A brilliant ComDra and yet, not Everyone’s Cup of Tea : The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) – Netflix Original

My Take: Netflix strikes gold in a non-thriller genre, after a long time !

Adam Sandler used to be an actor that I liked long ago (okay, don’t shoot me ūüôā ) and yet, his presence in this Netflix original made me skeptical about spending valuable time on it. My curiosity on what the¬†Meyerowitz family had to offer got the better of me largely due to the presence of¬†¬†Dustin Hoffman¬†(Harold) &¬†Ben Stiller.(Mathew) in the cast and yet, it was Adam Sandler (Danny) who stole the show in the end.¬†

It’s not often that¬†an ordinary, every day comedy/drama would hold your interest every frame of the movie and director¬†Noah Baumbach¬†did just that. The story is all about the fragile dynamics of a dis-joint family where a self-obsessed/needy father, played by Hoffman, reunites with his three kids (played by Elizabeth Marvel (Jean), Sandler and Stiller) due to a series of events. From the word go, the family strikes a chord bordering tension and unresolved issues.

The story begins with Danny, a house-husband, in his 50’s is left in disarray after his adult daughter (Eliza) leaves for college and he separates from his wife as there is no longer anything that binds them together. He meets up with his father Harold, who was a once famous and now washed up contemporary artist, who still has not forgiven Danny for letting slip his passion for music slip. As the story unfolds we are introduced to the second troubled sibling, Jean, who was always there for the father and brothers when they needed her but sadly it was never reciprocated. Mathew the youngest of the siblings was the only person in the family who ‘knew how to make money’ and was doing good in life and happened to be the father’s favorite kid by far, despite not taking up the father’s passion for art. As the story unfolds, we get to see the Harold’s stubbornness, favoritism towards Matt, Danny’s bouts with anger caused by inferiority complex and the unconditional love from Eliza and Danny towards their family.

The movie is a slow paced drama with subtle dark humor intertwined at regular intervals.  Adam Sandler is the standout performer in his best performance since the turn of the century. Dustin Hoffman did what Dustin Hoffman does. Elizebeth Marvel and Grace Van Patten were very good in their roles as well. Ben Stiller did not have too much to do in the movie and was okay in parts. The script was darn good and direction was decent. 

In short, I would recommend this for people with a taste for slow paced, drama/comedy. Would not blow your mind and yet would not disappoint you either.

3.5/5

~j

Slow, pedestrian and lacking ideas.

Oct 21, United at Huddersfield Town FC.

  • Injuries are part and parcel of the game and we have seen teams manage it better than how United is handling it right now. There is a terrible lack of ideas when a player who is supposed to be an integral part of the team goes off. Today, the Jones injury was the turning point.
  • Although the injury did play a vital part, United were still not in the game prior to that. There was not anything meaningful till the last 15 minutes of the game.
  • Martial and Mata were out of sorts from the word go and up front there was never anything to suggest that United were threatening. I cannot even say that Huddersfield played out their hearts as they didn’t have to !
  • The last second block off Smalling (of all the people) summed up the day for United.
  • If todays match proved anything, it was the importance of Pogba, Fellaini and the defensive duo of Jones/Bailly in the team. Today should have been the day Martial announced his credentials ahead of Rashford but honestly he didn’t even show the desire to have a go at it !

~j

Goals galore and an expected result

Crystal Palace at Old Trafford, Sept 30, 2017

  • As routine a United performance as you would ever see against a club which now holds the record for the most number of minutes in the start of a season without scoring a goal. Things are not going to get any better for them as they travel to Stamford Bridge next.
  • What impresses me the most about this United is the speed at which they hit off the blocks from the word go! Palace with yet another horrible performance was never going to stop this United juggernaut, without Pogba.
  • I thought I would never say this but Fellaini was the standout performer for United today. The more I see him play for United the more he makes me eat my own words, however, I still do maintain that he is a squad player (a very valuable one though) and should not be starting games for United unless absolutely necessary. Nothing quite extraordinary and yet not a foot wrong.
  • Its an ode to our depth when we can bring in the Player of the season Herrera and the enigmatic Martial to close of games. Its such a refreshing sight!

The Five, definitely binge worthy !

Netflix continues to spoil fans of mystery drama with more of the same awesomeness that we saw in  some of the Netflix originals like Stranger Things, Glitch, HOC, Black Mirror, Sense 8, Ozark et all albeit this time with a hit British series, The Five.
Without going into the spoilers, this mystery thriller starts 20 odd years ago with the disappearance of a young boy and follows into the present where it surrounds the lives of the 4 individuals  (kids then), who were present that day with the kid. All hell breaks loose, when the DNA of the kid mysteriously presents itself in the scene of a murder and the four friends who were leading distraught lives in separate locations reunite to get to the root of it all. Harlan Coben succeeds in keeping us interested throughout with enough drama, mystery and thrill. The cast does justice to the entire act and so does the background score. 
This one is for the binge-watching list !  4/5 from my side.
#NetflixFTW

Gritty United hold on !

United @ St Mary’s

  • These are the sort of performances which would count in the end when the season meanders into end zone. There were times when United did exactly the same thing that Mou accused our opponents off this season. It was the 10 men behind the ball which won us this game rather than the plethora of attacking prowess that United possesses.
  • The MOTM performance for me came from the guy who was once called the Duncan Edwards II, by SAF, much to the ridicule of many of the fans and pundits. Today he was rock solid in defense and rarely put forward a wrong step. These sort of performance, albeit in defense, would definitely prove that SAF was not far off target after all.
  • Lukaku is slowly and steadily repaying the 75 mil that was spent by United in bringing him over from Merseyside.
  • Another player who might be getting more regular game-time would be Young. He had a very good game today and after giving equal opportunities to Darmian (he should be the RB understudy), Blind and Shaw, Mou seems to have finally settled on Young and he didn’t disappoint today.
  • Another clean sheet for DDG. He is making this a habit now and yet there occasionally when called upon he time and again proves why he is the best in the world for fans like me.

West-Hammered, United off the a flyer ! [United vs West Ham, Aug 13]

2 Cents, Aug 13th 2017.

  • The most striking difference from the whole of last season is the attitude. The work-rate put in by the trio Matic, Rashford and Mikki were something which we did not see that often last season.
  • Lukaku is going to bang in the goals for us against the mid-table teams. There were a lot of his first touches that left a lot to be desired. The two goals though were of supreme quality.
  • Rashford was my main man today. He was direct, industrious, always available and making those runs down the channel. Mikki and Rashford did well in occasionally interchanging flanks and making life difficult for the wing backs.
  • West Ham as a team were pretty poor today and in no way were they helped by the list of injuries they have. Zabaleta and¬†Arnautovińá were very good throughout and as the season progresses we can expect them to put on a better show.¬†
  • How on earth did we get hold of Matic? As was the case during the mid-week super cup against Real, Matic was rock solid in the center of the pitch for United. He was there to retrieve and reinvest the ball into the final third every single time West Ham got hold of the ball.
  • United has laid down the marker for the season with a superlative performance and the scoreline should in no way be flattering for United. Pogba, Matic, Rashford and Lukaku my star players for the game !

Present day Gladiator eclipses the epic ‘Return of the Two Strikers’.

Everton @ OT.

  • A game that was built up to be the epic return of two strikers will fondly be remembered for the stunning strike by the present day gladiator. The score should be flattering for ¬†United as Everton were the better for major chunks of the game.
  • Every single manager who failed to take heed to SAF (2013) when he stated that Rooney should be put on sale has had to face the consequences. I just hope that Koeman does not get himself added to the list after Moyes and Van Gaal. Rooney, to be fair had one of his best matches since joining Everton and it all fell apart for them after Rooney left. In other words, United started playing better once Rooney left. <forgive me for that>
  • Credit to the OT faithful for showing their appreciation towards Rooney both before the kick off and after his substitution and credit for remembering that he is part of the opposition while the game was still on.
  • The player of the season last year finally gets a look in. I want to see more of Herrera as he is one of those original red devils who plays with passion and loves wearing the badge. Hope he gets to the right side of Mou soon and gets back to playing regularly.

 

How much $$$ do I need to Retire ?

A lot of people go through their lives doing what they are supposed to do. Get education, get a job, get married, make kids, retire and finally the inevitable. Most forget to live their lives amongst all these. What if someone told you that you didn’t have to do all these, or at least…some of these.

Recently, I asked a colleague what was the age that he wished to retire. His surprise was genuine when he said he had not given any thoughts to the matter since it was decades into the future.

On yet another occasion, I asked another colleague how much did he think was needed to retire peacefully. He scoffed and said ‚ÄėProbably in the millions‚Äô.

The two scenarios above kept making loops in my mind.

  1. Most people do not know that Retiring early is an Option.
  2. Most do not know how much they would need to retire.

For this article, let us concentrate on the second point. How much does one need to retire? Many financial geniuses, much smarter than I am, have answered this question with logical explanations and immaculate research.

Calculate the following

  1. Average Returns from Investments (usually stocks) per year.
  2. Average Inflation In your country of residence per year.

When One’s annual expenses are covered by the difference between 1 and 2 above, one can retire peacefully knowing that the funds will outlast one’s lifespan.

For example, in the USA

  1. Average Stock Market Returns for long term investment = 7%
  2. Average Inflation = 3%

So, if one’s annual expense <= 4% (1 minus 2) of their total investment, then they can retire comfortably knowing that their assets would outlast their lifespan.

hypothetically, if Tom spends 25,000$ on all his yearly expenses then he would need 25000$ to be the 4% interest that is generated every year. i.e he would need (25,000 *100)/4 to be the invested amount. Tom would need 625,000$ to retire.

What if there is a stock market crash? every crash has a corresponding rise. Historically, the stocks have always risen. 7% is the average gain in stock market in the long term. This involves not day trading and being in it for the long haul.

Add all the buffers you need but at the end of the day, all you really need is your annual income times 25 invested wisely in stocks. Happy Retirement Planning!

So how does the team react when in a difficult situation ?

United @ Stoke, Sept 9th

  • The Bailly/Jones pairing which was immaculate for United for the first three matches was culpable for both the goals that Stoke scored today. These kind of defensive frailties would be exploited by bigger teams
  • Herrera makes his first start of the season after the player of the season performance last year and I daresay Mata was benched for the role he played in Perreira going off to Valencia on loan against Mou‚Äôs wishes.
  • The second half, for most parts, was played by United with an eye on the match on Tuesday and it was there to be seen. Stoke had the clearer of chances and but for some accustomed De Gea magic, United would have been staring at a defeat long back.
  • There was a serious lack of quality in the crosses when anybody other than Valencia attempted it and sadly there were too may of Valencia’s crosses that were wasted at the back-post, due to the stubbornness of Rashford and Pogba as they failed to make the runs.
  • Rashford today was a one trick pony and was always trying to peel off the last defender, trying to make those runs. The mazy runs at the defenders from either wings were sorely missed.

City should now be considered firm favorites to win the league this season with the way they have been stepping it up game after game.

That feeling when you pass your first real test of the season.

  • Pogba is slowly and steadily becoming the midfield gladiator that United thought they were buying when the World Record transfer fee was broken last year.
  • It was a dominant first half but United simply lacked that finishing touch. There was one instance in the first half when Blind had to hold on to the ball for more than a couple of seconds waiting for somebody in Red to attack the penalty box. United needs to be more dominant while attacking the box.
  • I am still waiting for the time when both Martial and Rashford are allowed to ply their trades through the two wings. Mou might be inclined to give it a try if the two kids were a bit more consistent with their performances.
  • Schmeichel makes it 3 saves out of the last 5 penalties and if that is not special, i wonder what would ever be! One interesting stat is that he apparently has made more penalty saves at OT when compared to his Dad :O
  • The goal however, came through an unexpectedly poor moment of marking by Leicester. Rashford himself might have been a bit surprised when he was left unchallenged and the ball just skipped past the melee of players.
  • My MOTM for the day was one Mr Phil Jones. He was always kept on his toes by Vardy and during the later stage Slimani. He was assured throughout the 90 minutes and never shied away from a single challenge. He dominated the air and turf so well that his partner Bailly had one of the easiest outings yet. To his credit De Gea kept us assured that he had not dozed off out of boredom when he made the first real save at the 93rd minute and thats why kids he is the best in the world for me.

10-0 to start the season. #United