Film review: Death of a Gentleman (2015) and corruption in cricket

While I have been following cricket matches, I have not paid much attention to the politics of the game. I stumbled upon the documentary Death of a Gentleman quite by accident and it was quite an eye-opener. The film looks at the way that international cricket is run. The documentary started out as a project by two sports journalists Jarrod Kimber and Sam Collins who are ardent fans of cricket at the highest level, which consist of the five-day Test matches played between national teams. They were concerned that this form of the game (that purists like me like the most) was in danger of extinction because of the rise of the abomination called T20 which reduces the game to about three hours but in the process eliminates many of the features that had made this game into the second most popular sport in the world after soccer. The long form of Test matches has many subtleties that the short form T20 lacks. I personally find the short-form boring, requiring as it does a very limited range of batting and bowling skills.
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Gloria Allred’s story

If you follow US political news at all, you have undoubtedly heard of Gloria Allred, the attorney who has represented many female clients in high-profile gender-related cases and who is currently taking on Donald Trump on behalf of Summer Zervos who says that she was defamed by Donald Trump when he publicly called her a liar for saying that he sexually assaulted her in 2007. Allred has been portrayed negatively by her opponents as a publicity-seeker whose expertise mostly lies in getting attention for her press conferences with the victims of abuse.
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TV review: Black Mirror Season 4 (2017)

I recently watched all six episodes of season four of the series Black Mirror that was released in December. I reviewed the three earlier seasons here. For those not familiar with the series, it was conceived by caustic British news and media critic Charlie Brooker who along with Annabel Jones are the showrunners. It is a science fiction anthology set in the near future, with each episode being independent of the others. The series focuses on how technology influences people’s lives in unpredictable ways, dealing mainly with neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality innovations.
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Film review: Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens (2015)

I wrote recently about how I had abandoned watching the Star Wars series after being disappointed with Start Wars I: The Phantom Menace but a review of the latest entry Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi suggested that it had somewhat progressive politics that might make it worth watching. But my son-in-law, who is an aficionado of the series, suggested that before watching it, I should see Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens because otherwise the plot of the latest film would be hard to follow.
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Three Billboards and Oprah Winfrey at the Golden Globes awards

I noticed that the film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri won four awards at last night’s Golden Globes awards show for Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, best drama, and best screenplay. I had reviewed this film favorably when it came out last month. It is widely tipped to do well at the Academy Awards show next month as well.
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CamperForce documentary on elderly migrant workers

North Randall mall that is located close to where I live was at one time the largest mall in the country and its opening was a celebrity-studded event. But like many malls that do not cater to high-end customers, it has fallen on hard times and became a ghost mall with all the stores moving away. So the impoverished city of North Randall was delighted when Amazon announced its intention to lease the property, raze the largely abandoned mall, and put up one of its giant ‘fulfillment centers’ that would reportedly bring in 2,000 jobs.
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