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Business drama over, its time for some football

‘Finally!’ – That was the one word which was on every Reds fan’s mind yesterday.
October 15th, 2010 – A date which could be the turning point in the history of one of the greatest football clubs of Europe.
New England Sports Venture – New American owners of Liverpool which will have to work hard to live up to a lot of expectations.

The long running saga of Liverpool FC takeover finally came to a conclusion yesterday. This tale had all the makings of a bestseller. It had all the elements: Mighty rich businessmen from America, a powerful bank of Europe, one of the world famous sports clubs, a hugely passionate group of fans, court cases running across the Atlantic and of course greed, power, ego and money!

With NESV paying off all debts to RSB and taking control from the yank pair of Tom Hicks and George Gillett, the Reds fans sighed a breathe of relief. Although, whether another American owner will understand the nuances of successfully running an English football club remains to be seen. NESV has an impressive background as the organization which turned around the fortune of Boston Red Sox and ended the curse of the Bombino(for the unaware, Red Sox sold the greatest ever baseball player Babe Ruth to New York Yankees in 1918 and never won the world series again until the 2004 season, 2 years after NESV became the new owners of the club). All the Liverpool fans will be expecting nothing less of the new owners. But given Liverpool’s current situation it seems a herculean task at the moment. NESV will definitely not splurge money like the Sheikh at the helms of Man City because they know its not going to help much. What Liverpool needs is a complete rebuild under a capable manager. The current manager Roy Hodgson who took over the job only 3 months back certainly not made it easy for himself by applying extremely defensive tactics on the pitch which resulted in club’s worst start to a season in 57 years. He is a good manager but certainly lacks the skills to manage a big club. Top clubs usually rely on a more attacking strategy to win the games and remain on the top. Loss of Xabi Alonso and Macherano in last two seasons has not made it easier as well with Liverpool’s midfield being one of the weakest in a long time. Lack of a supporting striker for El Nino and a his own poor form is also a major concern.

It is expected that NESV will be providing a higher than average budget for January transfer window. Hodgson(or his replacement in case he is sacked) will be looking for a left back, a quality playmaker in the midfield and a proven striker to join the ranks but it seems unlikely that he will get budget for all three signings. It seems more probable that he might get around £20-25m for a striker and another £15-20m for a midfielder in this transfer window and a promise for more money during next year’s summer.

In any case, it seems that there will be a lot of changes at the Kop in coming months, how much these changes help getting the team back on track cant be said. Whatever happens the support of the fans is going to be there, now that they have seen the golden sky at the end of the storm, they are awaiting the sweet silver song of lark…

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My mistakes

Where the life has brought me these days,
Searching for true friends in this endless maze,

Now thats pretty hard just like reading in the dark,
When you’ve had friends who were true to the mark,

And now It is becoming difficult to breathe everyday,
With the souls who were close are now so far away,

I wish I could go back to hearts which connected to mine,
With whom I enjoyed the time and drank some wine,

But that dream seems impossible to follow now,
Even if I do try hard, I cant figure out how,

Its hard to accept the mistakes I’ve made in my life,
and it doesn’t help at all that the fault was always mine,

With you guys my past may have been intrepid,
and without you my present seems so timid,

I am living this guilty life, and don’t know how I have the grit,
May be the thin ray of hope that says I can make it,

But I am ready to cling on to it as long as it takes,
Because I know that someday I will be able to make up for my mistakes…

What to do on a weekend if you are living in Bangalore?

I have tried a lot of things to have a good time on a weekend in Bangalore, some of which are listed below. I cant go out on a weekend because of work so not including that as an option. Let me know if you have any better ideas!
So here are the options:
1. Watch stupid movies on the tele which you wont be able to survive.
2. Go out for dinner but all you can get it tasteless food at super high prices.
3. Go out to watch a movie(obviously at very high prices) just to come back home, disgusted with the fact that the level of movies has fallen to such depths that its a torture to survive them in a theater.
4. Download and watch some good movies which you have already watched at least a dozen time.
5. Go out with friends to a pub where you wont feel like enjoying because of atmosphere which resembles a funeral at all times and the music played is simply shit.
6. Spend the day(and night) playing AOE with your roommate on the WLAN, while drinking beer, listening to your favorite music and eating some tasty home cooked dish. May be some time to read something as well.

I mostly opt for option 4 or 6.
So, what will you do if you were in the same situation eh?

Dollars Trilogy 3: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1969)

All right, time for the biggie now! The good, The Bad and The Ugly is the last part of the trilogy and definitely the best one. I would even go on to say that this is a movie of epic proportions. A grand stage for Sergio Leone to show his skills at making a perfect spaghetti western. There is no scope for any criticisms for this movie, everything is spot on. The movie is about three men after a huge sum of money and their journey which is intertwined with skirmishes with others and amongst themselves. All come up to one last three way gunfight between the three in a huge graveyard where they find the money. The story is much stronger and not as straight forward as we are used to see in a western. It keeps you glued to the screen an you never know which way it will go. I am not saying that its a top notch on edge of your seat thriller, i am just saying that it is one of the most thrilling westerns ever made and perhaps the best ever western.

Clint Eastwood(The Good) and Lee Von Cliff(The Bad) go on from where they left in For a Few Dollars More, they both play their roles to perfection, But it is Eli Wallach(The Ugly) who steals the show hands down. He plays the role of a crooked outlaw Tuco and he does portray the character wickedly enough. The best part is that even though they are supposed to be The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, there is no clear demarcation as such. All of them are just after money and care about nothing else but the money. Clint Eastwood does show glimpses of good side when he helps the dying army captain and fulfills his wish, but on the other hand he does wrong Eli Wallach in the first half, and again he is not your straight forward humbling cowboy hero who wont shoot first and follow the law. Similarly Eli Wallach is indeed the most wicked among the three but he can be considered on the brink of the bad as well as the good as well besides he is the funniest. Lee Von Cliff although is never shown deviating from his definition of The Bad, he is as menacing as a villain could be, but in a cool, calm and deadly way. He is not going to shout out loud or laugh like Gabbar but he will eat you alive with his stare but again he is shown as a man of principles, who will not deter from his job come what may.

Well, if you ask me what is the best part about the movie, you would be putting me into a lot of trouble, I really can’t pick anything without leaving behind the rest of it. But after pushing my teeny tiny brain to its absolute limits and cursing you countless times in between, I would have to say it is a tie between Eli Wallach’s portrayal of Tuco and the music. The music is so good that you still here it at a lot of places (and it has been abused in almost a 100 Bollywood movies i suppose). Ennio Morricone at his absolute best.
Rating: “Whoever double-crosses me and leaves me alive, he understands nothing about Tuco.” so you better go and watch(and like) this movie or your days are over outta 10!

Dollars Trilogy 2: For a Few Dollars More (1965)

Ok, this brings us to the second installment of the Dollars trilogy. The man with no name is back, this time as a bounty hunter. All the characteristic are exactly the same. He competes with another bounty hunter who took the profession after retiring from the army. Both of them are after the reward for a gang of outlaws headed by a dreaded leader Indio. They join their forces down the line to eliminate the gang and get the reward. There is also a slight twist in the end as Colonel has some hidden motives as well. Like all other westerns it has simple story and a stylish execution. Another great effort from Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood, but Lee Von Cliff as Colonel Mortimer is an excellent addition to the cast. He does look cold blooded and a precise, calculating slayer.
The music and background score is better than Fistful of Dollars, and so is the direction. I think Sergio Leone improved with time and so did Ennio Morricone who has given some beautiful harmonica compositions here.

Rating: “Where life had no value, death, sometimes, had its price. That is why the bounty killers appeared” and they will surely give you an adrenaline high outta 10.

Dollars Trilogy 1: A Fistful of Dollars (1964)

This was the first one of the trilogy to come out. The movie tells the story of “Joe” a drifter gunman who comes to an almost deserted town and finds out that the town is torn apart by the the old rivalry between two powerful families and the only flourishing job is that of the undertaker.
Joe then uses his brain and the skills with gun to play both the families against each other and ultimately getting the town rid of the troublemakers and earning a lot of money on the way. The movie also shows the good side of Joe when he frees a couple being held captive by one of the bad families.
The movie is slow at times, but still I like the way he directs gun fights. Sergio Leone has the habit of building up the scenes, with long shots of people staring at each other with nice music playing in the background. Well, thats what western movies are about and I totally enjoyed the gun fights in the climax of this one. The background score is pretty cool and exciting which gives the finishing touch to the scenes. The only problem with the movie is that the story is very simple and straight, there is no guess work here, you know whats going to happen from the start itself.

Rating: “If a Man with a .45 fights a man with a rifle, the man with a pistol is a dead man!” Is it??? Nah, nay, never, the man with .45 always rocks outta 10 😉

Dollars Trilogy preface

Dollars trilogy is a set of three spaghetti western movies released during 1960’s directed by Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood as the lead in the role of The man with no name.
The movies are not related to each other in any way and all the three have different characters and story. But still they are considered as a trilogy only because of the characters played by Clint Eastwood in them. He plays different characters but the mannerisms, style, clothing etc are exactly the same in all three. ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ is the last movie in the set and is the most famous one.

Clint Eastwood as The man with no name brings to life a character which I always consider one of the greatest superheroes to ever appear in movies. You will have to see him to believe it. He is quick to draw as quick a snake will bite and he can shoot better than all the Olympic gold medalists, he is super cool even in the most terrifying situations, smokes cigarillos and smokes it in a way that it appears he is almost chewing it, he is laconic, speaking very rarely and very softly whenever he does.
Now I know I have been calling him a superhero thus far, but actually he played an anti-hero sort of role in all three movies. He is not a typical all good cowboy like in the other western movies, he will shoot first if required, he will kill men without flinching an eyebrow if he thinks he needs to do so and above all he is out there to earn money not for social service. But he does care about people in trouble and usually ends up helping them while earning the dollars.
Whatever Clint Eastwood does seems grand! The man has got amazing looks to go with an excellent voice and piercing eyes. He truly is the most stylish hero Hollywood has seen thus far.

Now about the ‘No Name’ part, He is called Joe, Monco and Blondie in the three movies respectively. But these are all nicknames given by some other character given to him in all the three movies. All the three names are very common nicknames. Eastwood never reveals his name in any of the movie himself. In The Good The Bad and The Ugly there is a scene where an army man asks him for his name while he was enlisting in the army but he is reluctant to answer and the scene is shifted to something else. So even though there is a nickname given to his character in the trilogy that is not his actual name and thus he is a Man with no name. 🙂