The Martians have invaded for a second time and the world is at war!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Day of the Falcon

Day of the Falcon, also known as Black Gold and Black Thirst, is a 2011 epic drama film, based on Hans Ruesch's 1957 novel South of the Heart: A Novel of Modern Arabia, directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. It was produced by Tarak Ben Ammar, Chairman of Quinta Communications and co-produced by the Doha Film Institute, Qatar. The film had a budget of US$55 million, making it one of the most expensive films backed by an Arab about an Arab subject.

Emir Nesib (Antonio Banderas), Sultan of a group of tribes and Sultan Amar (Mark Strong) of Salma have a dispute with their border. Both have been fighting war for a vast barren land they call "The Yellow Belt". Emir Nesib decides to put an end to the war by striking a deal with Sultan Amar. They meet and make a peace pact, deciding that the Yellow Belt belongs to neither and should be left as a no man's land. As a guarantee, Emir Nesib takes Sultan Amar's kids Saleh and Auda so that Sultan would not break the pact. Sultan, though reluctant, but being a god fearing and orthodox person, agrees, when Nesib promises him that the kids will be treated as Nesib's own along with his kids Tariq and Leyla. Saleh is free spirited while Auda is an introvert who is always into books. Leyla and Auda become good friends until Leyla's caretaker intervenes and asks her to stop meeting men as she is becoming adolescent.
Years pass and the kids grow up. Auda (Tahar Rahim) is still the bookworm, while Saleh (Akin Gazi) hopes to see his father someday. Nesib starts to get worried as he does not have enough money and there is nothing around him but desert and sand. Sam Thurkettle (Corey Johnson), a geologist working for a western oil firm called Texan Oil, meets Nesib after making some survey in the Yellow Belt. Nesib initially refuses to believe Sam saying that there is only sand and nothing else. Sam shows him a piece of black shale and convinces Nesib that it is an indication of crude oil beneath the ground. He explains Nesib that crude oil is very valuable and if Nesib lets him extract oil, his company would pay him phenomenal money, that would make him richer than the Queen of England. Nesib accepts the offer and lets the westerners to extract oil from the yellow belt, thus violating the peace pact. Money slowly starts to pour in and Nesib starts to modernize his country by building schools and hospitals. Nesib makes Auda the national librarian and Tariq their Colonel. He send his envoy to Amar to strike a deal to extract oil from the yellow belt. Meanwhile, some radicals attack one of the oil sites and kill the crew. Nesib learns that it is the act of his other tribes men and manages to convince all his tribes to accept oil extraction by gifting them valuables. The envoy returns and tells Nesib that Amar considers the exploitation of yellow belt a violation of the treaty. Saleh tells Auda that he can convince their father (Amar) and decides to leave without informing anyone. Halfway through, Saleh kills his support staff and flees the scene.
Nesib, desperate to gain from the oil, decides to marry Auda to his daughter Leyla (Freida Pinto). Auda reluctantly agrees as he is convinced that it is a plot so that Amar will not attack Nesib. Meanwhile Saleh is caught and Ibn Idriss kills him accusing him of treason. Nesib decides to send Auda to convince Amar for using the yellow belt. Auda meets Amar, who is surprised to learn that Auda has come as a representative of Nesib. Auda learns more about his father during his stay there. Amar tells Auda that Nesib offered 5% of the earnings but he refused the offer. When Auda tries to explain to him, he says that everything in his home is made either out of blood or love, but not money and that money has no value. The following day a meeting is held with Amar's allies. They say that by letting foreigners extract oil they let themselves be destroyed, while Auda successfully convinces them by saying if god had not meant it for them to use, he wouldn't have given it in their soil. Everybody is convinced. Amar and Auda team up and devise a plan that will help Amar attack and gain control of the Yellow Belt. Auda makes up a team and unites other tribes as well. They slowly start attacking oil fields and in the ensuing battle Tariq is killed. He meets Sheikh of Beni Sirri tribe and during the meeting the Sheikh beats Aicha (Liya Kebede), a slave girl, brutally. Auda tries to protest and an argument ensues, leaving Auda to handcuff and disgrace the leaders of Beni Sirri tribe and freeing the slaves. Amar arrives and meets Auda, who reveals that he has united all the other tribes and intends to keep the yellow belt for them. During the discussion, Amar is shot dead by the Beni Sirri tribe. Learning about the developments, Nesib accepts Auda as the prince. The film ends with Auda holding a meeting with several foreigners presumably with oil companies.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Gamers Codex :By Ron

After several months of hinting and some false starts, Justus Productions would like to announce our latest project. Jeff and I have been talking about something like this for a while. Back in 2006 to 2009, I wrote for a web site called, and later for Scrye magazine after their publisher bought the web site. Combing that experience with the resources and reputation of Justus Productions, we have launched a new web site that we'd like you to check out.

The Gamer's Codex
It is going to be a one-stop table-top gaming industry news and reviews site. We have a team of great reviewers, some great support from people in the industry and great experience behind the web site itself. We're working on the news side and should have a complete newsfeed up and running on our site very soon. We also have a table-top gaming Kickstarter link index. We ask anyone to submit their Kickstarter links to our index and we'll help promote it.

Our goal once all features are 100% working is to have weekly content – news, reviews and columns. I am now writing a regular series of B-movie reviews from a RPG game master's perspective called B-Move Inspirations. We will also have interviews from industry professionals. I have started by posting past interviews we have had from The Morning Star.

The Gamer's Codex and Justus Productions events will be closely related in that you will see Codex reviewers demoing the games they have reviewed and hopefully over time you will see more and more of that at other events.

Please check it out, like our Facebook page ( and/or join us on Twitter ( We have a Google+ page but unfortunately that's not auto-posting yet.

Thanks and I hope you like!