Bird Box *SPOILER ALERT*

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Director: Susanne Bier

Writers:  Eric Heisserer (Screenplay), Josh Malerman (novel)

Stars:  Sandra BullockTrevante RhodesJohn Malkovich

Running Time: 2hrs 4min

I am a big fan of Sandy B. She actually is one of my favourite actresses. All the way from the days when I first watched Speed and Miss Congeniality. I won’t talk about that silly movie she did called Gravity. That was a shocker.

Anyway, the movie follows a pregnant Sandy B who is close to giving birth during a time when there is some supernatural stuff going on around the world that is causing people to kill themselves. She winds up in a house with a few other people who eventually figure out that if you look at what’s happening outside you will wanna kill yourself. So they cover up the windows and lock the doors and hide inside someone’s house.

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When people are scared all decency goes out the window. A pregnant Sandy B on the floor is just Sandy B on the floor

As with all horror/survival type movies they eventually make their way out in a rather ridiculous fashion to go and look for food and this results in someone dying. As always the house is made up of people of different characters. John Malkovich is the one person that no one wants to listen to because he is a bit of a dick. However, if they had listened to him more of them could have survived. But that is a story for another day.

The scares in the movie are few and far between. I felt that the movie was more of a thriller than a horror. Interestingly, most horror movies are scary because you see the threat or frightening thing a few times in the movie so you are always in suspense. In this movie, you do not see the horror at all… apart from the suicides.

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Sandy B spent a lot of the movie wandering around blindfolded…. Now the internets are trying it

General the pace of the movie is very good, the characters do not leave much to be desired and most of the conversations/interactions between the characters is good. I didn’t feel any pain following them from scene to scene.

The movie doesn’t explain what went down that caused all of this. Some people on the internets feel that the ending was vague. I think a good movie also leaves you to draw your own conclusions. Sometimes being told what caused everything takes some of the mystery away and I am glad that they did that.

I enjoyed the movie and I am sure that it will last another six months in my movie collection before I delete it.

Not a must watch movie, but worth the 2hrs

Tongs-o-meter rating: 6.5/10

P.S. Please can we stop this Bird Box Challenges. It’s stupid and you will hurt yourself walking around blindfolded. Please. Just stop it.

 

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Backwards or Sideways

Happy 2019 to you all. It has been a very long time since I had a chance to blog. I feel bad because it is something that I enjoy doing but haven’t had a chance to do it in a while.

Things have gotten really wild at home in the last four or so months. There was a pronouncement that made no sense made by our Minister of Finance which resulted in people losing their collective minds and suddenly charging exorbitant prices for products. Of course, none of our salaries have been adjusted and we are collectively seeing our bums. Prices in most places have more than tripled, there have been a few companies who have successfully held the govt at ransom and succeeded, however, there have been civil servants who have tried to hold the govt at ransom (most of the reasons made sense, though one of them didn’t) and they failed. It is hard to understand when our junior doctors are on strike citing unsafe working conditions in the public hospitals (no surgical gloves, medicines to name a few) they are threatened with being replaced with other doctors who are aren’t working, but when a company that produces alcohol indicates that they are going to start charging for their alcohol in real currency, the govt backflips to assist their business but doesn’t seem to do the same for our doctors. Sure we can get into arguments about the Hippocratic oath that doctors make. However, if the working conditions are not safe, then one shouldn’t work.

This surely shows that we have misplaced priorities in this country. The misplaced priorities extend further than just the govt. We as a nation of people also have very misplaced priorities. We are all suffering in our own ways, but when I spoke to some people, they were more upset about the fact that this beer producer wanted to charge in hard currency and not in the funny money we have. They seemed to be unconcerned with the fact that the public hospitals were under-capacitated in terms of staff and tools. It almost feels as the though the govt decided that if we as a nation sober up to the actual plight that we are in, the nation would descend into madness. Well, we are already deep in the madness as it is.

Unfortunately, the hole that we are in as a nation is deeper than we realise. The fact is that we do not have the forex reserves to properly operate (The reasons why we have a shortage of forex is a debate for another day.). Everytime forex comes in (be it from tobacco or gold or the mythical diamonds that we have in this country), it is used to cover a gap. The earnings we receive shouldn’t only be used to bridge gaps otherwise that’s all we will spend our time doing. It means that there is no development happening in the various industries.

Sometimes I feel like the govt is like a student. When I was a student I used to live paycheck to paycheck. I didn’t earn much, but I knew that by the end of the second week of the month I was skint. What’s funny is that I actually had a specific attitude to the little money I would earn. I had two monthly expenses which I used to pay as soon as I got paid. I would pay for my monthly transport ticket (my justification was that now I could travel to university and work) and I would pay my monthly phone line rental (I could call people). After that, I would have one or two nights out with the boys and then I was screwed. I wouldn’t have money to buy myself anything nice or do anything other than going to the pub to watch football or going to a bar. For me, that was allowed because I was a student and I didn’t know any better. A govt can’t exhibit such behaviour. They aren’t a student… or are they?

Like it or not, there are many issues that need to be resolved if we are to ever go forward in this country. There are some issues that I won’t even go into because I have limited knowledge about some of the subject matters and they would need their own analysis. I do foresee the govt having a torrid time playing catch up with the private sector because they left the likes of public transport to the private sector, the setting up of the fibre network also to private players, they let a mobile money platform take over payment methods in this country without having any control over them, and the mobile network providers erect their towers around the country without having some control over it. Now before I get attacked for what seems like the singling out of a particular company, please bear in mind that these are just a few examples that came to my mind.

What is worse is that the govt has let the nation become ruled by service providers who do whatever they want, charge the prices they want to and there is no reprise for us as customers, all the while we are being to taxed to hell and back by the govt with their 2% tax. How can this be a conducive environment to live in. We have no real consumer protection other than the small groups that we have to set up ourselves. We have a crisis of confidence in the govt because they simply do what they like without consulting the people who it will affect. Sure, some may say that the govt doesn’t need to consult us and they can impose anything they like. However, buy-in from all stakeholders is required.

At the end of it all, we may say that we are in 2019 in Zimbabwe, but in reality, we are very far behind. I still believe that we require a few things if we are ever to call ourselves a proper nation:

  1. Accountability for everyone
  2. Transparency from those in positions of power
  3. The WILL to actually change the way that we have been doing things.

This year is going to be one hell of a ride. Ultimately all we can do is try and remain positive through it all, tighten the belts and be ready for anything. At the moment there is no crystal ball that can tell us where we are headed. The way I see it sideways seems to be the only direction that we are going in. Sideways might be me being optimistic. It may be a slow slide backwards

 

 

 

Red Flags, Dodgy Bosses and Gut Feelings

Greetings to you all. I am very much alive and kicking before you think that some horrible incident resulted in my deletion. Quite the contrary. In fact, it has been a rather interesting last couple of months. It would make more sense for me to say that it has been an interesting half year. That is the honest truth.

I have been bouncing around lately. To give those of you who care, I was working on a mine with one company, and I decided to leave them for another company. I then worked for the new company (while completely ignoring all the red flags). I then decided that the red flags were too many and I have moved again.

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Now I think I would like to talk about Red Flags. For some reason when these red flags are subconscious (as in, not actual red flags telling you to stop your machine or vehicle), we tend to wait to either almost getting burnt before taking them seriously.

I know that many of us have had a situation where we have met someone of the opposite sex who we would like to get to know intimately, and all the signs are in our faces, but we ignore them. He/she wants to know your family history, where you live, where you work, what time you get to work, what time you have lunch, what your password for your phone is, who your best friend is, why you shouldn’t hang out with a particular person, how many email addresses you have and all of this is information they try and glean from you on the first date. These are all potential red flags that we should take seriously. Unfortunately, we are human and we say, “Well fuck it. It’s only the first date. Maybe he/she is nervous. That’s cute”. The fact is, we need to learn to trust our gut feelings.

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We tend to ignore gut feelings when it comes to a number of things. It is possibly because we think we know better. I think we ignore our gut feelings because we act as though our brains know better. I think that gut feelings are our instincts kicking into overdrive. Instead of giving us a logical reason, they just give us that funny feeling in the belly.

I read an article that said that there were types of companies to avoid working for. These are some of the red flags or signals to look out for:

  1. The high turnover outfit: Ever worked where there are constantly people being hired? Surely that means there are just as many people being fired
  2. The culture clash corp: So this is a company which basically has a toxic culture. On the outside, the building will look shiny and the cars will look properly branded. However, once you get into the belly of the beast, you find that even if you request an adaptor for your office, after 8 months nothing will have been purchased. This actually happened to me!
  3. The top heavy business: Too many executives talking about doing things and not enough able people employed to make it happen.
  4. The “Stagnator”: Now this is an interesting one. There are organisations that do not provide any sort of professional development plans regardless of your role. There are no mentorship opportunities and anything relating to assistance in furthering your education results in you being judged by your “peers” who make snarky comments as opposed to supporting your decision to further your education.

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Now I am sure that everyone has experienced one or more of the above situations at some point in their working life. The fact is that we need to learn from our experiences. If we fail to learn from them and figure out how to deal with situations better, we won’t go anywhere. We will keep making the same decision expecting different results. Life is too short to suffer in silence. There are better employers out there than the one you may be working for. Work must not be a jail sentence. We do it to survive and it is very difficult to find a job that makes you the happiest puppy in the litter. However, the least that your employer must do is also treat you with decency, respect, humanity and fairness. If you can’t get most of those things in whatever shape or form, then my advice is get job hunting. Never settle for second or third best.

Yes!!!!

Almos Bechtold Leave behind your fears and start running towards the thing that scares you. Because when you start to get too comfortable that’s when you’re going to end up unhappy wondering if there is something more out there. Leave behind the past because nothing is going to change there and the more you keep…

via A List Of Little Things To Leave Behind In 2017 — Thought Catalog

Dreams Can Come True

At the beginning of this year, I told my wife that my goal was to find a new job. For the last six and a half years, I have been unhappy with the situation with my soon to be old job. I won’t go into many details because this is not about my old job. This is about perseverance.

From the start of the year, I decided that I would apply to at least one job a day. I signed up for dozens of websites online and I uploaded my CV all over the place. The interesting thing is that I had also spent a little bit of time updating my LinkedIn site. The first three months were hard because I was applying for every job under the sun that I felt I could actually do. I didn’t get a single bit. It was quite disheartening because it seemed as though no one was biting. Ultimately, I tried to continue sending my CV all over the internets.

Fast forward seven months into the year and I had slowed down a little bit with the job hunt. I had become busier on the site that I was working on and had been given more responsibilities that I had to take care of. It did also mean that I was not looking around as much as I was at the beginning of the year.

Suddenly I received a message through my LinkedIn profile suggesting that I apply to a certain role. I didn’t even think twice and applied immediately. That led to an interview and another very long wait to hear back. During that time waiting to hear back after the interview, I lost my mind a few times. I used to get excited every time my phone rang, depressed when it did and it wasn’t the phone call that I wanted to receive. I learnt the best way to stay positive was to continue applying and not to spend the whole time just hoping that something was going to happy. In life, you have always move forward, backward never, and to remain positive at all times.

Eventually, I received the phone call that I had been pining for. It was an offer that I couldn’t turn down. I had to take it, and I did. Now I have a different set of emotional madness happening now. First, it was the fear of leaving what I have known for the last six and a half years. Then there was the fear of stepping into the unknown. However, in life, you have to keep moving forward. Backwards never, sideways only to avoid danger.

There are many lessons I learnt from this whole experience. I learnt that if you want something in life you have to try. Trying should not stop until you achieve what you want to achieve. Nothing in life is impossible. The only obstacle that is waiting to get in your way is yourself.

I also learnt that it is important to give yourself yearly goals. It also doubly important to either write it down somewhere so you see your goal or to marry a wife who remembers for you. At the end of each year, you need to look at your goals and see how you faired. It is important to also ensure that the goals are SMART.

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I also learnt that it is important to be professional when you leave your old job. The worst thing that you can do is to leave your past employers with a bad taste in their mouth about you. Now, this is pretty debatable because there are some employers that treat their employees like shit. It is important to remember that you never know if you will cross paths with your employer again. You may have to go to them for business with your new job and could lose out on that opportunity. It is better to explain why you have decided to leave and to try and avoid getting too emotional about it.

At the end of it all the biggest thing that I learnt is that in life if you really want something, you need to go out and get it. No one is going to do it for you if you also do not put in any effort and try as well. You have to be more like Neo. Believe!

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Wonder Woman (2017) *SPOILER ALERT*

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Enter the Amazonian

Director:  Patty Jenkins

Stars: Gal GadotChris PineRobin Wright

Run Time: 2 hrs and 21 minutes

I love me a comic-book. I really do. For a long time, Hollywood has completely messed up some comics for me. They destroyed X-Men for me with their rendition when they decided to spew it onto the big screen. I mean there are some people who loved it, but I couldn’t get my head around why they would blatantly murder Charles Xavier and Cyclops (I didn’t mind Cyclops’ death because he’s a douche) when they are central figures in the whole bloody story. But that is for another day. Today, it’s about the Amazonian Wonder Woman.

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From left: Random Amazonian, Wonder Woman (Daughter of Zeus), Hippolyta (Mother of Wonder Woman, concubine of Zeus), and other random Amazonian

So, our friends from Hollywood decided to throw this movie at us. I must say I enjoyed the movie. It follows another one of Zeus’ offspring Diana aka Wonder Woman (Zeus seems to have children EVERYWHERE) who grew up on an enchanted island that is inhabited entirely by a race of warrior women. Unfortunately, Captain James T. Kirk finds his way to the island while running away from a horde of Nazi’s who are after his head.

 

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From left: Some guy, Captain James T. Kirk, Wonder Woman, some other guy, and a sniper who has lost his marbles.

 

Captain Kirk seems to have lost his ship, the Enterprise (again) and has found himself on an Earth that he has never seen. He eventually convinces Diana to help him stop the Nazi’s from completing their evil plan to kill a whole bunch of people, after being lassoed by the lasso of truth.

So after having grown up on an island of women, Diana finally leaves her home, possibly to never return and embarks on a quest to kill the God of War. Apparently, she was brainwashed… I mean raised to believe that the God of War is the reason why puny humans are always trying to kill each other. Not because we are all germs, but because of the God of War.

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Ares, God of War

Anyway, Diana then spends the next hour and something trying to fit into the normal world, walking around the streets of London holding a sword and a shield, melting at the sight of a baby and having a mini orgasm eating ice cream.

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The bullet repelling bangle-thingys… also ZeGerman’s can’t shoot

The movie has a pretty predictable ending to it. Captain James T. Kirk sacrifices the Enterprise… I mean his life to save a bunch of people. He dies… Before he does, he tells Diana that he loves her. Diana kills her uncle Ares and does not become the new God of War (which is a shame because I think she would have been a kick-ass God of War). The Germans also lose the war which is the only way that history can be written.

 

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Ready to deflect bullets

 

Happy ending, but also sad because Captain James T. Kirk goes down with the ship and Diana is left all by herself to survive in this world surround by puny humans (Until she meets the rest of the Justice League).

Overall Verdict

The movie was generally enjoyable, with a few funny moments that kept the movie entertaining. The action seems at times to have been put together with a degree of difficulty. It seemed as though the guys who did the storyboard for the action scenes didn’t have their daily drug fix beforehand. The rest of the story is told reasonably well. The background issues are handled decently

We got to see the lasso of truth which was also cool.

4 Lasso’s of truth out of 5. 

 

Shark Killer *SPOILER ALERT* (THOUGH NOT NECESSARY)

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Cast:  Derek ThelerErica CerraPaul du Toit, Arnold Vosloo

Run Time: 1 sharkatastic hour and 28 dangerous minutes

So it’s that time again to review another B Movie. This movie is not so much of a B movie. In fact, this was a B+ movie. Firstly it has a pretty well know actor. He isn’t the main actor in the movie, but he has starred in movies such as The MummyThe Mummy Returns and Blood Diamond to name a few. He also featured in 24 (TV Series) as a lunatic terrorist hell bent on killing Jack Bauer. Jack Bauer kills him.

 

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The most famous actor in the movie

Anyway, the movie’s protagonist is a legendary shark hunter and killer who is afraid of water. Well not afraid, but he tries to choose not to swim very often. He is the only person who respects the dangers of playing with a large fish with dangerous teeth. Regardless, he is still employed by his brother and the antagonist at the same time and sent on a ludacris mission to kill a shark that ate a diamond. Just let that sink in for a few seconds while I compose myself.

 

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The main dude

 

I must admit I fell asleep before the end of the movie. That may have been due to the fact that I had to drink before and while watching the movie. I am not sure how the movie ends, but I am sure it has a happy ending that involved the protagonist and his girlfriend.

 

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Main dude’s chick

 

However, for a B movie, I was impressed by the fact they chose an exotic location. They didn’t find a random beach resort and claim to be in Hawaii or something like that. They came and filmed in South Africa. I was pleasantly surprised by that. In fact, they even went on to employ some South African actors. They weren’t lazy and employed an American or British actor and asked him to deliver a really bad South African accent (See Blood Diamond).

All in all, I give this B movie a solid 4 shark killers out of 5. They definitely tried and spent like real money to make the movie, they got one semi famous actor, they had some genuinely good locations that they filmed from, the writers tried and managed to make it both watchable and funny, and the movie was predictable. Just the way that B movies ever only manage to be.