Bury Everyone In Your Path: The Zimbabwean Theory

Now, this is a full-on rant. I am honestly disappointed with the way that we as Zimbabweans have been behaving. I think this is something that has plagued our nature for the last two decades. Now bear with me as I am generalizing a lot. Not all Zimbabweans who are here exhibit the behavior, but the lack of social justice warriors is making life difficult for all of us.

There was a bit of noise made on the internet about social justice keyboard warriors. These are people who easily get annoyed by something they see and they stick it on some form of social media and express their unhappiness with a situation. My problem with social justice keyboard warriors is that they will complain from the comfort of their homes where they have all the things they need. Most of the time they are speaking so that they are known to complain about things that do not really affect them.

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No place like home

I had a period as a social justice keyboard warrior, however, I tried to proffer solutions or advice, better yet I always try to disseminate information to my friends and anyone else bored enough to read my blogs and follow my tweets. As time went on, I started to realize that there are some things that my fellow citizens of this country need to know about.

So for those that do not know, the last 18 months in Zimbabwe has been an interesting journey. Zimbabweans do not want to realize this, but for the last two to two and a half decades we have been living a false life. The prices of goods and services have not been realistic as we haven’t had our own currency for the longest time, and when we were using the US Dollar, prices of goods and services were still incorrectly priced. Most Zimbabweans do not even know the true value of a US Dollar. I remember at one stage, a beer was USD$1, a loaf of bread was also USD$1 and a ride on public transport was also USD$1 from certain parts of Harare to the city center. How in the world are these three very different products and services the same price when they have different factors associated with their individual price breakdown.

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As a result, there have been strange things going on around the pricing of goods. To give you an example, there a sports club that I used to frequent. A shot of gin is cheaper than a can of tonic water. In fact, the tonic water costs twice the cost of one shot of gin. How does that even make sense?

So we now have a situation where suppliers of goods and services are profiteering from the struggling Zimbabwean. I appreciate that if an entity is in business, then their aim is to make a profit. I do not have that much of a problem with service providers charging ridiculous amounts of money for their services and goods. Competition (or what little of it there is in the Zimbabwean business landscape) dictates that eventually, those guys will reduce their prices because their products will move slowly as the consumer becomes wiser about their spending habits and looks for a better deal. Also if I feel that I am being ripped off by a supplier, I will find another supplier who provides a similar product at a price I am willing to pay.

The real problem I have is with the individuals in this country who are screwing the system and then screwing their fellow Zimbabweans. Of late there have been stories floating around about how Zimbabweans are making life difficult for each other. There is an Engen service station which I drive past on my way to work every day on Harare Drive. I recall about a week or so ago, as I was driving to work I saw a short fuel queue. I joined it and when I was at the front of the queue, I took out my bank card to pay before they put fuel in my car. They advised me that all payment platforms were down and that they were only accepting cash. I thought nothing of it, drove off and was annoyed for a little bit, but decided that I would have to find another service station. I didn’t think to ask to see the point of sale machines to verify.

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Somewhere in the Eastern Highlands

“I am not surprised the system is down. It’s so old and needs a lot of upgrading. It is not uncommon for the network to drop.” I said to myself. However a few days later my cousin then advised me of the same situation at another service station, except there were guys walking through the queue SELLING cash to people who wanted to buy fuel at a 30% premium. So basically if you wanted to put ZWL$100 you would have to transfer ZWL$130. What annoyed me, even more, when I heard this story was that the guys selling the money worked for the service station. Like what the fuck guys? So you BUY cash at a premium and then buy fuel from the same establishment. These guys were basically making money on both sides with no regard that the situation that ALL Zimbabweans are in. It’s not my fault I don’t have cash on me. In fact, the system was broken by individuals who were hoarding cash and as a result, the Banks had no cash to give customers because of the lack of deposits of physical cash. So why am I being punished when I go to the service station to buy a product using one of the legal tenders, only to be lied to and taken advantage of simply because I don’t have access to cash? This isn’t profiteering. This is straight-up robbery.

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Somewhere in the Eastern Highlands

The fact that we do not have the ability to truly show some sense of compassion is the downfall of this beautiful nation of ours. I feel annoyed when foreigners say that Zimbabweans are the nicest people in the world. We are nice to visitors yet we treat each other like dog vomit. It makes no sense to me. The fact is that we have a LONG way to go as a nation. We have serious mindset issues that need to be addressed and changed, and we have to HONESTLY have some national pride.

For the longest time, Zimbabweans have made the fight between us and the ruling government without realizing that in the background we are fighting with each other at such a base level. We are the sum of all our problems and the solution to those problems. I am proud to be Zimbabwean but also ashamed at the same time. The dodgy deals that the government get up to are no excuses for us to do the same to each other.

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Chinhoyi Caves

Zimbabwe belongs to the people who were born in this country, and those who have lived here for so long that they know no other home. It doesn’t belong to a select group of people. It belongs to you and me. The citizens of this country. If there is rubbish everywhere its because we as a people do not care about the environment. It is our responsibility to ensure a future for the generations that are coming, otherwise, we will always be remembered as the generation(s) that let a beautiful thing die. Once we start to plan for the future properly, we will see a light at the end of the tunnel. Until then, Zimbabweans need to take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror and ask themselves if what they are doing is benefiting the bigger picture or is it just blatant greed with the disregard for everything else.

Let’s do better as Zimbabweans.

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US (2018) *SPOILER ALERT*

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Director:  Jordan Peele

Writer:  Jordan Peele

 

Well wasn’t this just a dandy movie! I watched the trailer and I thought that it would be an interesting psychological thriller. The trailer itself does not provide you with a great deal of information. Without going into too many details, the story follows a family as they go on holiday where the mother of the family grew up. Turns out that she had a secret that she was hiding from when she was a little girl.

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After being handcuffed and stabbed a few times….

Anyway, what ensues are a couple of jump scares here and there, with some slick dialogue and some pretty good jokes. Not a lot was done on the development of the characters, and that may have been down to the run time of the movie. I also guess that as movie goers, the longer the movie the harder it is to concentrate. Having said that I may have answered my own question. Maybe the movie wasn’t long because the writers and directors didn’t have a budget that allowed or they didn’t have the content to fill in the gaps.

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Lupita does a good job of acting like a caring mother… not too sure about a caring wife but that’s up for interpretation

The movie is essentially a slasher/survival/comedy movie with a nice little cliffhanger at the end of the movie. The kills that happen in the movie are a little bit drawn out at times and as the movie progresses the ending seems predictable but not what you actually think. The main character’s past is also told quite well and it is not dragged out.

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Lupita’s husband in the movie does a good job at being mostly a cool dad… with weird plans like staying put when it’s a time to make a move and escape

The scenery (or whatever it’s called in movies… cinematography?) is quite suitable for the movie and it is clear to me that they wanted to focus more on the story and some of the killings than trying to hoodwink the watchers with a steaming pile of dog vomit. The score for the movie was also excellent. The creepy music came in at all the right times and managed to maintain a sense of dread where necessary.

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I hope in the next movie there is a section that covers counseling for the children because they went through some horrific shit

I hope that there a sequel to the movie. There could be a whole world that they could create from this movie and it could be very interesting. I hope they don’t hear me saying this, as overexcitement usually leads to sequels underdelivering.

All in all, I give this movie 3 sheering scissors out of 5. I would have given it more if the movie was a touch scarier. You could easily watch this movie at home… alone… at night and some die-hard horror fans would be fine.

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The managed to pull off the crazy look very well… we want more!

 

MISPLACED ANGER: A SHORT ZIMBABWEAN STORY

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So lately Zimbabweans have been expressing a great deal of anger towards the current situations in the country. Now let us all bear in mind that there are a myriad of problems bedeviling this tiny country of mine. As time has gone on, it seems like it is a preferred position to always be angry about everything. There is a lack of positive attitude in our people.

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Zimbabweans should be at the last stage of formalisation but many prefer the brute strength technique

As a people, we feel that the government should be doing better, and we are suffering from an extreme lack of confidence in what they are doing. Confidence is not something that we will find overnight in the government or any government for that matter. I think that the world has changed a lot in the last decade. Believe it or not, we as a nation have also changed in some aspects, and in other aspects, we have not changed at all.

Zimbabweans in supermarkets be like this regardless of the price

We have become stuck on stupid because of the time we spent using the US Dollar such that we don’t know how much USD$1 ACTUALLY costs, there are some who truly believe that the USD is the currency we should still be using, yet all of the information points to that being one of the reasons why Zimbabwe is in the situation we are in now. We as a nation of consumers are only waking up slowly to the fact that there were retailers who were profiteering off us, yet we did not do anything other than misdirecting our anger.

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This butter must be amazing to be this price!!!

I do not intend on discussing my position of the recent SI142 as that requires it’s own separate blog, however when the government imposed the statutory instrument of SI142, Zimbabwean’s collectively lost their damn minds. Everyone was up in arms and were hurling obscenities about the government and what they were planning on doing. No one looked at the root causes of the problem.

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This was a local supermarket near where I live during the madness

The way I see it there are two problems (among many) that we were dealing with. The first is legacy issues. We cannot deny that the current government’s current problems are because of the previous mismanagement. Then there was the behavior of industry during this time of confusion. Industry was putting up their prices in some of their establishments faster than the exchange rate between the USD and the Zimbabwean Dollar. Now they needed foreign currency to import some of the things that they were importing and couldn’t access it from the banks, so they went to the parallel market to find that foreign currency. They bought expensive USD, and they passed on the cost to the consumers. At the same time, we had other shady individuals speculating on the exchange rate and helping to push up the rate, we also had individuals or possibly even organizations that were going and taking loans and going to the parallel market and buying and selling USD. This resulted in most prices in most establishments rising in some instances on a daily basis. Zol (my internet service provider) increased the cost of their capped package from $87 to $97 to $185 in the space of three months.

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A restaurant in Harare during the days of madness

Now, while all of this was going on, most people directed their anger DIRECTLY at the government to arrest the situation. I am not going to say that there weren’t ANY elements in the government who weren’t involved because I suspect that there were some members of the government, at different levels, who had their fingers in the pie also. At the end of the day, there were no innocent people. Instead of taking the retailers (who we keep in operation and give money to almost on a daily basis) to task for their behavior, boycotting certain retailers for their profiteering manner, or advising our fellow citizens of where to get the best deal, we continued throwing our money at the retailers, and complaining that it was the government’s fault. Yes, they are implicit, but they aren’t the ONLY people to blame.

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Another local supermarket in Harare during the madness

With prices like those Zimbabweans were like:

take my money

Recently, Paynet, which is (to my understanding) provides an IT solution to banks and other organizations to assist with the processing of salaries efficiently between the employer’s bank and the employee’s bank. I assume they own the license for the platform or they are a licensed dealer. So they had a contract or arrangement with most the private banks that their services would be paid in a particular currency which the banks agreed to. However recently, it turns out that the banks knew in advance that they owed Paynet money, and basically refused to pay the monies owed. This resulted in Paynet (rightly so in my opinion) suspending their services to the banks. Paynet fully explained where the bottleneck was and highlighted that it was not their fault. The customers owed money and services would be suspended up until the debt was cleared. Well didn’t the angry Zimbabwean come out baying for Paynet’s vital organs? What did Paynet do wrong? They are in business and are not a charity. They have salaries to pay, taxes, licenses and other obligations that we as citizens know nothing about. How do you keep on operating a business when your customers aren’t paying? Do you let yourself sink and keep the customers happy but not your employees?

 

Another example is the issue with some of the services that we receive from our local councils. There are some services that they struggle to provide because the overall infrastructure is so ancient. So most people do not receive council water to their houses (My parents haven’t received council water at their house since I was in primary school) and as far as I am concerned, it is not ONLY due to council’s ineptness (because we can’t discount that), but there are infrastructure deficiencies among other things. We are supposed to have trucks driving around collecting our trash. To my knowledge, the last time that my trash was collected was probably 2-3 months ago now, but at the same time, we have reports that the council bought iPads worth $23,000.00. Instead of us as the people demanding local government (councils, district offices) to be more accountable, we find it easier to blame the ruling government. We should be upset with the local government for going and splurging taxpayers money on such. Some people may chime in and say “Well people aren’t paying their rates so can you blame them for not coming to collect your trash”. I can’t blame them if they do not have the resources to collect our trash because people aren’t paying their rates. Don’t go and then spend money on iPads as an excuse.

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Zimbabweans having a friendly debate

We have to complete our evolution as a people. We have all being through some trials and tribulations. Some more than others. Some went to school with people who lost family members during the land redistribution that happened, others lost family as a result of the cholera outbreak, and some have lost friends and family due to the inability to cope with the situations they are trying to manage and what feels like a constantly shifting playing field. At the end of the day, we are ALL Zimbabweans whether we like it or not. Unless we start to change our mindsets, our behavior won’t change. Other people say we are the nicest people possibly in the world and I agree, but only to other people. To each other, we still behave as though it is a Mortal Kombat Tournament. You can tell by the way that people are quick to pick an argument as opposed to having a discussion and potentially learning something new, even the way that people drive on the roads without any regard for anyone else. We as the PEOPLE are the ones with the potential. We can’t even trust each other to do business together because everyone is trying to get on over the next person. The sum of us is greater together than us individually.

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear” – George Orwell

 

6 Headed Shark Attack *SPOILERS ALERT*

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With a poster like this, how can you NOT watch the movie!

Runtime:1 unpainful hour and 26 hilarious minutes

Director: Mark Atkins (Known for a bunch of what looks like B-Movies with titles such as Knight of the Zombies [Which I will find and watch], Jurassic School and Android Cop)

Actors: Brandon Auret

Thandi Sebe

Cord Newman

Naima Sebe

Tapiwa Musvosvi

I have never heard of any of these actors and never seen them on a TV movie before. However, this enhanced the B-Movie experience in my opinion.

So the movie follows a few couples who have gone on a retreat for people who are struggling with their relationships. Shot on an island (I can promise you that there are VERY few B-movies that do not have water or a beach involved), the couples are trying to save their relationships that seem to be failing for various reasons.

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Couples retreat… disaster waiting to happen

The quality of the camera used in this particular B-movie is unlike any I have seen in a while. Usually, when watching a B-movie, I am expecting to pick up my phone in the first 5 minutes. This movie deserves a special mention as they managed to get my attention in the first 20 minutes of the movie. I was generally intrigued by the effort put in the movie. Of course, once they passed the 20-minute mark, things started to fall into place. The true beast that was the B-ness came out in full force.

In between the shark attacks, there were a lot of nonsensical things that were done. They continually felt it was safer on the seas than on land from the shark (before the shark decided to take a walk on the beach. Yes that actually happened and it was amazing), they argued with the owner of the island about where was safe and that resulted in some characters who eventually became annoying in dying.

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The shark’s head was partially decapitated… it finished the job, then had the nerve to throw it’s head at someone as a sort of fuck you… so rude

There were also a lot of scenes that had my wife and myself looking at each other and asking “what’s going on?”. Now, this wasn’t a case that the sound was bad or we weren’t listening. We were generally confused because the behavior of the victims of the shark attack was difficult to understand.

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Tapiwa Musvosvi – who my wife and I think is Zimbabwean…

The movie had one or two times when the attack of the shark caught myself and my wife off guard. I am not saying we were scared. It was simply a surprise of the effort that was initially put into the start of the movie with the shark. Of course, after they had used the Atari CGI at the start to entice us, they reverted back to the pre-Atari CGI which was to be expected.

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CGI that would make you spit out your coffee if you aren’t careful

Overall I think it was an enjoyable movie. Straight to TV film and download, watch and delete for this one. The quality of the shooting was quite impressive. Usually, B-movies put me off with their green screen location shooting. This movie actually did a lot of scene in South Africa and from looking at the full cast list there seem to be a few South African actors who also got to feature in the movie which is a good thing.

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This is the look of shock that we see from our cast everytime the shark “appears”. Also the female actor spent most of the movie in that bikini bra thing

I give this move an overall 2.4 shark heads out of 6 (4.5/10). It was the perfect length for a B-movie, had some humor thrown in at the correct inappropriate times, the speed of the character development was to be expected, there were certain things that were left unexplained (which is to be expected, but it wasn’t enough to make the film feel like watching a movie trailer on mute) and there were dialogue scenes that made no sense. However, the effort put into the movie has to be commended. They had a plan and they stuck to that plan… as insane as it was.

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More CGI to be proud of. Also this is how a 6 headed shark walks on land

Watch it if you like sharks, watching a shark on land, watching a shark’s decapitated head growing back, a group of people failing to work together to survive, a weather system on this island that dries clothing faster than you can go from one scene to another, CGI that would make you cringe  and watching people being stupid around water and wild animals!

 

 

REPLICAS (2018) *SPOILERS ALERT*

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Ignore the line about some humans being unstoppable

Due to my strong views about this movie, this review is going to be a little different from the other ones. Frankly, I was surprised by the movie and this is reason I won’t be talking much about the Director (because he did a pretty shoddy/shitty job along with his friend Mr. Writer of this bag of poo).

 

The movie stars Neo aka Keanu Reeves as a crazy scientist trying to transfer the human consciousness from an organic brain into a mechanical brain. So if someone dies, these guys will download your brain from your lifeless body and then upload it into a machine. It is set in a future that is not so distant but seems as though. They have the technology to map a person’s brain and attempt to shift it into a robot that they have created, but they are still driving around in a Chevy Cruize.

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Neo driving his uncloned wife and kids

The other people in the movie do not matter because the movie was a mess.

Anyway, Neo is having a hard time at work. He is failing to shift an organic consciousness into a mechanical brain. I think that the reason why it wasn’t working was simply because that kind of thing that shouldn’t be done.

Anyway his boss is on his case and if Neo fails to do this transfer, then the lab is going to be closed down. Typical lazy writing IMO. So as expected, a tragedy befalls Neo. He has an accident while driving his family to spend the weekend on a boat and they all die. He survives.

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His cloned wife. Can you see the difference? Of course not. She was cloned in 17days flat!

All of a sudden, the crazy scientist decides to do some crazy ass shit. I mean, he really did the most. He broke a whole bunch of laws AND cloned his family to bring them back. Yes, cloned them in 17 days… but he drives to work in a Chevy Cruize….. Makes perfect sense.

Anyway, it turns out that the “company” that he was working for were not really nice people who were trying to find a way to extend human lifespan. No no no. They were a typical evil organization who wanted to put soldiers into robots so that they would have a bunch of fearless fighting dudes. Neo eventually finds out about this towards the end of the movie.

He foils them, escapes to live happily ever after with his family on a beach.

So that’s the synopsis of the movie. I was actually a little upset with this movie because there was a whole lot more than I think they could have done. They ventured into the issue of human cloning and sped past it faster than Usain Bolt in his prime. There was a lack of connection made between Neo and me. There were plenty of times that I called him a douche while watching the movie. In fact, Neo’s best friend, who ends up dying in the movie after helping him clone his family, states “We are both going to hell for this”, and yet he dies but Neo continues to flourish.

They could have turned his family evil. After all the swapping consciousnesses and being cloned, they could have come back with more of an attitude, a disease, a bit of insanity. Anything. Hell, they could have turned this movie into a zombie movie and it would have been better than the 1hr 47min of my life that I am never gonna get back.

Now I appreciate there may be some people who watched this movie who liked it and are pretty upset that I am saying. That’s allowed. We all have opinions and you know what they say about those.

In conclusion, the budget for this movie was USD$30,000,000.00. The movie opened to some 3,000+ cinemas around the world and made a grand total of USD$2,500,000.00 in box office takings, the worst that Neo has ever done in a movie that he has acted in.

If the movie was a little bit longer, spent a bit more time on character development (his family come in at the beginning of the movie, die 15 minutes later, spend half the movie being cloned and then come back for the last 30 minutes), and actually did more with the story I think that this movie could have been a good one. Instead, it will forever be that movie that skipped the straight to DVD and went from cinema to bargain bucket.

 

10 Things People With Depression Do That May Seem Like ‘Just Being Sad And Out Of It’ — Thought Catalog

Depression is a monster. I was originally going to go into more detail with that statement, but I don’t feel that there needs to be anything more said. Depression is one of the cruelest monsters that over 300 million people have to deal with. These are just the people that are diagnosed – there could…

via 10 Things People With Depression Do That May Seem Like ‘Just Being Sad And Out Of It’ — Thought Catalog

Bumblebee (2018) *SPOILER ALERT*

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Run time: 1 Swift hour and 54 painless minutes

Directed by: Travis Knight

Writers:  Christina HodsonChristina Hodson

Starring:  Hailee SteinfeldJorge Lendeborg Jr.John Cena

After a rather disappointing end of the previous Transformers movies (in my opinion), I was very sceptical about the Bumblebee movies. So sceptical in fact, that I only watched the movie last week. I waited until all the fanfare had died down, got myself a copy of the movie and sat down with my wife to watch it.

Now I have always been a big fan of the Transformers franchise, though I am also quite critical of it. The first two or so movies I felt had things in order. After that, the movies started to feel a whole lot repetitive. The action in the movies was top notch because Michael Bay was directing them. Of course in this movie Bay takes a producer role.

 

I really enjoyed Bumblebee. It was the first Transformers movie that had more emotion than explosions. The lead does a pretty good job and as always Bumblebee is very entertaining even though he hardly says much as with all the other Transformers movies.

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Boy of the left keeps trying to fill his feeling station with girl on the right

A good job to replace Witwickey’s parents. The leads parents brought a fresh bit of humour to the movie and funnily explored the difficulty of a step parent.

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The obligatory destruction of a house by an alien robot

Though the action sequences were few in the movie, it was still quite entertaining and very easy to watch. Oh and John Cena is the cheesiest actor I have ever watched trying to be serious in a movie. He was so cheesy that he almost made the movie a B movie.

As always the humans gets convinced by some Decepticons to assist them in hunting down Bumblebee. Why we do this as humans and trust advanced aliens I will never know.

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B doing his thing

All in all I give this movie a solid 4.3/5. A decent watch and a breath of fresh air. Definitely not a straight to DVD movie.