WhatKeeps You Alive is a Canadian thriller film that was released in 2018 starring Hannah Emily Anderson and Brittany Allen with it being directed by Colin Minihan. It premiered at SXSW film festival in March of that year with critics praising the film. When a married couple go away on a break to celebrate a year of marriage, one of them is left fighting for their life after their partners murderous intentions become evident. The film evolves the traditional final girl trope, and demonstrates what can happen in a film like this when things are escalated near immediately rather than taking the time to build out a story and characters (In a positive sense). Everything happens very quickly while the characters are still new to us and we are not yet aware of what their intentions are. This leads to some crazy moments where the viewer has to stop and try to comprehend what we have just witnessed! Thanks to the brilliant acting from the leads and the well-written out story by Minihan, becoming involved with the story and caring the characters is easy, and everything else just plays out as expected for a thriller horror film. It is definitely something I will be recommending to people looking for a fast paced film that doesn’t waste any time in telling its story.
I re-read The Communist Manifesto the other day (Well read the notes I made in the margins a couple years ago!), I have to say the 1st thing I thought of while reading the book was that Communism wasn’t the worst idea in the world, but rather it was terribly executed by everyone involved. With the Soviet Union failing in 1990, but China is continuing to outperform the average nation in the globe despite the communism political system which they are working under. They have grown into a world superpower and are viewed as competition for America in all of the major categories globally, creating the nation as the go to comparison for any developing countries to look too. (But that is of course not to say that everything that they do is correct). In this piece rather than rehash the point of Communism or what people thought of it, I am going to refer to the original point of the idea developed by Marx and Engels, we know as a whole Communism was a failed experiment and lost out to Capitalism in just about every metric that is measurable in public life. Capitalism has its own set of issues, now we will see the basis of Communism according to the original theorists.
Over the last few weeks we have seen many people talking about the cryptocurrency Doge Coin, and they have been speaking with regard to the amount of money that they have made in profit on the coin. We have seen the likes of Elon Musk speaking about, which of course is going to drive the price up with people expecting to be able to make a large number of money. Since the turn of the year, the coin has gone from being valued under $0.01 to a high of around $0.72. Of course that is not huge returns if you were to only hold a single coin, but the presumption with the price being so low, is that people would own more, say $100 worth, this would at its peak have been able to be sold for $7,200. Not a bad return for when all you had to do was a hold a fake coin that you can’t buy anything with for around 4 months. This is the case with all cryptocurrencies as they are unable to be used as a method of exchange for a large majority of utilities in the world right now, with Bitcoin being the only one that has some semblance of us in reality. With Tesla now accepting it as a method of payment for its vehicles (After purchasing a large amount of the coin, owned by Elon Musk!), we have seen this coin continue to fluctuate with severe depressions and exceptional highs. But for what reason have we seen more and more people become invested in Doge and them becoming of the opinion that by ‘Hodling’ the Coin can go ‘to the moon’? That is actually quite a simple explanation, it is due to social media and the ability for celebrities and business owners to manipulate the price of these Coins, and get away with because they are not regulated. Since the start of 2021, there have been multiple stories about the stock market, with the likes of Gamestop and Wallstreetbets on Reddit going to the forefront of all of our minds. But why do some people think this can soar, and others believe an implosion is coming? We need to go back to the beginning of the coin to truly understand;
As I started my practice of meditation more seriously over the past couple of weeks again, I came to notice that when we sit around waiting for life to happen, or things to get better, generally, shock horror, nothing happens. This is something that I think is prevalent during all of the lockdowns that we are going through at the minute in various countries as we wait for the vaccine to become more widely available. We are left sitting at home, wondering when things are going to open up, and allow us to begin living our lives to the fullest again. But this attitude is unsurprisingly not going to help us, this is mainly due to the fact that we can’t get back the time that we have lost. It is now likely going to be around 18 months of our lives that has passed all of us by, that is a rather significant portion, regardless of how old you are, so sitting around wondering when things will change without taking action, is only going to extend the process. I am someone who is very guilty of this, I have continued to say, when this is over, I am going to do X, Y and Z. But in reality, what is really going to change? The short answer is nothing, unless I make it change. My outlook on life and what I can achieve doesn’t suddenly take a 180 degree spin because the government says I can go where I want when I want. This mindset is going to cause a lot of people to become stuck and suddenly terrified over the next few months I think.
Wheelman is a 2017 American action thriller film released on Netflix in the October, it was a film that overall will sit those B grade action movies, but with that being said in the most affectionately way possible. If you are looking for a top notch action film, you aren’t going to find this at the top of anyones lists, but when you are looking for a quick 80 minutes, and a strong story, this is the one for you. Frank Grillo stars as the Wheelman and the film is a more gritty version of the well received Baby Driver, with Grillo giving us a performance that is captivating and always keeps the audience guessing and interested in what is going to happen next. With the introduction of his family, we get a scenario that gives the audience something to care about more than just the title character. Some of the action films that released in the modern era, focus simply on the main character and forget about any connections that he may have outside of this and don’t give the audience enough to be interested in. From a B grade film, this is not what I would have expected, but thanks to the well written story, and strong action, we get what I am surprised hasn’t become a cult classic yet.
With Oscars finishing last month, it meant that I now had the time to watch some less ‘serious’ films, that are really just for fun and can be enjoyed by an array of audiences. The first I sat down to watch was Love and Monsters, now this film captured my interest when I first heard about it a few months back, and when Netflix acquired the rights to distribute the film internationally I was quite excited to see what it had to offer audiences. Dylan O’Brien is an outstanding actor in my opinion, and I have loved seeing his career grow since the days of Teen Wolf. So, I knew in a way what to expect from him in this film in relation to humour and just general fun, but I hadn’t expected how much I was going to enjoy the film. The visual effects are outstanding and it is easy to see why it got nominated at the Academy Awards in this category, the monsters are captured perfectly and the emotion that is displayed on some of their faces through their eyes is outstanding and to be appreciated by the audience. The story is of course out there, and not ever going to happen, but does that mean we can’t enjoy it for what it is?
It probably sounds stupid to ask the question of what the Coronavirus pandemic (Covid) has cost us as a species, we have had countless infections and multiple deaths. Borders have shut, jobs lost and as a whole lives will never been the same again, we have lost loved ones through death, and relationships from separation. It is only in the most special of circumstances that our friendships and relationships have grown stronger during this period of such dreadful uncertainty, but to look at this on a macro level, I think is to do a disservice to those who are also severely affected on a micro level. A lot of the decisions made when it came to lockdowns and closing down countries, was made initially with the plan to have them only be closed for a short period and re-open as soon as possible. But instead, in Ireland, we have been in lockdown more or less 7 months straight now apart from 3 weeks in December, that has placed a strain on work, personal lives and our hopes / plans for the future. Some started their academic education at home in their bedroom, others their first job, some had left employment or been forced onto a social welfare payment in order to survive. All of this to go on and effect our savings and every time the Taoiseach speaks about the future, it is with hesitancy, causing the public to feel worried and concerned.
As I sat down to enjoy another Academy Award season, I found myself able to appreciate and associate with everything that the nominees were talking about during their pre-interviews. Of course they spoke about how honoured they are to be there and just getting recognised is enough, they don’t need to win and things like that. (Which of course I can not relate to, like at all). But their love of film is infectious, the stories that people are able to devise and feel the need to share with others is what makes film so beautiful. When you sit down to watch a form of media, you are giving into the possibility of being transported to another time and place. To create bonds with characters who don’t exist, other than in the figment of anothers’ imagination, but that is not too invalidate their existence or the connection that we can feel with them. Much like when we read, we can associate with characters that are devised from the creative genius of someone whom we will likely never meet. From an early age, Spider-Man was my favourite superhero, initially it was because he was on tv everyday, but as I have gotten older, I am able to better identify the root of my connection with him. Over the years I have watched countless films and tv shows, listened to more music than I could ever figure out and read enough books to fill a library, but in general, if you asked me to give an opinion about any of the work I have consumed, I will most likely give you a positive response. But why is this? We are allowed to dislike something that another has created, but I have come to understand it is due to the fact that this person, has spilled blood and sweat into their idea. They allowed themselves to open up to the audience in telling a personal story that they hold dear in one way or another. Everything has a positive side or something that can be used by the viewer and taken away before being inputted into another item. Much like how our ideas are influenced by those around us, all of our opinions on media are shaped by what we have seen before and after, what writers or actors we enjoy.
The Academy Awards 2021 are airing this Sunday April 25th 2021 after being delayed from the previous February due to the Coronavirus pandemic throwing everything off kilter. Moving the date of the ceremony made it possible to allow more films to be nominated with the period films would be eligible extended, and many being released mainly on streaming platforms with a limited release in theatres. Over the last month since the nominations were released, I have spent the time watching most of the nominees and much like last year when I made a prediction list, I am going to say the film I think is going to win and the one I want to win. (In some cases they are the same film, but in others, they are quite different! The reason for this is because I can enjoy films and personally want them to receive recognition, but it doesnt always work out). I have also done reviews for all the best picture nominees and have spoken about the ‘best of the rest’, so feel free to them out if interested!
Over the last month, I have been watching the Oscar nominees and giving individual reviews to all of the best picture nominees which you can find by clicking the name of the film below if you are interested;