This year has been a year of comic book superhero films. Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice, Deadpool, Captain America Civil War, X Men Apocalypse and Doctor Strange which is out later this year. This month was the release of Suicide Squad and I watched it the first day of release. From the title, this film is not a happy go lucky film.
The plot involves a bunch of supervillains assembled by Amanda Walker (Viola Davis) to help tackle high level mission threats that could disband the United States government and the world in exchange for lessen sentences. Directed by David Ayer who has made underrated films End Of Watch and Fury starts off the film with sub stories of each of the villains. Deadshot (Will Smith) the world most wanted assassin, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) an ex psychiatrist turned to a crazy supervillain thanks to the help of the joker (Jardo Leto) who she fell in love with in where it’s a dysfunctional abusive relationship, Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) who can detonate deadly boomerangs, fire ability mental human ex gangster El Diablo (Jay Hernandez) and Killer Croc (Adewable Akinnoye-Agbaje) who’s suffered a skin condition and has crocodile features. From that you feel this film is showing for greatness but the plot becomes sluggish.
You may be given the impression that the supervillains are going to enable missions from around the world but instead it’s close to home as the squad who is led by Colonel Flag (Joel Kinnaman) has a girlfriend Dr June Moone (Cara Delevingine) is possessed by evil demon called Enchantress who aims to get rid of the human race. The team then head to Midway City to fight some CGI minions. With this film, you maybe think that Ayer wants to develop a film in where the supervillains will eventually become superheroes. But the problem is there are not superheroes. It’s a darkly film and as Hayley Quinn points out “We’re bad guys. That’s what we do.” There’s no character in where we can root for. This could be the fact that there is a lack of character development. If there was more depth to the back stories of the characters this would make a difference in how the film will planned out. Instead, watching Suicide Squad remind me of watching Sucker Punch which was directed by Zack Snyder (director of Batman V Superman) in where I felt I was watching a video game rather than a film and this was reciprocated in Suicide Squad. It’s just a bunch of supervillains killing bad guys and that’s it. This makes the plot bland and the film predictable.
However it’s not all bad. The film is pretty fun with enjoyable action scenes. The actors who played the characters do a good job. Will Smith and Viola Davis do a respectful job in their roles. Although Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker which was not only magnificent but also sinister and unsettling which is something you won’t see a performance like that ever be achieved, Jardo Leto portrayal of the Joker is something that has a swagger gangster feel which at times can be scary as he has a psychotic side. Does it work in this film? Yes but in some parts but not all and it could be the fact that he’s trying to element Heath ledger’s Joker performance and the character is in love as watching previously Batman films, we don’t usually see a character like this before. It’s different but also unusual. However this is not a batman film. But there’s one person who delivers a top notch performance in this film, it’s Margot Robbie. Her character Hayley Quinn is something that makes you have an attachment towards her. Her energy, her presence, her craziness is something that makes her more appealing. This could that she’s wearing very short hot pants in where it shows infatuation and sexual desire and fantasy for men. I don’t think it’s necessary for her character to be sexualised in that manner but unfortunately we live in the world in where women are deemed as sexual objects. But don’t take anything away from her performance.
You would have hope that this DC Comic film would put the DC back to glory and although it’s better than the lacklustre dull Batman V Superman, it has a long way to be in line with the Marvel film releases this year. It could have been so much more.
People strive to better themselves and improve their inner self while people strive so they can fit in the crowd, be accepted and not be an outcast. Unfortunately some go to extreme measures to be included.
On April 25th 2016, Lil Kim was trending on social media. If you don’t know how Lil’ Kim is she’s a black Hip Hop Artist who had a relationship with the late Notorious B.I.G. I checked to see why she was trending and I noticed that from her photos that she has bleached her skin in order to have a complexion of a Caucasian white woman. When I looked at the pictures I was in shocked but also in disappointment. She looked fine how she was and she didn’t need to do this. However if you look at this tweet below you will see that black men is apparently the cause of Lil’ Kim bleaching her skin.
If black men hadn't fetishized white women so much, telling us we're not good enough. Lil Kim would love herself pic.twitter.com/rNICzcqSLr
Whether her quotes are true or not, unfortunately black men do talk down to black women. Black women are stereotype as an “Angry Black Woman” and they have an attitude. I disagree with that stereotype as all races can be angry and have an attitude and not just black women but unfortunately they are known as that and black men speak it about continuously . They also say that they are not attractive enough and so on. An issue I think that’s a big problem is the light skin/dark skin thing. I know some guys and women would rather to go out with a light skin person who’s in a mixed decent rather than dark/brown skin person. Yes it’s ok to have a preference but to discriminate our own kind is wrong. We all have black features whether we are light skin, dark skin or brown skin. With this into consideration, this has caused division for us black people as we don’t appreciate each other.
I was on a dating website and look at a black woman profile and she mentioned she will only consider Caucasian guys. Out of curiosity, I messaged her to find out more. I enquired on how come she’s not into black guys and she said she just not interested. There has to been a reason so I asked more and she said some black guys have hurt in the past which is why she wants to date white guys. I said she shouldn’t generalise black guys as we are not all like that. She replies “I know they aren’t all the same but for the sake of my sanity I’m not going there again.” I was dumbfounded when she said that and now I am thinking about it as I write this I still am. It’s not the first time I have seen a profile like this and won’t be the last but it breaks my heart when I hear these stories where a black woman’s confidence is dented by a black man.
On the other hand, I had a discussion with my close friend about black women last year and him and I feel that black women don’t want to date black guys. Maybe because we hear that some black women say that a white guy can treat them better than a black guy. I rebuke that statement. There is no scientific evidence to proclaim that a white guy can treat a black woman better than black guys. Black men can treat black women like a queen. It’s the same for Asian guys, Mediterranean guys and Latino guys. Every race can treat someone well. So if a black woman think dating a white guy will automatically mean that he will treat me better than a black guy will you are wrong as regardless of their race us men are unfortunately pricks.
When us black folks seen white folks being portrayed in the media or in the society, you can see they are successful in their careers but also see that white privilege is on point. This has made impressions that if we act in a certain way, talk in a certain way or be with a white woman/man, it will give us the opportunities to excel in life and better treatment in society.
An abstract called Race, Class and ‘The Harmony of Dispositions talks about the identity of black middle class and their comparison to white middle class. Despite being middle class, from a study black people felt they have little control and power. This may because white people who are in the same class don’t feel they should be in the same category and as a result limit their opportunity.
This has led to mention this quote. “They engage skills from their ‘cultural toolkit’ (Moore, 2008: 498) such as code-switching and changing accent (Cassandra, Training Company Director) or speaking the ‘language of whiteness’ (Jean, College Lecturer) to fit into and navigate white space. This is risky work because while they possess ‘appropriate’ capitals (education, qualifications, accent, dress) and seek to deploy them to their advantage, recognition and acceptance (by whites) that their capital carries legitimacy is not guaranteed.”
In this world, White is deemed right and Black is deemed wrong and for some black people, they may have been told that to be accepted into this white world, we would have to lose our blackness and engaged in their whiteness. But is it worth it?
Beyoncé was a headline act during a half time show at the Super Blow 50 this February in where she performed a song called Formation. It had a political message as she made a tribute to Black Panthers. People praised her message while some was critical. Tomi Lahren is a TV host in where she expressed her views from a news platform called The Blaze. She made a commentary regarding Beyoncé’s performance and it received an uproar. Why? Because her views were deemed as a racist but I have a YouTube clip for you to see for yourself.
I don’t know if she thought of this but with lightening her skin to be in a skin of a Caucasian woman, Beyoncé may think no racist remarks from her white peeps. Well she was wrong as despite of this they view her as a black woman and a black person are known as being lazy, aggressive, uneducated and violent. Again I rebuke that stereotype as all races can have these traits and not just black people. But perceptions and stereotypes is something that will not go away and unfortunately the labels black people have will not disappear. It has been around for centuries as black people were forced into slavery and face discrimination and racial abuse because of the colour of our skin and still it affects us today. So really what we do in lightening our skin or changing our appearance or speak in an accent for validation, it won’t make a difference as to them we are not valuable and they don’t care even if we do change our lifestyle. In terms of education, I am not saying that you should not get an education. You should as it will open opportunities, but what I am saying is we shouldn’t change our personality, culture for anyone as if we do our effects may not be recognised. Also I know some white people who maybe reading this and think that I am demonising. Well I am not. I am talking about the struggles black people experience.
To conclude, black people shouldn’t be seeking approval from white people as what we do won’t make a difference. But instead of trying to impress, we should EMBRACE our culture, EMBRACE our blackness and EMBRACE our heritage. Be proud of the country you have come from whether you are from African country or from a Caribbean country. Don’t seek things to get acceptance by others as they will take advantage. We should not be consumers and not be used as a propaganda in terms of entertainment and instead take control of our being, our kind, our race. Unfortunately, being a black person is tough as we faced prejudice and discrimination and as result we lose our identity but being a black person is great. We are smart, intellectual and attributes that any person of race would like to have and embrace. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali are examples of great black people who wanted to make a difference. We have a wonderful culture as now the western world are embrace our culture although it’s now formed of cultural appropriation and at times some countries use it in a way from their own benefits. But the fact that our culture is being used shows something good is happening. Most importantly we should support for one another as frankly we are not. We are divided as the media divided us based on the news regarding blacks within the society. We shouldn’t let this happen and destroy our race. We shouldn’t talk down our race, not self-hate and instead show encourage, wisdom and use our strengths to show that being a black person is a great so we can be a role model. We should be proud of who we are and where we come from because Black Is Beautiful. I am proud to be a black person and so should you.
Hey guys. Thought I should share some piece in where I hope you can be motivated, never give up in your current situations and most importantly Be A Winner. So what made me inspired to write this? Well a month ago, I had an important week as I had 2 interviews and felt it could change my life for the better so had to prepare for it but things didn’t go my way. My laptop malfunctioned and the information I prepared for my interviews was on it and didn’t have a copy. I was freaking out but reassurance myself, be determined and to be successful in the job interview. I did my best but unfortunately I wasn’t successful in the job interviews. Although disappointed, I call myself a winner. Why? Because I have achieved the goals I wanted to achieve. I went to university and graduated with a degree, organised a fundraising event in where I raised over £100 and despite not being successful in my job interviews, I have a job in where I was successful. I kept thinking of goals that have achieved in my life so I won’t get dishearten and you should do the same. Yes there’s goals we would like to accomplished but we should have be happy of what you have achieved so far and with determination, hard work and presence, the goals that we really want to achieve will become a reality.
Unfortunately, when there are sets backs things instead of battling a way through, some people like to give up too easily. An example is when a person aims to be singer but keeps getting rejected in getting a record deal and as a result they give up. Yes some people may not get their dream job but you must deal with the disappointment and keep moving forward. Rejection is part of life.
Last year, I got a job working in retail. A few days into the job, it became overwhelming as I was constantly filled with information of what my job entails. The working environment was tough and I was already severely under pressure and it wasn’t even a week. I was struggling but was determined to pull through. There were two people who were in the same interview as me in where they’ve got the job, started their jobs a week earlier than I did. However, a week later into my job, they quit after 2 weeks. I was in shocked that they have quit that soon. I wasn’t able to ask why the person resigned as I didn’t see him but was able to ask the other person and she said the culture of the organisation was too serious, the management team was discouraging and as I mention before I was severely under pressure, so was she. It was too much for them which made them leave.
It’s a shame it happened but to be blunt, not everyday things will go according to plan. They will be stressful days and at times you want to walk way but you have to find a way to overcome difficult situations. I didn’t quit my job. I kept fighting on and overcome obstacles. If your workplace has working conditions that are too severe and you have to leave then leave. However it’s important to have a positive mentality rather than a negative mentality in difficult times. You should never give up on something you work hard for.
This can also be said for relationships. In a relationship, you will have great times with your partner but also experience bad times. However we live in a world, in where some people will stick for you for the good times but are non-existent for the bad times and as a result some people take the easy option in ending the relationship. In my opinion, some people have high expectations when it comes to relationships and it’s because of what you see from films and TV programmes in where relationships are deemed as perfect. Also the rise of social media makes some relationships dysfunctional as instead of communication face to face, thoughts and feelings are now expressed through messages etc. Every relationship is not perfect as each person has their faults and failures and if you ending a relationship for a lousy excuse, then you are a fool who didn’t value the relationship.
In order to have a successful relationship, you must support your partner in the good times and especially the bad times. If you continue to avoid your problems instead of sorting them out, you won’t grow as a person. If you feel the relationship is worth saving for and you are determined to make it work, then seeking a counsellor may be an option. This can resolve your differences, having a better understanding between yourself and your partner and most importantly have better communication. If it doesn’t resolve your differences and as a result you and your partner have broken up but it has helped you in future relationships then its better in improving yourself as a person than having nothing at all.
My motto is: Don’t be a quitter. Be a winner. Fight for what you want in your life. Quitters are for losers.
It may take weeks, months or even years for you to achieve your goals but with determination and dedication, eventually you will get there. Yes it’s difficult to be positive all the time but positive thinking = positive minds = positive goals. Eventually someone will say to you that you are successful in your job application. Eventually after rejection after rejection, a bank will lend you a loan so you start your business. Eventually someone will be happy to be your girlfriend/boyfriend as there’s someone out there for everyone. EVENTUALLY IT WILL HAPPEN. You have to believe that your hopes and desire will happen.
There are some people who give up on their dreams as they are influenced by their friends or what they see from the society for example there’s limited opportunities for BME to succeed. Although it may be the case, it shouldn’t stop you succeeding. Don’t limit yourself from what you see from the media that makes you have some doubts. Surround yourself with good people, keep pressing towards your goals and most importantly Be A Winner. Hopefully this will inspire you but if not below is an inspirational speech from the movie Rocky Balboa starting Sylvester Stallone. It’s very moving.
So for the last couple of weeks, I have been listening to old school hip-hop music and I came across an album called Be from Common. I have listen to it before a couple of years ago and I thought this album is great but then I’d listen to the album again, I didn’t think it was great album. I believe it was a magnificent album. The album that was released in 2005 was critically-acclaimed in where it was nominated for 4 Grammy awards. It was listed as one of the best albums of that year. But 10 years from release and I think to myself why this album hasn’t been considered as one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time? Yes they are albums that are better than Common’s Be in the last 20 years but Common has created a flawless, consistent, inspiring, well lyrical album and should be considered as one.
Each track from the 11 track album which lasts 42 minutes is well constructed, meaningful and most importantly engaging. The album starts with an intro which I think it’s one of the best hip-hop intros I ever heard as its beautiful played with strings with an uplifting bass. His opening lyrics start off with “I want to be as free as the spirits of those who left/I’m talking Malcolm, Coltrane, my man Yusef.”This gives you the optimism and confidence that this album is going to be one of his best albums of his career and indeed it was.
The next track “The Corner” is one of the hardest tracks he has done in where his lyrics is gripping as he tells the struggles of poor neighbourhoods in where says “We write songs about wrong cause it’s hard to see right.” His commentary throughout his song show the songs from the people living in the streets were their breakthrough from the streets although it wasn’t hopeful and the beat of the song make its gritty of a song that’s authentic. On ”Testify“, he delivers his flowing ability on an entertaining track of a story from the courtroom in where a wife is hoping is that her husband doesn’t go to jail but it comes with a twist.
What makes Be remarkable is the production that makes the album very listenable and the credit deserves goes to the late J Dilla and particularly Kanye West who majority produced the album in where he produced 9 of the 11 tracks. You could say it’s arguably one of his best works as a producer. One of his work includes “Go” in where Common fantasies about a female in a sexual way. It’s a glorious track from an album that has soulful hip-hop feel with elements of jazz.
But why should this album be considered as one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time? Well not only it’s a classic as it’s unique and inspiring. Common is taking us in the journey in where he’s speaking directing at us and for us to make a stand and reach our goals despite our transgressions and struggles. “Real People which has a jazz feel is an example in the raps “So dreams we say out like speakerphone just to keep em on/It’s like a colored song that keep keepin on.” Although some of his lyrics in this song did cause some controversy when he raps “Black men walking with white girls on they arms/I be mad at ’em as if I know they moms/Told to go beyond the surface, a person’s a person/When we lessen our women, our condition seems to worsen.” He’s showing his dissatisfaction of interracial relationships and feels black women will be undermined further more as the black race is not valued in this society.
And from the final track “It’s Your World” in where in part 1, Common talks about his own struggles but also a woman he know who had dreams of being a singer but she’s now an prostitute in where he show his displeasure. It may be a low key song but the lyrics are priceless especially in part 2 when his father deliver his message of spoken word in where he states “Be invited, be long-living, be forgiving, be not forgetful.”
And that makes the album utter remarkable. It’s never dull thanks to his lyrics which are top notch. Each track has a message and he’s delivering his spoken word through rapping and that’s why some people think he’s a righteous man based on what he says. It’s like he’s a teacher and we are his pupils. He has raised the bar in his narratives and raised new heights when the album was released.
Despite being well received, I feel it’s an album that’s underrated and doesn’t get enough recognition. In the same year, Kanye West released Late Registration which may have overshadowed this album as it was a masterpiece in where it won numerous of awards and transformed his career for the better and also for the worst during the years.
However, Be is an album that should also get the same recognition. It deserves to be in the list of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time. Maybe not in the top 10 but definitely in the top 30. It’s consistent, flourished, groundbreaking and masterful.
So if you are frustrated of the current hip hop music scene right now listen to some old school hip hop and this album particularly. It will bring you back to the days in where hip hop was immaculate.
I never thought that Akon would be in my piece but you will see why he should be. I was scrolling through social media a few weeks ago and as I was looking, Akon appeared. Why? Because he was forming a Solar Academy to help bring electricity to 600 million people who are living in African countries. But instead I scroll down as like it was nothing but I saw it again on another social media platform so I had to check it out and do some research and read more about it. I thought to myself that’s noble of Akon to do this. Akon a singer/rapper/producer who had chart hit success on songs like Lonely, Smack That and Beautiful hopes the scheme from his company Akon Lighting Africa will help African countries harness the power of the sun — a seemingly foolproof plan given that the continent has 320 days of sunshine a year. Also the scheme aims to targets future African entrepreneurs, engineers and technicians. This will boost employment as the population of Africa is 70% under the ages of 35. Co-founder Samba Bathily said: “We have the sun and innovative technologies to bring electricity to homes and communities. We now need to consolidate African expertise and that is our objective.”
It’s this sort of news that deserves widespread attention as someone is doing something noble but will it? No. Bruce Jenner was the main focus elsewhere at the time. He was an Olympic athlete who was married to Kris Jenner in where her daughters are Kim, Kourtney & Khloe Kardashian. Jenner revealed at an interview this year he’s going to be a transgender woman and in few days into June, Caitlyn Jenner was released in a photo shoot for Vanity Fair that was later published in their magazine.
However I believe there are three reasons I think this story was ignored:
Caitlyn Jenner is White. Akon is Black.
The media feel the Akon story is not worthy to broadcast.
Western world and America feel Africa is known for being poor and having diseases so they want to bring news that associates with it.
Another reason could be that the news wasn’t reported by the local or national press for it to be released but I believe the second point I made is genuine. The media are selective in what and what shouldn’t be published to the public and for a black man like Akon doing a great thing, the media for some reason find it uncomfortable. Rarely will you see ethnic minorities being appreciated by the media and if you do, it’s limited. Instead you see minorities being portrayed in a negative way. As Teun A. Van Dijk states from Power and the News Media.. “news on ethnic affairs remains focused on a small selection of preferred topics, including immigration, crime, violence, cultural differences, and race relations.” From that, I feel ethnic minorties are only know for these topics and nothing else.
Other newspapers follow suit thinking it was true but it was incorrect and The Guardian recognise that.The Guardian says it was from a sample based on a website called babycentre.co.uk for 56,157 members of the site who gave birth in 2014 and that the most popular boy’s name in the year of 2013 from ONS was Oliver. We will found later found this year if Muhammed is the most popular name in UK but I doubt it will be as it doesn’t make sense that that name will popular in the UK in where its predominately white. Yes it may be popular within the Muslim communities but not of parts of the UK. It was an error by the Daily Mail but they haven’t notified the readers about their error. Maybe they didn’t want to because they want to create headlines. As I said it was mentioned by someone on Question Time and I felt it was a negative impression on the storyline as that person may think Britain are losing their values. You may think it wasn’t the Daily Mail intentions but they would have notice that the Muslim communities are in under pressure because Muslims groups have killed people based on their faith e.g. Boko Haram, ISIS so they may think this is story is an opportunity for Muslims to be verbally abused and to raise racial tension.
The media can be influential as you can learn things and keep up to date on current affairs when watching the news/newspapers but the media can brainwash a lot of people as they exaggerated and mislead their stories and people will make assumptions on ethnic minorities/gender/countries/region. This can be known as manipulation by the media. Continuing from Power & The News Media.. “manipulation as a form of media power enactment is usually evaluated in negative terms, because mediated information is biased or concealed in such a way that the knowledge and beliefs of the audience are changed in a direction that is not necessarily in its best interest.” I feel this is established to create fear but also raise tension on variable groups.
Besides the press, music, films and TV programmes also provide stereotypes but now you see an increase of reality programmes on where they exploited people who are from a lower class or who have disabilities. Benefits Street is a documentary programme series which was distributed on Channel 4 in where it follows people who are on benefits but it has been heavy criticised as it provides a negative portrayed of benefits claimants. Residents who took part says Benefits Street TV show lied to us.
These are the misdeeds of the media from tabloid papers to broadcasters are willing to do these things just to get ratings. If I can provide some recommendations for the media it would be:
Although some of the reports the media have delivered are credible as they have exposed corruption like the Fifa corruption, they have reported unnecessary news to demonise an issue e.g. mental health and instead of doing that, they should organise meetings to discuss why it is stigmatised and come up with solutions in how they can tackle the issue. A campaign might help.
From Everybody A Little Bit Racist; An Explanation of Unconscious Racism it states “Stereotypes are translated into our social perceptions, or societal ‘attitudes’ toward an individual or group.” As the media conducted poor research on current topics you get biased, inaccurate information on a particular group and as a result people will stereotype. In this country, the major issue is immigration and apparently it’s all the eastern Europeans fault yet Immigrants From Eastern Europe Pay 12% More In Taxes Than They Receive In Benefits. Whenever you read/watch the news the journalists who report this are predominately white and as a result you only get one perspective. I feel increasing diversity within the media would be worthwhile as you will get different perspectives from BAME as well people who are from countries like Poland & Romania in where their countries are stereotyped. I believe it help change peoples’ assumptions.
The late Nelson Mandela says this inspirational quote. “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” We live in a society where there’s a denial of racism e.g. Charleston, people are ignorant and generalising a specific group/race based on their experiences they had with an individual in where it’s increase by their friends and family and as a result “stereotypes lead to polarized judgments.”  and if you are from poor backgrounds, you are not accepted. Although to combat issues like this can be very difficult, education is crucial is it gives you knowledge so more education and extensive knowledge is needed in where it’s access for all backgrounds so it can challenge stereotypes and reduce prejudice.
The media have a big part to play as they are influential and it can have an impact on the society. It would be nice if the media take some responsibility in what they are doing as l feel the media’s aim is to cause fear and raise tension in where it displays racial attitudes. But will they? Unlikely as good news is bad news but bad news is good news and unfortunately bad news is winning.
Power & The News Media In D. Paletz (Ed.), Political Communication and Action. (pp. 9-36). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 1995.
Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist: An Explaination of Unconscious Racism Hughes, A, L 2014
There has been a considerable hype around this film. This was because of the unfortunate death of Paul Walker who died in a car crash in where he was halfway of the film’s completion and as a result there were doubts whether this film will be completed. But here I am writing a review on this so it did go ahead. When Justin Wan who directed horror films like Saw, Dead Sentence and The Conjuring was directing Fast & Furious 7, you may think to ponder how is Wan is going to use his experience in an action movie in where he’s been involved in horror movies? You may that the film was going to be disastrous of what’s been going on but he managed to pull it off and made a film that’s ludicrous and at times unfulfilling but a thrilling ride.
At the start of the film you see Jason Statham who plays Deckard Shaw an assassin who’s the brother of Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) attends to his brother at hospital after his misdeeds in Fast & Furious 6. He vows revenge and as he leaves you see in the background, SWAT members lay around in the floor and the hospital in ruins and later on he has a remarkable altercation with Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), you can sense the picture in how the film is going to be planted out.
In the way Fast & Furious 7 is structured, Fast & Furious 4-6 are prequels as this film is a sequel from the third film of the franchise The Fast And Furious Tokyo Drift as it follows the events in where at the end of the film Han (Sung Kang) is killed and where we see in this film that Statham was behind it so he can send out a message to Dominic Toretto (Van Diesel) and his crew/family Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker), his wife Mia (Jordana Brewster), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Roman, (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges) who he feels they are responsible of what happened to his brother. They feel they are in danger in where they hope there will be no danger and instead have a peaceful life.
Of all the films in this franchise which began in 2001, this film raises the bar in terms of story, the character development and the action scenes. As mentioned previously Deckard Shaw (Statham) is out for blood in where Diesel and his crew are his targets but when Dom retrieves Han’s body in Tokyo so a funeral can be held in LA, during the service, Roman said to Brian “Please no more funerals.”, I felt this movie is not just going to be an action movie but an action movie with some emotion as the characters in the film realise they don’t want to lose another one from their extended family so despite being their usual self, you could see a different side from them especially Toretto as he remises the good times he has with Letty and how he wants to have that back. This is welcoming and the story and the development of the characters are strong.
For Toretto, he needs to get rid of Shaw but as he has a one to one with him, he gets interrupted by Frank Petty (Kurt Russell) who will help him track Shaw if he cooperates with him and his team to retrieve a tracking device called God’s Eye which was created by Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) and as I mentioned the film raises the bar, it does especially in the action scenes. You will see Troetto and his crew go to places like Azerbaijan, Dominican Republic, Abu Dubai and LA in where you see the team parachute their cars from a boarding plane, O’Connor running from the bus as it’s about to side off from a cliff, and a car crashes from one building to another. Although the action can be intense, thrilling and joyous, these spectacles can be ludicrous and daft. But despite that and alongside the story and the character development, it works extremely well in the first two periods of the film.
However scripts for the story had to be rewritten unfortunately after Paul Walker’s death and you can notice there was hiccups as the film began to fall flat as the film reaches its conclusion. Dwayne Johnson’s character is limited for the majority of the film which is a shame until the end in where he fires machine gun across the helicopter but you do question whether he was needed in this film at all as he had a minor role. Diesel and Statham showdowns particularly in the car park in where it lasts around 15 minutes are uneventful and dull. And Jakande (Djimon Hounsou) who kidnapped Ramsey in order to use God Eye to use it for his evil works forms an alliance with Shaw to target Toretto and his crew but there’s no back story between the pair. Although this may be a minor issue, it does leave with unanswered answers.
But this film is for Paul Walker in where his voice and face were CGI and his brothers Caleb and Cody completed his remaining scenes as body doubles and a result we see Walker on form. And there’s a splendid fitting tribute for him and you begin to understand why Toretto is a family man as during the film he says “I have no friends. I got family.” A line I feel that’s unforgettable.
F&F7 is a film that’s set new heights and you get an outrageous, enjoyable and satisfying film. You could say it’s the strongest instalment in the series but it has missed opportunities to be a truly, remarkable film and that’s disappointing. A film in the series I feel that was class was Fast Five. I feel that film actually made the franchise tick as the previous 4 films weren’t great although I haven’t watched the 3rd film. It’s hard to see how an 8th film could be developed after a film like this in a franchise in where should have ended years ago but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was one.
When I heard that Once The Musical was coming to the West End in London, I was well excited. I was looking forward to see how a film adaption is transferred to a musical adaption. It’s a musical that’s been out since April 2013 in London and after months and months of wanting to see it, I’ve finally got to see it in the theatre this month.
For those who know little about this, Once The Musical is a based on an 2007 Irish film of the same name (which is brilliant), and it’s about an Irish guy who’s a busker inspiring to be a musician, who later meets a Czech girl in a street who was impressed with his singing who’s also a musician and a pianist and they have a bond over their love of music through songs. It was a film that was successful as it was highly favourable in the US and it won an Oscar for Best Original Song for the song “Falling Slowly.” For this musical adaptation, written for stage by playwright Edna Walsh and directed by John Tiffany, offers a simple but moving and effective musical.
When Ronan Keating was announced as Guy for the musical from November 2014, I think it would be an interesting role for him to take as musicians who decided to be actors, sometimes don’t perform to the acting standard. For his acting role in the West End, Keating delivers a fine, inspiring performance and that would surprise a few people. He shows vulnerability when a man is washed up in bar before Girl (Jill Winternitz) pops up in where she’s approvals his singing and it gives him some hope. A few minutes into meeting, there’s a hilarious moment between the pair in where a vacuum cleaner is involved.
Jill Winternitz’s performance as Girl is quirky and impressive and as a result she outshines as Keating in most parts which leads him to be a passenger and with that you see his vulnerability. After all, this is his first West End role. However, vulnerability can be a good thing for Keating as he displays this when he is singing and he sings effortlessly especially in the scene, in where himself, Wintermitz and the supporting cast are outstanding when singing to someone who’s in the music business.
And there’s a mention of the supporting cast as when you at a theatre, you normally see the orchestra playing the music for the cast so it was unusual and a surprise when the actors are also musicians as they play the piano, guitars, drums, violins you name it and it was wonderfully played.
Once is not a traditional love story. It’s a love story in where people have a connection over their love for music and you can see it from the stage. However despite great performances from Keating and Winternitz, the connection is not efficient between the pair. In the original film, you can feel the spark and chemistry between Hansard and Irglova and it was special and from the musical, it’s not recuperated.
But it’s only a small criticism as the musical makes up for it with funny and hilarious moments as mention before. Tim Prottery-Jones and David Mehmet provide the biggest laughs in their roles and unlike the original film, it’s refreshing to have this in the musical. And of course the music is memorising and uplifting. It’s something in where it’s deserved to be applauded.
It’s a heart-warming, captivating, delightful musical in where you should see this more than once. If you watched it and you were unsure, see it again. It will change your view but make sure you see it before it ends on 21 March. You may regret it.
New Year = New Beginnings and for that New Year’s Resolutions. Unfortunately, people don’t stick it to it. We say I am going to this and that in that year and the year before but it doesn’t happen. That’s why below you get this comment.
But by not sticking to your new year’s resolutions, doesn’t mean that you should stop pressing your goals and ambitions. I see as the new year begins, it’s time to look back in the previous year and reflect on things that you have achieve, what made you smile, what made you feel sad, things in where you have made mistakes and also look back on things that you want to achieve but not yet fulfil that target. That’s what each new year brings. It gives you the opportunity to challenge yourself and fulfil your goals and ambitions. Write down your hopes and dreams from a notepad and try making it happen. Whatever your goals may be, this year is the year you for to start progressing. And with that you need the desire, the determination and the motivation to succeed.
I believe an important step for to reach your goals is to surround yourself with good people who are ambitious, who know what they want in life like yourself, who can encourage you and who are full of positivity. Sometimes you need that extra push for you to get through the hurdle. However, if you feel you not getting that from people who dampen your spirits, then I think you need to cut all ties with them. Sometimes when people are being negative and apprehensive towards you, you feel like whether you done something wrong to them and it make you feel like crap. But then you realise it’s them that has the problem and not you. I realise sometimes people are constantly being negative towards you as they are insecure about themselves. I feel something has happened in their life which is why they are the person they are now or they are worried that your life is going somewhere and theirs are not. So don’t allow them to interfere in your plans and make them feel bad about yourself. In order to grow, you need to let go of bad rubbish. That’s what I am going to do and so should you.
I am excited of the year of 2015. I have many goals I want to achieve this year. I won’t reveal all but my goals of 2015 is to expand my blogging page, get more views and of course write more blogs, improve my Spanish so I can be more fluent, go on a few holidays to explore different cultures and relax of course and something I’ve been wanting for years which is to have a girlfriend which will hopefully become my wife in the next few years.
Will my plans become a reality this year? I really hope so but if it doesn’t happen, then it wasn’t meant to be as from a Christian perspective, I believe the Lord Jesus Christ may have plans for me that may be even better than the plans I have right now. From Jeremiah 29:11 it says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I feel this verse is a encourage verse for Christians alike who may feel dishearten in why their plans is not succeeding. He has plans for all of you so all you got to do is trust in him.
Hopefully I will post a blog at the end of the year to see whether I have fulfilled my goals. But for everyone who have goals this year… only you and not the influence of others can achieve your goals. Believe in yourself, press towards your goals and make it count. Good luck in the year and make it the best yet.
Hello guys. One of the reasons I wanted to blog was to write a film review. I was thinking when is this going to happen?? But then I watch Gone Girl that was released in October in where I watched it last month and I think to myself, I have to write a review on this as I had a lot to say on this so here’s my film review on Gone Girl.
“Everyone told us and told us – marriage is hard work. Not for me and Nick.” That’s what Amy Elliott- Dunne (Rosamund Pike) says in her diary in where she’s happy in love but into their five year wedding anniversary, she’s the talk of the town as she’s disappeared and it’s not good news for her husband Nick Dunne. (Ben Affleck)
This film is based on the same name from the 2012 thriller novel by Gillian Flynn. Normally when screenwriters write an adaptation of a novel, they don’t fulfil the standards of the adaptation. This is because the screenwriters are not the people who have written the novel but for this screenplay, it’s written by Gillian Flynn and it’s refreshing to hear as it’s a faithful adaption to the book which is transformed by director David Fincher to a film in where it’s intriguing, edge of your seat thriller.
into the beginning of the film, we see Nick entering his house to found that his wife is nowhere to seen but it becomes an murder investigation as there’s been traces of blood which has been cleaned up from the kitchen and with the interrogation from Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) who says to Nick “You look laid back.” on a case in where’s his wife is missing or even far worse and she suspects whether there’s more than meets the eye as does her sidekick Jim Gilpin (Patrick Fugit).
It’s a film that Fincher would be interested in. It’s a mystery thriller which has dark elements and with his 10th film feature, we see what have been accustomed to in his previous films in where he grips the audience and pushes the boundaries. It has elements of chillness from Se7en and the ferocious of the classic Fight Club.
The film constricts two periods. There’s the present, in where the disappearance of Amy Dunne has gone headline news and with more revelations, the pressure has got into Nick Dunne, whereas in the past, we see the digs into their marriage. We see that they’re happily in love into the first years of marriage but problems arises as the economy dipped and it took its toil as they both lost their jobs and have to move location. These periods happen two-thirds of the film and it balances off very well, similar to his previous film, The Social Network and Fincher deserves credit for that.
As the film progress in the middle, Gone Girl is not based on the disappearance of a woman in where the husband is the prime suspect; it revolves the marriage between two people in where we see the good and the bad (loads of it) and how it establishes. This leads to turmoil and their perception for one another has changed and where you hear the vows in marriage, for better for worse, for sickness and in health, their marriage gets worse each day and then transformed in a dark, twisted way.
And as a result, the fate and whereabouts of Amy is discovered towards the end of the middle in the film and alongside with great performances from the cast all across as the film reach its conclusion.
Affleck who’s dysfunctional as the husband in where he’s public enemy no.1 thanks to the misconceptions from the media, deliveries a terrific, convincing performance. In her movie debut, Carrie Coon plays Nick’s twin sister and she wonderfully displays an emotional and believable performance when Fincher playfully turns the heat on Nick. As a result, he hires Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry) as his attorney and he produces a comic but fine performance. And there’s Rosumand Pike who delivers her best performance to date. She must be craving for a role. She credited as “Amazing Amy” from her parents who led her to write books based on that title but now we see her vulnerability. But this actually strikes her and transforms her from vulnerability to mysterious to dangerous. Amy has that venom which has lifted her and made her more fascinating but also alarming as the music starts to build up whenever she’s in town and it’s a performance in where you could see her picking up some awards. This arousing display attracted Desi Collins (Nick Patrick Harris) who plays her ex-lover. Unfortunate for him and without revealing, it ends badly.
You may think at the start this a rom-com date movie but with David Fincher, he’s made a David Fincher movie in where its unnerving and unsettling and when Bolt (Perry) says to Nick (Affleck) “You are the most f***ed couple I have come across.”, this reflects on the film itself.
The ending may not be intriguing as it falls flat which is a shame but the twists and turns in this film alongside with the WTF moments are memorable. It’s bold, shocking yet a well thought engaging film which may become the talked about film of the year. If you are thinking of getting married, watch this movie first before going down the aisle.
Hey guys, it’s been a while since I have a written a blog and was thinking what should I write next and then in August, I hear the saddened news that Robin Williams who embrace my childhood has died and what makes it more sad that the cause of death was suicide which relates to depression and I feel I should talk about this as it’s an important subject matter that needs to be addressed.
Stigma And Mental Illness is Not A Good Combination
Every day in our lives we have days that are up and downs. It’s natural in where you feel miserable and when it arises, we seek help from our friends and family and they are willing to help. But when the problem is a mental illness issue, they are unwilling to help. People are dismissive about this issue. Why? Because they feel it’s not an important issue. Some people will think it’s part of life and after a few days/weeks they will get over it. But what I believe is the main reason is that people don’t have an understanding of mental illness. Maybe for depression it’s not physical so you can’t see that the person is suffering. However people are ignorant on this. Instead we say to a person who is suffering from depression to “Pull yourself together and take a walk and you will be fine.” and that’s how to help a person who’s depressed. That’s incorrect. Instead of encouraging and supporting the person, the person will become more isolated, disheartened and with that the illness may worsen.
If there’s more awareness and research put into place for mental health, then people will have an understanding in how serious the issue is, be able to help the people in need and reduce prejudice and stigma. Since the death of Robin Williams, I have seen people reactions from social media regarding this and I am outraged. I hear people say they have no sympathy for a person who committing suicide, it’s a selfish act and why take your own life in where you have years ahead of you. Depression affects people in every age.
A person who has depression will feel worthlessness, have low self-esteem and not enjoying things they find pleasurable. Robin Williams unfortunately was in a vulnerable way because of the issues he had and felt suicide it’s the only option as he felt rejected. It gets me angry when a person criticises someone who has depression. It’s not their fault to feel this way. And as I mentioned before there’s a lack of understanding of the issue. It’s a serious illness yet people regard this as minor issue.
Depression Is A Dangerous Illness But It Can Be Beatable
You may be thinking why this subject matter is important to me and why I get a bit sensitive on this? Because unfortunately, I suffered from depression a few years back. I don’t want to go into too much detail but when I had it, I was in a dark lonely place. I felt unworthy, isolated and I cried out for help as I seek comfort from others. It was a battle for me and I was thinking whether this is ever going to end but by the grace of God and with the help from my friends, I eventually got through it. In a way, it’s good this has happened to me as it has changed my perspective in my life. I am not saying it’s good to have depression far from it as it’s one of the worst experiences you will ever have. What I am saying is that it has made me a stronger person but most importantly to be happy and to be positive around others. In order to have a better health, being around with others is a step in escaping depression as you feel that you are valued when people spend time with you. It certainly helped me and for people who have this illness, it is beatable and with time and care from others you can get it through it. Don’t lose hope. That’s why since I overcome this, I want to be someone’s motivator, encourager and be inspiring to others. I want to display a positive outlook and I believe depression has made me to feel this way. Why be sad when you can happy? Of course you can’t be happy all the time but whenever I have difficult situations, I mostly make an attempt to remain happy.
Statistics and Attitudes Towards Mental Health
As this is a sensitive issue, people may find this uncomfortable so instead of talking about it, they reject the issue. Well it needs to be addressed so people can understand that having mental health illness such as post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder and of course depression are serious illness. And because I want to raise awareness, I’m going to mention some facts and statistics. 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime in where depression is the most common health problem and with a population of over 60 million people, that’s an estimate of around 15 million people. According to sources from Young Minds nearly 800,000 children and young people have suffered from severe depression. With depression, people will also experience anxiety and it can make the illness worse.
Surveys conducted that are founded by Mental Health Foundation that Women and younger people are more likely to say that anxiety has impacted on their lives. Also women and young adults who are aged 20–29 are the most likely to seek help for anxiety from their GP. The causes of having an illness such as depression and anxiety is relationship breakdowns, overthinking and life events that have trigger their lives such as bereavement. Unemployment is an example in where people who are unemployed have significantly higher anxiety levels than those in employment. With that, you get a strong feeling of guilt, worthlessness, lack of concentration, uninterested of life and suicidal thoughts. That the symptoms of someone who’s depressed.
Instead Of Dismissing The Illness, Aware The Illness
To conclude, mental health is an issue that should be more publicise but instead it’s been dismissed. It’s deemed not important despite being a health problem and as a result, people have no understanding of it and a person who has a mental illness will get criticise for talking about it.
A quote from the late Robin Williams says “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” He’s correct. Words are a very important aspect for a human being. The words we say can be influential, make someone fall in love with us or for someone to dislike us. So instead of using words that are discouraging, use encouraging words as it would be help a person who’s has a mental health condition. It will make the person feel they are worthy and feel that their life is something that is cherished as they’re in a vulnerable state. Also it’s important to keep regular contact with that person as it make them feel better and it will show that you care. And when you contact that person, communication is the key. All the person wants is for someone to listen, understand, not prejudice and show them love as love is the most important thing a person can gave. It’s pretty straightforward yet people don’t know what to do when this situation arises.
That’s why I believe the government should invest more of mental health research so doctors, counsellors etc. can have an understanding of it. Also they should be training courses for the public so they can learn more about it and use it to help someone they know who’s batting with this condition. Depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder are mental illnesses and should have the same treatment as people who have cancer as they could die from this. Unfortunately you get the press write detail information in how a person committed suicide due to mental illness just to sell papers despite receiving guidelines prior from organisation called Samaritans that it could be copied to someone who’s has similar circumstances. The press did it to Robin Williams and it was unacceptable.
Although it’s improving slightly, the stigma of mental illness remains and it’s going to take a while for it to decrease.