force behind your success?

Varun: I would give the credit to MTV & Rannvijay for whatever I have today. If Rannvijay hadn’t been such a great mentor to me, I wouldn’t have reached where I am today. MTV guided me & gave me the right frame. That’s how I moved forward.

QB: What does one need to do to reach where you are today? There’s a long way to go for you. That goes with saying but you have achieved so much in such a short span. Tell us about the things you need to do in order to fulfill your aims.

Varun: It’s basically working hard. Getting up & grinding every day. Make sure that you do something productive every day & you have to stay focused. What I would also suggest is that stay true to yourself. There are no shortcuts to success so you have to really work hard to achieve what you want to achieve.

QB: We heard you are an avid basketball fan. Who were you rooting for in the NBA finals? Golden State Warriors or Cleveland Cavaliers?

Varun: I was supporting Golden State Warriors throughout & I was very happy to see GSW win the NBA finals.

QB: Who’s your all-time favorite basketball player & your current favorite?

Varun: Michael Jordan is my all-time favorite. My current favorites are Kevin Durant & Stephen Curry.

QB: Who is your favorite Bollywood & Hollywood actor?

Varun: My favorite bollywood actor would be Farhan Akhtar. I love Farhan. My favorite Hollywood actor would be Matthew McConaughey. I also like Bradley Cooper.

QB: If you get a chance to be paired with one of Farhan & Matthew, who would it be?

Varun: Farhan all day long.

QB: We also heard you are a huge pet lover. Are you aware about the ongoing Yulin Festival in China?

Varun: Yes. It has been going on for years & it is really sad to see it not being banned. I really don’t see sense in killing so many dogs for your own please, it’s absolutely depressing. I am a huge dog lover & I don’t know why people kill such cute creatures.

QB: So what advice would you give to the young kids out there?

Varun: The young generation is kind of lost in their mobile phones & computers. I would like them to step out & explore the world. The world is a beautiful place. Do what you like to do. Do travel & explore. Don’t think twice because once you are 40 years old, you are stuck. I don’t want anybody to have regrets in their life. If they want to do something, just do it. Lastly, stay healthy & stay fit.

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Celebs News

9 Things You Didn’t Know about ‘Sherlock’ Star Benedict Cumberbatch

Did you know that Benedict Cumberbatch filmed his Star Trek: Into Darkness audition on an iPhone in a friend’s kitchen? Yes, ‘Sherlock’ star Benedict Cumberbatch actually did that. Aren’t your eyes wide open already? There’s more to it. Here are some amazing things or incidents about Benedict Cumberbatch & his life that will make you go absolute bananas.

He taught English at a Buddhist monastery in Darjeeling, India.

“I worked for six months to drum up the finance as it was voluntary — there was no income,” said Cumberbatch. “I could actually stay with monks in their home and watch them at work and at prayer, and get the chance to teach them and interact with them.”

He was abducted while filming in Africa.

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch said in one of his interviews:

“It taught me that you come into this world as you leave it, on your own. It’s made me want to live a life less ordinary.”

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch’s first choice was to pursue law although he was always interested in acting.

Benedict Cumberbatch was once cyberstalked by a ‘Cumbersome’ & the funny part is that his fan also live tweeted Benedict’s actions whatever he was doing at home.

He almost turned down the role of Sherlock Holmes due to his fear that the show might be “cheap & cheesy”.

Benedict CumberbatchCrazy, isn’t it? We are all glad that he didn’t turn down the role.

He had to eat 4,000 calories a day for Star Trek: Into Darkness.

He took just one week in learning how to play the violin.

Only Cumberbatch can pull that off in just one week.

Benedict’s most favorite director is Stanley Kubrick.

“My favorite director is Stanley Kubrick, the reason would take 30,000 words.”

Benedict’s ancestors were owners of slaves during the slave trade.

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Movies News

5 Most Amazing Movies of Christopher Nolan

When we talk about movies, Christopher Nolan is one director who’s loved by everyone. He tries something different every single time & it works which sets him apart from the other directors. Here, I’m listing top 5 movies of Nolan. I’m not rating the movies. This is just a random order.

P.S.: THE DARK KNIGHT HASN’T BEEN INCLUDED BECAUSE IT IS BEYOND ANY LIST. 

1. Memento

Memento is a 2000 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan. The screenplay was written by Nolan based on his younger brother Jonathan Nolan’s short story ” Memento Mori .”

It stars Guy Pearce,  Carrie-Anne Moss,  and Joe Pantoliano. Memento is presented as two different sequences of scenes interspersed during the film: a series in black-and-white that is shown chronologically, and a series of colour sequences shown in reverse order (simulating in the audience the mental state of the protagonist, who suffers from an anterograde amnesia). The two sequences “meet” at the end of the film, producing one complete and cohesive narrative.

Memento premiered on September 5, 2000, at the Venice International Film Festival and was released in European theatres starting in October 2000. It was acclaimed by critics, who praised its nonlinear narrative structure and motifs of memory, perception, grief, and self-deception.

The film was successful at the box office and received numerous accolades, including Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing. The film was subsequently ranked one of the best films of its decade by several critics and media outlets.

2. Interstellar

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Interstellar is a 2014 epic science fiction film directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway,  Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine. The film features a crew of astronauts who travel through a wormhole in search of a new home for humanity.

Brothers Christopher and Jonathan Nolan wrote the screenplay, which has its origins in a script Jonathan developed in 2007. Christopher Nolan produced the film with his wife Emma Thomas through their production company Syncopy and with Lynda Obst through Lynda Obst Productions. Caltech theoretical physicist Kip Thorne,  whose work inspired the film, was an executive producer and acted as a scientific consultant. Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, and Legendary Pictures co-financed the film.

Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema shot the movie on 35 mm (in anamorphic format) and IMAX 70 mm film. Filming commenced in late 2013 in Alberta, Iceland, and Los Angeles. The film utilised extensive practical and miniature effects, while Double Negative created additional digital effects.

Interstellar premiered on October 26, 2014, in Los Angeles. In the United States, it was released on film stock, expanding to venues using digital projectors. The film was successful at the box office with a worldwide gross of over $675 million and received positive reviews from critics, who gave particular praise to the film’s science fiction themes, musical score, visual effects, and the performances of McConaughey, Hathaway, Chastain, and Mackenzie Foy.

It received several awards and nominations. At the 87th Academy Awards the film won the Best Visual Effects award and was also nominated for Best Original Score, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Production Design.

3. Batman Begins

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Batman Begins is a 2005 superhero film based on the fictional DC Comics character Batman, co-written and directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer, with Ken Watanabe and Morgan Freeman.

The film reboots the Batman film series, telling the origin story of the title character (Bale), from his alter ego Bruce Wayne’s initial fear of bats, the death of his parents, his journey to become Batman, and his fight to stop Ra’s al Ghul (Neeson) and the terrifying Scarecrow (Murphy) from vaporizing the tainted water supply of Gotham City with a fear-inducing drug causing mass hysteria and violence, destroying the city in the process. It draws inspiration from classic comic book storylines such as The Man Who Falls, Batman: Year One and Batman: The Long Halloween.

After a series of unsuccessful projects to resurrect Batman on screen following the critical failure and box office disappointment of Batman & Robin (1997), Nolan and David S. Goyer began to work on the film in early 2003 and aimed for a darker and more realistic tone, with humanity and realism being the basis of the film. The goal was to get the audience to care for both Batman and Bruce Wayne. The film, which was primarily shot in Iceland and Chicago, relied on traditional stunts and miniatures – computer-generated imagery was used minimally.

Batman Begins opened on June 17, 2005, in the United States and Canada in 3,858 theatres. It grossed over $48 million in its opening weekend in North America, eventually grossing over $374 million worldwide. The film received positive reviews and is considered by many to be one of the best superhero films of its decade. Critics noted that fear was a common motif throughout the film, and welcomed the film’s darker tone compared with previous
Batman adaptations.

Batman Begins was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography and three BAFTA awards. It is followed by The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012) in a continual story-arc, which has later been referred to as The Dark Knight Trilogy.

4. Inception

Inception is a 2010 science fiction heist thriller film written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars a large ensemble cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt,  Marion Cotillard, Ken Watanabe, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine.

DiCaprio plays a professional thief who commits corporate espionage by infiltrating the subconscious of his targets. He is offered a chance to have his criminal history erased as payment for a task considered to be impossible: “inception”, the implantation of another person’s idea into a target’s subconscious.

Shortly after finishing Insomnia (2002), Nolan wrote an 80-page treatment about “dream stealers” envisioning a horror film inspired by lucid dreaming and presented the idea to Warner Bros. Feeling he needed to have more experience with large-scale film production, Nolan retired the project and instead worked on Batman Begins (2005), The Prestige (2006), and The Dark Knight (2008). He spent six months revising the script before Warner Bros. purchased it in February 2009.

Inception was filmed in six countries on four continents, beginning in Tokyo on June 19, 2009, and finishing in Canada on November 22, 2009. Its official budget was US$160 million; a cost which was split between Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures. Nolan’s reputation and success with The Dark Knight helped secure the film’s $100 million in advertising expenditure.

Inception ‘ s première was held in London on July 8, 2010; its wide release to both conventional and IMAX theatres began on July 16, 2010. A box office success, Inception has grossed over $800 million worldwide becoming the 45th-highest-grossing film of all time. The home video market also had strong results, with $68 million in DVD and Blu-ray sales.

Inception opened to acclaim from critics, who praised its story, score, and ensemble cast. It won four Academy Awards for Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects, and was nominated for four more: Best Picture, Best Original Score, Best Art Direction, and Best Original Screenplay.

5. The Prestige

The Prestige is a 2006 science fiction mystery drama film directed by Christopher Nolan from a screenplay adapted by Nolan and his brother Jonathan from Christopher Priest ‘s 1995 World Fantasy Award-winning novel of the same name.

The story follows Robert Angier and Alfred Borden, rival stage magicians in London at the end of the 19th century. Obsessed with creating the best stage illusion, they engage in competitive one-upmanship with tragic results.

The American-British co-production features Hugh Jackman as Robert Angier, Christian Bale as Alfred Borden, and David Bowie as Nikola Tesla. It also stars Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, Piper Perabo, Andy Serkis and Rebecca Hall.

The film reunites Nolan with actors Bale and Caine from Batman Begins and returning cinematographer Wally Pfister, production designer Nathan Crowley, film score composer David Julyan, and editor Lee Smith.

A co-production between Touchstone Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures, the film was released on October 20, 2006, receiving positive reviews and strong box office results, and received Academy Award nominations for Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction. Along with The Illusionist and Scoop,  The Prestige was one of three films in 2006 to explore the world of stage magicians.

Categories
General

Jat Agitation Version 2.0

”Taking the line of least resistance, we lump the most different people together under the same heading. Taking the line of least resistance, we ascribe to them collective crimes, collective acts, and opinions. “The Serbs have massacred…”, “The English have devastated…”, “The Jews have confiscated…”, “The Blacks have torched”, “The Arabs refuse…”. We blithely express sweeping judgments on whole peoples, calling them “hardworking” and “ingenious”, or “lazy”, “touchy”, “sly”, “proud”, or “obstinate”. And sometimes this ends in bloodshed.” These are the words of literary giant Amin Malouf and there’s a ring to it if one starts thinking about the Jats in Haryana who are demanding for the reservation.

It’s been 47 days and Jats have been doing the agitation peacefully at a number of places in Haryana. Yashpal Malik, president of All India Jat Reservation Agitation Committee said today in his press conference which was held around 4:40 pm that “Government conspired against us, Jat agitation to continue as planned”. It made people chuckle and has raised quite a few eyebrows because Haryana’s Education minister Ram Bilas Sharma had one press conference around 2 pm today in which he stated that all the demands have been agreed upon and Jats will end all their dharnas tomorrow. The government’s move to disrupt the dharnas has severely backfired and it seems that Jat protestors will be going near the Parliament on 20th March with their bags packed till their demands are met.

Coming back to the quote, people have been arguing over the fact that whether the Haryanvi Jats deserve the reservation despite coming from a very rich background and having their fair share of jobs and politics. The Jat community traditionally depends on the farming sector and climate change is breaking the backs of farmers. Haryana is on the verge of becoming next Vidarbha and it has been argued that it’s time for the 2nd green revolution in India. Suicides of farmers are going unreported because the government has failed in giving the proper compensation. Generalizations and fake notions have always survived in societies and the major one here is that every Haryanvi Jat is rich. The analogy behind this assumption is illogical and there can be poor people in any community.

Manohar Lal Khattar’s stint as being chief minister of Haryana has been an incompetent one and the flaws which make up in his incompetency aren’t excusable at all. He has failed to deliver the promises of Jat community and they have been in anguish and disarray since 23 Jats have shot dead last year around in the agitation’s ruckus. If there’s been a time for him to stand tall and save his grace, this is the time which has the brink of delicacy dwelling upon it. If he doesn’t try to have a successful dialogue with the Jat leaders in a day or two and solve the whole thing, more than 20 lac Jats will be peacefully marching towards the Parliament in Delhi on Monday.
If he doesn’t try to have a successful dialogue with the Jat leaders in a day or two & solve the whole thing, more than 20 lac Jats will be peacefully marching towards the Parliament in Delhi on Monday. If the police forces try to stop the brute marauding tractor-trollies of Jats, there will be bloodshed & the scenes will be ugly. Very ugly.
Categories
Football

Deadline Day Signings 2016

[lazyimage][/lazyimage]Deadline day and surprises. A combination which turns the world upside down of every supporter. It’s a day when all the football clubs go absolutely bananas, apples, oranges and what not. The football clubs hunt down the players & get them to sign the contract before the clock hits the last moment. Premier League clubs spent more than £155m on transfer deadline day as the summer window outlay reached a record £1.165bn. Are the numbers staggering? Yes. All hell breaks loose when it’s the deadline day & especially when it has to do with Premier League.

deadline day
Img Source: www.mirror.co.uk

 

Manchester City and England goalkeeper Joe Hart signed for Italian side Torino on loan for the rest of the season while his teammates Wilfried Bony, Samir Nasir & Elaquim Mangala joined Premier League club Stoke city, La Liga clubs Sevilla & Valencia on loan respectively. Sunderland signed Gabon international midfielder Didier Ndong from Lorient for £13.6m. Burnley didn’t leave behind & signed Jeff Hendrick £10.5m record signing from Derby county. Chelsea signed Marcos Alonso for £23m from Fiorentina but what got people talking was the re-signing of David Luiz from PSG for £32m. The 2015-16 Premier League winners Leicester City signed Islam Slimani from Sporting Lisbon for a fee around £30m. Slaven Bilic snapped up Alvaro Arbeloa on loan from Real Madrid. Tottenham Hotspur made a bid for Newcastle’s Moussa Sissoko & it went through for a fee of £30m. Moussa snubbed Everton for the Spurs move. Tottenham Hotspur also signed Marseille winger Georges-Kevin Nkoudou for £9m on a five-year deal. Liverpool offloaded Mario Balotelli to FC Nice on a free transfer.

So many surprises. So many snubs. So much money spent. The excitement levels explode every year when the owners unleash their wealth to sign the top players.

Categories
Football

7 Players To Watch Out For Who Might Set The Premier League Alight

[lazyimage][/lazyimage]Premier League clubs have spent around £490m in the month since the summer transfer window opened on 1 July. Here are 7 new arrivals in Premier League who we can’t wait to watch.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

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Manchester United signing of Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Borussia Dortmund has brought great piece of excitement & jubilation among the fans. The 27-year-old joined United for an undisclosed fee on a four-year deal, with the option of a further year. The fee is believed to be around £30m. The Armenia captain scored 23 goals in all competitions & was the 2015-16 Bundesliga player of the season. During the 2012–13 season, former Scottish footballer Pat Nevin said of Mkhitaryan, “Eleven goals in eight league matches already is fantastic, but when you add that he is a midfielder, it is phenomenal. You may not have heard of him yet, even if all the scouts at the top European clubs have, but you soon will. He has pace, skill, a rocket of a shot and the ability to arrive in the box like Frank Lampard. This all singles him out as a player who must be watched or more importantly marked.” On his debut, Mkhitaryan would become the first Armenian to play in the Premier League.

Granit Xhaka

MOENCHENGLADBACH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 29: Granit Xhaka looks on during a Borussia Moenchengladbach press conference on the eve of the UEFA Champions League groupe D match against Manchester City at Borussia-Park on September 29, 2015 in Moenchengladbach, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Xhaka’s signing from Borussia Mönchengladbach was a much-needed one for Arsenal as they looked for steel & spark in the middle of the park.
On 25 May 2016, Arsenal signed Granit Xhaka from Borussia Mönchengladbach for a fee of around £30–35 million. In 2014–15, Xhaka started all 34 Bundesliga matches for Borussia and was named in the league’s team of the season. Former Basel coach Thorsten Fink once said. “Xherdan Shaqiri is the best talent in Switzerland…after Granit Xhaka.” Whilst the Swiss National Football Coach, Ottmar Hitzfeld, has dubbed him the ‘young Schweinsteiger’.

Sadio Mané

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On 28 June 2016, Mané joined Liverpool for an initial transfer fee of £34 million on a five-year contract. The transfer fee made him “the most expensive African player in history”. Mané’s signing was a bit of surprise as Liverpool already had attacking midfielders in abundance. Sadio Mané set a new Premier League record for the fastest hat-trick. Mané scored three times in 2 minutes 56 seconds in a 6–1 win over Aston Villa. He broke the record of Robbie Fowler, a Liverpool legend. This signing arguably marks the end of Adam Lallana as the former Southampton man for all his trickery just can’t add goals to his game. Sadio adds width & goals to Liverpool’s team which will be vital as they look forward to finish in Top 4.

Leroy Sane

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Germany midfielder Leroy Sane has completed his move to Manchester City for a fee of £37m plus add-ons. Having already brought in Ilkay Gundogan, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Nolito in this transfer window, Pep recruited the dazzling attacking midfielder. Sane, who helped Germany reach the semi-finals at Euro 2016, scored eight goals in 33 Bundesliga appearances last season as Schalke finished fifth. At such a young age, he scores the most important goals & has the potential to become world class. These are exciting times for Man City fans, exciting.

Håvard Nordtveit

Moenchengladbach's Norwegian midfielder Havard Nordtveit celebrates scoring his side's 4th goal during the German first division Bundesliga football match Hertha Berlin vs Borussia Moenchengladbach at the Olympic stadium in Berlin on October 31, 2015. / AFP / ODD ANDERSEN (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

On 16 May 2016, it was announced that Nordtveit would be joining West Ham on 1 July 2016 on a five-year contract. “Howie [Nordtveit] is an absolutely reliable player,” said current Monchengladbach boss André Schubert. “He has a great strength of will and there’s a lot of power and energy in his game. He has a brilliant mentality and takes on every challenge, regardless of which position he’s in and where he’s needed.” It’s an astute piece of business by West Ham manager Slaven Bilic.

Álvaro Negredo

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Middlesbrough agreed on a deal to sign the Valencia striker Álvaro Negredo on a season-long loan. Scoring 23 goals in 48 appearances in 2013-14 for Man City, he played a major role as Man City won Premier League. Bolstering the striking department, ex-Sevilla man Negredo can singlehandedly help Middlesbrough survive the relegation.

Steve Mandanda

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On 1 July 2016, Premier League club Crystal Palace announced that they had completed the signing of Mandanda on a free transfer from Marseille. Having represented France at three international tournaments (UEFA Euro 2008, 2010 FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Euro 2012) and age still on the side, Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has shown shrewdness in the transfer market by signing the goalkeeper who was previously linked with Chelsea & Everton.

Categories
News

India’s brightest medal prospects at Rio 2016 Olympics

When Jeff Fenech, a retired Australian boxer, was asked about the important of an Olympic medal, he said – “An Olympic medal is the greatest achievement and honor that can be received by an athlete. I would swap any World Title to have won gold at the Olympics.” Rio 2016 Olympics are not even a week away now & India is all geared up for the ultimate test. The Indian Olympic Association is going to send the nation’s largest ever delegation (thus far 119 athletes; 36 larger than their previous record of 83 athletes in 2012) in Summer Olympic history.

India won a total of 6 medals in 2012 Olympic games (2 silver and 4 bronze), doubling the nation’s previous record in 2008. Here is my analysis on who can bring home the medals.

Jitu Rai

Jitu Rai is one of the brightest prospects for bringing India a medal. His story will certainly inspire you. His  mother cultivates rice on a small patch of terraced land that the family holds in his native village in Nepal. In 2014, at the ISSF World Cup in Munich, he won the silver medal in the 10-metre air pistol event. Following this, in Maribor, Rai won two medals; a silver in the 50-metre pistol event, and a gold in the 10-metre air pistol event. In the process, he won three medals in nine days at the World Cup and also became the first person to have won two medals at a single world cup for India. Following his achievements, he was ranked number 1 in the world, in 10-metre air pistol and number 4, in the 50-metre pistol, in July 2014. At the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Rai created the Games record in the qualification round of the 50-metre pistol event, having scored 562 points. He went on to win the gold medal in the event, scoring 194.1 points in the final, thus creating another Games record. In the 2014 Asian Games held in Incheon in South Korea, Jitu won the gold medal in the 50 m pistol category. He also won a bronze in the men’s 10 m air pistol team event. In 2016, he won a silver medal at the ISSF World Cup held in Baku, Azerbaijan in the 10m Air Pistol event.

Yogeshwar Dutt

India’s wrestling contingent is spearheaded by Yogeshwar this time round. Yogeshwar Dutt is an Indian wrestler from Haryana. He won the bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the Men’s 60kg Freestyle wrestling. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2013. He won Gold Medal in 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Recently, he has been clubbed into the ‘Icon’ category by Haryana Hammers – one of the six teams playing under the first edition of Pro Wrestling League (PWL), which will be held from 10 December to 27 December in six Indian cities. He is currently supported by Olympic Gold Quest, a not-for-profit foundation that identifies and supports Indian athletes.

Abhinav Bindra

Abhinav Bindra is a World and Olympic champion in the 10 m Air Rifle event. By winning the gold in the 10 m Air Rifle event at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, he became the first Indian to win an individual gold medal at the Olympic Games. It was also India’s first gold medal since 1980 when the Men’s Field Hockey Team won the gold. He is the first and only Indian to have held both the World and Olympic titles at the same time, a feat he accomplished by capturing the Gold Medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, after having won the gold at the 2006 ISSF World Shooting Championships. Abhinav won Gold Medal in 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Mairaj Ahmed Khan

Mairaj Ahmed Khan is an Indian shooter in the shotgun skeet discipline. He won the Olympics quota in the Shotgun Skeet Event in Lonato, Italy in September 2015, the first Indian to qualify in this particular discipline. In 2016, he won silver at ISSF World Cup held in April in Rio de Janeiro, the host country for 2016 Olympics.

He is the first and only Indian to have held both the World Cup title as well as the Olympic quota for India at the same time, a feat he accomplished by capturing the Silver Medal at the 2016 ISSF World Cup Championship in Rio as well as a quota place for the shotgun skeet event for the Olympics in 2016. He is the first Indian athlete to represent India in the SK125 Event during the Rio Olympic Games. Currently, he is ranked 4th in the world and 2nd in Asia; he has been an international level shooter for over 15 years and has multiple accolades behind him including medals won during the Commonwealth Shooting Championship, Asian Championship, South Asian Federation, and National & International Championships.

Saina Nehwal

Saina Nehwal is an Indian badminton player, former world no.1 in Women’s Singles. She is the first Indian to win a medal in Badminton at the Olympics.  She achieved this feat by winning the Bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics on 4 August 2012. She is also the first Indian after Prakash Padukone and the first Indian woman to become world number 1 badminton player. Besides these, she is the first Indian to win the World Junior Badminton Championships and was also the first Indian to win a Super Series tournament, by clinching the Indonesia Open on 21 June 2009. Saina is supported by the Olympic Gold Quest.
Saina was initially coached by S. M. Arif a Dronacharya Award winner, and then by Pullela Gopichand till 2014 September. Saina is the reigning Indian national champion and is currently coached by the former Indian badminton champion and national coach Vimal Kumar. Saina Nehwal played for Hyderabad Hotshots in the Indian Badminton League in 2013. She won silver at 2015 BWF World Championship becoming the first Indian to do so.

Apart from these 5, we all hope Dipa Karmakar, Apurvi Chandela, Gagan Narang & Indian hockey team can chip in with medals. It isn’t just a fight for survival or supremacy, it is about winning at arguably the biggest stage and making  people like you & me proud!

Categories
Books

4 Books that come under ‘Must Read’ category

Charles Eliot once said – ‘Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.’ In this article, I have compiled a list of four books which come under the must-read category.

  1. Norwegian Wood is a 1987 novel by Japanese author Haruki Murakami. The novel is a nostalgic story of loss and burgeoning sexuality. It is told from the first-person perspective of Toru Watanabe, who looks back on his days as a college student living in Tokyo. Through Watanabe’s reminiscences, we see him develop relationships with two very different women — the beautiful yet emotionally troubled Naoko, and the outgoing, lively Midori.

The novel is set in Tokyo during the late 1960s, at a time when Japanese students, like those of many other nations, were protesting against the established order. While it serves as the backdrop against which the events of the novel unfold, Murakami (through the eyes of Watanabe and Midori) portrays the student movement as largely weak-willed and hypocritical.

Murakami adapted the first section of the novel from an earlier short story, “Firefly”. The story was subsequently included in the collection Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman.

Norwegian Wood was hugely popular with Japanese youth and made Murakami something of a superstar in his native country (apparently much to his dismay at the time).

A film adaptation of the same name was released in 2010, directed by Tran Anh Hung.

  1. Ulysses is a modernist novel by Irish writer James Joyce. It was first serialized in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920 and then published in its entirety by Sylvia Beach in February 1922, in Paris. It is considered to be one of the most important works of modernist literature, and has been called “a demonstration and summation of the entire movement”. According to Declan Kiberd, “Before Joyce, no writer of fiction had so foregrounded the process of thinking.”

Ulysses chronicles the peripatetic appointments and encounters of Leopold Bloom in Dublin in the course of an ordinary day, 16 June 1904. Ulysses is the Latinised name of Odysseus, the hero of Homer’s epic poem Odyssey, and the novel establishes a series of parallels between the poem and the novel, with structural correspondences between the characters and experiences of Leopold Bloom and Odysseus, Molly Bloom and Penelope, and Stephen Dedalus and Telemachus, in addition to events and themes of the early twentieth century context of modernism, Dublin, and Ireland’s relationship to Britain. The novel imitates registers of centuries of English literature and is highly allusive.

Ulysses is approximately 265,000 words in length and is divided into eighteen episodes. Since publication, the book has attracted controversy and scrutiny, ranging from early obscenity trials to protracted textual “Joyce Wars”. Ulysses’ stream-of-consciousness technique, careful structuring, and experimental prose — full of puns, parodies, and allusions — as well as its rich characterisation and broad humor, made the book a highly regarded novel in the modernist pantheon. Joyce fans worldwide now celebrate 16 June as Bloomsday.

  1. Infinite Jest is a 1996 novel by David Foster Wallace. The lengthy and complex work takes place in a North American dystopia, centering on a junior tennis academy and a nearby substance-abuse recovery center. The novel touches on many topics, including addiction and recovery, suicide, family relationships, entertainment and advertising, film theory, United States-Canada relations (as well as Quebec separatism), and tennis. The novel includes 388 endnotes that cap almost a thousand pages of prose, which, together with its detailed fictional world, have led to its categorization as an encyclopedic novel.

In 2005 it was included by Time magazine in its list of the 100 best English-language novels published since 1923.

Infinite Jest is a literary fiction bestseller, with 44,000 copies sold by the end of its first year of publication. The book has continued to sell steadily and attract critical commentary. As of 2016, worldwide sales of Infinite Jest have exceeded one million copies.

  1. Cloud Atlas is a 2004 novel, the third book by British author David Mitchell. It consists of six nested stories that take the reader from the remote South Pacific in the nineteenth century to a distant, post-apocalyptic future. It won the British Book Awards Literary Fiction Award and the Richard & Judy Book of the Year award and was short-listed for the 2004 Booker Prize, Nebula Award, Arthur C. Clarke Award, and other awards.

A film adaptation of the same name was released in 2012.

Categories
Movies News

4 Hollywood Movies Which Are Worth The Hype

The excitement levels aren’t dropping anytime soon as the second half of 2016 has some exciting Hollywood movies to offer. Here are some of these.

Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange is an upcoming American superhero film featuring the Marvel Comics character of the same name, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is intended to be the fourteenth film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Scott Derrickson, who wrote the screenplay with C. Robert Cargill from a story by the duo and Jon Spaihts, and stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton. In Doctor Strange, surgeon Stephen Strange learns from the Ancient One after a career-ending car accident.

Various incarnations of a Doctor Strange film have been in development since the mid-1980s until Paramount Pictures acquired the film rights in April 2005 on behalf of Marvel Studios. Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer were brought on board in June 2010 to write a screenplay. In June 2014, Derrickson was hired to direct the film. Cumberbatch was chosen for the eponymous role in December 2014, and at the same time, Spaihts was confirmed to be rewriting the script, while Cargill joined Doctor Strange to work on the script with Derrickson. The film began principal photography in November 2015 in Nepal before moving to the United Kingdom and concluded in New York City in April 2016.

Doctor Strange is scheduled to be released in the United States on November 4, 2016, in 3D and IMAX 3D.

Inferno

Inferno is an upcoming 2016 American mystery thriller film directed by Ron Howard and written by David Koepp, based on 2013 novel of the same name by Dan Brown. The film is the sequel to The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, and stars Tom Hanks, reprising his role as Robert Langdon, alongside Felicity Jones, Omar Sy, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Ben Foster, and Irrfan Khan.

Filming began on April 27, 2015, in Venice, Italy, and wrapped on July 21, 2015, in Budapest. The film is scheduled to be released on October 28, 2016, in 3D, 2D, and IMAX formats.

Snowden

Snowden is an upcoming American biographical political thriller film directed by Oliver Stone and written by Stone and Kieran Fitzgerald. The film is based on the books The Snowden Files by Luke Harding and Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena. The film stars an ensemble cast including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Scott Eastwood, Logan Marshall-Green, Timothy Olyphant, Ben Schnetzer, LaKeith Lee Stanfield, Rhys Ifans, and Nicolas Cage. Filming began on February 16, 2015, in Munich, Germany.

Snowden had a screening at Comic-Con on July 21, 2016, and is scheduled to be released in North America on September 16, 2016, by Open Road Films.

Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad is an upcoming American superhero film based on the DC Comics antihero team of the same name, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is intended to be the third installment in the DC Extended Universe. The film is written and directed by David Ayer and stars an ensemble cast featuring Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood, and Cara Delevingne. In Suicide Squad, a secret government agency led by Amanda Waller recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency and saving the world from a powerful threat.

By February 2009, a Suicide Squad film was in development at Warner Bros. Pictures. Ayer signed on to write and direct in September 2014 and by October the casting process had begun. Principal photography began on April 13, 2015, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with additional filming in Chicago, Illinois, and ended in August that year.

Suicide Squad is scheduled to premiere in New York City on August 1, 2016, and be theatrically released on August 5, 2016, in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D.

Categories
Technology

5 New Features In Android N

There seems to a lot of hype surrounding Android N. Android 7.0 “Nougat” is an upcoming release of the Android operating system. First released as an alpha build on March 9, 2016, it is expected to be officially released in the third quarter of 2016 (late July or early August). Android 7.0 introduces notable changes to the operating system and its development platform, including the ability to display multiple apps on-screen at once in a split-screen view, support for inline replies to notifications, as well as an OpenJDK-based Java environment and support for the Vulkan graphics rendering API, and “seamless” system updates on supported devices.

1. Android Nougat introduces a split-screen display mode, in which two apps can be snapped to occupy halves of the screen. An experimental multi-window mode is also available as a hidden feature, where multiple apps can appear simultaneously on the screen in overlapping windows. This is a pretty cool addition, to be honest.

 


2. The notification shade was also redesigned, featuring a smaller row of icons for settings, replacing notification cards with a “sheet” design, and allowing inline replies to notifications (this feature is implemented via existing APIs that are used for similar functionality on Android Wear). Multiple notifications from a single app can also be “bundled”. This is shrewd from Android devs.

 


3. You can also directly reply now in Android N. There is no need to open the app. We can also snooze a message, or file it away for later in some apps in Android Nougat.

 


4. A new “Data Saver” mode restricts background mobile data usage, and can trigger internal functions in apps that are designed to reduce bandwidth usage, such as capping the quality of streaming media.

5. On devices shipping with Android Nougat, the “Verified Boot” policy (introduced partially on KitKat, and displaying notifications on startup on Marshmallow) must be strictly enforced. If system files are corrupted, the operating system will only allow operation in a limited-use mode or refuse to boot at all.

I can’t wait for Android N’s release as it’s got some pretty cool new features. Thankyou. #TeamAndroid

Categories
Gaming News

FIFA 17

The hype & buzz around FIFA games is immense. Only true football fanatics understand the real emotions behind the game. Well, I’m that guy who likes to park the bus & rile up the other player. It’s always fun playing FIFA with your mates.

FIFA 17 is all set to launch in a couple of months & we just can’t wait. FIFA 17 is an upcoming association football video game scheduled to be released on 27 September 2016 in North America and 29 September 2016 for the rest of the world. This will be the first FIFA game in the series to use the Frostbite game engine.

For newbies, Frostbite 3 is the most recent iteration of Frostbite. The workflows and runtimes are highly configurable and cover all aspects of development including audio, animation, cinematics, scripting, artificial intelligence, physics, destruction, rendering, and visual effects. Frostbite 3 introduces new features such as new weathering systems, physically based rendering (PBR) and photogrammetry. The game engine has had several upgrades including improved tessellation technology. It also features Destruction 4.0, which enhances the in-game destruction over its predecessors.

EA Sports announced at E3 2016 that they will have all 20 Premier League managers’ likenesses in the game (face scan, etc.) On 23 June 2016, EA Sports announced that the J1 League and J. League Cup will be featured in the game for the first time ever.

It also involves a journey. Alex Hunter is a 17-year-old multiracial male from humble beginnings in Clapham, London. Hunter’s grandfather is a former English striker Jim Hunter (20 goals in the 1966-67 season. Under his grandfather’s guidance, Hunter has decided to play as a footballer in the EPL.

I’m genuinely excited & will pre-order the game as soon as its available. Are you?

 

Categories
Movies News

5 Bollywood Movies To Look Out For This Year

Bollywood’s offering some great movies in second half of 2016 & here are some of those worth mentioning:

Rustom:

Rustom is an upcoming Bollywood film written by Vipul K Rawal and directed by Tinu Suresh Desai. It features Akshay Kumar and Ileana D’Cruz in the lead roles. It is based on the real-life incident of Naval Officer K.M. Nanavati. Principal photography of the film was commenced in February 2016 and is scheduled for a worldwide release on 12 August 2016.

Here’s what the celebrities had to say:

Anupam Kher: Loved the trailer. Your journey as an actor is getting more and more interesting. More power to you my friend. Jai Ho.

Ajay Devgn: After a long time, saw a trailer that made me get up and take a second look.

Karan Johar: The ‘Rustom’ trailer is supremely intriguing. Akshay Kumar in pitch perfect form.

Pritish Nandy: Now that’s what you call a trailer! Rustom trailer, Akshay Kumar stupendous! loved!

 

M.S. Dhoni: The untold story:

It is an upcoming Bollywood biographical film directed by Neeraj Pandey. The film is presented and produced by Fox Star Studios Inspired Entertainment, Arun Pandey and in association with Friday Film Works. The film is based on the life of Indian cricketer and the current ODI and T20 captain of the Indian cricket team, MS Dhoni. The film features Sushant Singh Rajput in the leading role as Dhoni. Kiara Advani and Anupam Kher play supporting roles. The film is scheduled for release on September 30, 2016. The teaser of this movie was released on March 15, 2016, the day 2016 ICC WCT20 started.

 

Rock On!! 2:

Rock on!! 2 is an upcoming Indian rock musical, a drama film directed by Shujaat Saudagar, produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani, and with music by Shankar & co. The film stars Farhan Akhtar , Arjun Rampal, Purab Kohli reprising their role from Rock On!!. Shraddha Kapoor will be sharing screen space opposite to Farhan Akhtar. Along with these names, it will also feature actor and musician Shashank Arora as a supporting character.

 

Dangal:

Dangal is an upcoming Indian biopic drama film directed by Nitesh Tiwari. The film is produced by Disney Studio India. The film stars Aamir Khan portraying the role of Mahavir Singh Phogat who taught wrestling to his daughters Babita Kumari & Geeta Phogat was India’s first female wrestler to win at the 2010 CWG,  where she won the gold medal (55 kg) while her sister Babita Kumari won the silver (51 kg). Dangal is the native name of a wrestling site in Hindi which is popular in India. It has also regional names like Kusti and Pehlwani in India. Dangal is scheduled to release on 23 December 2016. The music for Dangal will be composed by Pritam, while lyrics will be written by Amitabh Bhattacharya.

 

Sachin: A billion dreams:

Sachin: A billion dreams is an upcoming Indian biopic directed by James Erskine and produced by Ravi Bhagchandka, based on the life of cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. It stars SRT, Arjun Tendulkar and Mayuresh in the lead cast and will be the debut of Tendulkar at the age of 42.

The movie not only captures Sachin Tendulkar’s cricket and personal life in great detail but will also reveal a few aspects of his life which have never been heard of or seen before. The release date was not announced yet

 

Categories
News

Brexit: A Situation Driven by Extreme Levels of Xenophobia

“The eurosceptic genie is out of the bottle and it will now not be put back,” he said. “EU’s finished, EU’s dead.” The name’s Nigel Farage, head of the anti-EU UK Independence Party who led this event which will go down in the history books as one of the greatest triumphs. Not much of a triumph for the common people, it seems. It is a news which seems to dazzle all the media houses & the public throughout the globe. The stature of this news is huge.
This is a funny story as to how it came to such a situation & Britain left the EU. For those who don’t know, the European Union (EU) is a politico-economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily
in Europe. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries, and regional development. British Prime Minister David Cameron didn’t want to give the polls even a try.
However in 2014, the pressure grew from the populist right over issues such as immigration & Britain’s EU membership. To pacify the dissenters in his own party and keep the elevation of UK Independence Party in check, PM David Cameron agreed to hold a referendum on leaving the EU if his Conservative Party came out with flying colors in 2015 elections. They surprisingly won with a majority in Parliament & Cameron didn’t back out from his decision of holding a referendum. PM Cameron was always against BREXIT & crusaded for a ‘Remain’ vote. The very own members of his own party & mind you these are veterans, the
so-called heavyweights who campaigned for BREXIT. This was something you may have never witnessed before & you never would get the chance to witness it again.

brexit david cameron
The results came & Farage had led to a historic demolition of PM David Cameron. The prime minister announced that he’d give up the post by October. The resignation is not going to mollify the part who voted to remain in EU, it is an impeccable case of self-destruction, a simple lesson for every politician that you do not fulfill all the promises.
Brexit will dismantle Britain’s economy. The pound tumbled to a 30 year low & it is still tumbling. The businesses based in the UK are in danger & they’re already thinking of moving their HQ or offices to different places apart from the UK. Brexit is a hint of significant uncertainty for migrants. It might lead to the breakup of UK as well. The Conservative Party is leaving no stone unturned, however, London
is falling.
A number of tweets were followed by the series of events. Some of the witty & informative tweets are down below:

Matt Law @Matt_Law_DT
Only Sam Allardyce or Tony Pulis can save us from here.

TechnicallyRemain @TechnicallyRon
It’s not too bad, I just found a quid on the train platform

Liam Ryan @liamoryan
Rest of world: don’t do anything crazy plz UK: fk u we used to own u
watch this *does backflip *money falls out of pockets *cracks head
open

Moe.@NoLaughingMata
History GCSE 2063: ‘Explain the negative effects that leaving the EU
in 2016 had on the UK and discuss who was to blame.’ [30 marks]

Lay @layla_oneill
only 90’s kids will remember #EUref

Categories
Technology

Top 5 Phones Under 15k Price

In a country where the ideal range is considered 8k-15k, mobile companies have come a long way. Every day there are new phones being launched. The companies have started releasing more phones in that range rather than the flagship phones. New mobile companies have made their mark in the past year & half. Gone are the days people relied only on Samsung. Samsung recently announced a massive loss for the first time in their history. Here is a list of 5 phones which are best under the 15k price range.

1. Moto G4 plus:

It has a plastic build, removable back cover, 5.5-inch FullHD display, 401ppi, Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 chipset: quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53, Adreno 405, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, 3GB/32GB, 4GB/64GB, 16MP primary camera, f/2.0 aperture, phase detection and laser autofocus, dual-LED flash, 5MP front-facing camera, auto HDR, Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, 3,000mAh non-removable battery, Quick Charge supported, Turbo charger included & Fingerprint sensor. The recently launched smartphone has two variants which can be found available in the range varying from 13k-14k. The build quality is similar to the previous Moto phones. The camera is a massive improvement with a 16MP shooter which performs really well even in low light photography when considered in this particular price range. You get to enjoy the overall rich experience of Android which is packed up by Android 6.0. It also has a fingerprint scanner which is very useful. All in all, it’s a lovely phone with combination of all features.

2. Redmi Note 3:

It has an aluminum body, 5.5-inch, 1920×1080 IPS LCD, Qualcomm Snapdragon 650; 2x 1.8GHz Cortex-A72 + 4x 1.2GHz Cortex-A53; Adreno 510, 2GB RAM with 16GB storage/3GB RAM with 32GB storage; microSD support, Dual SIM, LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1, IR, microUSB, 16 megapixel rear camera with PDAF, f2.0 aperture, dual LED flash, 5 megapixel front camera, f2.0 aperture, Fingerprint sensor, 4050mAh battery, Android 5.1.1 with MIUI 7. The phone has broken records of sales. Redmi announced that it sold over than 6 lac units in the past two months. This phone has received massive response & people are buying it without thinking twice. It packs a powerful processor with a massive battery. MIUI looks crisp & with regular updates, the customers are hooked. It has two variants & is available for 10k & 12k. It can be found on Amazon & Redmi’s official website.

3. Lenovo ZUK Z1:

It has a machined aluminium frame, Dual-SIM dual-standby capability  5.5″ 1080p IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 401ppi, Quad-core Krait 400 CPU at 2.5GHz, Adreno 330 GPU, 3GB of RAM, Snapdragon 801 chipset, 64GB of built-in storage, International version: Cyanogen OS 12.1 based on Android 5.1 Lollipop; Chinese version: ZUI (5.1-based)13MP camera with OIS (Sony IMX 214 sensor), f/2.2 aperture1080p@30fps video capture, 8MP front camera, 1080p video recordingCat. 4 LTE (150/50Mbps); dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, hotspot, Wi-Fi direct; Bluetooth 4.0; GPS/GLONASS; USB 3.0 Type C4,100mAh battery capacity, 3.5mm headphone jack, active noise cancellation with a dedicated micCat. 4 LTE (150Mbps); Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 4.1; GPS/GLONASS; NFC; USB Type-C • port with USB host, Fingerprint sensor. Lenovo has made its mark in the market by getting the stakes in Moto. ZUK Z1 has many disadvantages. There is no NFC, no microSD card (but 64GB base storage sounds great), Non-removable battery (but 4,100mAh capacity is plenty), No fast battery charging technology. However if they don’t matter much to your needs, you can go with the phone!

4. Le Eco 1s:

Le Eco 1s is dual SIM phone, has an aluminum body with Corning Gorilla Glass 3, 7.5mm profile, 169g, 5.5-inch, 1920×1080 IPS LCD, 2.2GHz 8-core MediaTek Helio X10 processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage (25GB available to the user)Android 5.0LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, USB Type-C13MP rear camera with ISOCELL sensor, phase detect autofocus, EIS and 4K video recording, 8MP front camera, 3000mAh battery with Quick charging, Fingerprint sensor, IR Blaster for remote controlling appliances USB Type-C port, MHL 2.0. Le Eco is a wonderfully crafted phone & it has garnered a lot of positive response.

5. One Plus X:

It is metal frame + glass/ceramic back, 5″ AMOLED display with 1080p resolution; 441ppi; Corning Gorilla Glass 3, Snapdragon 801 chipset; CPU: quad-core 2.3GHz Krait 400; Adreno 330 GPU; 3GB of RAM, 13MP main camera with a LED flash, face detection, auto-focus; 1080p video capture at 30fps8MP front-facing camera, 1080p at 30fps video recording, Oxygen 2.1 OS based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, 16GB of built-in storage; microSD expansion slot, Dual SIM, LTE Cat.4, Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, FM radio, microUSB, Dual-microphone active noise cancelling feature. One Plus X is available in amazon & can be bought for as less around 15k. The design-build combined with the processor makes it an epic choice for the customer.

After reviewing all the 5 phones I mentioned, Moto G4 plus & Redmi Note 3 stand a level above the other phones. Moto G4 plus was recently launched with hopes of breaking Redmi’s strong hold for the past two months. Both phones are beautifully designed & packed with powerful processors. If you want a better camera & stock android experience, Moto G4 is meant for you. However, if you want better battery & design, Redmi Note 3 is the phone for you!

Categories
Cricket

Rahane Must Start Against Kangaroos

A condition which demands sheer power to mentally bludgeon the
opposition, Ajinkya Rahane is found just too noble a man. As India go
head to head  against Australia with a do-or-die situation for
Dhoni’s men, Ajinkya must start.

Ajinkya has made a name for himself after some stellar performances in
the past year & a half. It’s not just in Tests or ODIs, his orange cap
in last edition of IPL stamps his authority & speaks a lot about him.
He hasn’t done much wrong, still, he’s seen struggling for his slot in
the team. With Dhawan-Sharma combo failing game after game, it’s tough
if you sit & try to connect the dots. Ajinkya is a rare breed of
batsmen to find these days who reflects the astute & perspicuocs
nature of the game. T20 is not just for mavericks & Ajinkya has proved
it in past. But he isn’t nearly perfect. Some say he stalls things
down & doesn’t shift enough gears which affect the team. There are a
number of innings in the purists’ version of the game. His 96 vs South
Africa in 2nd innings of 2nd test match was a classic knock. He
couldn’t have played it any better. He stood firm most of the times &
South African fast bowlers failed to dismantle his temperament. That
cut for six, which took Rahane from 90 to 96, is still a vivid memory
in my head. He reminds of a babychild produced by VVS & Rahul to some
people, Sachin to others which include the ex Aussies captain Steve
Waugh, it’s a huge responsibility and we must restrain ourselves. The
funny thing here is that all three stalwarts weren’t suited to the T20
version. It’s always fun to tag the players but it catches up on them
more often that. Ajinkya’s unflamboyant nature is a major reason why
he gets compared to those greats. When the whole team crumbled down to
the Jimmy show at Lords, his much needed century just came at the
right time & it surely couldn’t have come at a better place. Sometimes
it was the in-swing which troubled the Indian baWhen he perished, he
got the applause from both set of fans.

His six 4s to S Aravind in an over made people conspicuous. It changed
the stereotype that one doesn’t always need to slog in order to hit
boundaries. The cover drive on the fifth ball was elegent and a treat to
watch. His much-needed stability is exactly what Indian cricket team
wants. You need to produce staggering figures day in day out if you
wish to stay in the team if you don’t, the doors are always open. The
team’s batting has been the weakest link this tournament & it’s a
surprising sight for everyone. Rahane’s fielding is top notch &
there’s no one better than him in the Indian squad at the moment
according to me. His 8 catches record against SL does justice to
showcase his reliability when he’s out there.

When Rahane was the 12th men against West Indies in a match where not
just fans but even cricketers were chanting ‘Sachin Sachin’ as it was
the legend’s last match, Tendulkar’s exact words to Rahane were “You
may not have noticed, but I have been watching you for a long time.
Your attitude, when you are sitting on the bench or serving drinks,
has been praiseworthy. Keep up your work ethic and hard work. These
have brought you till here; they will take you further ahead,” His
temperament is unfathomable & there is a charismatic bomb inside him
which is tangible really. After two decades of seeing Dravid & Laxman
bail the whole team out, Indian cricket team needed a saviour & they
found one. The equation for tomorrow is simple – India needs to win if
they want to go through. It’s time that Dhoni tinkers with the team
and brings in Ajinkya. A game of such massive magnitude, the captain
needs to play a masterstroke & this might very well prove to be the
one.

Categories
Society

Jhajjar: On my way home

I had to stop in the middle while on my way to Jhajjar which is my hometown. I see around 200 people blocking the road. I knew about the protest going on over reservation but little did I know how things will unfold in the coming days. A group of six 19 year olds ask me & my friend – ‘Where are you going?’ I said – ‘Jhajjar.’ A reply arrived from the other side before I could even blink , it was – ‘You can’t. Go back.’ Meanwhile, they asked us about our castes. Both of us replied – ‘JAT’! They said – ‘Give them the rods. Sit. Protest.’ It seemed funny at that moment & made us chuckle. I called my dad & asked about the situation. He said – ‘Things are heating up here. Protesters have burnt a minister’s house in Rohtak. You shouldn’t have come in the first place. Stay wherever you are. I’ll call someone to pick you guys up.’ As I reach home which is a story in itself, I’m flooded with tons of news by my family members about the protest over reservation. A number of protests had happened in the past but this was something entirely different. The magnitude of the situation was shifting gears every moment.

Next day around 9:20am, I’m woken by the news of protesters destroying OP Dhankhar’s office who is a cabinet minister. The office is merely 60m away from my house. Next stop for the protesters was BDO’s office. After that, the mob entered the city’s stadium and the police tried to combat the mob. It ended leaving two people being dead & around a dozen injured. The news spread in the nearby villages & resulted in masses joining the protest. Liquor shops were looted, buses were set on fire, shops were burnt.. BSF was called for the rescue & it was forced to leave. It was just too much for BSF’s stature. I feel disgraceful for what the Jat community did to the shops of middle class Non Jats. It should never have happened & I condemn it more than anyone. There were people who had worked over the years just to own a shop & their shops were burnt in front of their eyes. It couldn’t get any worse. When the police station was set ablaze, I could see the flames while standing on the terrace of my house. It made me numb. My tongue & throat remained torpid for a time following the incident. I would never forget that day in my whole life. It changed me as a person.

IMG_20160219_173904 IMG_20160220_174109

As rest of India was in its finest sleep, this time I’m woken by the news of Sh Chhotu Ram Dharamshala (Jat Dharamshala) set on fire by a group of Non Jat people in retaliation to what happened the other day. They demolished his statue & took the head away with them. Another sad incident which has not been mentioned in a single newspaper/news channel was the demolition of the statue of Lt Ravinder Chikkara who was a martyr of Kargil War. A common slogan was chanted – ’35 biradari zindabad, Jat murdabad.’ A set of affairs which were pre-planned & executed to perfection, it just proved good enough to agitate the Jat community. Two hours later, you get to notice the Jat community coming from all sorts of directions. It was a number ,one would’ve difficulty counting. Forget about the young ones, 70 year olds were on their feets with swords combined with agitated faces. They seemed unfathomable. It wasn’t a good sight at all. The innocent Non Jat families had to suffer for what 300 people did in the early hours. The mob set some houses on fire & there was bloodshed. Jats & Non Jats were both getting killed ruthlessly one after another. The Gorkha regiment ,somehow, managed to keep the Jat community in check.

jat-main

It has been almost two weeks. This is just the right time to break my silence on the issue & vent out my feelings. First of all, let me clarify, I’m a Haryanvi Jat & I don’t have an Audi in my garage and I didn’t type this in an iPhone. People ask me – ‘You are a Jat. What do you need reservation for?’ It’s a ridiculous stereotype that people seem to have in the country. We’ve been kept out long enough. We’ve suffered long enough. It was high time. Anumeha Yadav of Scroll perfectly summed it up in her article that ‘the reservation protest wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment agitation. It was a cynical political build-up that spilled over into the streets.’ I, personally, couldn’t agree more. The opposition parties came out as the real winners with smiling faces out of all the turmoil caused in the state. An audio clip of Professor Virender Singh, a political aide of former Chief Minister Bhupinder Hooda of the Congress came out in which he’s telling a Jat leader to magnify & accentuate the situation. The whole agitation stamps its mark & gives a little dip into the politician’s bastion which is built around the idea of invincibility , the common man suffers while the invincible noble men share the last laugh.

IMG_20160220_184412

It took two weeks for people to get on with their lives after surviving the week which was tumultuous. One group who hasn’t been given much attention is the students’ who still have to give their board exams. A time when they should study without taking too much stress, the agitation not just in Jhajjar but in the whole state hasn’t helped their case. I had a conversation with a soldier of Gorkha regiment. I asked him about the various difficulties they had to face while tackling the agitated people. He said – ”People are mad here. There’s no word as fear in their dictionaries. There’s a curfew in the whole city. 2-3 teenagers came on the roads. We told them to go back. They replied back – We want to see the curfew. What is it like? Where is it happening? We want to see.’ I laughed more than I should’ve at that moment considering the gravity of the situation. It’s apt that I quote Mark Twain now – ‘All I care to know is that a man is a human being, and that is enough for me; he can’t be any worse.’ After such communal hullabaloo, should I part my ways with a Non Jat friend? What are these people passing onto the younger generation? Amidst all this agitation with politicians waiting to pounce onto every situation, Captain Pawan Kumar Khatkar died as a martyr in an encounter in J&K so that we could fight amongst ourselves & no intruder from outside gets to enjoy the situation. It’s a pity really.

The whole situation showed the incompetence of the government. It was a result of some shambolic decisions by the cops combined with some nasty speeches/slogans & the aimless path of the protesters. Political ploys were perfectly administered. An agitation that went way beyond the usual shenanigans in the state.

Here are some lines written by my father:

मैने हरियाणा के वीर जवानों और शहीदों को देखा
मैने हरियाणा में दूध दही का खाना देखा
मैने हरियाणा के पहलवानों को मैडल लाते देखा
मैने हरियाणा में बेटी पढ़ाओ और बेटी बचाओ का नारा देखा
मैने हरियाणा की पंचायत में घूँघट की भागीदारी को देखा
मैने किसान, मज़दूर और कैमेरे वर्ग की एकता को देखा
मैने नम्बर वन हरियाणा को देखा
मैने हरियाणा में छतीस बिरादरी का नारा देखा
पर मेरी बदकिस्मती रही की मैने हरियाणा को जलते हुए भी देखा
उस से हट के मैने पैतीस बिरादरी का नारा देखा

काश! आरक्षण में राजनीति ना होती तो ऐसा कर्म न देखा होता

Categories
Movies News

Shah Rukh’s ‘Raees’ vs Salman’s ‘Sutan’ vs Aamir’s ‘Dangal’

2016 is going to be super fun for the Bollywood fanboys as the three Khans go head-to-head this time as well which comes out as no surprise. Here, I try to give you a slight hint of what the movies are gonna offer you.

Raees

Raees is an upcoming 2016 Indian crime-drama film directed by  Rahul Dholakia  and produced by  Gauri Khan, Ritesh Sidhwani  and Farhan Akhtar under their banners Red Chillies Entertainment and Excel Entertainment. It features Shah Rukh Khan,Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Mahira Khan in the lead roles. Raees will be released on July 3, 2016, three days before Eid. The film is set in 1980s Gujarat. It tells the story of the eponymous bootlegger Raees Khan (Shah Rukh) whose business is highly challenged and eventually thwarted by a police officer (Nawazuddin). The film criticises the prohibition of alcohol, prostitution, and drugs in Gujarat. Shooting of the film began in April 2015. The film has been shot in Mumbai and sets were re-designed to depict Ahmedabad slums. The last schedule of the film with Khan and the whole starcast will be shot in Gujarat in January 2016. The film was shot in Bhuj and Ahmedabad in January – February 2016.There was a clearance issue by Archaelogical Survey of India for shooting at Ahmedabad at the ancient mosque and tomb complex, Sarkhez Roza.

The Raees teaser released and it got the  love from everyone. Shah Rukh’s ‘Fan’ is also releasing in mid April. It’s gonna be a super duper year for SRKians.

Sultan

Sultan is an upcoming Indian drama film directed by Ali Abbas Zafar. Produced by Aditya Chopra under Yash Raj Films banner it features Salman Khan and Anushka Sharma in the lead roles. The project was earlier announced in June 2015 with a teaser released on Youtube. Khan will be seen portraying Haryana-based wrestler in the film. Khan underwent into wrestling training under the guidance of Larnell Stovall.

In October 2015, there were reports of American actor Sylvester Stallone being cast in the film as Khan’s on-screen coach. However, Raja Mukerji, the Executive Producer of the film cleared that Stallone won’t be starring in the film. Later, Sanjay Dutt was then rumored to play the role of coach according to Khan’s insistence, however, Khan reported that he never insisted Aditya Chopra for Dutt’s role.

In December 2015, Randeep Hooda was later signed to play the role of Khan’s coach in the film. Amit Sadh, of Kai Po Che fame has been signed for the role of young Sultan. Anushka has also got some wrestling sequences in the movie for which she is undergoing a training. MMA Fighter Tyron Woodley has been signed opposite Khan with other fighters in the film.
In January 2016, it was announced that Anushka is the leading lady of the film. T-Series has acquired the music rights of the film.

Salman ‘Box Office King’ Khan’s fanboys will be eagerly waiting for his movie.

Dangal

Dangal is an upcoming  Indian biographical sports  drama film directed by Nitesh Tiwari. The film is produced by Disney Studio India. The film stars Aamir Khan portraying the role of Mahavir Singh Phogat taught wrestling to his daughters  Babita Kumari and Geeta Phogat. Geeta Phogat was India’s first female wrestler to win at the  2010 Commonwealth Games, where she won the gold medal (55kg) while her sister Babita Kumari won the silver. Dangal is the native name of a wrestling site in Hindi which is popular in India. It has also regional names like Kusti and Pehelwani in India. Dangal is scheduled to release on 23 December 2016. The music for Dangal will be composed by Pritam while lyrics will be written by  Amitabh Bhattacharya.
In our society, especially in backward areas, most families want a son to carry forward their legacy and if they end up with daughters, very few give them equal opportunities. But Phogat, who hails from Balali village near Bhiwani in Haryana, encouraged all his four daughters to become wrestlers. Out of his four daughters, two – Geeta and Babita – won gold and silver at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, respectively. The film will also focus on how he coached them personally against all odds ignoring people who made fun of him for preparing his daughters to become wrestlers. What is most astonishing is that he never gave up and proved that if given equal opportunity, daughters are no less than sons.
—Nitesh Tiwari, director of Dangal, in Hindustan interview.

All three movies are gonna keep the critics in check. It’ll be worth noticing if any of the movies touch the 1000cr mark.

Categories
Movies News

Top Movies from Anurag Kashyap’s Vault

When we talk about brilliant direction, Anurag Kashyap always tends to cross our mind. It’s the subtle & crisp way of his which moves us around & makes us form several layers in our mind. Movies are a brilliant way to showcase your ideas and messages to the public & Kashyap truly bosses this medium. Here are some of his top movies which you should watch right now if you haven’t already. This is just a random list. He’s respected by not only the Bollywood gang but he’s got international acclaim for several movies.

That Girl In Yellow Boots

That Girl In Yellow Boots is a 2011 Indian thriller film by director Anurag Kashyap, starring Kalki Koechlin and Nasseeruddin Shah. The film was first screened at the Toronto Internation Film Festival in September 2010, followed by the Venice Film Festival after it played in several festivals worldwide including the South Asian International Film Festival. The commercial release however took place a year later in September 2011, both in India as well as in the US. The film opened to mostly positive reviews. Roger Ebert of the Chicago SunTimes gave it 3.5 out of the 4 stars, and he also noted that ‘The film’s value is in its portrait of Ruth, and her independence as a solo outsider in a vast, uncaring city.‘ In his Huffington Post review, Kia Makarechi wrote, “an unnervingly realistic portrait of unimaginable pain – is one with an ending you’ll wish you could forget.” Nupur Barua of fullhyd.com rated it 7 out of 10, and said that besides the Kashyap-esque tone of despair and melancholy, That Girl in Yellow Boots is Anurag Kashyap’s best till date, adding that you can watch it “only if you can handle the unspeakable”. Parmita Borah, on EF News International wrote, “Kalki Koechlin carries That Girl in Yellow Boots on her shoulders and does so with great panache and élan.” Shivesh Kumar of IndiaWeekly awarded the movie 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Dev. D

 Dev. D is an Indian romantic black comedy drama released on 6 February 2009. Written and directed by Anurag Kashyap, it is a modern-day take on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s classic Bengali novel Devdas, previously adapted for the screen by P.C. Barua and Bimal Roy and more recently by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Dev.D was embraced by the media, critics and public. The film is set in contemporary Punjab and Delhi, where familial ties are negotiated by the traditions of patriarchy and marriages are reduced to a game of power and “honour”. Reviews to the film were mostly positive. The widespread acclaim was chiefly due to its fearless visual style, its experimental soundtrack and the innovative narrative structure which included dividing the script into chapters as in the films of Quentin Tarantino. Rony D’Costa of Box Office India gave it 4 stars out of 5, stating “Missing Dev D would be an Emotional Attyachar to oneself.” Raja Sen of Rediff.com gave Dev.D 3.5/5, calling it a ‘fantastic visual ride’, and ranked it No 2 in his list of the best movies Of 2009. Times of India reviewer Nikhat Kazmi termed the film a “brilliant breakthrough for Bollywood” and rated it 5/5. Shubhra Gupta of Indian Express praised the performance of Abhay Deol and the movie overall. Hindustan Times praised the film for its “slick style and adventurous interpretation that pushes the boundaries of Hindi cinema” and rating it as 3.5/5. Noyon Jyoti Parasara of AOL India was “completely bowled out by the movie” and stated, “go and watch Dev D and be blown away by a sample of what Anurag Kashyap is capable of as a director. ShahRukh Khan praised Abhay Deol’s efforts and said that Abhay is contributing to the new era of Indian film industry.”

Gangs of Wasseypur series

 Gangs of Wasseypur series  is a 2012 Indian crime film co-written, produced and directed by Anurag Kashyap. Centered on the coal mafia of Dhanbad, Jharkhand and the underlying power struggles, politics and vengeance between three crime families, the Part 1features ensemble cast with Manoj Bajpai, Nawazuddin Quershi, Huma Quershi, Richa Chadda, Tigmanshu Dhulia in the major roles and its story spans from the early 1940s to mid-1990s. Both parts were originally shot as a single film measuring a total of 319 minutes and screened at the 2012 Cannes Director’ Fortnight but since no Indian theatre would volunteer to screen a five plus hour film, it was divided into two parts (160 minutes and 159 minutes respectively) for the Indian market. The film received an A certification from the Indian Censor Board. The film’s soundtrack is heavily influenced by traditional Indian folk songs.
Part 1 was released on 22 June 2012 in more than 1000 theatre screens across India. It was released on 25 July in France and on 28 June in the Middle East but was banned in Kuwait and Qatar. Gangs of Wasseypur was screened at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2013. Gangs of Wasseypur has won four nominations, including best film and best director, at the 55th Asia-Pacific Film Festival.

The combined film won the Best Audiography, Re-recordist’ of the final Mixed Track (Alok De, Sinoy Joseph and Shreejesh Nair) and Special mention for acting (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) at the 60th National Film Awards. The film collected four Filmfare Awards, including Best Film (Critics) and Best Actress (Critics), at the 58th Filmfare Awards.
Although not a huge hit by any financial standard, the meagre combined budget of ₹18.5cr allowed the 2 films to be commercially successful, with net domestic earnings of ₹50.81cr (of the 2 parts combined). It is considered by many as a modern cult film.

Black Friday

Black Friday is a 2007 Indian crime fil. written and directed by Anurag Kashyap based on Black Friday – The True Story of the Bombay Bomb Blasts, a book by Hussai  Zaidi about the 1993 Bombay Bombings. The film’s creative consultant, Chandramohan Puppala, attempted to recreate those events and the intense feelings that followed them. It won the Grand Jury Prize at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles and was a nominee for the Best Film (Golden Leopard) award at the Locarno International Film Festival. The film was so controversial that the Indian Censor Board did not allow it to be released in India for three years and was finally released on 9 February 2007 after Supreme Court of India allowed it following the verdict in the ’93 Bombay blast case was delivered by TADA court. The film has been appreciated by critics all over the world. Black Friday has an 86% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Matt Zoller Seitz of the New York Times described it as “epic and raw, and cut out from the same bloody cloth as Salvador and Munich. Kirk Honeycutt of Hollywood Reporter compares the film’s “journalistic inquiry into cataclysmic social and political events” to that of Gillo Pontecorvo’s classic The Battle of Algiers. He remarks that the film is without any lurid sensationalism and is objective.

David Chute of LA Weekly described it as “a rigorously naturalistic docudrama about a complex police investigation.” Ethan Alter of Film Journal International describes it as a “potent reminder that Indian Filmmaking isn’t limited to Bollywood super-productions.” According to Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide’s movie guide, “its assertion that religious terrorism is about more than simply faith is food for thought.” According to Ted Murphy of Murphy’s Movie Reviews, “Kashyap keeps the action moving and the overall movie turns out to be engrossing.”

Black Friday received overwhelmingly positive reviews from Indian critics. The film is widely considered to be director Anurag Kashyap’s masterpiece.

Rajeev Masand gave it 4/5 stars and said “The actual blast scenes are shot in such a languid style, exactly the way a bystander would have experienced it. Believe me, no film yet has brought me so close to giving it a five out of five rating, but because it’s just a little short of true greatness, I’m going to go with four of five for Anurag Kashyap’s Black Friday. This is the kind of film to send to the Oscars.”

Taran Adarsh gave it 4/5 stars and said “Some films leave you stunned and speechless with sheer power. BLACK FRIDAY, directed by Anurag Kashyap, is one such film. On the whole, BLACK FRIDAY is an outstanding piece of work. One of the finest products to come out of Mumbai, this one is a hard-hitting film that has the courage to say what it says. Do yourself a favor: Watch BLACK FRIDAY. Hindi cinema at its best.”

Nihil Kumar from Apun Ka Choice said, “Taking least possible cinematic liberty and retaining objectivity throughout the film, Anurag Kashyap tells a compelling and disturbing story in ‘Black Friday’. Strongly Recommended.” Sanjay Ram from Business Of Cinema said, “It simply states the point and that too in a very objective fashion.” Khalid Mohamed from Hindustan Times said “The docu-drama structure is so skillfully employed that you’re gripped.”

Nikhat Kazmi from The Times of India gave it 5/5 stars and said “It’s powerful, pointed and hard-hitting cinema that needs to be seen. Not for entertainment, but for soch-vichar. And no, let’s have no state, city, town, village, panchayat, self-appointed moral-political custodian acting as a super censor, this time please.” Rediff said “There are moments in the second half when the filmmaker seems to lose the vice-like grip by which he holds viewers but that’s excusable since the film has to stay within the framework of its reality theme.

Ugly

Ugly is a 2014 Indian neo-noir psychological thriller film written and directed by Anurag Kashyap. The film was screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. It also opened in the 2014 New York Indian Film Festival. The film stars Girish Kulkarni, Ronit Roy, Tejaswini Kolhapure Vineet Kumar Singh and Suvreen Chawla in pivotal roles. It also features model turned TV actor Rahul Bhat in an important role and TV actor Abir Goswami in his last film appearance before his death in 2013. The circumstances that led to the birth of Kali, the little girl, was separately made as ‘Kali Katha’: the prologue, and was released on YouTube. The digital poster of the film was released on 8 May 2013.
Produced by DAR Motion Pictures and Phantom Films, the film was theatrically released on December 26, 2014 after a delay about the inclusion of a warning about smoking. Upon release, the film received critical acclaim and has grossed over ₹138 million worldwide.
Upon release, Ugly received widespread critical acclaim. The film was premiered at the Cannes film festival and received what Filmfare called a “great response” as a result of standing ovation. The film released in France in May 2014 with Business of Cinemastating that it had a “brilliant script and amazing performance.”

On 23 December 2014 a special screening was held in Mumbai. FirstPost said, “Ironically, Ugly looks beautiful. It’s all dark, dank and disgusting, and yet impossible to look away from.”
Koimoi gave 4/5 stars praising the direction and scripts.Times of India gave 4/5 stars saying ” Anurag Kashyap is in top form in this suspense thriller.” Rediff.com gave 4.5/5 star saying it is Kashyap’s finest work. HindustanTimes, Glamsham and Deccan Chronicle gave the film 4 to 4.75 stars out of 5. Yahoo and Zee News gave the film 4/5 stars

Categories
Society

The Sad State Of My Generation & The Doleful State Of A Bihari!

As the famous British historian Dr. Arnold Toynbee once said, “It is already becoming clearer that a chapter which has a Western beginning will have to have an Indian ending if it is not to end in the self-destruction of the human race… At this supremely dangerous moment in history, the only way of salvation for mankind is the Indian way.”

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Little did he know back then how things will pan out in 2015. I’m writing this with extreme discomfort that we seem to have lost our way. All this talk of us ruling the 21st century is nothing but a farce to me. It isn’t just about the economy of ours or the military strength. It’s about soft power.

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India is not, as people keep calling it, an underdeveloped country, but rather, in the context of its history and cultural heritage, a highly developed one in an advanced state of decay, Dr Shashi Tharoor said in his TEDx speech [Mysore 2009] & will ultimately leave you with the very basic notion.

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One thing which deeply saddens me is how “we” constantly berate Biharis for overpopulation, traffic jams & what not. I seem to have found this new born respect for the people of Bihar. If I am able to sit down under this roof, it’s only because of them. These working class heroes generate the very basic idea that nothing comes off easy in this world.

It isn’t obligatory to stand while our national anthem is being played out in the background. It isn’t necessary to touch our elder’s feet which we call “Pranama.” However, these are the very things which stands us out from the rest. Of course, it’s a good sign that our GDP grew by 7.4% in second quarter, better than China.

While the Chinese seem to delve more & more in their heritage, we are seen running after the Western culture without any proper objective. With India being one of the oldest civilizations, we seem to be extremely naive & are taking everything for granted.

I want to launch this rallying cry out of utter frustation to my generation’s kids that – “Come on! Once & for all. Feel proud of your rich culture & pass it onto the next generation. Don’t let it fade away.”

You get to witness the deep hard hitting realities during the festive season. One could’ve easily figured that out during this Diwali. There was no hype whatsoever. It wasn’t that kids have started to become eco friendly & care about the environment. It’s that we were too busy texting & clicking pictures. Phones weren’t invented to click selfies. We’re actually clicking pictures rather than living that particular moment which is far important. It’s havoc out there.

The idea was to develop at a rapid rate without hurting the core values & we seem to be falling short. Extremely short!

Categories
Movies News

Main Aur Charles Review

Main Aur Charles is a solid portrayal of Charles Sobhraj. It is dark & intense.

It starts off by depicting Sobhraj’s activities & history in Thailand with the background music falling in the place at just the right time. As soon as you get to know about his lifestyle in Thailand, the screenplay shifts on to Sobharaj’s imprisonment in India. The story unfolds in a non-linear pattern.

Charles Sobhraj is a French serial killer of Vietnamese & Indian origin & subsequently has been alleged of committing at least 12 murders. He escaped from India’s most highly guarded prison-Tihar Jail on 1986 which helped him get famous among the media.

The director & writer as well of the film, Prawaal Raman, with Randeep Hooda has successfully managed to highlight the charisma of Sobhraj.

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Randeep Hooda’s role is a poetry in motion. The style, the hat, the glasses & that typical 80s hairstyle ; Hooda absolutely delves into his role as the time passes by. Every single thing done by Hooda is shrewdly exhibited. One can easily figure out that subtle crispness in Hooda’s attitude & body language. But it’s the french accent what takes you by surprise. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to discover that viciousness in Hooda’s eyes & the way he sits or even stands for that matter, it is pure joy to witness him as he unravels his bewitching charm.

It is easy to forget that Randeep Hooda is a polished Haryanvi speaker yet he literally makes you go in his awe at certain moments while speaking with french accent. There’s a thing called versatility & Mister Hooda masters that art.

The cinematography is immensely breathtaking as Anuj Rakesh Dhawan tinkers with lights & shadows.

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Script writing is one of the most important things in a movie & the director seems to fall extremely short at times. 7 out of 10 times, you get to witness Hooda’s eyecatching charisma.

It changes gears from Thailand & shifts to Goa with the dances & the bikni clad foreigners. First half is all about laying off, establishing & making audience underatstand the shady nature & activities of Charles.

There is this scene where Goa, Mumbai & Delhi police start fighting to catch Sobhraj first which will make you chuckle. Detailed description of his dark deeds is narrated from the perspective of an Indian cop, Amod Kanth (Adil Hussain) which makes the title look apt. Hussain as the good, stern, moral police officer is perfect and his wife’s (Tisca Chopra) role is satisfying.

The movie excells in ths second half with Amod Kanth pursuing Sobhraj’s four associates, including his student girlfriend, Mira (Richa Chadda).

Chadda plays a cameo & there is this one scene where she tries to tell Kanth how misunderstood Sobhraj is. Her love for Sobhraj is unquestionable. Her depiction shows the fact how enthralling Sobhraj is.

One of the most underrated roles is that of Satpal (Sandeep Punia) who dazzles the crowd with his typical Haryanvi style & wit.

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The last 20 minutes are beautifully shot with Dhawan (Cinematographer) showing the magical prowess in his department.

Main Aur Charles is a dark, intellectual and intense film with some brilliant performances while Hooda carrying the movie on his shoulders, depicting the hypnotic-cum-criminal Charles Sobhraj & managing to create a ruthless show.

Categories
Football

Premier League Gameweek 10 Preview

Aston Villa – Swansea City

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Aston Villa have won just one of their eight Premier League meetings with Swansea (D3 L4), losing each of the last three and failing to score in the last two. Swansea City have collected just two points from their last five Premier League away games (D2 L3).

Tim Sherwood has lost 14 of his 22 Premier League games in charge of Aston Villa; Paul Lambert didn’t lose his 14th game in charge of Villa in the competition until his 28th game. The Villans have failed to score in four of their last five Premier League home games.

There have only been six goals scored from direct free-kicks in the Premier League so far this season and half of these have been netted against Swansea City (3). Jonjo Shelvey has attempted the most shots (27 – incl. blocked) without scoring in the Premier League this season. Bafetimbi Gomis has now failed to score in five successive Premier League appearances after scoring nine goals in his previous 10 games in the competition.

Swansea have seen their opponents reduced to 10 men on four occasions this season; more often than any other Premier League side. No player has attempted more dribbles in the Premier League this season than Swansea’s Jefferson Montero (62), while Villa’s Jordan Amavi has attempted the second most (58). Swansea are now winless in five Premier League games (D2 L3); they haven’t gone six without a win in the competition since March 2014.

Prediction : Aston Villa win

Leicester City – Crystal Palace

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Leicester have enjoyed just one win in their six Premier League games against Crystal Palace, losing four and drawing one. Crystal Palace have won nine of their last 12 Premier League away games (W9 D0 L3) – this after winning just nine of their previous 61 on the road in the top-flight. In all league games, the Foxes are without a win in their last four meetings with Palace (D1 L3), with their last league victory against the Eagles coming in January 2012 (2-1 away).

On home soil, Leicester have lost their last two league encounters with Crystal Palace after avoiding defeat in the eight before that (W5 D3). Jamie Vardy will be looking to become only the fifth different English player to score in 7+ successive Premier League games after Alan Shearer (7), Ian Wright (7), Mark Stein (7) and Daniel Sturridge (8) Vardy has had a hand in 18 goals in his last 19 Premier League appearances (13 goals, five assists).

Leicester have won a league-high seven points from losing positions this season and have lost just one of the six PL games they’ve been behind in (W1 D4). The Foxes have scored a league-high tally of six goals in the final 15 minutes of games this season. Crystal Palace have conceded the highest proportion of goals in the final 15 minutes of Premier League games this season (50% – five of 10).

Palace have averaged 2.25 points per game away from home under Alan Pardew (W9 D0 L3), compared to 1.27 points per game at home (W6 D1 L8).

Prediction : Draw

Norwich City – West Bromwich Albion

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Norwich have won just three of their last nine league games against West Brom (L6), although those victories have come in the last five meetings. The Baggies have netted just one goal in total in their last three Premier League games against the Canaries. At Carrow Road, the hosts have lost four of their last five league clashes with West Brom (W1).

This will be the two sides’ second clash in just over a month, following Norwich’s Capital One Cup 3-0 win on September 23rd. Sebastian Bassong has made more clearances than any other player in the Premier League this season (85), with 60 of these being made with his head (another league-high).

Norwich City have conceded more goals than any other side in the Premier League this season (20) and are one of just three clubs yet to keep a clean sheet (alongside Sunderland and Leicester). West Bromwich Albion have kept a league-high 15 clean sheets in the Premier League since Tony Pulis’ first game in charge of them on January 10th 2015. WBA have kept five clean sheets in their last eight Premier League games, but in the other three games during this run they’ve conceded eight goals in total.

Saido Berahino has scored just four goals in 22 away appearances in the Premier League since the start of last season, compared to 13 goals in 23 home apps. These two sides have won the fewest fouls in the Premier League so far in 2015-16 – Norwich (69) and West Brom (83)

Prediction : Norwich win

Stoke City – Watford

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Stoke City have won exactly half (21) of their 42 Premier League home games under Mark Hughes’ management (D10 L11). Watford are unbeaten in their last five league meetings with Stoke City (W3 D2) and have kept a clean sheet in all five of these games. Stoke have failed to score in their last three league games at the Britannia Stadium against the Hornets (L2 D1).

Watford have scored a league-low six goals this season and have the lowest shot conversion rate (7.8%). The Hornets have played more long balls than any other Premier League side this season (366). Mame Biram Diouf has scored five goals in his last eight PL games, including a goal against both of the other two newly promoted sides in 2015-16 (Bournemouth and Norwich).

Jack Butland has made more saves than any other goalkeeper this season in the Premier League (39) Troy Deeney has scored just two goals in his last 17 competitive appearances for Watford. Stoke City have won three successive Premier League games – they haven’t won four in a row since December 2011. Games involving Watford have seen just 16 goals scored this season in the Premier League; a league-low.

Prediction : Stoke win

West Ham United – Chelsea

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West Ham United have won just one of their last 18 Premier League London derbies against Chelsea (W1 D3 L14). Chelsea have not conceded a single goal in any of their last five Premier League matches against the Hammers; last conceding in a 1-3 defeat in Dec 2012.

West Ham have scored with a league-high 22% of their shots this season in the Premier League while only Man City (24) have scored more goals than the Hammers (20). Chelsea have conceded a league-high five headed goals in the Premier League in 2015-16.

Dimitri Payet has created more goalscoring chances than any other Premier League player so far this season (39). Payet has had a hand in eight goals (five goals, three assists) in nine Premier League appearances for West Ham. West Ham have won their two Premier League London derbies so far this season (v Arsenal and Crystal Palace); they only won two PL London derbies in the whole of 2014-15.

The Hammers have lost their last three Premier League London derbies at home, however. Jose Mourinho has lost just five of his 52 Premier League London derbies as a manager (W36 D11 L5).

This is West Ham’s best ever start to a PL season after nine games (17 points), while it’s Chelsea’s second worst ever start to a PL campaign after nine games (11 points).

Prediction : Chelsea win

Arsenal – Everton

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Arsenal have lost just one of their last 16 Premier League meetings with Everton (W9 D6). However, the Toffees have lost only one of their last six PL games versus Arsenal with four of these games ending in a draw (W1 L1).

Arsenal’s joint Premier League record win (7-0) came against Everton; this was at Highbury in May 2005. Arsenal have had more touches in the opposition box than any other side in the Premier League this season (329).

Everton have scored five goals courtesy of substitutes in the Premier League this season, more than any other side. Petr Cech has the best saves to shots ratio of any goalkeeper in the Premier League so far in 2015-16 (82.1%). Cech has now kept 167 Premier League clean sheets, just two away from David James’ record (169) in the competition.

Olivier Giroud has netted four goals in the Gunners’ last four meetings with Everton in all competitions. Theo Walcott has been directly involved in 15 goals in his last 15 Premier League starts for Arsenal (12 goals, three assists).

Romelu Lukaku has now scored 47 Premier League goals – only four players have reached 50 PL goals before the age of 23 and the Belgian will become the fifth if he scores three more goals this season.

Prediction : Draw

Sunderland – Newcastle United

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Sunderland have won the last five Tyne-Wear derbies in league competition; their best ever run against Newcastle United. Newcastle have managed to score just one goal in their last 537 minutes of football against Sunderland.

Sunderland have won eight Premier League games against Newcastle; versus no other side have they won more often (also eight wins vs. Bolton and Everton). Sam Allardyce has never lost his opening Premier League home game in charge of a club (W3 D1). Allardyce managed Newcastle United 21 times in the Premier League (W7 D5 L9) between Aug 2007-Jan 2008 and will become the first ever manager to have taken charge of both Sunderland and Newcastle in a Tyne-Wear derby.

Georginio Wijnaldum scored as many goals in his last Premier League appearance (4) as Sunderland have in their last six Premier League games combined (4). Wijnaldum has only attempted 12 shots (inc. blocked) in the Premier League this season, but has scored with half of these (6).

These two sides have allowed the most shots on target by opponents this season in the Premier League; Newcastle (55), Sunderland (53). Sunderland have had the fewest touches in the opposition box this season after the opening nine matchdays (116). The Black Cats are currently on the longest run without a win in the Premier League (12 games; W0 D5 L7).

Prediction : Newcastle win

Bournemouth – Tottenham Hotspur

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This will be only the second competitive meeting between Bournemouth and Spurs, with the first coming in an FA Cup tie in 1957 that the south coast side won 3-1. Tottenham have lost just one of the last seven Premier League games that they’ve played on a Sunday (W4 D2 L1).

Spurs are the only side to have remained unbeaten following the opening matchday; winning three and drawing five since their MD1 defeat at Man Utd. In Harry Kane’s last 17 Premier League appearances he’s scored three goals from 40 shots (7.5% conversion rate).

Spurs have conceded only three goals in their last six Premier League games, keeping four clean sheets in the process. Bournemouth have scored in each of their last seven Premier League games. Glenn Murray has scored nine Premier League goals in 22 apps in 2015, compared to one goal in 16 PL apps before this year.

Bournemouth have only conceded three goals in four PL home games this season, while Spurs have netted just four goals in four PL away games in 2015-16.

Nine of Christian Eriksen’s 12 Premier League goals since the start of last season have come away from home (75%). Since 2013-14, when Eriksen signed for Tottenham, he has scored two more direct free kicks than any other player in the Premier League (6).

Prediction : Spurs win

Manchester United – Manchester City

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Wayne Rooney has scored 11 goals in Manchester derbies (all comps); more than any other player in this fixture. Rooney is 30 years old on the day before this match – no player has scored as many Premier League goals as he has by the age of 30 (187).

Manchester City have won six of their last eight Manchester derbies in league competition (L2); prior to this run City had won six of their previous 42 derby games v Man Utd. Man Utd have won 17 of their 23 Premier League home games under Louis van Gaal (74%), conceding just 16 goals (D3 L3).

Manchester City are looking for their 50th competitive win in the Manchester derby (W49 D50 L69). None of the last 12 Manchester derbies in all competitions have ended as a draw (five United wins, seven City wins). The last 10 Manchester derbies in all competitions have seen 41 goals scored (4.1 goals per game).

Manchester City have had the most shots on target (74) and have allowed their opponents the fewest (24) in the opening nine matchdays of 2015-16. Kevin De Bruyne has 23 assists in 41 league appearances since the start of last season; three more than any other player in the top five European Leagues.

Man City will be missing Sergio Aguero for this game; he’s scored eight goals in eight Manchester derbies in all competitions, including all three for City v Utd last season.

Prediction : City win

Liverpool – Southampton

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Liverpool have enjoyed three PL wins in a row over Southampton, conceding just one goal in the process; that being scored by Nathaniel Clyne (who now plays for Liverpool).

Southampton’s 3-1 win at Chelsea on MD8 was their first PL away win since February 7th, ending a 10-game away winless streak (L6 D4). The Reds ran 116km in their first game under Jurgen Klopp last weekend; further than they had run in any single Premier League game since the start of 2013-14.

James Milner has run further than any other Liverpool player in every one of their opening nine games in the Premier League this season. Milner has also created 20 goalscoring chances for the Reds; more than any other player for the club. Just three of Graziano Pelle’s 17 Premier League goals have come away from home (18%). Pelle (5) has scored or assisted as many goals in his last four Premier League appearances as he did in his previous 11 in the competition.

Southampton have attempted more open play crosses than any other side in the opening nine matchdays of the 2015-16 season (171). Saints have attempted 10 more headed shots (32) than any other side in the opening nine matchdays this season.

Lucas Leiva has made more tackles than any other player in the opening nine matchdays of the 2015-16 season (40).

Prediction : Liverpool win

Categories
Technology

iOS 9 : Everything you need to know about

1. On iPad , a two-finger drag on the keyboard moves the cursor freely like a traditional trackpad making positioning the cursor and selecting text easier. On the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, a force press on the keyboard also allows the user to move the cursor like a trackpad. A shortcut bar has been added including cut, copy, paste, undo and redo.

When shift is inactive, lowercase letters are displayed, instead of the all-caps representation on all previous iOS versions, although this can be disabled.

2. iOS 9 includes a new News app (replacing the Newsstand app) which displays news from sources such as The New York Times , CNN , Wired , and ESPN to bring one unified experience in the way users read, experience, and discover news.

Publishers use the Apple News Format to create rich, dynamic articles for iOS users, using diverse typography, layout and full width imagery. The app has been compared to the popular app Flipboard , which also aggregates news in addition to social media posts. It has been discovered that the News application will also have support for RSS feeds from Safari.

News is currently available in the US only, with the United Kingdom coming in iOS 9.1.

3. The built-in Notes app has received a number of enhancements, including the ability to draw sketches with a number of different tools, including a ruler for straight lines. Images can also be added, and links to websites and Map locations get a more prominent, visual appearance when added to notes.

Attachments including images, links, locations, documents and audio across all notes can be viewed in a single view from the notes list. Advanced formatting options including checked, bulleted, dashed and numbered lists can be added. The iPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPad Mini (1st generation), and iPod Touch (5th generation) do not support the Sketch feature of the Notes application.

Notes now sync using iCloud Drive, as opposed to the less secure IMAP system that Apple has used in past iterations of iOS. When a library has been updated to the new Notes format, devices that still use IMAP will no longer be able to view the upgraded notes. The new Notes format also syncs to any Mac on the same iCloud account running OS X 10.11 or higher.

4. Apple Maps adds support for transit directions in Baltimore, Berlin , Chicago , London , Los Angeles , Mexico City , New York City , Paris, Philadelphia , San Francisco , Shanghai , Toronto , and Washington D.C. , along with several other cities in China at launch, which will expand as Apple maps out more cities.

The Maps app now also makes recommendations to points of interest, restaurants, etc. based on what time of day it is or the users’ interests. Map also display place cards for landmarks, cities and text taken from Wikipedia.

Apple has claimed that information collected by iOS this way will not be shared with the company or third parties. There will also be an icon in the details view of a retailer to indicate that they support Apple Pay.

5. iOS 9 also adds a number of features to the iPad to improve productivity. These include Slide Over, Split View, and Picture in Picture , for enhanced multitasking, similar to the experience found on OS X El Capitan.

Slide Over allows the user to pull in a second app with a swipe from the right edge of the display. This app takes up the width of 33% of the screen size, and disables interactivity within the full screen app, which takes up 66% of the display, allowing users to perform quick tasks and then dismiss the app again.

If the user taps on the handle next to the Slide Over window, or extends it further towards the left of the screen, the user enters Split View, which allows users to interact with two apps simultaneously side-by-side in a 50%/50% split. Users can switch to another app in either Slide Over mode or Split-Screen view by pulling down on the handle on top of either app and selecting another app from the list to replace the existing one. The Split-Screen Multitasking feature will only be available to iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 users at launch. It will also be available on the iPad Pro.

However, the Slide Over and Picture in Picture feature will be available on the iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 2 and higher, and the iPad Pro. The iPad 2, 3rd generation, 4th generation, and Mini (1st Generation) will not receive any of these multitasking updates. When banner notifications are tapped, causing another app to open, a back button at the top-left corner of the screen has been added, bringing the user back to the previous app.

The app switcher is redesigned, with app previews stacked on each other that are swiped through in a carousel effect. It also removes the recent contacts section.

6. Intelligence is one of the main features in iOS 9, consisting of the newly integrated Siri and Search (previously known as Spotlight), as well as “proactivity” throughout the operating system. iOS is now more aware of contextual information (such as time and location), and proactively provides the user with what they may need in advance to save them time and effort.

For example, the Search screen displays suggested apps, nearby points of interest from Maps and current news stories, based on time of day and location. When typing, Search has also been improved to display instant answers in an at-a-glance, widget-like format, similar to that provided in the Siri interface. Search can display current weather, sports scores, news, and more.

The Search screen with proactive suggestions can be accessed by swiping to the left of the first home screen, as with the old Spotlight in iPhone OS 3 to 7. The new Search screen is not available on the iPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPad (3rd generation), iPad Mini (1st generation), and iPod Touch (5th generation).

7. However, the Search field and Siri button can also be accessed by swiping down on any page of the home screen (as in iOS 7/8), but doesn’t show any suggestions. The intelligence also extends into apps.

For instance, in Mail, events can be automatically added to Calendar if details are found in the message content, and likely additional recipients are suggested during message composition. Siri is also aware of what is currently onscreen when it is engaged by holding down the home button.

For example, if a user is shopping for something in Safari, the user can say, “Remind me about ‘this’ when I get home”, and Siri will set a reminder with a geofence and attached link of the current page. The user can also ask Siri “Show me photos I took last June” and Siri will direct into the photos app, similar to the new Spotlight in OS X 10.11 El Capitan .

8. The Passbook application was renamed Wallet in iOS 9 and includes many new changes such as support for store loyalty cards, gift cards, Discover Credit/Debit Card support, and Apple Pay in the UK.

9. 3D Touch, which is only available on the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, is deeply incorporated into iOS 9. Quick Actions that can only be triggered with 3D Touch were added to the home menu. iOS 9 has actions known as Peek and Pop, which lets the user preview all kinds of content and act on it without having to actually open it.

For example, with a light press the user can Peek at each email in the inbox, then when the user wants to open the email, they would press a little deeper to Pop into it. If someone sends the user a link to a website, the user can Peek at it without leaving the screen he/she’s on.

Whenever the user is sent a link, or finds one while browsing, they would press the link lightly and the top of the page appears just as it would in Safari, and once the user lets go, he/she ends up in the original location.

If the user wants to open the full page in Safari, they would press the link a little more deeply to Pop into it.

10. iOS 9 also includes many under-the-hood improvements such as improved performance with its Metal API , up to an hour more of battery life, improved security using advanced encryption and new 6-digit passcodes for Touch ID -enabled devices (increased from 4).
Devices without Touch ID will also be able to use 4-digit passcodes, but it will not be the default option when adding a passcode to the device.

A new Low Power Mode has been added, which is said to increase battery life by up to three hours. This feature is only available on iPhone. iOS 9 also introduces a new two-factor authentication system for better security within iCloud Drive .

iOS 9 fixes a security issue within previous iOS versions where a hacker could bypass Apple’s certificate security protocols allowing the “attacker to issue a malware payload via a directory traversal attack” which allows the hacker to “remotely alter configuration files to ensure the exploit still works even if an incoming AirDrop file is rejected by a user.”

With the release of iOS 9, the Safari web browser allows for third-party integration; as of September 2015, the most popular third-party Safari extensions are ad- and content-blocking applications. Also, new iCloud Drive app can be enabled from the iCloud settings.

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Football

UCL Tuesday Knockout Preview

 

Bayer 04 Leverkusen – Roma

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Bayer Leverkusen and Roma’s only previous meeting was in the 2004/05 Champions League group stages. The German side won 3-1 in Leverkusen and there was a 1-1 draw in Rome. Bayer Leverkusen have reached the Last 16 in each of the past four seasons they’ve been involved in the Champions League.

None of Bayer Leverkusen’s last 23 Champions League home games has ended in a draw (W14 L9). Their last draw on home soil came against Manchester Utd in April 2002 (1-1). Leverkusen have won four of their last five Champions League games at the BayArena (L1). Roma have only won one of their last 11 Champions League games (D4 L6). That was against CSKA Moscow in last season’s group stages.

Roma have never kept a clean sheet in their last 16 Champions League games. The last one was against Arsenal in March 2009 (1-0). Roma’s last away win in the Champions League was in November 2010 against Basel (3-2).

Since then, they have drawn three and lost three. All four goals conceded by Roma in the Champions League this season have come in the opening 30 minutes. Hakan Calhanoglu has been involved in four of Bayer Leverkusen’s five Champions League goals this season (2 goals, 2 assists). Roma’s Edoardo Soleri is the youngest player to have appeared in this season’s Champions League (17 years and 11 months). Rudi Garcia has only won three of his 20 Champions League games as manager (D6 L11).

Prediction : Draw

Arsenal – FC Bayern München

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Arsenal and Bayern Munich are facing each other for the third time in the last four Champions League seasons. Bayern Munich have beaten Arsenal on their two trips to the Emirates in the Champions League (3-1 in February 2013, 2-0 in February 2014). Both were in the last 16 stage of the competition.

Arsenal have lost their opening two games in a Champions League group stage for the first time in their history. The last team to qualify for the knockout stages despite such a start were Galatasaray in 2012/13. Arsenal have never lost three consecutive games in the Champions League. Arsenal have lost six of their last 12 Champions League home games. They had lost only one of their previous 39 games on their own soil.

Arsenal have conceded exactly three goals in three of their last four Champions League games at the Emirates (v Anderlecht, Monaco, Olympiakos). Arsenal have only failed to score three times in their last 30 Champions League home games. Arsenal have made it past the group stages in the last 12 seasons but have been knocked out at the last 16 stage in the last five campaigns.

Bayern Munich have reached the Champions League final three times in the last six seasons. They have been knocked out at the semi-final stage twice and last 16 once in the other three campaigns. Bayern Munich have only failed to score once in their last 34 Champions League group games. It was against Manchester City in December 2011.

Bayern Munich have scored 39 goals in their last 12 Champions League games, a rate of 3.25 per game. Bayern Munich have won only one of their last five away games in the Champions League (D1 L3), that was against Olympiakos in the opening matchday of this season’s group stages. Bayern Munich have scored the most goals in this season’s Champions League (8 in two games) and have conceded the fewest (0, alongside PSG and Real Madrid).

Theo Walcott has made 49 Champions League appearances, and has been involved in all three of Arsenal’s Champions League goals this season (2 goals, 1 assist). Only Cristiano Ronaldo (44 goals) and Lionel Messi (26) have scored more goals in the Champions League than Robert Lewandowski (25) since 2012/13.

Prediction : Bayern win

Dynamo Kyiv – Chelsea

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This is the first ever competitive game between Dinamo Kiev and Chelsea. Dinamo Kiev’s last Champions League win against an English side was in October 2003 versus Arsenal (2-1). Since then, they have won none of their last five (D1 L4). Chelsea’s only previous encounter with a Ukrainian side was against Shakhtar Donetsk in the 2012/13 Champions League group stages. They lost 2-1 away from home before securing a 3-2 win at Stamford Bridge.

Dinamo Kiev have won only three of their last 16 Champions League home games (D4 L9). Dinamo Kiev have remained unbeaten in their first three Champions League group games only twice in the past: 1997/98 and 2008/09. Dinamo Kiev have not made it past the group stages in any of their last 11 Champions League participations.

Dinamo Kiev have conceded more fouls than any other team in this season’s Champions League (36). Chelsea have only lost one of their last 10 Champions League games (v Porto in the last matchday), winning five and drawing four games. Chelsea have scored in each of their last 11 Champions League games.

The last time they failed to find the net was in April 2014 against Atletico Madrid (0-0). Chelsea are the only team to have scored two goals from direct free-kick in this season’s Champions League, both by Willian. Dinamo Kiev goalkeeper Oleksandr Shovkovskiy (40 years and nine months) is the oldest player to have appeared in this season’s Champions League.

Prediction : Chelsea win

Zenit St Petersburg – Lyon

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This is the first ever competitive game between Zenit St Petersburg and Lyon. Zenit St Petersburg have failed to score in their last three European games against French opposition. No French team has ever won an away game against Zenit St Petersburg in European competition (D2 L2). They’ve also only ever scored one goal in their four trips to St Petersburg, a Frederic Dehu goal for Marseille back in March 2006 (1-1).

Zenit have made their best ever start to a Champions League campaign, collecting six points from six in their opening two games. Zenit have already scored more goals in this season’s Champions League group stages (5 in 2 games) than they did in last season’s (4 in 6 games).

Zenit are taking part in their 6th Champions League campaign – they have never gone further than the last 16 (2011/12, 2013/14). Lyon have never failed to win any of their first three games in the Champions League group stages. Lyon have reached the knockout stages in each of their last nine Champions League campaigns. Lyon have lost eight of their last 13 Champions League away games (W2 D3).

The two wins were against Hapoel Tel Aviv and Dinamo Zagreb. Lyon have also kept only clean sheet in their last 14 Champions League away games (0-0 v Ajax in September 2011). Lyon have failed to score in seven of their last 11 Champions League games. Lyon haven’t conceded more than one goal in any of their last six Champions League games.

Only Bayern Munich (49) and Real Madrid (46) have had more shots than Lyon (38) in this season’s Champions League (including blocked). Only eight of Lyon’s 38 shots have been on target. Hulk has been involved in four of Zenit’s five Champions League goals this season (2 goals, 2 assists).

Prediction : Zenit win

Categories
Football

La Liga GW8 Preview

Real Madrid – Levante

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Real Madrid have won their last seven La Liga games against Levante. They have never won eight in a row against them. The Valencians have been shut out against Real Madrid in three consecutive La Liga games. Levante have won only one of their last 10 visits to Santiago Bernabéu (L9), 0-1 in 2007 with a Salva Ballesta goal.

Real Madrid have not conceded fewer goals after seven La Liga games since the 1997/98 season (one). Rafa Benítez’s team has had the most shots on target in La Liga (54), while Levante have had the fewest (21). Cristiano Ronaldo has equalled his worst goalless streak with Real Madrid in La Liga, four games in a row. He has never gone five games in a row without scoring.

With six goals in seven games, this is Benzema’s best ever beginning to a La Liga campaign. Deyverson is the second Brazilian player to score for Levante since their last promotion to the top-flight of Spanish football (after Rafael Martins).

Prediction : Real Madrid win

Eibar – Sevilla

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Eibar have never beaten Sevilla in the top tier (D1 L1). Sevilla have conceded at least once in six La Liga games in a row, their worst streak since 2013 (11). The Basque team have only lost one of their last nine La Liga games (W4 D4), at home against Atlético (0-2). Unay Emery has won only on one of his last six visits to el País Vasco as a manager in La Liga. It was in the last one against Eibar (1-3).

Eibar are the team with the lowest ball possession ratio in La Liga (40.64%). Only Villarreal (22.64%) have a higher shot conversion rate than Eibar (22.22%) this season. Krohn-Deli is the first player to score and assist in the same game for Sevilla this season in La Liga. No player for either side has assisted more than once this season in La Liga. Borja Bastón has scored Eibar’s last four league goals.

Prediction : Sevilla win

Barcelona – Rayo Vallecano

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Barcelona have recorded nine wins in a row against Rayo, scoring 40 goals and only conceding two. The Catalan team have only been shut out twice in their last 74 home games in La Liga. Rayo have alternated between winning and losing in their last four away games; the last one was a defeat against Sevilla.

Barcelona have not conceded as many goals after seven games in La Liga as they have this season (9) since 2005/06 (10). Luis Enrique’s team have lost two of the three games in which they conceded the first goal in the league this term.

Trashorras is the player with the most passes completed in La Liga this season (551) and he is only outnumbered by Modric (340) for most passes completed in the opposition half (323). Neymar (2) and Suárez (2) have scored all four Barcelona goals in the team’s last three La Liga games.

Prediction : Barca win

Valencia CF – Málaga

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Malaga have never won in their 14 visits to the Mestalla in La Liga (D3 L11). Valencia have scored at least once in all 14 La Liga games at home against Málaga. Valencia have gone 15 La Liga games in a row at home without defeat. They have not had a better streak since 2005-06 (19).

Málaga have been shut out in their last three away games. They have not been shut out in four away games in a row since November 2011. Only Lille (4.49%) have worst shots/goal ratio than Málaga (4.55%) in the top five European Leagues this season. Valencia have conceded the joint-fewest shots on target at home in La Liga this season (7), equal with Real Madrid.

Charles became the first player to score a hat-trick for Málaga since El Hamdaoui in September 2013. All four of Valencia’s goals in La Liga in this season have been scored by a different player; Negredo, Alcácer, Mustafi, Parejo.

Prediction : Valencia win

Real Betis – Espanyol

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Betis have gone seven games in a row without defeat against Espanyol at home (W2 D5). Betis have two wins in a row in La Liga. They have not won three in a row since January 2012. Espanyol have lost three of their last four La Liga away games. In each of those defeats they conceded three goals.

Pepe Mel has only won one of his six games in the top tier as a manager against Espanyol (D2 L3). Betis have conceded the most shots on target in La Liga this season (45). The Catalan team have the highest goal ratio from set play situations in La Liga this season (71%). Betis are the team to have won the most points this season having conceded the first goal (4). Rubén Castro has been involved in six of his side’s seven goals this season (4 goals, 2 assists).

Prediction : Draw

Villarreal – Celta de Vigo

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Villarreal won both games against Celta in 2014/15, with seven goals scored and two conceded, their best numbers against any team last season. Celta lost 4-1 on their last visit to El Madrigal, the most goals conceded in a match with Berizzo as manager.

Villarreal have won their last five games at home in La Liga, scoring 10 goals and conceding only three. Celta have gone 12 games without a defeat in La Liga (W6 D6). They are two games away from their best streak without defeat in the top tier (14 in 2001).

Nolito has been involved in eight goals (5 goals, 3 assists) this season; more than any other La Liga player. Celta have never conceded a goal to Roberto Soldado. They are one of the five teams Soldado has faced but never scored against in the Spanish top-flight.

Villarreal are the team with best shots/goal ratio in La Liga this season (22.64%). Celta have scored the most goals from inside the box in La Liga this season (15).

Prediction : Draw

Real Sociedad – Atlético de Madrid

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Real Sociedad have only won two of their last 10 games against Atlético in La Liga (D1 L7). One of these wins was in the last game between them at the Anoeta (2-1 November 2014). Atlético have won four of their last five games in the Anoeta (D1), more than at any other away ground since 10/11.

Anoeta is the stadium in which Simeone has won the joint-most La Liga away games, alongside the Sánchez Pizjuán (three wins in each). Real Sociedad have gone four games in a row at home without a win in La Liga (D2 L2). They have not gone five in a row since December 2006, a season where they relegated into the second tier.

Atlético have lost two games in this La Liga season, the same as in the whole second leg of last season. Agirretxe has scored 83% of his team’s goals this season, the highest ratio of any player in La Liga. Griezmann has scored 25 goals in 44 La Liga games with Atlético at a ratio of 0.57 goals per game. For Real Sociedad he scored 40 goals in 141 games (0.28).

Real Sociedad have seen more opposition yellow cards than any other side this season (27). Atlético have scored a league-high three goals from outside the box this season, only two less than in the whole of last season (five).

Prediction : Atlético de Madrid win

Getafe – Las Palmas

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This will be the first game between Getafe and Las Palmas in the top tier. Their last game was in the second tier, in 2004, with Getafe winning 3-0. The side from the Canaries never won against Getafe away from home in the second tier (D1 L2). Getafe have only lost one of their last four La Liga games (W2 D1), conceding in only one of them.

Las Palmas have only won twice in their 66 visits to Madrid in the top tier, both against Atlético (1-2 1967 and 1969). Fran Escriba’s team have scored 67% of their goals in the last 15 minutes of games, the highest ratio this season. Las Palmas have not won away in the top tier since December 2001, when they won against Tenerife 1-3.

Getafe have seen the most individual players receive a yellow card this term (17). Jonathan Viera has fired in 26% of his side’s shots this season; only Cristiano Ronaldo (38%) and Nolito (28%) have higher ratios for their teams. Las Palmas is the team with best cross ratio in La Liga (30%).

Prediction : Getafe win

Deportivo de La Coruña – Athletic Club

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Deportivo have only lost one of their last 13 La Liga games against Athletic (W7 D5). It was at the San Mamés in May 2010. Athletic have not won in their last six visits to the Riazor (L5 D1). Their last win away against Depor was in December 2006 (0-2 with Mané as manager). Deportivo have won more games (34) and have scored more goals (120) against Athletic than against any other team.

Deportivo have only lost one of the first seven La Liga games of the season. The last time this happened, they finished the campaign in third (season 03/04). Lucas Pérez has scored 10 goals in La Liga since the start of last season, at least six more than any other Deportivo player in this period.

Aritz Aduriz has scored against Deportivo with three different teams in La Liga (Mallorca, Valencia, Athletic). He scored in Valencia’s win against Deportivo in 2011 that saw the Galician side relegated from the top tier. A league-high 15 different players have come off the bench to play for Athletic in La Liga this season.

Deportivo have conceded fewer shots than any other team in this La Liga season (59). Athletic have conceded five goals from set play situations, more than any other La Liga team.

Prediction : Draw

Sporting de Gijón – Granada CF

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Sporting have only won one of their last five games against Granada in the top tier (D2 L2), 2-0 in October 2011. Sporting have beaten Granada in eight of their previous 10 top-flight home clashes (D1 L1). Granada have only won once in 20 visits to Asturias in the top tier, back in 1959 (0-1 to Sporting at El Molinón).

Of sides they have faced at least 10 times, only against Cadiz (90%) do Sporting have a higher La Liga win rate at home than they do against Granada (80%). With Sandoval as manager, Granada have only lost two of five away games (the last two). In none of them did they concede more than one goal.

Sporting have lost the two games in which they have conceded the first goal this season. Granada are the only team to have conceded at least one goal in every game this season. Alberto Lora is the defender with the joint-most assists (3) this season, alongside Hugo Mallo. Sporting have made more clearances (217) and more headed clearances (112) than any other La Liga side this season.

Prediction : Granada win

Categories
Football

Premier League GW9 Preview

Tottenham Hotspur – Liverpool

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Spurs are the only Premier League team not to have lost since the opening weekend (W3 D4). Liverpool have won five successive league games against Spurs for the first time since 1976; this is the 145th league clash between the sides but neither has ever won six in a row.

The last time Spurs lost six consecutive games against the same PL opponent was against Newcastle United between 2006 and 2008. Gerard Houllier is the only Liverpool manager to win his first Premier League game in charge at the club (2-1 v Southampton in 1998, he was joint-manager with Roy Evans at the time).

Tottenham’s last five Premier League home defeats have all been by a one goal margin; the last team to win by more at White Hart Lane were Liverpool (3-0 in August 2014). Since his Premier League debut in Sept 2013, Christian Eriksen has scored more direct free-kicks than any other player (6).

Liverpool have scored exactly once in eight of their last 11 league matches. Daniel Sturridge scored three times in five PL games against Spurs before moving to Anfield but has failed to net in four appearances against them for the Reds. The Reds have only won one of their last nine Premier League away games (D4 L4). Roberto Firmino has had five shots in total in the Premier League and has hit the woodwork twice.

Prediction : Draw

Chelsea – Aston Villa

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Jose Mourinho has never lost successive home league games as a manager. Aston Villa have lost four Premier League games in a row by a one-goal margin; no side has ever done this in five consecutive matches. 12 of the 23 teams to be 16th after eight Premier League games (as Chelsea are now) have been relegated, while no side has finished higher than fifth (Everton 2008/09).

Chelsea have conceded at least two goals in seven of their eight Premier League games this season (the other game was a 2-0 win against Arsenal). Only Sunderland (18) have conceded more Premier League goals than Chelsea (17) this term. Branislav Ivanovic has scored five Premier League goals against Aston Villa; against no other side has he netted more than twice. Ivanovic has scored 20 PL goals in total; only one player with 20+ goals in PL history has scored a higher percentage against one club than he has v Villa (Ivanovic 25% v Villa, Luke Moore 30% v Middlesbrough).

Villa have not kept a PL clean sheet at Stamford Bridge since March 1998, conceding 30 times in their last eight at the West London venue. Tim Sherwood’s side have scored in their last nine away league games; the longest current run in the top-flight. Chelsea, meanwhile, have scored in their last 23 home league matches; also the longest current run of its kind in the Premier League.

Prediction : Chelsea win

Crystal Palace – West Ham United

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The last time that Crystal Palace had more points after eight games in a top-flight season (15 this season) was in 1990-91 (16 points) – they finished third that season. Dimitri Payet has had a hand in 14 goals (five goals, nine assists) in his last 16 league appearances (Premier League and Ligue 1 combined).

Alan Pardew has won 58% of his PL games as Crystal Palace manager; he won just 36% as Hammers boss between 2003 and 2006. Both meetings between these sides last term ended in 3-1 away wins. Marouane Chamakh has scored both of Crystal Palace’s goals in this exact fixture in the last two campaigns, against the side he spent time at on loan in 2013. 15 of the 18 goals in games featuring Crystal Palace this season have come after half-time (both scored and conceded).

No player has made more interceptions this season than Yohan Cabaye (30, level with Jordan Amavi). West Ham, unbeaten in four on the road, have not gone five Premier League away games without defeat since January 2009 (7). The Eagles have alternated between victory and defeat in their last six home league games; they beat West Brom 2-0 last time at Selhurst Park. West Ham have the best shot conversion rate in the top-flight this season (23%).

Prediction : Draw

Everton – Manchester United

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Romelu Lukaku is one of only four players to score a Premier League hat-trick against Manchester United (Bentley, Kuyt, Eto’o). Anthony Martial has touched the ball in the opposition box more often than any other Premier League player this season (every 9.2 minutes, minimum of 90 minutes played).

Everton are the only Premier League side yet to score from a set piece this term. Wayne Rooney has not scored an away PL goal since last November (17 games without one) and has not scored at Goodison Park since April 2007 (six games). Roberto Martinez’s side have only won one of their last six at Goodison Park (D2 L3). Everton have won three consecutive home league games against Manchester United, keeping a clean sheet in each victory. They had won just three of their previous 20 at Goodison against the Red Devils in the Premier League before this.

The last team to win four consecutive home league matches against Man Utd was also Everton (1984-1987) and the last team to do it without conceding was West Brom (1976-1979). Louis van Gaal (8/23) is still two short of the number of PL away wins recorded at Man Utd by David Moyes (10/18) despite managing five more games on the road.

Gareth Barry will become only the second player to make 550 Premier League starts if he is named in the eleven in this game (David James 571, Barry 549). The Red Devils have won their four league games this season when Bastian Schweinsteiger has not started but have won just one of four with him in the eleven (D1 L2).

Prediction : Man United win

Manchester City – Bournemouth

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Sergio Aguero has 16 goals in 13 Premier League appearances in the month of October. Eddie Howe played in the last meeting between these sides; a 0-0 draw on the south coast in February 1999. Aguero now has 84 Premier League goals; the same number as Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez.

Of the four previous players to score five in a Premier League game, Alan Shearer scored twice in his next game, Dimitar Berbatov scored once while Andrew Cole and Jermain Defoe both failed to net. The Citizens have won four and drawn two of their previous six meetings with Bournemouth. Kevin De Bruyne has scored three goals and assisted two in his three Premier League starts for Man City.

De Bruyne has never scored in four consecutive appearances in either the Bundesliga or Premier League. Manuel Pellegrini’s side have scored in all but one of their last 24 league games, including each of the last 17. The Cherries have now covered 944km this season; 18km more than any other side. Eddie Howe’s side have scored in 12 of their last 13 away league matches.

Prediction : Man City win

Southampton – Leicester City

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Both meetings between these sides last season ended 2-0 to the home team with a player scoring a brace (Long, Mahrez). Jamie Vardy has scored eight goals in his last nine Premier League appearances, including in each of his last five matches in the competition.

Only three English players have scored in six consecutive PL appearances this century: Michael Owen (6 in 2003), James Beattie (6 in 2003) and Daniel Sturridge (8 in 2014). The Foxes have won more points from losing positions than any other top-flight side this season (6). Saints have only lost one of their last 18 top-flight home games against Leicester (W10 D7). Leicester are unbeaten in seven Premier League away games; only once in their top-flight history have they gone eight without defeat on the road (nine in 1973).

Leicester have scored and conceded in all eight of their league games this season. Graziano Pelle has missed the target from inside the box twice as many times as any other Premier League player this season (18, Gestede 9). Maarten Stekelenburg has made only 10 saves in eight games this term, that’s four fewer than David de Gea has made in half as many matches (14 in four). Sadio Mane has two goals and four assists in his last five league appearances.

Prediction : Southampton win

West Bromwich Albion – Sunderland

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The Baggies have won five and lost none of their last six home league meetings with Sunderland. The Black Cats have failed to score in four of their last six trips to the Hawthorns. In their last 15 home league games, West Brom have kept eight clean sheets but conceded three or more goals in the other seven.

West Brom are the only side yet to score in the first half an hour this season and are also the only side yet to net in the final 30 minutes. The Black Cats have had fewer shots on target than any other PL side this term (23). Tony Pulis has not gone five Premier League home games without a win since a run of five draws at Stoke between April and September 2012. He has never gone five without one within the same top-flight campaign.

West Brom have not won any of their last nine league games in the month of October (D4 L5). Only twice in their top-flight history have Sunderland gone nine games from the start of a season without a win (10 in both 1969/70 and 1976/77). Darren Fletcher has not missed a minute of Premier League football since making his debut for the Baggies in February (2070 minutes). The last three permanent Sunderland managers have all started with an away defeat.

Prediction : Draw

Watford – Arsenal

Odion Ighalo has scored Watford’s last five Premier League goals. Petr Cech has the best save percentage in the PL this season (82%, minimum 5 saves). Watford have the lowest shot conversion rate (8.6%) and shooting accuracy (34.3%) figures in the Premier League this season.

Alexis Sanchez has scored five times in his last two league appearances. Heurelho Gomes has made 14 punches this season; five more than any other PL keeper. The top two players for most sprints in the Premier League this term are Aaron Ramsey (560) and Ikechi Anya (533). Theo Walcott has 12 goals and three assists in his last 14 Premier League starts.

Watford have never won a Premier League game in the month of October (D4 L5). The Gunners have won their last five meetings with the Hornets in all competitions, including all four previous Premier League clashes. Watford have only conceded three goals in their last six top-flight matches at Vicarage Road.

Prediction : Arsenal win

Newcastle United – Norwich City

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The Magpies are unbeaten in five Premier League meetings with Norwich (W3 D2), keeping four clean sheets in the process. Norwich have never won at St James Park in the Premier League (D1 L5); only at Old Trafford have they played more often without winning (D1 L6). David Silva (6) is the only player with more Premier League assists this season than Wes Hoolahan (5).

Newcastle have not scored or conceded a goal to an English player in the league this term. Steve McClaren is now without a win in 12 Premier League games (D5 L7), including spells at Middlesbrough and Newcastle. Newcastle United have won just one of their last 19 Premier League games (D4 L14). The Magpies have lost a league-high seven points from winning positions this season.

Newcastle have failed to win any of their first eight league games for only the second time in their history (10 in 1898/99). Norwich are one of only three Premier League sides yet to keep a clean sheet this season (Leicester and Sunderland). Newcastle have had fewer shots (excluding blocked) than any other Premier League team this season (50, 35 fewer than Norwich).

Prediction : Newcastle United win

Swansea City – Stoke City

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Only 14 players have started for Swansea in the league this season; the fewest of all Premier League sides. Stoke have only won one of their last 18 league visits to Swansea (D5 L12), keeping only two clean sheets in that run. Bafetimbi Gomis has been caught offside 19 times this term; 11 more than any other Premier League player.

Garry Monk’s men have only won two of their last 10 league fixtures (D4 L4). Six of the eight PL clashes between these sides have been won by the home team, with the other two ending in draws. The Welsh side have not lost a Premier League home game against a team that did not finish in last season’s top seven since March 2014 (W10 D6).

Stoke have not won consecutive Premier League away games since December 2011. Ashley Williams has played more minutes than any other Premier League player since Swansea were promoted to the top-flight (13,750). Andre Ayew has three goals and one assist in four PL appearances at Liberty Stadium. Ibrahim Afellay has the best pass completion rate of any player to make more than 100 passes for Stoke in PL history (92%).

Prediction : Swansea win

Categories
Football

Premier League 2015-16 Sunday Preview

 

Everton – Liverpool

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Everton have gone nine league games without a victory against their neighbours Liverpool. They’ve not gone 10 games without a victory against the Reds since 1984 (a run of 11 games).

Liverpool have lost just one of their last eight Premier League games at Goodison Park, losing 2-0 in October 2010. The last three have ended in draws (W4).

This fixture has seen the most red cards shown in Premier League history (20); four more than any other Premier League game. Daniel Sturridge has scored five times against Everton in the Premier League. The only club he has more goals against in the competition is Newcastle United (6).

Sturridge has the best goals per game rate (0.65) of any Liverpool player in Premier League history, including Fernando Torres (0.64) and Luis Suarez (0.63). Romelu Lukaku has now scored 46 Premier League goals; only four players have reached 50 PL goals before the age of 23 and the Belgian will become the fifth if he scores four more goals this season.

In their last six top-flight fixtures, the Toffees have either scored three goals (three times) and failed to score at all (three times). Away from Anfield, Brendan Rodgers’ side have registered just one win in their last eight PL games (D3 L4), netting a total of just five goals in the process. A league-high 45% of the Toffees’ Premier League goals this season have come in the final 15 minutes of their games this season (a joint-high five goals).

Brendan Rodgers has won 52% of his games at Liverpool in the Premier League; one of only 10 managers to have managed 100+ PL games at a club and won more than half of those matches.

Prediction : Liverpool win.

Arsenal – Manchester United

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Arsenal have won just one of their last 13 Premier League fixtures against Manchester United (D4 L8). Manchester United are unbeaten in four away games against Arsenal – they’ve never gone five without a loss away to the Gunners in the Premier League era.

Arsenal have a lower win percentage against Manchester United in the Premier League (24%) than versus any other opponent in the competition. Wayne Rooney has netted 11 times in 25 Premier League games against Arsenal. The only sides he’s scored more goals against in the competition are Newcastle (12) and Aston Villa (13).

Rooney scored his first ever Premier League goal (Oct 2002), his first Premier League goal for Man Utd (Oct 2004) and his 100th Premier League goal (Jan 2010) against the Gunners. Arsenal have the two players to have created the most goalscoring chances in the Premier League so far this season; Mesut Ozil (29) and Santi Cazorla (28).

Since making his PL debut back in August 2012, Santi Cazorla has provided more Premier League assists than any other player (32). Theo Walcott has netted 12 goals in his last 13 Premier League starts for the Gunners. Louis van Gaal has lost just one of his five meetings with Arsene Wenger (all comps), losing in the FA Cup last season after winning one and drawing one in the PL and winning one and drawing one in the 1999/00 Champions League group stages with Barcelona. Anthony Martial has been directly involved in four goals in his first three Premier League games, netting three and assisting one.

Prediction : Arsenal win.

Swansea City – Tottenham Hotspur

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Swansea have taken just one point from their previous eight Premier League games against Spurs, and that was in their first meeting in December 2011. Tottenham have won their last seven Premier League games against Swansea City. They’ve never won eight consecutive games against an opponent in Premier League history (also seven against Man City between December 2004 and December 2007).

The Lilywhites have won three consecutive PL games for the first time since February. They last won four in a row back in January 2014, with the final game in that run also coming against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium (3-1).

Gylfi Sigurdsson has scored 15 and assisted 14 in 58 PL games for Swansea compared to his haul of eight goals and four assists in 57 top-flight games with Spurs. The Swans have gone three Premier League games without tasting victory (D1 L2). They last endured a winless streak of four PL games back in January 2015.

Garry Monk has never won a Premier League game against Spurs, either as a player (D1 L2) or as a manager (L2). Deli Alli has run further than any other Spurs player in each of their last two Premier League games and his last appearance versus Man City saw him run 13.4km; the second furthest of any Premier League player this season in a game.

Swans’ captain Ashley Williams has made a league-high 12 blocks this season. Erik Lamela has had a hand in three goals in his last three top-flight appearances for Tottenham (one goal, two assists), the same total he managed in his 14 previous PL games (also one goal, two assists).

Categories
Technology

7 Free Android Apps that You Should Download Right Now

With more than a billion people on the android platform, I have compiled a list of apps which you might have never heard of and are basically must have.

Mobdro :

mobdro-app

Want to stream a match? Not at home? Mobdro is just the right place for you. You can stream more than 300 international channels for free. From Sky Sports to BBC One, you can watch any channel anytime you want. You can download the app from their official website which is free of cost. There’s a pro version as well which removes the unnecessary ads.

Showbox :

showbox-app

Tired of searching & downloading movies & tv shows from several websites? You should probably give showbox a try & it’s totally worth it. There are like thousands of movies & tv shows which get updated as soon as they are released & the best part is that you can download if you like. You can stream as well with the subtitles. You can download the apk file online.

Tubemate :

tubemate-youtube

Unable to download youtube videos? Try Tubemate. It’s been there for a while & most people know about it but it’s still one of the most important apps. You can download in several qualities & there are many features available in the app.

Drupe :

drupe-app

With Drupe, you can manage all you contacts and messaging apps in one place. Your contacts are on the left, your communications app icons on the right, then it’s matter of seconds just as you drag your particular contact into the icon of the app that you want to contact them with.

Vine :

VINE-APP

Vine is an online video community where you videos are uploaded as soon as they are happening. Each looped video is only six seconds long. Like you missed a wicket or a goal or some funny moment, you’ll easily find it on vine.

Everypost :

EVERYPOST-APP

If you’re a social media buff & like posting stuff on different platforms at the same time, Everypost is just what you ever wished for. You could set a posting schedule as well. Once you have gone through the formalities of setup, you’ll dread yourself that you should have known earlier about this app.

Pocket :

pocket-app

Tired of saving or syncing your online articles or some other stuff in your browser, Pocket is here to save you.  This is easily one of the most underrated apps that I have ever come across.

Categories
Football

Liverpool vs Norwich City Preview

After a disappointing result against Bordeaux in Europa League, Liverpool now face Norwich City at Anfield. This game’s result will affect not just the table but so many things.

Liverpool liverpool-norwich-city-match

Liverpool started the season well with seven points out of nine in the first three games. Two consecutive losses after that & #KloppToTheKop started trending. Football’s a funny game & Brendan Rodgers is definitely the joker as things have panned out.  Liverpool face the newly promoted Norwich City & as you hear the opponent’s name, you start remembering a genius that Liverpool lost in the form of Luis Suarez. Luis Suarez used to score for fun against The Canaries. However, things have changed massively over this course. Liverpool look weak in all departments & the most worrying thing is that they still can’t seem to score the goals & look clueless upfront. Jordan Henderson’s suffered a foot injury & he will be out for 6-8 weeks which is a major setback for Liverpool. Brendan Rodgers started Mamadou Sakho against Bordeaux & the Frenchman came on top. He has also signed a new contract which has been cherished by the fans. Phillipe Coutinho also comes back in the side after one match ban which he faced after getting red carded against West Ham United. Liverpool’s forgotten striker Daniel Sturridge has also resumed full training at Melwood & he might feature in the game as well in the final minutes. This is a game of massive magnitude & Liverpool don’t seem to have the luxury to lose this one.

Recent form: WWDLL

Norwich Citynorwich-city-liverpool-premier league

After a convincing victory against The Cherries last week, Norwich City visit Anfield to cause a major upset. Norwich’s boss Alex Neil has lost just five times in 31 matches since arriving from Hamilton Academical. Norwich City opt for fluid attacking style whoever the opponent might be. Norwich’s left-back Robbie Brady seems to be exciting piece of business as he dazzles the crowd with his sheer pace. Steven Whittaker also comes straight into the side after the one game ban. Nathan Redmond has had his fair share of goals as well but the player who’s most enjoying at the moment is their attacking midfielder Wes Hoolahan who has got the highest number of assists this season as of now. Norwich’s striker Cameron Jerome will prove to be a tough opponent for Liverpool’s shaky defence. This is the best time for Alex Neil’s men to visit Anfield as Liverpool’s current form seem to raise a few eyebrows & they may very well stun the home crowd with the players they have got.

Recent form: LWDLW

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Mignolet, Lovren, Skrtel, Sakho, Clyne, Moreno, Lucas, Milner, Coutinho, Ings, Benteke

Norwich City possible starting lineup:
Ruddy, Whittaker, Martin, Bassong, Brady, Redmond, Howson, Tettey, Jarvis, Hoolahan, Jerome

Categories
Football

3 Liverpool Players Who Need to Start Tonight & Prove their Worth

After last week’s thrashing handed by Man Utd, LFC need to buck up big time & it’s now or never. Finals are a long way to go, but Liverpool should take this competition seriously & prove their willingness to win some silverware for the supporters & themselves.

It’s that game where some positions are up for grabs & there will be tinkering in the system. I’m going to give you 3 names that should start tonight & prove their worth to the manager.

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It’s been a month since the season started & Brendan Rodgers is still hellbent on proving Dejan Lovren’s worth, or maybe justifying his £20m tag for which he was signed from Southampton.

Skrtel-Lovren pairing has failed badly when they were exposed, not once but twice against Man United & West Ham United. When Lovren touches the ball, you can easily identify anxious faces at Anfield thinking if he makes a blunder or mockery of himself which he successfully does 9 out of 10 times.

Rodgers told in the interview that Mamadou Sakho is in his plans & he wants him to sign a new contract as well. One can easily anticipate that Mamadou Sakho is going to start tonight & he needs to win over his manager. If there’s one hoax which still lies, it’s that Mama can’t pass. He’s the best CB that Liverpool got at the moment & it’s baffling to see Brendan Rodgers’ naivete of not starting him over Dejan Lovren. I hope this is the game where Mama Sakho proves his real worth & gets his nod in the upcoming games as well.

Alberto Moreno :

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Talking of forgotten players at Anfield, Alberto Moreno’s definitely one of them. After a season full of mixed performances, Moreno was still seen as Liverpool’s first choice left-back.

A young guy named Joe Gomez was signed from Charlton Athletic from £3.5m in the summer window. No one knew that he’ll regularly start for Liverpool. He’s been a sensation & pure joy to watch. He conceded a soft penalty against Man Utd last week which showed his rawness. Meanwhile, Moreno comes as a substitute in the last 2-3 minutes in most matches. He’s most probably going to start against Bordeaux. The thing with Moreno is that he’s not a traditional left-back. He prefers to attack rather than defend.

He was seen out of position so many times last season which resulted into goals. But that was inevitable with a 3-5-2 formation, I guess. But it’s time that he shows the manager that he can defend well & he can run riots in the attacking department. And the time is now.

Adam Lallana :

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Signed for a hefty sum of £25m from Southampton, Adam Lallana had a difficult first season which was full of injuries. He had an impressive pre-season this time & started the first two EPL games. He suffered another injury after that. He’s been declared fit for the game against Bordeaux & he may well come out with the captain’s armband as Jordan Henderson’s injured & James Milner is rested for this game.

There’s been lot of talks about his real talent & that he’s good enough to start for LFC. He’s got individual brilliance & can dazzle The Kop upside down with his magical feet. But that happens once every 4-5 months when he’s fully fit. He’s got to be tougher & stronger than ever. He’ll have to somehow avoid the minor injuries which he has control of. He’s got to live up to fans expectations and his personal ambitions & there’s no better chance than this. You’ve got to grab the chances with both hands when you’re at Liverpool Football Club.

Categories
Football

Manchester United vs Liverpool Preview: 3 Aspects of the Match Today

The biggest game in England. Daddy of all derbies is back. As Manchester United go head to head with Liverpool, I try to discuss 3 aspects of the game that will decide the winner.

Is Wayne Rooney going to start?

Wayne-rooney

Manchester United’s captain Wayne Rooney will undergo a late fitness test as Louis Van Gaal told the reporters on Friday. Rooney’s goalless run will soon touch the staggering 1k minutes mark. Given the player’s proven credentials & quality, this is one major surprise. He became England’s highest goalscorer past weekend leaving behind Sir Bobby Charlton. He’s dividing fans opinions as things stand & I won’t be surprised if Man United fans wish that he doesn’t start. But as you go deeper, problems arise & only arise. Manchester United failed to sign a proven striker this summer window & they’re overly dependent on Wayne Rooney. Apart from Wayne Rooney, they’ve a teenager in Anthony Martial who became the most expensive signing for a teen. Martial’s got bags of talents but would LvG start Anthony in a game of such high magnitude? I highly doubt it. We’ll know in a few hours if Rooney starts or not & if he does , how much impact he creates?!

Is Brendan Rogders going to play 2 man upfront?

danny-ings-liverpool

When Danny Ings came on against West Ham after 65 minutes, it really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Liverpool play significantly well with 2 man upfront. Christain Benteke started syncing well with Danny Ings, made a few runs & posed much bigger threat in 15 minutes than he did in the whole match. Brendan’s stubbornness or ineptness to ponder the tactial nous of the game proves to be a frustrating challenge for the club as a whole. Brendan Rodgers really needs to get his team & formation right. There’s another option in Divock Origi but Danny Ings is a more established player. The former’s rawness doesn’t help him in his case to get the nod over the latter’s.

The midfield battle :

lucas-liva-premier league

Has Lucas Leiva & James Milner got enough power to nullify a midfield which comprises of heayweights in the form of Bastian Schweinsteiger & Morgan Schneiderlin? Emre Can will mostly likely be on the bench on Saturday. So, we are left a 2v2 battle in our hands & it doesn’t seem to help Liverpool in any case. Mobility is one major issue in Leiva’s & Bastian’s game. LvG might start Ander Herrera who’s been a curious case since he was signed by the club. James Milner has got to step up big time if Liverpool’s even got a tiny chance of getting a draw at Old Trafford. Joe Allen & Marouane Fellaini are two options for both teams but it’s highly unlikely anyone of them is going to start.

As the two most dedicated clubs of England face each other tonight, it’s important that the players understand the magnitude of this particular fixture. It might not be a title decider but it’s still the most important. It’s about the pride, passion & dignity of both cities. It’s about the bragging rights. My prediction for this one is a 2-0 comfortable United win. What’s yours?

Categories
Movies News

5 Bollywood Masterpieces That Should Be On Your Watch List

There’s always this one movie that you find by mistake & is a cult classic. I’ve compiled a list of 5 movies which’ll be prove to be lifechanging or it will still haunt you for weeks & will question your conscience:

Ship of Theseus

ship-of-theseus-bollywood

SOT’s got to be #1 in your watchlist. Directed by Anand Gandhi, it is a journey of thoughts.
Members of the Critics’ Circle, UK were invited to select and introduce a screening of “the film that changed their life,” to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the organisation. The list of 15 films included The 400 Blows, Annie Hall, Raging Bull, The Battle of Algiers and Hamlet. The president of the British Federation of Film Societies, Derek Malcolm chose Ship of Theseus.

Screen International commended the film as being, “Cerebral, visually stunning and completely different to anything we’ve seen before from independent Indian cinema… [a film] aiming at art and importance rather than mere profit.” Variety wrote, “Indie Indian cinema has finally come of age on the international fest scene, and no film better demonstrates this than Ship of Theseus.”

The Canadian film critic, Marc Saint Cyr, after viewing the film at the Rotterdam film festival, in his Senses of Cinema review said, “unquestionably describes [the film] as [a] true revelation”. He also noted the dialogue to be, “consistently gripping, strikingly intelligent, and occasionally laced with surprising humour”.

The Globe and Mail called it “an intellectual, contemplative film”, and also pointed out “its occasional tendency to take its abstract ideas on the nature of self-identity and wrap them into neat plot twists can mildly disappoint. A small criticism though.”

Indian film critic Rajeev Masand in his review wrote, “Languidly paced and lushly filmed, Ship of Theseus is just as rich cinematically, and benefits from terrific performances by each of the protagonists, particularly Kabi whose physical transformation as the ailing monk is a sight to behold.”

Shubha Shetty-Saha in her five-star review for Mid-Day observed, “Once in a while comes a film like this one, which along with shaking your core, also manages to make you grateful for being a humble part of the audience. ‘Ship of Theseus’ is one such rare film.

Anurag Kashyap called it, “The most brilliant film to have been made in India in decades. Puts all of us to shame.”

I guess that’s good enough to make you watch the film!

Ugly :

ugly-bollywood-movie

Anurag Kashyap’s the director & writer of this movie. The name’s enough to pull out your strings. The film falls under dark drama & portrays a basic human trait.
Upon release, Ugly received widespread critical acclaim. The film was premiered at the Cannes film festival and received what Filmfare called a “great response” as a result of standing ovation. The film released in France in May 2014 with Business of Cinemastating that it had a “brilliant script and amazing performance.”

On 23 December 2014 a special screening was held in Mumbai. First Post said, “Ironically, Ugly looks beautiful. It’s all dark, dank and disgusting, and yet impossible to look away from.”

Koimoi gave 4/5 stars praising the direction and scripts. Times of India gave 4/5 stars saying ” Anurag Kashyap is in top form in this suspense thriller.” Rediff.com gave 4.5/5 star saying it is Kashyap’s finest work. Hindustan Times, Glamsham and Deccan Chronicle gave the film 4 to 4.75 stars out of 5. Yahoo and Zee News gave the film 4/5 stars.

Ankhon Dekhi :

ankhon-dekhi-bollywood

Directed & produced by Rajat Kapoor, the bubbly Sanjay Mishra packs such powerful punch at times which grows as the occassion rises.Aankhon Dekhi opened to immense critical appreciation. Most critics praised all the performances in the film, and the deeply rich philosophical undertones of the movie’s script.
Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN gave the film 3.5/5 stars stating, “Through the wonderfully whimsical Ankhon Dekhi, writer-director Rajat Kapoor shows us how the journey could be more meaningful if we lived life the way we choose to.”

Anupama Chopra of Hindustan Times gave the film 3.5/5 and mentioned, “the strands come together with such a heave of emotion that I found myself wiping away tears. Ankhon Dekhi is a lovely respite from the formulaic fare that clutters our multiplexes week after week.”

Aniruddha Basu of Dear Cinema was very positive about the film particularly Sanjay Mishra’s lead performance, stating “As the quixotic patriarch, Sanjay Mishra hits just the right notes, making Bauji consistently unpredictable and engaging but never wholly sympathetic.”

Independent film scholar Bharadwaj Rangan praised the acting and casting of the film stating “Watching Rajat Kapoor’s marvellous Ankhon Dekhi, you may find yourself wishing that we had one of those “Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture” awards. The casting is perfect, the performances exquisite. It’s a cliché to say that an actor has “lived” his role – but that sense of not-acting-but-being is all-pervasive here.”

Sukanya Varma of Rediff went with 4/5′ stars, saying “For all its existentialism crisis,Aankhon Dekhis heart lies in Kapoor’s affectionate depiction of humdrum living, the tender father-daughter relationship between Bauji and Rita (Maya Sarao), the unspoken attachment between him and his younger brother and the concerned anxiety of his rock solid wife.”

Shubra Gupta of Indian Express usually a very harsh critic, gave the film a surprising 4/5, mentioning in regards to the central character, “He is fool, clown and man, all in one. He is us. I have seen it with my own eyes, and I can tell you that Aankhon Dekhi is a fine , fine film.”

Shahid :

shahid-bollywood

Hansal Mehta & Rajkumar Rao combo did enough to grab a national award for both. Shahid was well received by Indian and international critics.

Mohammad Kamran Jawaid, senior film critic for Dawn, gave the film a positive review writing that the two-hour time constraints “means there’s little room for the traditional expansion we get from biopics, and if at times “Shahid” feels like an expanded best-of Mr. Azmi’s life, it’s because it is”. Jawaid ends by “(wondering) if Mr. Mehta would be able to tell “Shahid” in a better way than what it is right now; it may not be “Best Picture” worthy – but I doubt if many of the films in every year’s nomination are”.

Madhureeta Mukherjee of The Times of Indiagave 3.5 out of 5 and stated that the film is brutally honest, brave and above all a fascinating humane story. India Today gave 4.5 out of 5 and stated that the director has put in his best and has managed to touch the right chord with the viewer.
Bollywoodlife.com gave 4 out of 5 and stated that Shahid is a must-see film with an absolutely impeccable sub text that can be read as an urgent warning against the politics of isolation practiced by many political parties.

Anupama Chopra of Hindustan Times gave 3.5 out of 5 stating “Shahid is Raj Kumar’s triumph. His Shahid has strength, anguish and a controlled anger, but also real charm. His smile lights up the frame. See Shahid for him.”

Black Friday :

black-friday-bollywood

Starring veteran Kay Kay Menon directed by once again ‘Anurag Kashyap’. It is about the 1993 Bombay bombings. The film has been appreciated by critics all over the world. Black Friday has an 86% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Matt Zoller Seitz of the New York Times described it as “epic and raw, and cut out from the same bloody cloth as Salvador and Munich. Kirk Honeycutt of Hollywood Reporter compares the film’s “journalistic inquiry into cataclysmic social and political events” to that of Gillo Pontecorvo’s classicThe Battle of Algiers. He remarks that the film is without any lurid sensationalism and is objective.

David Chute of LA Weekly described it as “a rigorously naturalistic docudrama about a complex police investigation.” Ethan Alter of Film Journal International describes it as a “potent reminder that Indian filmmaking isn’t limited to Bollywood super-productions.” According to Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide’s Movie Guide, “its assertion that religious terrorism is about more than simply faith is food for thought.” According to Ted Murphy of Murphy’s Movie Reviews, “Kashyap keeps the action moving and the overall movie turns out to be engrossing.”

Black Friday received overwhelmingly positive reviews from Indian critics. The film is widely considered to be director Anurag Kashyap’s masterpiece.

Rajeev Masand gave it 4/5 stars and said “The actual blast scenes are shot in such a languid style, exactly the way a bystander would have experienced it. Believe me, no film yet has brought me so close to giving it a five out of five rating, but because it’s just a little short of true greatness, I’m going to go with four of five for Anurag Kashyap’s Black Friday. This is the kind of film to send to the Oscars.”

Taran Adarsh gave it 4/5 stars and said “Some films leave you stunned and speechless with sheer power. BLACK FRIDAY, directed by Anurag Kashyap, is one such film. On the whole, BLACK FRIDAY is an outstanding piece of work. One of the finest products to come out of Mumbai, this one is a hard-hitting film that has the courage to say what it says. Do yourself a favor: Watch BLACK FRIDAY. Hindi cinema at its best.”