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Thomas Jane - David Drayton
Marcia Gay Harden - Mrs. Carmody
Laurie Holden - Amanda Dumfries
Andre Braugher - Brent Norton
Toby Jones - Ollie

Good and creepy, “The Mist” comes from a Stephen King novella and is more the shape, size and quality of the recent “1408,” likewise taken from a King story, than anything in the persistently fashionable charnel house inhabited by the “Saw” and “Hostel” franchises.

People get torn apart and beset by monsters in “The Mist” but not enough, I'm guessing, for the “Saw” folk, who prefer grinding realism to the supernatural. On the other hand, “1408” exceeded box office expectations. It would be heartening if this one does, too, though the bleakest ending this side of “The Vanishing” may well curtail the masses.

Director Frank Darabont adapts King's story, which means one thing straight off: The film takes its time. Darabont directed “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Green Mile,” King tales as well, and with “The Green Mile” he stretched the adaptation beyond the three-hour mark. For all I know, it hasn't ended yet. (“The Mist” is a full hour shorter, for the record.)

In a small town in Maine, secret doings are being done up at the military base under the guise of “The Arrowhead Project.” A fierce thunderstorm heralds a freakish mist enveloping much of the area. A graphic artist (Thomas Jane) and his son are stuck in the local grocery store along with a variety of locals and mistrusted out-of-towners, including the artist's imperious neighbor (Andre Braugher) and the resident fundamentalist end-times prophet, played by Marcia Gay Harden. Toby Jones, the British actor who played Truman Capote in “Infamous,” plays store manager Ollie.

The evil arrives in a judiciously varied array of critters. Huge winged insects (excellent scene, played for quiet chills rather than screams), enormo-spiders and worse keep the shoppers under siege and on their toes. The story's focused on how people react under unexplainable duress. King's answer: not well.

“The Mist” has a political streak but not enough to politicize every moment. “The government's got better things to spend our money on,” says Frances Sternhagen, as a schoolteacher complaining about the federal education budget. That's right. On things such as horrible far-out experiments that go murderously wrong. Though he allows each major character a chance to talk, and develop, Darabont wisely doesn't waste time with the sort of thing that “The X-Files” spent entire seasons explaining. Something in Jane's super-cool tough-guy act makes me root for his adversaries every time, but the rest of Darabont's ensemble makes you believe in the premise. Most of the film takes place in or near the supermarket, so it's sort of a miracle “The Mist” works as well as it does. It makes a tense virtue out of its confining setting. As for that ending (very different from King's), well, it's certainly brave. It's probably braver than it is dramatically effective. But the film is very absorbing, and by the time the ending arrives, you may be willing to cut it a break, as I was, even if Darabont's nervy resolution cuts the audience no break whatever.

By Osama Rahman

World Wrestling Federation. Back when I was younger, WWF was our topic of conversation most of the times. Vividly discussing the actions of Bret 'The Hitman' Hart, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold, Macho Man etc were as casual as discussing politics in the parliament. Thinking back, not only were the storylines intriguing, the costumes eye-catching but the entrance musical themes was considered the single most important thing when it came to making the best first impression. They raised crowd anticipation and were in tune with the wrestler's gimmicks. Here's a look at the best of them over the years.

10. Goldberg- Hard hitting and it had everyone expecting something special and they got just that in the longest wrestler to go undefeated in WCW. Goldberg was as exciting as they came, brawns and packed with paper, with absolutely no fear. The fireworks added to the excitement.

9. Bret Hart- 'Hitman' the aptly titled by Jim Johnston was in tune with the anticipation of the fans when this bonafide superstar walked in with his signature pink color and the handing out of his shades to an elated youngster in the crowd. The true sound of a legend!

8. The Rock- 'Know Your Role', once more by Jim Johnston, the music exuded the arrogance and superiority that The Rock carried with him. One of the most loved/hated and recognized figure in the sports entertainment arena, The Rock stood out, just like his theme song.

7. Randy Orton- 'Burn In My Light' By Mercy Drive pays a fitting tribute to the youngest champion in the business and to a true rising and arrogant superstar,

6. DX- 'Break It Down' by the Chris Warren Band was once more very much appropriate for the mischievous, self assured and royal bunch of characters that consisted of this stable, the most popular by far, only over-shadowed by the NWO.

5. Triple H- 'My Time' by The Chris Warren Band was an instantly classic and could be heard as it was chanted all over the world and that too at a time when Triple H was really rising in the pecking order of main-eventers.

4. Shawn Michaels- 'Sexy Boy' performed by Shawn Michaels and Jimmy Heart, himself, the tune and the theme have remained popular till now since its debut in the early 90's, justifying the Heart Break Kid's attitude and looks.

3. Undertaker- Forget 'Bad A$$”, “The Darkside' by Jim Johnston epitomized all that 'Taker stood for. With the resonant gongs in the backgrounds and the thunder sounds, it gave the spooky ambience which millions have learned to dread all over the world.

2. Vince McMahon- “No Chance In Hell” by Jim Johnston was exactly what you got if you chose to cross the big man and felt that you could destroy him. Trump tried, steroids scandal tried and even World Wildlife Federation tried, but could they have destroyed the billionaire? No chance in hell!

1. Hulk Hogan- 'Real American' by Rick Derringer is by far the most famous and loved entrance music theme of all time. It showed what Hogan stood for, it evoked a sense of patriotism and a sense to do right, something that wrestling has been lacking recently. The iconic wrestler deserves top spot for his entrance music, the music of a modern day folklore hero.

Notable exceptions would be “Shattering Glass' of Stone Cold and 'Basic Thugonomics' by and for John Cena. Though they should be here, whilst the latter was raging emotions the former lacked that and John Cena would have made a bigger impact had his theme remained intact for more than a year. This is the list that I have come up with and though there are more out there, this is what I considered to have all the elements that an entrance musical theme should have. As always, your opinions are more than welcome, but they are rather anticipated specially if you can send them with a musical theme. Till next time, don't try this at home!

By Sabhanaz Rashid Diya

Boots, jerseys, Nike, Raul Gonzalez or the Gunners however you put it, football is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Be it David Bekham's free kicks or Fabio Cannavaro's eye-catching defence, the sheer excitement and beauty of football are unmistakable to anyone. The fever has caught onto Bangladeshi teen generations, and with their small-time FCs (football clubs) and an active forum, we now have some serious underground football happening in Dhaka.

Although it's hard to trace back to the beginning of underground football, some people say the hype started around 1998. After the World Cup, young players from different school teams took active interest in the sport, and got together to form their teams outside academic boundaries. However, the buzz was still limited to the ones who could “afford the game”, and there were friendly matches between the clubs. Names like F.C Volta, Maccabre and MBI sprang into the picture, and inspired other youngsters to join the league.

Heavily influenced by EPL, Serie A and the Spanish League, inter-club football started gaining fast-paced popularity. More clubs started coming up, although tournaments were held once every 3/4 months. What was needed was a platform where players can interact and through which, more tournaments could be organized. UGinc was then a music forum promoting underground music, and around 2005, Majed and Daiyan decided to expand their interests and launched a section (UFA) for promoting underground football.

Hence, with a friendlier environment, more youngsters were interested in football. Word got passed around, and players from different English-medium schools in Dhaka began branching out to form more football clubs. Under the banner of UFA, tournaments were being organized. “There is usually a main organizer. Any interested team registers by paying the organizer a fixed amount of money, which is roughly around Tk.2000. Volunteers help out the organizer in several ways during organizing the tournament. The prize money is around Tk.10000 for the champions, and slightly less for the runners up. However, some organizers have recently started giving out trophies,” says Zeeshan Sadeque, one of the active players and enthusiasts from the scene. “Around 2004-05, there were around 5 tournaments a year, but over the past two years, the growth of the underground FCs has been explosive. I've seen 11 tournaments this year alone. There are usually no sponsors, however sponsorship helps organizers to get better fields.” This year, UFA organized the Champions League where 40 teams played. This has happened for the first time in the scene.

Most of the players who play in the underground FCs, being influenced by international football, try to keep the game 'beautiful', as seen on TV. This is quite helpful as it reflects the real talents in the players, and there is less aggressiveness in the field. Unfortunately, some of the teams have started including professional players in the team, which has tainted the image of the underground football. Several players pointed this out as a major problem. “There is also a certain lack of organization during tournaments, such as poor refereeing (usually done by volunteers) and fixture scheduling,” adds Zeeshan. “We also don't have enough fields!”

Most players in the scene play for the love of the game. The tournaments don't score much of a crowd, and players keep a tight knot amongst themselves. Names like Seven Nation Army (7na), Soccer Knights, Powerpuff Boys and Illuminati have come up as A-listed teams. FC underground has achieved a lot this season with the more tournaments being organized and the hosting of several high class 11 a side tournaments which was a rarity in the UG scene before

When it comes to Bangladeshi football at a national level, most players seemed disinterested. “It's not lucrative enough, you see! The players are underpaid, there are no real facilities and most of us wouldn't want to end up there,” says Pablo, another player and sports enthusiast. “I followed our local clubs for a while, but the progress was disappointing. However, if given the proper opportunity, the football can reach greater heights.”

For more info, visit www.uginc.org
Thanks to Daiyan Alamgir, Arman Mohammad, Zeeshan Sadeque and Pablo.


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