One week in the life of an English fan

February 18th, 2009 by monsta666

One week can seem like a long time when you are England supporter… And it’s safe to say if you played for a team called “England” you are not up to much…

If you follow all the English teams, I really feel for you, cause quite frankly, it’s been a difficult week and that’s putting it mildly. So first we had the English cricket team who were involved in the Jamaican debacle… I know they can play dire at the best of times but 51 all out? Quite frankly it was pathetic. My grandmother could have shown more resistance than that sorry lot! No back bone and it was like watching something of a horror film, only it was real…

Ah but the game of cricket can have funny twists and it’s seems the West Indies team did not want to be outdone in the farcical stakes as they came out with an equally matching response in the second Test match staging the shortest match in Test history… It lasted a whole 10 deliveries before the match was deemed unfit for the play… Makes you wonder, it took them 3 years to prepare a pitch and they can’t even manage that? It’s almost as bad as the Athens Olympics!

Meanwhile the England football team had the daunting prospect of facing Spain, the strongest nation in Europe and perhaps the world… It started well enough, the team kept it’s composure, for a whole 5 minutes… But things soon became apparent that the English team were simply helpless to the Spanish tricks and clever movements. Chasing shadows, there was always going to be one winner in this, and sure enough when Villa scored the opening goal it was curtains for England. Llorente doubled the lead in the second half to put the game beyond doubt as England finished as clear runners up. On the bright side James did not do anything to embarrass himself so we can take comfort in that.

David Villa was simply unstoppable

Ah but it does not stop there for the weekend saw England take on Wales in the rugby Six Nations… Wales started without their talisman, Shane Williams giving England some hope of an unlikely upset. But despite this big loss, it was not enough as Wales took the early lead. England fought and toiled but in the end Wales were simply too much as they eventually prevailed 23-15 winners.

On the bright of things, things can only better. It can’t get worse, surely not? I certainly hope so! But sports has an uncanny habit of surprising you…

Posted in Cricket, England | No Comments »

Grumpy Old Men

September 29th, 2008 by monsta666

After the recent debacle in the Emirates stadium (see the footie thread or Hia’s post for more info). I thought to watch Grumpy Old Men as the tone of the show matched my mood. As the title suggests this show focuses on middle-aged men complaining about daily life. This show is funny and makes for interesting viewing. Saying that it is also somewhat frightening, at least for me that is. I seem to be agreeing with more than I would like! Admittedly they can be overly cynical but they also speak a lot of home truths. Sure this show focuses on British culture but a lot of the topics touched can also apply to other countries. Here is one episode, titled the Nanny State (WARNING: Episode contains strong language):

This series was so successful it spawned a second version called Grumpy Old Women. Unsurprisingly I can’t relate to the women as much nonetheless this series has it’s moments…

Now I wonder which episode did you watch?

Posted in General life | 1 Comment »

Max Mosley “Nazi prostitute claim”

April 3rd, 2008 by monsta666

To prevent issues of libel here is some sources to prove this story is actually true:

Recently the world of F1 has been rocked by allegations that F1 president Max Mosley took part in a sadomasochistic orgy with five prostitutes. Also included in this allegation was the claim that Mosley spoke in German and there was claims that the conversion allegedly had Nazi overtones.

Mosley does not deny that the orgy took place, indeed he explains that he spoke in German as (at least) two of the prostitutes spoke German. However he strenuously denied that he made any comments that had any Nazi concoctions. He is suing the newspaper News of the World for revealing false information that is not only damaging to his career but also breaching his rights to privacy.

Unsurprisingly several car manufactures have put him under pressure to resign with BMW and Mercedes showing particular zeal. The crown prince of Bahrain Sheikh Salman Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa has already sent a letter to Mosley saying he is not welcome to come to Bahrain to attend the next F1 race which takes place there.

What is your take on the issue? Should Mosley be punished? Did the newspapers have the right to publish such damning information that clearly broke Mosley’s right to privacy?

Posted in General life | 1 Comment »

Banks are EVIL!!!

April 1st, 2008 by monsta666

Went to the bank to sort my finances out by putting some cash into my account. Before going to the bank I counted my money and it came to £220. So I filled in my slip, carefully writing the correct amount before going to the cashier. Yes the queue was long but no matter I would be £200 better off? Or so I thought when I got to the cashier they said I only had £120. Alarmed I ask them to count again but they refused insisting they were right. Angered with this response (I already counted the money at home and in the bank so I knew I was right) I demanded they call the manager to count the money. Sure enough when the manager counted it it came to £220. The cashier put the right amount in my account and then gave me a receipt but didn’t even apologise for the mistake (which would have cost me a ton) now how evil is that!

NOTE: The transaction occurred after midday! Traditionally April fool pranks can only occur before midday otherwise (according to superstition) it is said that the prank will backfire on the prankster. Then again the cashier might not be familiar with that concept.

Posted in General life | 2 Comments »

Rosario to Vampire – 09

March 8th, 2008 by monsta666

Fansub group used: Ayako-Bakawolf
Format used: mkv file
Running time: 25 minutes
Ecchi Rating: 6
Panty shots: 5 (2 non fight/3 fight)
Rating: 6/10

After the exams of the last episode it is now the summer vacation and everyone is ready to go home. Eager to start his holidays we see Tsukune waiting at the bus stop some 30 minutes before the bus arrives. Soon after Moka arrives and we see her in a new costume that Tsukune thoroughly approves off. It seems however that the rest of the newspaper club (minus Gin) will also be going to the human world for a summer retreat (sounds more like a plot device to maintain the harem).

Just as Tsukune is about to kiss Moka the gang (predictably) make an unannounced entrance thus ending the kiss and the mood of the moment. Everyone then boards the bus to go to the human world. Upon arriving Tsukune lets his tongue slip by announcing “I’m back!” A comment Kurumu takes special interest on.

The first stop is the beach (typical) where they are all playing a game of volleyball. After Yukari and Kurumu’s argument the gang decide to go swimming. As Moka can’t swim however (due to her weakness) Tsukune does not want to take part. This leads to a touching moment that is rudely interrupted by Kurumu who suspects Moka of trying to suck his blood again.

After a brief argument for “possession rights” Tsukune notices a sunflower field at the top of the cliff. Curious to see what’s there the group enters the field only to find it deserted. With the appearance of a sinister creature below the flowers and some passers by saying there have been mysterious disappearances here, all is not what it seems. Yet another argument between Yukari and Kurumu results in Yukari carelessly casting a spell. This time an onlooker spots this and reports it to their master.

After feeling like a third wheel Yukari wonders back to the field. Here she meets the previous onlooker who reveals her name to be Ruby. Like Yukari, Ruby is a witch and she wishes Yukari to become her friend, an offer Yukari reluctantly accepts. Soon Ruby expresses her desire to get rid of humans a proposition Yukari is very unwilling to accept.

Just as Yukari is about to go to the master’s home she hears Tsukune calling for her. Upon meeting Ruby Tsukune unwittingly gets himself into a fight. Yukari defends Tsukune but this only angers Ruby who traps both of them. Yukari musters enough strength however to cast a spell to not only release herself but also defeat Ruby.

With everything seemingly back to normal Moka and Tsukune are about to make up when Ruby stabs him the back. Horrified over what just happened the whole group prepare to attack Ruby just as the episode ends…

Summary of episode:

I felt I was going to witness another mediocre episode but to the shows credit it does end strongly. The introduction of Ruby and the revelation of a master suggest we might actually have some plot in this series. As this is already episode 9 however I can’t see it being a decent plot, perhaps it is the good final arc that we have been craving for? Episode 10 will be pretty significant as an unsatisfactory ending will leave me thinking this is a poor series while a decent one will restore some hope in the series. It really is make or break time in the next episode! Wait a minute didn’t I already say this before?

Posted in Rosario to Vampire - 09 | No Comments »

Shakugan no Shana Second – 20

March 8th, 2008 by monsta666

Fansub group used: SS-Eclipse
Viewing format: mkv file
Running time: 24 minutes
Action scenes: 9/10
Rating: 8/10

After the dramatic climax to the last episode I bet everyone was willing to tune to this episode! After the shock of the initial explosion we return to Yuji who wakes up in a daze on the floor. Regaining his bearings he gets up only for a sword to be thrust straight towards his chest by strange cloaked figure with red eyes and blue hair. After the initial shock of the event it becomes apparent that the character facing him is Destructive Blade Sabrac, a powerful assassin sent to kill him.

Removing Yuji from danger Wilhelmina takes the matter into her own hands and challenges Sabrac. Wilhelmina restrains the assassin only for his sword to disintegrate into a sea of daggers. After the initial loss of the sword he summons two more and approaches Yuji who can only stand there stricken with fear. A swift attack from Wilhelmina creates the desired effect however as Sabrac focuses on her. His attack is quickly countered by Wilhelmina’s volley who quickly forces Sabrac to go on the defensive. It becomes clear however that the unrestricted spell Stigma has inflicted terrible wounds on Wilhelmina as she was protecting Yuji.

Yuji observes that everyone is still alive but is simply weakened considerably by the unrestricted spell. The scene switches to a semi-conscious Margery who like Wilhelmina has the same injuries. We also see Shana lying by a wall.

It is revealed that the assassin’s greatest ability is to hide his presence from others thus allowing him a chance to spring a powerful attack that will either kill or severely weaken his opponent. Another feature of the Stigma spell is that as time passes the wounds inflicted get bigger and bigger. Yuji and Wilhelmina make a retreat so as to protect Margery and Shana from the line of fire however due to the loss of their bookmarks they can no longer keep in communication with each other.

Running into a narrow alley Wilhelmina sets up a surprise attack on Sabrac throwing a massive fireball at him. This is not enough however as Sabrac quickly frees himself from the rubble. It becomes clear that the wanderer and tomogara’s was simply a feint to distract them from his presence (as if he needed that anyway).

Dodging his attack Wilhelmina manages to trap him in an explosion and has seemingly won only for Sabrac to reforms elsewhere. He unleashes a flurry of attacks and takes his chance to capture Yuji. Or so it seemed until Yuji turned into a ball of paper and Sabrac is caught in yet another cunning surprise attack. Even this is not enough however and an exhausted Wilhelmina is confronted with a final attack just as the episode ends.

Summary of Episode:

Another solid episode especially if you love Wilhelmina. The fight showed a number of good qualities from her that were not so apparent in the earlier episodes namely her determination and resourcefulness. I must say though that after the big explosion, I felt this guy is ridiculously hard. I mean how the hell did he survive an explosion that big! Perhaps he employed a trick or an ability that has not been revealed yet we will just have to wait and see. The final question that remains to be answered is Wilhelmina’s fate. I just hope they do not resort to some cheessy solution to resolve her tricky predicament.

Posted in Shakugan no Shana - 20 | No Comments »

The Bank Job (2008)

March 7th, 2008 by monsta666

The Bank Job (2008)

Directed By: Roger Donaldson
Starring: Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows, Stephen Campbell Moore, Daniel Mays, James Faulkner, Alki David, Michael Jibson, Georgia Taylor
Running time: 110 minutes
Classification: 15, R
Rating: 8/10

A somewhat unoriginal name to a heist movie. Don’t worry the title of the film is not a reflection of its content, otherwise I wouldn’t made a review on it! Unlike recent movies such as Ocean 11-13, Bank Job does not rely on high tech gadgetry and an outrageous plan to rob the bank. Instead it adds elements of political intrigue (involving the royal family) not to mention crooked cops and some shady characters which all adds to making the movie a more fulfilling experience.

The film is supposedly based on a true story (I am concerned how loosely this term has been used) and is set in 1971 London. Due to the secretive nature of the film’s content it is difficult to separate fact from fiction but my guess is it is a mixture of both with the director taking certain liberties in filling in the blanks. Suffice to say we are not going to find the truth very soon if ever seeing as a large number of the actual characters are now dead.

The main protagonist to the film is Terry a failed car dealer who is in debt to some loan sharks. Enter Martine an old flame who thanks to her connections can reveal that the security in the Lloyds bank in Marylebone will be down in the near future. Thus setting up the perfect once in a lifetime opportunity to steal from the bank. Unbeknown to him however is the fact she has been pressurised into this job by MI5/MI6 agents. These agents desperately want to acquire the contents of a certain “document” that is stored in a safe box in the bank. Their presence threatens to not only undermine the whole operation but also the gang’s personal safety.

Despite some early reservations about going through with the job he reluctantly agrees to undertake this daring robbery. Breaking into the bank however unearths more than just cash and jewellery but also a world of police corruption, criminal extortion and whole heap of other things that quickly puts Terry and his gang into serious trouble. The after mass of the robbery is where the real meat of the film lies. I will lot not ruin this part by describing what happens here but I recommend you watch the movie it is definitely worth a look and is certainly better than I expected.

WARNING: The film contains nudity, numerous scenes of a sexual nature and strong violence so I would NOT recommend children watching this!

Posted in Film | No Comments »

New Zealand v England

March 5th, 2008 by monsta666

1st Test: New Zealand v England

Venue/Date: Hamilton, 5-9 March 2008

Toss: New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat

Day one: New Zealand 286 for 6 (How 92, Taylor 54*, McCullum 51) v England

New Zealand largely had the opening session and scored freely at a rate of just over 4 an over as Harmison struggled to keep a consistent line. A good catch by Cook however kept England in touch at lunch with the score at 87/1.

Steve Harmison’s wayward deliveries were bread and butter for the New Zealand batsmen.

Tight bowling by Panesar and Sidebottom restricted the run rate which would eventually yield the prized wicket of Ian Fleming no thanks to Cook’s excellent diving catch. Sinclair quickly followed but Jamie How kept things together as his composure was to be the backbone of New Zealand’s innings. He was indeed well set for a century if it not for a moments lack of concentration as he edged a ball straight to Collingwood only 8 short of 100.

Monty Panesar took the valuable wicket of Jamie How who was only 8 short of a century.

After this dismissal New Zealand were soon struggling at 191/5 but a quick fire 51 from McCullum gave the innings some much needed impetus as New Zealand finished the day on 282/6 with honours largely even.

Posted in Cricket | No Comments »

AC Milan v Arsenal, 0-2 (0-2 Agg)

March 4th, 2008 by monsta666

AC MilanArsenal

Score: AC Milan 0:2 Arsenal (0:2 Agg)

84 Fabregas

90+2 Adebayor

Date: 4th March

Kick off: 19:45 GMT

Venue: San Siro

Competition: Champions League

Round: Last 16

Attendance: 81,879

Player of the match: Cesc Fabregas

Milan started the match in a strong fashion and almost scored when Maldini’s header was cleared off the line by Fabregas. On the 18th minute another chance came their way as Kaka evaded the Arsenal defence to set Pato up. Pato could not capitalise however as his shot was tame and straight at Alumina.

Kaka was left frustrated with Pato's lack of composure

After this however Arsenal largely controlled the match and were frustrated when Hleb was given a yellow card for diving even though TV footage clearly showed Nesta had fouled him. Their misery continued when a vicious shot from Fabregas hit the Milan crossbar, the second time this happened in this two match fixture.

Arsenal came off the blocks in the second half with Sendoros missing a glorious chance to put Arsenal in front sending a free header straight into the hands of Kalak. Moments later another chance went begging as Eboue squandered another opportunity to put Arsenal in front as he sent his shot wide after being put through on goal. The chance came about from Pirlo’s miss pass which went straight to Adebayor who set Eboue up.

Chances were few and far between after this but the turning point came when Arsene Wenger substituted Eboue for Theo Walcott. Within four minutes Walcott would have surely set up a goal if it not for the brilliant save of Kalak. The decisive moment was to come in the 84th minute when Fabregas low shot from 30 yards went into the bottom corner of the net to send Arsenal 1-0 up.

Fabregas's 30 yard effort was to earn him the man of the match award

With Arsenal in the lead Milan pushed men forward in search of a equaliser. This left space at the back however which Arsenal was able to capitalise as Walcott set up Adebayor to score his first goal in the Champions League in the second minute of stoppage time. This win was the first time that an English club defeated AC Milan at their home ground.

Other Champions League Results:

FC Porto 1-0 Schalke 04 (1-1 on aggregate, Schalke 04 win 4-1 on penalties)

Chelsea 3-0 Olympiacos (Chelsea win 3-0 on aggregate)

Real Madrid 1-2 Roma (Roma win 4–2 on aggregate)

Barcelona 1-0 Celtic (Barcelona win 4-2 on aggregate)

Manchester United 1–0 Lyon (Manchester United win 2-1 on aggregate)

Sevilla 3-2 Fenerbahçe (5-5 on aggregate, Fenerbahçe win 3-2 on penalties)

Liverpool 2-0 Internazionale (2nd leg on 11th March 19:45 GMT)

Posted in Arsenal | No Comments »

Shakugan No Shana Second – 19

March 3rd, 2008 by monsta666

Fansub group used: SS-Eclipse
Viewing format: mkv file
Running time: 24 minutes
Action scenes: 7/10
Rating: 9/10

The episode starts of where the last ended with Yuji being ambushed by a Guze no tomogara. After a brief discussion it soon becomes clear that if Yuji resists the tomogara’s demands the remaining clone would harm the people in the town. Yuj realises the tomogara he is facing is not suited to fighting and usually around another fighting tomogara which is referred to as a wanderer. Unfortunately for Yuji he can’t detect this figure.

After a brief scene with Shana we see Yuji following the tomogara into the city and is forced to cooperate with its orders. Afraid that the tomogara might use him as bait for Shana he yells out to draw attention to himself. His plan succeeds and he draws the attention of Matake and Tanaka. After some careful consideration Tanaka decides to go to Sato’s house to get help from Margery. Margery then promptly informs Shana and Wilhelmina of the situation.

The scene then switches back to Yuji who notices the fifth tomogara stopping and finally realises the tomogara’s plan of using a small fuzetsu to trap the flame haze. The purpose of the fifth tomogara is to provide an escape route so as to separate Yuji. Realising the inevitability of the situation Yuji decides to take matters into his own hands by fighting the tomogara there and then. He quickly destroys the 5th clone before proceeding to break the neck of another before dispatching another two using his silver flame spell. The final clone lays on the floor panic stricken and seen trembling and shaking. Showing no mercy Yuji summons the Destructive Blade and throws the sword at him decapitating him sending him to a pile of flame.

Shana and Wilhelmina then quickly come to Yuji side and they finally detect the location of the wanderer. They see it is charging up to fire whereupon Wilhelmina sets up Yuji to strike the fatal blow. With the battle seemingly over a large flame is seen before the episode ends.

Summary of the episode:

Another good episode really sees a coming of age from Yuji who has transformed from a bumbling buffoon who was unwilling to accept his situation to a man who is strong yet very attentive of his surroundings and is willing to take ultimate responsibility for the situation in hand. The final touch at the end was a nice and provides a good cliffhanger to the next episode of the series. I look forward to seeing this next episode and hope it is as good as this one.

Posted in Shakugan no Shana - 19 | No Comments »

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