The Bodyguard – Review

The long awaited sequel to the 1992 smash hit starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner has finally come to Netflix. Kevin Costner reprises his role as the bodyguard as he goes on the rampage against street drugs. Cillian Murphy takes on the role of Bobby Brown in a highly controversial piece of casting, while modern technology continues to wow us as Whitney herself is brought back to life through holograms and CGI. Disclaimer: none of that is true and I apologoise to any Whitney fans who take offense.

Bodyguard aired originally on BBC One earlier this year to rave reviews. Richard Madden of Game of Thrones fame is PS David Budd, an ex-soldier suffering from PTSD who foils a suicide bomb attack on board a London-bound train. He is promoted to be a Personal Protection Officer for Julia Montague, Home Secretary and a politician who promotes the very war that ailed his mental health. She is attempting to introduce a new bill that allows the British armies to go on the offensive against countries deemed a threat of terrorism. Or something like that. I don’t pay attention to all the intricate bills and laws in tv shows. My minds on other things, like food and football.

There is an uproar in the public due to this forthcoming bill and as a result, several attempts are made on the Home Secretary’s life. Buds foils a few of these, drawing him closer to Montague and adding a romantic, dangerous element to their professional relationship. However, not is all as it seems. Montague seems to be involved in several dodgy dealings, some including her bodyguard, while Budd himself seems to be tied to these assassination attempts. Every character is in danger and most characters are suspects.

I won’t give away any major plot points. I do highly recommend the show. It is only six episodes long at around an hour apiece, with the final episode running at an hour and fifteen. From the very first scene the tension is palpable and it doesn’t really let up at all. After Budd and Montague become involved in the second episode we see the extent of the main characters acting abilities. Madden is exceptional throughout as the suffering veteran who struggles to decide whether he can stick to his job of protecting the secretary or if he should care what happens to her at all. Montague is played by Keeley Hawes. She is probably best known for her role on Ashes to Ashes, but she is fantastic here. At times charming and warm and at other times cold and calculated, she is always brilliant, even when she struggles to cope with a fresh attempt on her life.Sophie Rundle, of Peaky Blinders game, plays Budd’s estranged wife Vicky, and although she doesn’t get a hell of a lot of screen time she does well as the confused but heroic love interest.

My only problem with the show is the ending. Amidst all the twists and turns the writers seem to have gone with a bit of a cop out. I didn’t see it coming but I wasn’t impressed. I still thought the show was amazing but the final reveal is a let down. Be warned but have a watch anyways. It is on American Netflix!

Chill the Beans guys

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It’s all getting a bit serious, isn’t it? No matter where you look these days there’s another scandal, uproar or incident. Political movements dominate the headlines online and in print. The advent of social media has driven the amount of movements sky high and social issues have taken hold of the front pages and are first on every timeline. It is truly an amazing time to be alive. It is so refreshing to see so many different viewpoints on many different ideas and situations. In a world where many see social media as having a negative impact on our mental health, and it often does, it also keeps us in touch with what’s happening 24/7. There is obviously an undercurrent of people who revel in just being dicks, basically, and want to bring people down with cyber bullying. They send death threats, actively despise people who are not the same as them and make people’s lives a living hell. They hate that people can be whoever they want to be in this day and age. If you are a man who wants to be a woman or vice-versa, or if you are a homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, or whatever sexual, some people just simply don’t like it. And instead of being a half-decent person and letting people get on with their lives, they make it their mission to go and post hateful things online.
The most sickening thing, however, is that because of the vitriol they spew, these people are highlighted and their points are amplified through the media-verse. A certain president of a certain superpower does anything but help things with his constant posting and lies concerning immigrants, gun laws, and now, ‘bomb’ stuff. There were literal bombs delivered to major political figures, news outlets and well-known figures over the last few days and Trump and his supporters find ways to blame the political side of the people who were affected. It’s madness.

In this current climate you can’t escape the events of the world. Sure, you can deactivate your accounts and switch off your devices and just take a step back. You see it all the time with Insta models. They take four or five day breaks from posting from the stress of it all. Obviously, they are stressed because of their constand need for a certain quota of likes, loves, comments and shares. Some people take breaks from social media because they can’t hack watching everybody’s constant optimism and success. It’s okay to take breaks and look after yourself. But it’s also okay to realise that despite the seriousness of it all, we all lead our own lives.
I mean, look at this post I’m writing. I originally intended to write, “It’s all getting a bit serious, isn’t it?”, and then go on a funny rant about things that are serious that shouldn’t be. I will write that too, someday soon, but this post derailed into another commentary on social media and people getting riled up. In related news, I found out this morning that Ali is apparently being removed from the Simpsons because of people getting annoyed that he is a racist depiction of Indian Americans. Where were ye for the last 20 years! Goosfraba, goosfraba.

I’ve never been enamored by politics and once voted for a Fianna Fail candidate because she was a bit of a ride. That’s sexist, I now know through the glory of twitter but I honestly don’t care. It’s just too serious now. It’s always been serious. The world is too serious. I can’t watch a feckin’ tv show now without worrying whether its racist, homophobic or insensitive to something. I’m tired of it all.
I’m going to stick to the humour and hope it sticks. I’ll be going to school for journalism in the new year and can’t wait to start my career in movie and sports reviews. It won’t change the world but at least I’ll be able to actively turn a blind eye to all the serious stuff. Hopefully. Oh God I hope so.

A Star Is Born: Review

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A bit late to the party here but I finally got to check out Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, a retelling of A Star is Born. This is the fourth version of the 1937 original film, with Judy Garland playing the star in 1954 and Barbra Streisand playing the same character in 1976. Lady GaGa and Bradley Cooper play the two main characters. Gaga is Ally, a waitress and sometimes performer named Allie, who is discovered by alcoholic and worn out country music star Jackson Maine, played by Cooper. The cheek of him putting himself in his own film. Brazen out!
The film follows the romance that immediately blossoms between the two and the burgeoning career of Allie as she eventually begins to outshine her lover and partner. She lands record deals and primetime entertainment television show appearances while he is being replaced in Roy Orbison tribute bands. Cooper’s Jackson slides deeper into depression and begins to lose his battle with addiction. Following a successful stint in rehab after almost ruining Allie’s career in a drink and drug fuelled Emmy Awards Night (as per), he realises he is holding her back. In a gut punching ending he sets her free and Allie delivers us his final gift: a love song he wrote for her in the event that he would ever leave. We finish with a close-up on her face as she looks deadpan into the camera and although she has made money and won awards throughout the feature, finally a star is born.

Personally, I think that I let too many people tell me this movie was brilliant before I saw it. It was good. It was really good. I love a good rom-com and I love a good musical. As much as they tear me apart Lisa I love an emotional ending. This movie had every one of those in spades and I really enjoyed the movie. However, I had read so many good reviews and heard tell of the wonders of the movie that I just had too high of an expectation. The Imdb rating is also 8.3 which should make it one of the best films of all time. Voting systems can be skewed but I would put the rating in the mid 7s.
The film starts out slow despite the presence of some boozy rock n’ roll and riveting French tones. After Allie joins Jack on tour the film becomes more lively but as a result of this it almost becomes too jumpy. Granted, I am being a bit too critical here because at 136 minutes, the film is long enough but still, it could have been fleshed out more. We jump from the lovers being happy and joyous to being at each other’s throats the next. Perhaps that’s a perfect reflection of the rock and roll/popstar lifestyle coupled with addiction and I’m just a doorman on the nightshift who’s more Indie pop/rock and IPAs. C’est la Vie.

I truly did think this film was fantastic. The soundtrack is brilliant and there are some standout tracks climbing the charts right now. The best part of the film was definitely the chemistry between Cooper and GaGa. Lady’s acting wasn’t on par with someone with the calibre of Cooper throughout the whole film but there was a rawness about her performance that struck a chord (pun intended). It also helps that she has an amaxing voice and is already a global superstar. The scene where she is dragged on stage to sing her original song with Cooper that he arranged for her is nothing short of spine-tingling. Her unsuredness and half-embarrassment at singing her song is adorable and makes you root for the character from there until the end of the film. So go for the tunes, go for the emotions. Go if you want to see Lady Gaga’s nipple around halfway  through the movie. Go for the love of it all!

Black 47: A Powerful Revenge Tale

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One of the most highly anticipated Irish films in recent years, this was released in the U.S last Friday. Well-known Irish stars Sarah Greene, Moe Dunford and Stephen Rea star alongside Australians Hugo Weaving and James Frecheville and the legend that is Jim Broadbent. Barry Keoghan, the rat from Love/Hate is continuing his rise as a genuine acting talent and for once, he plays a character with redeemable qualities. Some of you might know Dermot Crowley, who plays a judge who revels in dealing out harsh punishments, from the series Luther, in which he plays Idris Elba’s beleagured and suspicious boss. All in all, the film boasts a strong cast and the performances don’t lie.

The film opens with Hannah, played by Weaving, a drunken English officer with the Irish Constabulary. He is interrogating a young Irishman who is a suspect of conspiring against the Crown. Hannah loses the run of himself and kills the suspect.
Next, we are introduced to Feeney, played by Frecheville, an Irish soldier returning from war with the British overseas. He returns to a desolate wasteland that was once his home. He is met with the horrific news that his mother starved to death, his brother was hanged and his brother’s wife and children live in fear of being evicted from the home they are squatting in. His brief reconnection with his sister-in law and niece and nephew is cut short, however, when landlords, landagents and soldiers force the family from the home, kill Feeney’s young nephew and leave the mother and her children to freeze to death. Feeney himself is taken to jail where we get a glimpse of his prowess as a soldier and his willingness to take revenge on those who have hurt his family. Killing several officers and burning down the barracks, he returns to the house and finds his brother’s wife frozen to death with her young son in her arms. Her daughter is nowhere to be seen, presumed dead. Feeney stares at the scene and we see a hollow look consume his face and then we are treated to an hour and a bit of gratuitous violence against the British and the corrupt Irish landlords. Happy days.
Hugo Weaving is drafted in to hunt the Irishman down alongside Freddy Fox, who plays Captain Pope, Barry Keoghan who plays a lieutenant and Stephan Rea, a translator who they pick up along the way. The quartet following Feeney and his path of destruction are taking part in an inverse game of cat and mouse, with the cat leading the mice on a deadly dance through the famine-stricken west coast of Ireland. Up until the final battle scene we are never really sure which side that Weaving’s character is on, as it is revealed that he and Feeney know each other from serving in Afghanistan. We truly see the conflict that faced Irish men at the time; go and serve with the British overseas and potentially bring miney back home, or stay at home defying the crown and die by hunger or by hand. A line spoken by Feeney in a scene by night with Hannah is particularly striking when put in context with the events at the time and the black year of ’47 in general.
“When I kill, it’s murder. But when they kill it’s war…providence.”

Overall, I believe the film is fantastic. It might lose half a star for Keoghan’s death scene. While he was good in the rest of the film as the young man who has joined a mission far above his station, when he tries to liberate the grain that Lord Kilmichael and his soldiers are stealing from the people it all just seems forced and wooden. A powerful scene that shows a British soldier seeing the error of his country’s ways and giving up his life for people he has no connection to fell a small bit flat.
Frecheville is brilliant as the Terminator-like Feeney, stalking those who did his family wrong with his cúpla fóclóir and his steely gaze. Weaving is equally as impressive as the disillusioned and decorated former British Army veteran who faces a choice of escape or redemption in the final scene. Broadbent is sublime and horrible to watch as the oily, anti-Irish Kilmichael. Stephen Rea provides some sort of comic relief and the true voice of the oppressed Irish, sharing a powerful scene with Broadbent in which he stands up for the Irish peasants while making the Lord think he is partaking in friendly banter.
The film ends on a hopeful note with Feeney’s niece, who was presumed dead, seen on a cart bound for a boat to America. A bittersweet end to a film chronicling the worst year of the biggest genocide that the Irish nation ever suffered.

This film is playing in the Independent Film Centre on 6th ave. if anybody living in New York want to see it over the next few weeks. It’s also on Showbox, for smart people like my friend Aaron. Shnake.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

There have been plenty of changes over the past couple of months in the upper echelons of the company I work for. A guy I worked with on the overnight shift went back to Slovakia and told me that change was-a-comin’. Then he drifted into the wind as he waited for a cab on 6th Ave. The first known casualty of Thanos’ regime. But no, he knew of some changes coming in the following months as his brother is a super and had an inside ear on the gossip. And he was right. A lot of managers and execs left and went to another building management company for a whole host of reasons. Obviously there’s more to it than that but I am not willing to divulge any classified information on this. I’ve already said too much. They will be coming for me soon.
I’d love to be a whistleblower and go on a documentary where they blur my face and lower my voice. Then, at the end, I’d get up and say, “Anyways, sound, I’ll meet you for pints later down the town, I think this will sort out the rampant problems in this industry or my name’s not Cian Dalton”, and I’d give away my identity. A simple dream, but it is one I want to happen.
Anyways, the whole changing of the guard had me worried for a minute about whether it would affect me and my coworkers in anyway. This in turn had me thinking about all the changes that had gone on in mine and my friends lives over the past couple of years, whether it be jobs, partners, education and the rest. How does one prepare oneself for change and then deal with the aftermath? How does one adapt to a new place? How does one allow oneself to open up to a new partner? How does one start over again in a new job while they figure themselves out? Tough times.

New Jobs

Starting a new job is always a nerve-wracking experience. Once again you have to introduce yourself to everyone and give the same introduction dozens of times over. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been working in retail for yonks or working behind a bar for years; you have to get to know the system people have in place and be as genuinely nice as possible for as long as you can. Accept everyone’s help and take it all in. Get to know who the annoying pricks are and who are the sound ones. Get to know what makes your amnager impressed and succeed on that for as long as possible. But know also when to stand your ground and stob being the ‘new guy/gal’.
I let one guy be an asshole to me for a couple of weeks longer than I should because I thought it was all banter. Then he shouted at me for taking too much cold water from the water dispenser, which is connected to the pipes of the building. So there would never be a shortage of cold water. I told him to take a fucking break with the shit and find someone else to listen to his shit. I disliked him for a while but now we are firm friends and he’s my Best Man for my wedding so….that’s life.

Partners

A change in one’s lovelife will have major effects on the rest of one’s life, especially as the relationship progresses. Sometimes it can just be a fling and both parties involved know that. Ideal. Sometimes you don’t know where the relationship is going but you like the person and want to see what happens, which can also be ideal as long as feelings aren’t too hurt when it ends. Sometimes a relationship can feel so real and true but for some reason it doesn’t work out and you don’t know why and it hurts. But that’s showbiz baby. Sometimes you meet someone and it seems fantastic but you know it can’t last because you are moving halfway around the world. And that’s fairly shit. But sure look, life isn’t that short and technology is wondrous. Keep in touch with them.
I’ve been single for ages and love it. I want to live all over and couldn’t go getting involved with a young one without deciding three months later that I’m going to live in Germany for a while. And I couldn’t do long distance. I’m terrible at keeping in touch with my friends long distance. That poor fictional girl wouldn’t stand a chance with me!

Education

This is a tough one to talk about change, really. The majority of young people in the developed Western world experience the sharp change between being molly-coddled by teachers and parents in secondary/high school to living away from home and being left to their own devices for the most part in third-level education. People can still get away with doing the bare minimum in college but further education such as a Masters or a Doctorate requires the full discipline and attention of the student.
I am going to attempt to rectify my lazy ways before I start my Masters but I put the bare minimum in in college, passed with an O.K. QCA (GPA for you Yanks), but I know I could have done so much better. I have no regrets with my time in U.L. I had the best craic with some of the best people but I know I can do better academically. So I would recommend to enjoy the freedom of college but for God’s sake don’t just sink into it. Do your work and realise you are building your future with hungover, rollie-stained hands.

Everything Else

You can literally take anything life throws at you in a, ‘roll with the punches’ vibe if you put your mind to it. Except tragedy and death. That’s a whole subject that I’m lucky to not have truly experienced first hand. I would never tell anyone who has suffered how to go about dealing with it. But all of the above and everything else, just remember that you are a worthwhile individual who can deal with this new stress and turn it into a positive situation. Ride the positive waves, men and women. #Believe #don’t@me

 

The Doorman’s Daytime – Week 3

The one constant thing in a night shift doorman’s daytime is the easy access to programs on every streaming device, as well as movies, podcasts and articles. The odd sleep schedule that accompanies the job is a tad annoying. The reduced time you get to spend with friends is another grievance but once you are engrossed in a new show you stop feeling sorry for yourself and continue to vegetate. Episode after episode is consumed. Season after season is watched through increasingly aching eyes. You should really take a break, or at least use your phone for something more productive, but that’s too much effort. The only time legs are used are to swing your arse from the couch to the other part of the couch so your back doesn’t hurt anymore. Enough about my Tuesdays!
This week, I started going to the gym again. All summer long I used the excuse of the GAA season to not stay active. I played a handful of games and skipped the rest for work. So I decided that enough was enough and that I would eat healthier and cut out the eating out. The drawback to this increase in activity is the lack of time for binge-watching T.V. shows and movies. I can’t concentrate on podcasts when I exercise so I listened to Eminem’s new album.Let me tell you, that guy is angry! I didn’t watch as much this week because of this. I also didn’t read as much because I left my bag with all the books I’m currently reading in a friend’s house after an almighty session. I did use my night shifts to binge a few things instead of working. So let’s have a look.

Bojack Horseman (Season 5)

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I couldn’t remember much of the specifics of the first four seasons of Bojack because I binged them all separately and never together. I loved the show before and remembered the basics; Bojack is an asshole who sometimes redeems himself but always manages to ruin his life and other people’s lives; Diane is the book smart friend who may or may not have feelings for Bojack while being with someone else; Todd is the zany, typical comic relief who slowly develops into a rounded character; Princess Carolyn is the unlucky in love agent turned manager who can’t have kids while always batting for Bojack. I was not prepared for how much of their awful, sad lives that I couldn’t remember would come flooding back as I watched.
It is a truly fantastic show that is tough to watch because each episode packs a lot of jokes and comedy around a seismic gut-punch of emotional growth or regression in a character. The fourth season especially dives into Bojack’s childhood and his mother’s reasons for being cold and unloving. It was tough to binge that season because, while the episodes were marvellous and some are ranked in the top echelons of IMDbs top rated episodes, each one left me feeling emotionally drained.
Season 5 is no different. I’ll have to watch it through again to fully appreciate the season. The writers pull no punches, really plumming the depths to which we, the viewer, are willing to go to keep rooting for Bojack. He is plagued by demons even more so in this fifth outing and his past indiscretions are coming back to the surface.
Princess Carolyn spends the season putting out more fires and trying to adopt a baby. Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter have split up and are trying to wade through life without each other. Todd, now crashing on Princess Carolyn’s couch, finds himself in another wacky adventure as one of the top dogs at a website that tells people the time. This show is just fantastic.
Special mention goes to Episode 6, “Free Churro”. The entire twenty-five minutes is just Bojack delivering a heart-wrenching eulogy at his mother’s funeral. Television gold.

Crazy Rich Asians

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I do love a good rom-com. I enjoy the comedy, the always over the top endings and the soundtracks. Movies like About Time, Me Before You and Love, Rosie are some of my favourite movies of all time. They have interesting plots and are just the right amount of corny and cringy. That’s why I was surprised that I didn’t like this movie. The cast are all generically handsome or beautiful; there were sad English songs sang in Mandarin/Chinese; one of the climactic scenes was so over the top it as surreal. Despite all that, it just wasn’t good. The dialogue was clunky, the plot kind of raced along without a whole heap of context and the conflict between the two leads seemed forced. That being said, the aforementioned over the top scene was absolutely fantastic.
Funnily enough, I used to watch Glee, up until the fourth season when the show about an unbelievably diverse group of teenagers running around and singing and dancing in public became unbelievable. Harry Shum grew into one of the main characters. I had seen he was going to be in this movie and he was promoting it pretty heavily online. The prick wasn’t in the actual movie, only a mid-credits scene that apparently sets up two sequels. I was fully sure I just hadn’t seen him on screen.*
So, anyways, the movie is not bad but it is not a great rom-com. I do think it is important for movies of other cultures to be seen in the Western World and I am probably in love with Gemma Chan so that was a plus. But I wouldn’t pay $14 again to just enjoy a wedding scene.
*Disclaimer: I was high as a kite watching this movie so it very well could be an absolute masterpiece hahahahaha

Following up on last week, I didn’t finish Jack Ryan. It just got too much for me. They kept going on about a second 9/11 and I thought there would be more of John Krasinsky and less troubled military guys. I’ll try and finish it this week. We’ll see. I might let ye know. Happy watching!

Give Tech a Break

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Every week I see a different model or actor I follow on Instagram post that they’re taking a break from the site. They cite the toxic nature of online communities coupled with the abuse they receive from trolls about their appearance as the main reason for their disappearance from constant access. Both fine reasons. Reading through comment threads on any number of sites from Insta to Reddit can leave me feeling numb and in need of a hug. And I don’t even get my arse out (on those sites, lollerz). I can understand where the celebrities come from and I can understand why people need breaks. I once took a four day break from Snapchat and Instagram. It would’ve been shorter but I forgot my passwords and had to make a new Snap. Tough times. The constant barrage of happiness, videos from nights out and memes on your feed can become tiresome and loathsome. However, if we listen to some people on social media we would be led to believe that the advent of social media is the rise of Lucifer himself back to rage a vanity inspired Armageddon on our lovely planet. Articles pop up with thousands of likes on Twitter detailing our obsession with the Internet and our need to put our best persona across and how it is affecting us negatively. That’s right, thousands of likes. Sandra is sat at home sipping on a lukewarm mug of tea lamenting the hold that social media has on the rest of the world while glued to her phone while her husband Timmy stares at Match of the Day 2.
No offense if anyone’s Mam’s name is Sandra. I have no reason to call that lady in my imagination Sandra but I don’t think I know a Sandra. If you know a Sandra and you feel hurt, ya both basic.

Another big argument against technology is the supposed loss of a childhood that children suffer from nowadays. Irish online presences and celebrities have made countless jokes and videos about this phenomenon, in that apparently nobody goes outside anymore and are inside stuck to the Playstation or Xbox. That’s definitely not true in Mayfield anyways!
Seriously though, everyone’s childhood is different. Kids still go outside and play and even if they don’t the’re still learning interactions from T.V. shows and talking to friends online. Maybe teenagers won’t drink as young anymore if they’re inside playing Skyrim instead of down the GAA woods skulling naggins of Huzzar!

Social media probably takes the most flack for being a scourge on the way we should be interacting with people, so let’s have a look at some sites and understand what they’re for and what we should realise when looking at them.

Instagram

Don’t be fooled by what people are putting on Instagram. That is not an entirely accurate representation of their lives. It is some part of their lives and everybody should feel happiness in where they live and what they are doing but that is only a small portion of their lives.
That picture from last night leaves out the pounding headache, dry throat and upset stomach that accompanies the next morning.
That heavily edited picture of the Sydney Opera House or the Empire State Building leaves out the trek of getting to those places and then competing with other tourists for the perfect angle. Not that I’d know anything about Australia because I will never set foot there as long as there’s spiders left in this world.
The perfectly lighted shot of that evening’s dinner doesn’t show the probable worry about the calories and carbs and the macros and the whatevers they will have to calculate in their notebook the next morning.

So please be happy for your friends on Instagram and don’t let their happy snaps and stories and videos make you feel like you aren’t doing enough. Be happy that they’re enjoying working out and documenting it, or becoming a MUA and documenting it, or even writing blogs and documenting it. They aren’t happy all the time either.

Snapchat

Snapchat is for documenting hangovers, using funny face filters and posting blurry videos of nights out with belligerent Irish men singing songs and enjoying themselves. In mine and most of my snap contacts case anyways. The only problem with Snapchat now is that they are striking big money deals with other websites to pproduce fairly crap videos with celebrities. It’s pointless and I still don’t care what Demi Rose Mawby is wearing this weekend.

Twitter

Twitter is definitely the most honest social media platform out there. People bare their mental health problems on there at the bat of an eye. It is truly enlightening to see so many people bare their souls in 280 characters. Jokes, comedy threads, serious political issues, world news and sporting events are at the touch of a button with Twitter. It has grown on me again and I don’t see it going away anytime soon. Tweet away, betches, tweet away.

Facebook

Yeah, Facebook can feck off. If it wasn’t for the memories function on the site now and my need to cringe at young Cian, I would have deleted that account long ago.

Viber/WhatsApp/Skype

The bastion of the ex-Pat abroad, these free messaging services keep us in touch with our families and friends at home without paying the exorbitant costs of a phone with an international sim. The robbing monsters.

So while the costs of phones, consoles, tablets and whatever else continue to rise, we can’t ignore the fact that we’re all so well connected now. We don’t even have to shell out all of our hard earned money for the biggest phone either. Get an aul Huawei or something. Video call on messenger and call for free on Viber. Post whatever you want on Instagram and revel in the likes. And take a break if you want to, and reach out if you want to. Somebody will have a little green dot next to their name.

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Spiders: What a Bunch of Bastards

All my life, or at least as far back as I can remember, I’ve been terrified of spiders. I hate the sight of them. Their appearance sends chills down my spine whenever I see them on television or up close. The miniscule sound as they scuttle across the floor sets my teeth on edge. The CGI efforts of Peter Jackson and Christopher Columbus in The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter: The Chamber of Secrets respectively had me close to evacuating my bowels upon the chair where I sat. Naturally, I can’t count how many times a spider has ruined my sleep, meal or video game session. They’re literally everywhere and I would say that everyone alive and dead has had an encounter with some type of arachnid.
The reason that I bring you this tirade against the eight legged freaks that often haunt my dreams is because I had no idea what to write for this blog. I have a few posts on the back burner that I will write in the coming weeks and a few ideas that need to be pared down. I didn’t want to rush any of them for you, lovely reader. You’re so nice and I would never let anything bad happen to you. I mean that. Whoever is reading this right now…I will protect you. Mainly from bad blogs but also from things like spiders.
I didn’t really know what to write about until it crawled across my laptop at 4 in the morning as I tried to go to sleep. The little bastard brazenly took his time to crawl over the keys, pausing every now and then if he sensed me moving. At first I thought it was a piece of fluff that was being blown around by the ceiling fan. I casually looked down, intending to brush it away and I was met by the cocky stare of an eight legged creature named Axel. He wore a ‘420’ snapback that covered six of his eyes, and a letterman jacket with an uppercase W on the back, probably for wanker. He smoked the last of the cigarette he held in his third right leg and then stubbed it out on my enter key. The smarmy prick. Axel spit on my bedsheet then and looked me up and down once more before smirking and walking away. I leapt in horror, frantically covering my man-boobs with my free hand while clutching my duvet to my lower-half in a vain attempt at hiding from the spider. I ran to the bathroom, dropping the duvet as I ran, completely forgetting my shame. I grabbed a handful of toilet paper and pulled it off the spool in reams shouting, “Fuck the environment! A spider is loose in my room and he gave me a dirty look.” I made a quick mental note to add that into my confession at Mass the next day and said a silent prayer apologising to God. The spider had me physically and mentally on the ropes. It was time for me to act.
Drenched in sweat I returned to the room. Axel had moved off the laptop and was nearer the wall. I was lucky to have spotted him as his body was pale. A young spider, I thought. They really are bastards even when they’re young.
Go tobann, I was filled with a steely resolve. Here was a creature no bigger than a two euro coin and I, an Adonis of a man was cowering with fear. I stood there, clumped up toilet paper in hand, readying myself to pounce. Countless bugs and insects had met their demise at my heel or palm and one more was going to join their deceased ranks. I moved quickly to the bed while keeping my eyes firmly on the little bastard, raising my hand in preparation of a strike that wold be heard all around the room. My mighty fist came crashing down on the freshly washed sheets, sending a small rippling effect across the bed. Axel was no more.
I sat on the bed a while later after checking to see if he had brought any friends with him. The coast was clear. I thought of all the spiders I had killed. There was the wide one on the wall in the living room at home who I had squashed after watching yet another episode of Made in Chelsea; there was the quick fellow who had darted under the front door as I cleaved him in two with the handle of a hurley at three in the morning; there was the spider that I caught in the middle of our kitchen floor when I came home drunk and proceeded to demonstrate my knowledge of karate at before I put him out of his misery. So many lives. I thought of the spiders I had let exist beside me. George, who had been a tiny thing who sporadically emerged from under my skirtingboard, harming no one; the spider with long spindly legs that my Mother killed while I danced a crying dance on top of a stool; and the monster I saw scuttle under my bed one night, deciding that that was a battle I was not willing to take part in.
I threw Axel away, along with his half empty box of American Spirit cigarettes (what a douche) and slept soundly in my bed. That night I dreamed of him. He was happy. He smiled at me and waved, doffing his 420 cap in appreciation a fight well fought. I awoke the next morning with a tear in my eye and had a strange feeling in my stomach that I could not pinpoint. Probably another feckin’ spider!

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Thank you for reading my dramatic retelling of the chilling events of this Sunday night just past when I spotted a baby spider near me on the bed, shrieked, ran almost-naked to the bathroom to psych myself up, grab a tissue, kill the youngling and stay awake until 5:00 AM before the night’s exertions and sleep took hold. Have a great week!

The Doorman’s Daytime – Week 2

The Emmys took place this past Monday and it seems that streaming services have definitely taken the crown for television viewing. Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO swept the awards, the only awards for actual network television coming from late night talk shows and reality TV. Although SNL got a few awards which I am happy about.
There can be no real argument against this rise of streaming. Fantastic shows such as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (haven’t watched it), Barry (haven’t watched it) and Godless (didn’t finish it) garnered multiple awards through their acting talent. In fact, if you look through the list of winners from the night you will see that most shows, nominees and winners are an “Original” from a webite or streaming service. Actors are getting drawn to the quality projects that sites such as Netflix, Hulu and Prime produce. They’re probably getting compensated pretty well for it at the same time.
The irony of it all is that broadcast television just aired their biggest loss of the war yet. Despite shows such as Game of Thrones, Westworld and Succession garnering viewers in real time as the show is first aired, a la broadcast television, the majority of users view the shows on demand. There are even plenty of Irish shows on these sites also. I’ll review these next week.
Anyways, after that diatribe, let me tell ye what I’ve been watching this week. Yes, they were all through streaming services.

The Good Place

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This comedy offering had been sitting in my Netflix list for months. I didn’t see the appeal based on the twenty seconds I watched of the trailer. Nothing was tickling my fancy one day so I threw it on and binged the two seasons in two days. It is nothing short of a masterpiece. Created by Michael Schur, who wrote episodes of the Office, Parks and Rec and Brooklyn 99, it blends drama, philosophical questions, mad fantasy and superb comedy into one unreal show.
It stars Kristin Bell as Eleanor Shellstrop, a woman who wakes up in ‘the good place’, ie ‘Heaven”. The only thing is, she has been mixed up with another woman of the same name who was of much purer character. Hilarity ensues. The show stars Ted Danson as an ‘architect’, or angel, and he is definitely the funniest character in the show.
The rest of the cast are impeccable. Adam Scott, Dax Shepard and Maya Rudolph appear in guest roles throughout the series. Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto, William Jackson Harper and D’Arcy Carden make up the rest of the main cast and while you may have not heard of most of them, they are all hilarious and perfect for their roles.
I would recommend watching this as soon as possible because season 3 premieres on Netflix the 27th of this month. Get to watchin’ and don’t be chillin’ while doin’ it ya sick pervs.

Jack Ryan

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Amazon Prime has been advertising the hell out of this eight part thriller based on Tom Clancy’s novel of the same name. It seems to have made its mark with over 140 countries around the world streaming the show. The show focuses on CIA analyst Jack Ryan who is drawn into the world of active anti-terrorism, showing he is much more than a desk-jockey.
John Krasinsky plays the titular character. He directed and starred in the horror hit of the year, A Quiet Place, but is better known by millions around the world for his role as Jim in the American Office.
The show itself is action packed with many twists and turns, but that is to be expected. It’s not as action packed as I’d like, however. The dialogue that takes place whenever the terrorist leader Suliman is on screen is brilliant and the tension is palpable. Krasinsky doesn’t feature half as much as we were led to believe in the trailers, a lot of screen time being given to the villain’s story.
This show is bound to draw criticism for apparent Islamophobia and inciting hatred given the subject matter. I would disagree, given that it paints the Americans and Europeans in just as bad a light. The world can no longer be painted in black or white as everybody’s motives are drawn into question.
Jack Ryan is worth a watch but I wouldn’t go subscribing to Amazon Prime just because of the show.

White Boy Rick

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White Boy Rick tells the story of Rick Wershey Jr., a teenage drug kingpin in Detroit in the mid 1980s. The film charts his rise from a gang associate to drug lord between the ages of 14 to 17, as well as the FBI coaching him on how to drugdeal and snitch while paying him. The film depicts the hard and cold nature of Detroit in that decade, especially for Rick, who must deal with his runaway drug addict sister, his father who wastes his time selling guns and thinking of his video-store business, the FBI who keep hounding him to sell drugs and obtain information for them and an increasingly suspicious gang leader who may have it in for our titular character.
Hollywood heavyweights Matthew McConnaughey, Bruce Dern and Jennifer Jason Leigh lend the star power to this one but Richie Merritt, who plays Rick, is a future star and is definitely a new force to be reckoned with.
It is a very good movie that could have used a bit more action in the final third, but well worth the money for a watch.

Top 5 Musicals OF ALL TIME

Normally, when these lists pop up on people’s newsfeeds from Buzzfeed or Cracked or wherever, you get the usual suspects populating the article; The Sound of Music, where Julie Andrews kills a load of Nazis or something; Rent, where a load of LGBT New Yorkers struggle to pay rent in a fancy loft in Manhattan the spoiled bastards; and Moulin Rouge, the tale of a prostitute telling lies (shock horror). Not that I’d have any experience with prossies. I’ll get you one day, Tina!
I’m here to give you the real lowdown. In no particular order, feast your sockets on the real list of the five greatest musicals of all time. Don’t @ me because I know you’ll agree.

The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride (1998)

This masterpiece of a film was released four years after the original. It was the best sequel since the Godfather II and was only matched by The Dark Knight. Don’t even try to fight me on this, but I prefer this installment over the first Lion King. It’s not even classed as a musical but with songs like We Are One, Upendi and He Lives In You, it’s just one banger after another. However, the one song that propels this into the definitive list of the best musicals of all time is One of Us. Taking place when Kovu, the son of Scar from the first film, is exiled after he is mistakenly believed to be part of an ambush on Simba, this song has stuck with me through a lot of my life, even getting playtime in bars around Manhattan. Hear for yourself.

 

Mamma Mia (2008)

A musical based on Abba’s songs, they said. What a crazy idea, they said. I don’t know who said this, and I have no credible evidence to prove anybody did, but if they did then they are probably dead now. That’s how stupid you would have to be to not realise that a musical based on Abba’s music is a simply wonderful idea. Those people died. Think about that. Tragic.
The cast is star studded, with Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard and Julie Walters (Molly Weasley) in main roles. The singing can be patchy at times but the film is fun, weird and great for a hangover. Meaning it is one of the greatest musicals of all time.

But be warned, Amanda Seyfried is the most annoying character in this movie, especially if you take my advice and watch this movie with a hangover. I’ve never wanted to fight a woman, but Seyfried came close.

Mamma Mia 3: The Fast and the Fabulous

After the success of the second movie a third installment was announced straight away. Small details of the plot have been released, setting the movie in a dystopian future where Amanda Seyfried’s character has assumed the title of Mamma Mia, the demigod ruler of a world where men are low in number and being hunted. I’m not sure what Abba songs they’re going to use for this one but I’m sure it will be a hit and so goes into my list.

La La Land (2016)

No jokes. Loved this one. Went on my own to the cinema where I worked and the place was fairly full of auld wans and young couples. I don’t need anyone as long as I have my large combo and maltesers on the side.
After the finale dream scene in which Emma Stone pictures her life with Gosling’s character while happily sitting next to her actual husband, some old lady started clapping. It is a very bittersweet, emotional scene but this was in Ireland, where we bottle our emotions. Leave the clapping after a movie and when a plane lands to the Americans. Now, as I want everyone to know, I’ve never fought a woman, but that old lady came very close.

 

Once (2007)

Irish movies always have the best soundtracks, or even the best placement of music throughout its movies. Once has been a hit on Broadway, the West End, Dublin and even in South Korea of all places. I only saw it a few years ago by chance when it was in the sale bin in Golden Discs. Ah, Golden Discs. Simpler times.
It is a touching movie that pulls at the hearstrings as Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova sing and act beautifully together. Any Americans or Irish that haven’t seen this, definitely give it a look. And for the Colombian and Malaysian people who have viewed this blog, give it a look. I miss you guys.