Thursday, 26 April 2018

Avengers Infinity War (movie review)

A smorgasbord of too many super heroes that 

ultimately is the demise of this Marvel creation. 





****** Review contains a huge ass spoiler ******



I saw this movie last night at the midnight launch in the Arc Cinema in Wexford. As is usual, the movie that gets the most hype is the most disappointing. Maybe that’s the fault of too much promotion, your expectations are so high, and they can never be met. Unfortunately, I went into this movie with a feeling that there were too many characters and it would lead to the story being compromised and I wasn’t wrong. 

If you haven’t been following the Marvel Universe movies in the last few years, well then it’s a waste of time going to this. For those who have been following them, you will know that some of them were only done to act as a prequel to Infinity War, an introduction as you were. The best three Marvel movies in the last 5 years have been Deadpool, Logan and Black Panther. (see at end of blog for reviews on the latter two). Avengers Infinity War doesn’t even come close. 

So, the plot. The big bad, Thanos played by Josh Brolin is uniting the 6 Infinity Stones of immense power that were created at the big bang. If he can unite all of them in his shiny gauntlet (created by the dwarves who also created Thor’s hammer) he will finally be able to achieve his life’s ambition; destroying half of all life in the universe allowing the rest to thrive. 



Now here is where it gets messy. Because of a smorgasbord of too many super heroes, that ultimately lead to the demise of this Marvel creation, story-lines had to be created for every single Marvel character to bring them to the battle, the need to give them all screen time is this movies biggest downfall. We see Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Spiderman (boy), Hulk, Black widow, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Winter Soldier, Dr. Strange, Wong, Star Lord, Gamora, Nebula, Groot, Rocket, Drax, Mantis, Black Panther, War Machine, Falcon, Shuri, Okoye (Go Michonne!), Loki, M’Baku to mention a few! 

So we see implausible plots to bring all the characters together in a doomed story, with a doomed ending. Spoiler Alert...lots of the above die. Yes, Thanos wins so half of them die and, ironically, this is one of the best parts of the movie because there were too many of them to start with. To single out a couple of good performances is difficult, lurching from one group of fighters to another, but to put some kind of sheen on this cinematic titanic, here goes. 

The Guardians of the Galaxy team; Groot (voiced by the sexy Vin Diesel) and Drax (The Destroyer) played by wrestling giant Batista were both very funny and go a long way to salvage a little bit of goodness. Rocket (or Rabbit) as Thor keeps calling him was also very good. Dr. Strange was really good, played by the amazing Benedict Cumberbatch, frankly everything the man does is brilliant. One of my fave rolls he did was Khan in Star Trek into Darkness. Dr. Strange is my favourite of all the characters. Peter Dinklage was also very good as the weapon forging Dwarf Eitri.

Instead of Thanos killing half of the Marvel universe, they should have been left out, including the preachy Iron Man (played by Robert Downey Jr of course) and this would have made the story much stronger and a little bit shorter. 2 hours 29 minutes was just way too long but that happens when you have over 40 super heroes to include. So that’s it. This is the worst scoring review I have ever done. Avengers Infinity War only gets a 5 out of 10 planets. The 5 planets it gets are for the good characters; The Guardians of the Galaxy crew, Dr. Strange, Eitri and Thor. It is very funny and the special effects are seamless (as you would expect).





Black Panther Review

Logan Review



John The Captain Ryan

Friday, 20 April 2018

Young members of Fianna Fail should be ashamed of their party colleague Senator Jim Walsh.





He hates women
He hates LGBT people
He creates Fake News about himself and rewrites history

NOT IN MY NAME

Who the hell is Senator Jim Walsh and why the likes of him needs to be stopped? This is not Fake News. He has attempted to rewrite history (another FF trait) but has been caught - HERE. He even had the disrespect to change the facts from his office in the Oireachtas! In case he tries it again, here is a little snap shot of the man.

Like a boomerang, S.J.W. comes and goes but we can never get rid of him. He leaves the party and then returns. One thing is crystal clear, whilst the Fianna Fail Party wants to  rewrite the history of the worst financial collapse that Ireland every experienced, at the heart of the party, they are still a bunch of conservative old religious bigots and misogynists.

This must be the reason Fianna Fail keep inviting him back, he represents the real Fianna Fail, and it’s a damning indictment for the younger generation of Fianna Fail members. He is a very vocal member of our electorate, and, at first glance you would think that is what we want in our politicians, but not when your opinions are the following:

He hates Gays - Walsh has repeatedly called for a freedom of conscience amendment to any LGBT equality legislation which would by-pass equality legislation, allowing people a religious exemption in providing goods and services to gay couples. What good is a piece of EQUALITY legislation if it allows exemptions. That’s not equal. Source

"dangerous, vicious elements within the gay ideological movement"

In the midst of the "Pantigate" controversy in 2014 he argued that some proponents of same-sex marriage were "“dangerous, vicious elements within the gay ideological movement”– Source.

"women working outside the home is a major cause of depression in young people"

He hates women and probably thinks they should be baby making machines that stay quiet in the corner. In November 2009, Walsh claimed that women working outside the home is a major cause of depression in young people. Source

Abortion is “dilation and evacuation”

His opinion of abortion is just disgusting, in the Senate said that abortion was a “dilation and evacuation” Source

Female Senator should get "treatment for hemorrhoids"

Showing continued disrespect towards women In December 2015, in abortion-related debate, Walsh told Senator Ivana Bacik she should seek 'treatment for hemorrhoids'.

"IVF treatment should only be "available to married heterosexual couples"

Continuing on his vendetta against any family structure that is not HIS perfect one of a man and woman married with children - he believes that IVF treatment should only be available to married heterosexual couples. Source 

"encouraging gay people ... to believe that full equivalence and sameness are achievable would only cause more harm than good"

He believes that allowing LGBT equality will do them more harm than quote, saying “encouraging gay people and same sex couples to believe that full equivalence and sameness are achievable would only cause more harm than good to them and I would worry about that because of the obvious natural differences which will endure regardless of redefining marriage” Source 
     
In January 2016, he was re-admitted to the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party but has said he will no longer be running. If there is even a whiff of this man running for office again we need to vociferously oppose it. He does not represent us.

The population of his little town in New Ross doesn’t support him either as in the Marriage Equality referendum in May 2015, 74% of his neighbours voted YES – source - I actually have the spreadsheet of every box tally in Wexford if anyone wants it (email me).

"€21 million spent on the 2015 marriage referendum should instead be diverted and used to test homosexuals for HIV"

This was a perfect response from my home town, another reason why I am proud to be from Wexford, especially as he suggested that the "€21 million spent on the 2015 marriage referendum should instead be diverted and used to test homosexuals for HIV". Source 

He even complained in the Senate at not being allowed to refer to gay people as “fairies” SourceAnd this highlights the problem with a conservative right wing party and the electoral system for Senators. We the people end up with elected members who do not represent their constituents. 

If there is even a whiff of this creature running for office again please do all you can to stop it. Let him know that his type of politics is no longer acceptable in a modern society. He can be contacted as follows:

Phone – 01 618 3763 or Wexford no. 051-421771

Snail Mail - Mountgarrett Castle, New Ross, Co. Wexford

Let's ensure he never runs for election again.

John The Captain Ryan

Thursday, 19 April 2018

We need an Equality Audit in Ireland. A blog to your TD.

FACT. Did you know there are more LGBTQI+  people in Ireland than in any one constituency? That's why you can’t throw a stick or insult without hitting a puff! 


At the same time the Dáil is debating proposed changes to the sex education system in Ireland, our elected officials need to do an equality audit of all the State’s services.



Unless you are Senator Jim Walsh from New Ross, Senator Ronan Mullins or that you think that being gay is a “lifestyle choice”, you’ve got to accept the idea of LGBTQI+ people in your community. This means, in turn, our legislators need to address the needs of LGBTQI+ people. But before I get into that, let’s look at those statistics.  

The most recent statistic we have is from the Irish Times Family Values Poll in March 2015, (before the Marriage Equality Referendum), which puts the LGBT population at 4%. This is the lowest reported statistic that exists in Ireland for LGBT people, but it is still enough to make my point.

Therefore, the population of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people in Ireland is just over 155,000. 

The population from each constituency, according to the latest dataset from the Census office in 2016 is as follows:

Constituency
Population
Largest
Carlow-Kilkenny
151663
4
Cavan-Monaghan
124412
13
Clare
112823
27
Cork East
121429
18
Cork North-Central
124836
12
Cork North-West
89080
36
Cork South-Central
122221
16
Cork South-West
85302
38
Donegal
150657
6
Dublin Bay North
152943
2
Dublin Bay South
121176
19
Dublin Central
96307
29
Dublin Fingal
152086
3
Dublin Mid-West
117976
24
Dublin North-West
96992
28
Dublin Rathdown
94472
30
Dublin South-Central
119469
22
Dublin South-West
150495
7
Dublin West
121897
17
Dún Laoghaire
123546
14
Galway East
93651
31
Galway West
154354
1
Kerry
147707
10
Kildare North
122774
15
Kildare South
91838
33
Laois
92589
32
Limerick City
117048
25
Limerick County
83845
40
Longford-Westmeath
120962
20
Louth
150924
5
Mayo
120082
21
Meath East
91142
34
Meath West
90543
35
Offaly
88808
37
Roscommon - Galway
85022
39
Sligo-Leitrim
119264
23
Tipperary
148706
9
Waterford
116176
26
Wexford
149722
8
Wicklow
146926
11
TOTAL
4761865

Back to the main message of this blog. There are lots of laws, practices, traditions, parts of our Constitution, policies (especially in schools) and work places that are wholly inadequate for the Ireland of the 21st Century.

Whilst some give a nod and a wink towards current legislation – I’m thinking of the anti-bullying policies that schools are suppose to have and publish to show how they are protecting LGBT students (or NOT as the case may be) – others simply don’t care, are 100 years out of date, and, sometimes, people are not given the appropriate training and resources to handle the problem.

One area of concern is the number of young people in emergency accommodation. Now, thankfully at this stage, the whole country and their cat has agreed that we are in the midst of a dreadful homeless crisis. Woowoo for us. But the story of the late-teenager to young adult is one never spoken of. From the foster child that has aged out of the system thrown a few bob to fend for themselves, to the young person couch surfing between friends to the high number of young adults forced from their family home because of their sexuality, at the same time that we are addressing homelessness we need to specifically address the situation of young LGBTQI+ homelessness. And no, unfortunately I do not have any statistics for these numbers (because housing authorities do not collate this information). Check out this interesting read from Focus Ireland explaining the problem.


This neatly segways me to my next point. It is vital that the whole country, all schools, workplaces, local authorities, state agencies and departments urgently carryout an equality audit of their daily activity. They need to start collating, not just how many customers they have, but the specifics of the situation. This will ask more questions than it answers (e.g. if the LGBT population is 4% why is there a much lower percentage of LGBT people accessing your service). This will highlight any discrepancies and then highlight specific problems that need addressing. This will then help the budget holders, officials and elected representatives to better resource these services. Wouldn’t it be great to know how many young people from the ages of 18-25 are homeless and WHY.

That’s just not for my benefit, to help back up my blog with statistics. You see, if we have a full picture of those that are homeless and why, we can better address the problems and hopefully stop homelessness for good. Two changes we know are needed is to create legislation to stop banks evicting people and to provide emergency accommodation that is safe and sheltered for young people (i.e. somewhere that’s neither a normal shelter or hotel where other ADULT homeless people are housed). More knowledge will allow us to make better decisions.


So, here’s where you come in. Can you share this blog to any elected representative you know and urge them to have an equality audit performed in their area of interest. It is vital that we get a full picture of where and what the money is being spent on and if it is being done fairly and equally. I want to live in an Ireland of Equality, do you?

Thanks


John the Captain Ryan

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Your security questions are not secure and it’s YOUR OWN fault.

Yes...YOU...YOU are at fault.



(bizarrocomics.com)

We’ve all seen them. Those pesky security questions, preventing your on-line account being hacked. The problem is, most websites use the same questions and a lot of the time, the answers can be found on the different platforms you use.

You will sometimes give out this information for free on your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram like saying...”I really miss the first dog I had, we lost him last week. His name was Wuffy and he was a Great Dane. This is his picture...awwwww. sad face emoji.

(picture courtesy of  Puppy Toob)

Lots of your friends and family would also know the answers. All of your siblings and relatives will know you mother’s maiden name and by finding your mother on Facebook a hacker can find the information too. The most common “security” questions are:

·       What Is your favorite book?
·       What is the name of the road you grew up on?
·       What is your mother’s maiden name?
·       What was the name of your first/current/favorite pet?
·       What was the first company that you worked for?
·       Where did you meet your spouse?
·       Where did you go to high school/college?
·       What is your favorite food?
·       What city were you born in?
·       Where is your favorite place to vacation?

The best way to foil would-be hackers is to give an answer that is complete rubbish. And here’s a great tip, you don’t have to remember all the rubbish answers. Use the same rubbish answer for all the websites. (DO NOT use the same password though).

Just like a password, your answer should be strong, have UPPERCASE, lowercase, num4er5 and other charac?ers if allowed. So, work on it for a while and make it complicated. For example, I’m looking around my desk and I’m going to take a few letters of 5 items and throw in some numbers also...

Cr3!.au36xT5s9t_ipsC68/

Use a word like this for all you answers.

Anyway, that’s it, your FREE security advice for the week.

John The Captain Ryan

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Why mainstream LGBT movies are relevant today.

If you are asking yourself "Who Cares?" read on...




So, at this stage, anyone who has seen my online presence since last December will be aware of the movie Love, Simon or the book it is based upon Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. If you keep up-to-date with award winning movies you’ve also heard of (or even seen) Call me by Your Name based on the book of the same name.


But lots of people, gay or straight might read my blogs (& other posts) and say to themselves...Who Cares? 


The Marriage Equality referendum in Ireland in May 2015 did one amazing thing. It gave LGBT people of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to talk their family and friends. It allowed them, sometimes to verbalise for the first time, “Well, actually, I am Gay and it’s really important you support me and everyone else’s right to marry”. I loved the #RingYourGranny campaign. 




This movie is a conversation starter and LGBT people all around the World are using it to breath for the first time. As Simon’s mother says to him when he comes out:


Lots of people have used the movie to start the conversation and if you search #LoveSimon on twitter you will see a great selection of comments.

This movie can also help straight people, friends, family members, parents and grandparents understand the LGBT person they know. If you are connected to the facebook or twitterverse you might have seen posts and tweets all around the World with amazing messages. Apart from the messages themselves being an affirmation and positive thing to others, the content brings a tear also...





Whilst Love, Simon is a happily-ever-after story it’s a story that needs to be told. As one of the taglines says “Everyone deserves a love story”. Hitherto fore, we have only been given LGBT characters that are either supporting or nearly in the background. They have mostly been portrayed with negative storylines such as bullying, harassment, suicide, murder, loneliness, heartbreak and finally AIDS and death. With every other LGBT movie you are watching them with a knot in your stomach, a dread, you are waiting for the inevitable to happen and the gut wrenching punchline where the LGBT character is dead, forgotten or sidelined. The movie that springs to mind is “Boys Don’t Cry”. Even if you think of the acclaimed Brookback Mountain, we don’t even come close to a happy ending. It is so important for people to see a movie that has a happy ending.


Having director and actors who care about their art is vital for a good movie. Whether that movie is a mainstream teen romance like Love, Simon or a little more serious venture like Call me by Your Name of a young man exploring his sexuality; to see a movie with high production values and skilled artists at work is a joy. Think of the OCD detail that Kubrick gives us, the stunning seamless special effects from Spielberg and the all compelling story from Eastwood.  You might not like the subject matter of Million Dollar Baby but it is a compelling story, Hilary Swank is amazing in it and it’s a movie you have to watch to the very end. (Swank was also amazing in Boys Don’t Cry of course)

People are complaining that Simon is too normal and good looking. That he can “pass” as straight and doesn’t represent gay people. This is bullcrap. There are lots of gay people who do not fit into the pigeon hole perception of the effeminate, finger clicking, flamboyant gay. 

People are also complaining that this is just another rubbish teen rom-com with the story skewed a little. This is also bull crap. That’s the whole point of the movie (and book). Simon is normal. He is normal in every way, just like his peers. He has an idyllic life, great parents, a car, great friends etc. Even most of the school (except 2 jocks) accept him. Yes, this is a little fairytale like, but I like to think of it is aspirational. There is nothing wrong with presenting an idyllic World where everyone has a happy ending. Every other rom-com does this so why shouldn’t Simon have the same. These are two important messages that need to be told. Again...everyone deserves a love story.


Finally, COMING OUT. If you are straight and hetronormative you just don’t get it. Struggling with your sexual identity, eventually owning it and then telling the World is a personal and daunting task. At the end of Summer 2001 I remember sitting in Robertino’s, a restaurant in Wexford with my two best friends. First one, then the other came out. The first person, well everyone knew. The second was a bit of a surprise. I then came out. That was one hell of a dinner. The first person that came out, we met in school in September of 1989. We are still great friends. The second person that came out, well we met in or around 1984 or 85. He will remember exactly when. We are still great friends. I was and am so lucky to have such amazing friends.

Whilst the movie is mostly a nice teen rom-com, Simon is outed by a vindictive little shit. This brings the movie back to earth and away from its fairytale. Coming out is a personal thing, how you do it, to whom and the time scale should always be owned by that person. Most people don’t come out to the World and their dog at the same time. It’s normally done in baby steps, your best friends first, then your siblings, parents and wider World. At some stage you don’t bother telling anyone else as it doesn’t matter. Having a movie depicting this turmoil is fantastic, it tells a young LGBT person they are not alone and it goes some way to explain to straight people the horror it can be.

Check out this amazing story also for some more inspiration.


I just want to finish with this beautiful scene, WHY?...Well until every parents reaction is like this we need movies like Love, Simon.





Fini

John The Captain Ryan


Spyro the Dragon, Reignited Trilogy (Game Review)

One of the most anticipated games this years burns up the competition. ( source ) Following the awesomeness of Crash Bandicoot N....