Robot-Enforced Religion: Would you feel safe?

This is probably going to be one of the most random posts I’ve ever written (arguably) and it’s going to involve the use of your imagination. Whether you’re religious or not, I hope that this post causes you to think not only about your own actions but also about the influence of interpretation within religion. I feel like this could be an interesting movie or book but since it sounds like a more religious and AI-oriented version of 1984, maybe not.

The Premise

holy book

image via Geek Tyrant

So imagine for a moment that we live in a more technologically advanced world. AI has long been a functional part of our world. If you’ve ever seen I-Robot with Will Smith, imagine the robots are basically the same as that. They are almost like drones controlled from a central AI hub, so to speak. The key difference being that in this world, these robots serve only one function: upholding a holy book.

I’m going to try my best to avoid using a specific holy book, just for arguments sake. Obviously each holy book has varying sins and punishment. There is no room for interpretation by these robots. They are fed the closest to the original holy book texts as possible and that’s it. Humans don’t get the opportunity to add in “oh we think this means X” or “it’s long been known that Y is an exception”. All sins are punishable exactly in the stated way. If no punishment is stated or the deity within the holy book is the one to judge, the robots make an informed decision based on the crimes/sins and corresponding punishments that are mentioned (more on that in a moment).

For example (and I’m going to make this ridiculous rather than use a real-world example): If it was stated that naming your dog Brian was to be punished with head shaving then that would be one of the functions these robots would carry out. If they witness someone calling their dog Brian, they’d gather enough evidence and then carry out the punishment. These robots wouldn’t be law enforcement or do anything related to society’s laws. These robots would uphold only restrictions, laws, commandments, etc mentioned within a religion’s holy book.

Exceptions

holy book

image via IT Business

There would be some variations of course. There are many sins or crimes within holy books that God can forgive if he so chooses. As such, this worldwide AI would possess a database with profiles for every single person. One of the many things within this profile would be your sin sheet. This would contain all the sins you’ve ever committed. Sins which aren’t punishable by anyone other than God would be tallied up and after each new sin of this type, an equation would be used to determine whether a punishment should be carried out.

So, for example, let’s assume that calling your cat Simba is a sin which isn’t punishable by anyone other than God. This AI has evidence of you doing it 4 times. What would happen, is that your odds would change each time and essentially a dice roll or coin toss would decide your fate. Just to keep things simple, you earn 10% each time such a sin is committed and now you’re on 50%. A random generator within the AI would determine whether you’re to be punished or not. Almost like a coin toss. This is the AI’s way of letting God decide. If the random generator (which is weighted based on your sin percentage) decides it’s punishment time, then the AI views God as allowing that outcome to take place.

The odds would never bee 100% in favour of punishment. That way there would always be the possibility of that 1% being chosen through divine intervention. It’s also worth noting that there wouldn’t be multiple holy books used. Worldwide there would just be one: whether from Christianity or Islam or another isn’t important. If you’re thinking of answering this question, you should use your holy book or the holy book used most within your society.

The Question

holy book

image via ITpro

My question to you is this: would you feel safe? I’d particularly love to hear your point of view if you are indeed religious. If all interpretations that you attach to your faith were removed and all that was left was the holy book, would you feel safe in such a society? Would the world be a better place than it is now or would it be worse?

To be clear, these robots aren’t like those in the films. I’m not talking about Skynet or Ultron or anything, these robots are doing EXACTLY what they were programmed to with no misinterpretation. They aren’t malfunctioning or making decisions outside what they’re programmed to.


Thanks for reading! What are your thoughts and opinions? Let me know down below! 

Don’t forget to follow me on here and on Twitter to stay up to date!

If you have anything to add or perhaps a suggestion for a future post, leave a comment!

Peace!

Advertisements

Why Sense8 is a Great Show!

Sense8, beyond being a truly interesting premise, tackles a wide number of issues. It touches on homophobia, transphobia, mental illness, abusive relationships, drug use, poverty, crime, violence, government corruption, morality, love,  I mean it casts a wide net but not in a way that removes anything from the story elements (apart from a few times in the 2nd season). So for once on this blog I’m going to have a positive rant. The focus being on Sense8 and why I love it. For the most part, I’m going to focus on the first season as I’ve just re-watched it whereas I haven’t seen the 2nd season since it was released. There are likely to be spoilers here and there but I don’t focus too much on the plot as a whole.

The Basic Premise

Sense8

image via Netflix

Sense8 is sort of hard to explain but I’ll try my best to cover the overall idea. The show follows 8 main characters who all share one consciousness hub (so to speak). They can learn from each other’s experiences, connect to memories, experience what another member of their “cluster” (the word used to describe each group of 8) is feeling and much more. The first season essentially covers the group getting used to this new part of their lives. It also introduces us to the villain of the show: Whispers.

The 2nd season isn’t as great as the first (in my opinion) but tensions are certainly higher and with much more at stake. The 2nd season of Sense8 is more of a battle against Whispers. One important aspect of the show is that while there is this threat casting a show over the group’s lives, they all have individual battles to face as well.

Sense8 was cancelled after the 2nd season…but fans rallied together (myself included) and signed a petition to the Netflix to continue making the show. Unable to make an entire season, Netflix will be releasing a finale episode which will be two hours long. Essentially fans are getting a Sense8 movie that doesn’t have to appeal to a wider audience. Personally, I think this adds merit to the benefits of Netflix (I’ll be posting an article soon about my predictions for the future of the company). I’ve lost so many shows to cancellation…like so many. Most of which ended on cliffhangers, leaving questions unanswered and essentially opening up a door in my mind that will never be closed. So while I would have preferred a full season, I’m just happy that the show will be wrapped up.

Interesting Characters

Sense8

image via YouTube

One thing that makes a great TV shows is the characters. Whether you watch Game of Thrones, Lost, Rick and Morty, Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Criminal Minds or Still Game, what makes these shows great is the characters. If the characters in a show suck or aren’t consistent (for example, The Path) then no matter how good the premise of a TV show is, you’ll never get hooked on it.

Luckily, Sense8 has a character for everyone. Whether you like Riley (Tuppence Middleton) the Icelandic DJ, Capheus (Aml Ameen/Toby Onwumere) the legendary Van Damme bus driver of Nairobi or Sun (Donna Bae) the bad-ass martial artist from Seoul, there is someone who we can all relate to in some form or another. Some characters are funny, some are romantic, some are brave, some are smart…the whole purpose of Sense8 is that while all these characters may be one, they are still unique and individual in their own ways.

Sense8 has characters (or more importantly, actors) who are able to portray all the necessary emotions. No matter how tense the situation is some moments are funny not through forced comedy but actually just by characters being themselves. Like Sun who responds to the news that there are 4 guards on that floor with “is that all?” It’s hilarious because she’s totally right. 4 guards to her is nothing.

Unique and Interesting Storyline

Sense8

image via Market Watch

I think that Sense8 really does add something to the world of television and for the life of me, I have no idea why it isn’t more popular. As soon as I heard the plot for it, I was hooked. I think I binge-watched the entire season in one day actually. You get all the drama and thrill you would from any other show but with such a compelling idea, I think it’s great.

One thing they do really well is explain some of the science but never all of it. Many characters even describe what they are doing or feeling in such a vague sense as to leave something to the imagination. So while they touch on theories as to what sense8’s actually are, they don’t go too far down the rabbit hole which I think is important. I mean we don’t want another mitoclorian incident, do we? Or even worse: Lost, where there are too many loose ends to keep track of. I think for the most part they make you feel like you are indeed just watching a phenomenon that is completely legit.

The Issues

Sense8

image via Hollywood Reporter

Sense8 very much plays into the social commentary domain and sometimes it’s a bit on the nose. I think this might be why the audience doesn’t grow. I happen to think it works really well because you feel a certain realism inside this fictional world. For example, you can believe that in parts of the world, being gay could end your career. You can believe that cops are alienated for helping gangbangers or that Gods and religion are standing in the way of a marriage. I wouldn’t question someone telling me that gangs are a problem in Africa or that being a woman in the business world can start you off disadvantaged. It is this level of realism that allows the fiction side to seem possible.

I think they tried to top Game of Thrones for sex scenes which by the 2nd season had become a bit stale. Sense8 tries a little too hard to shove certain views down your throat (no pun intended). I personally don’t care, as long as its consensual, I don’t care who fucks who. It’s a free world and people should do whatever makes them happy. That doesn’t mean I want to watch a gay sex scene every episode.

Drugs also play a major role in the show. Riley seems to be the main consumer: weed, ecstasy and DMT are some of the substances she takes on-screen. I have to admit that I love a show’s willingness to show drugs in a positive light. I mean I wish the DMT scene hadn’t ended in a bunch of murders…but it did work very well. I think one base idea the show tries to push is acceptance: accept people regardless of their sexuality, regardless of their gender and regardless of what drugs they use.

Controversy

Sense8

image via Alta Peli

It did appear that there was some controversy on set. Aml Ameen who plays Capheus in season 1 was traded out for Toby Onwumere in the 2nd season. I’m personally a big fan of Aml Ameen’s acting. I remember watching him in the film Kidulthood when I was younger but he’s great in Maze Runner as well. It seems that he didn’t agree with certain scenes: whether it was gay scenes, trans scenes or just the group sex scenes in general is anyone’s guess. Many entertainment news sites were eager to label it but as the full picture is being kept under wraps (for the most part) we can only make assumptions.

Given that the show is so open in terms of sexuality, it sort of makes sense that showrunners wouldn’t keep Aml Ameen on if anything homophobic or transphobic was going down. Given that Jamie Clayton tweeted about it, we can only assume she was involved to some extent.

I think it always sucks when an actor is switched in a show or movie. Some of the time it doesn’t matter greatly: Game of Thrones or Harry Potter but other times it’s more noticeable: Dumb and Dumber (the prequel). While I don’t think that Toby Oneumere is a bad actor by any means, I think the character of Capheus has changed drastically between seasons.

Summary

Sense8

image via Variety

Overall, when you include the excellent direction of the show and the limit of 12 episodes per season (which stops things getting boring), you get is a great show. I think season 2 should have been a bit more story driven than it was but overall I still thoroughly enjoyed it and cannot wait for the finale! If you have some spare time and need something to watch, I’d recommend Sense8. Give it one episode and if you’re not remotely interested then you’ve wasted less than an hour of your life and it’s no big deal.


Thanks for reading! Are you a fan of Sense8? Who is your favourite character and how do you want the show to end? Let me know down below! Similarly, if you’re not a fan, let me know why!

Don’t forget to follow me on here and on Twitter to stay up to date!

If you have anything to add or perhaps a suggestion for a future post, leave a comment!

Peace!

Scottish Independence: Are We Better Together 3 Years Later?

For those of you unfamiliar with this topic, back in 2014 the people of Scotland were able to vote as to whether or not they wanted Scottish independence. In the end, with a 55.5% majority, it was decided that Scotland would remain in the UK. I still view this as a horrific decision. Do I blame the people of Scotland? Sure, to an extent, but more than anything I blame the UK Parliament. In this article I’m going to cover some of the reasons why Scottish independence would have left Scotland in a much stronger position than it is currently in (arguably). I’ll also look at just why I’m so disgusted by the actions of parliament.

My Personal Opinion

Scottish Independence

image via Physical Gold

Obviously all of this post is going to consist of my own views and opinions. This is not supposed to be a non-bias representation of the information. However, I aim to provide sources for as many of my claims as I can. So what did I vote during the Scottish independence referendum? Well, as you’ve probably gathered already, I voted ‘Yes’. It’s the only time I’ve voted and it could very well be the only time I ever vote. But I wasn’t always a supporter of the yes campaign. During my first or second year at university when the Scottish independence referendum was first picking up steam, I was a strong no voter. I chose to write several essays on the topic as part of my course in an effort to express how strongly against leaving the UK I was.

Within those couple of years though, my interest in politics grew, as did my hatred for the UK political system. The more I discovered, the less I trusted this society we live in. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a pretty great place to live but the politics are a joke. I mean you can take a look at the petition system which is nothing more than a mock system designed to make “the people” feel like they can create change with a simple signature which is bullshit.

By the time 2015 came around, I couldn’t have had a stronger opinion than my views on why Scottish independence was the best move for everyone. Arguments I’d made in the past about why Scotland should stay soon seemed miniscule in comparison to those for leaving. I watched as friends and family fell for the deceptions of the UK government and I could only watch in horror as the final votes were counted showing the slight majority for the “better together” campaign. Speaking of which…

The Campaign

Scottish Independence

image via NewsWeek

One thing that annoyed me the most about this campaign was the involvement of England. To be more specific: London (to be even more specific, the Westminster). One of my biggest problems with being connected to the UK parliament is that everything goes through it one way or another. We have a bunch of upper-class space cadets who have zero experience in the real world, all lack a mind of their own and are most of all: hypocrites. It says a lot that many of the people in power in the UK went to school together. MPs over the last decade have avoided tax, claimed for multiple houses, claimed expenses for holidays and pushed for their own pay rises during times of crisis and austerity.

If only that was all they had done…Reports have found that cocaine use in parliament is a real issue. Yet MPs won’t even turn up for a debate regarding the legalisation of cannabis because “drugs are bad, m’kay”. So you can imagine my annoyance when the independence referendum outcome was flipped by two major factors: TV bias and false promises.

We’ll take a look at the first of these two now. During the Scottish independence referendum, there was undoubtedly a bias within media coverage. BBC, a network that claims to be impartial was found to be giving the no campaign an unfair advantage. In fact, a study of both ITV (STV) and the BBC found that during the Scottish independence referendum, both of these outlets favoured the no campaign by allowing more coverage of that side. I remember reading a report at the time which I believe claimed that the divide was something like 33.3% to the yes campaign and 66.6% to the no campaign (I’ve been unable to find that statistic so don’t take my word for it).

Interestingly, this distrust in the UK media hasn’t changed in Scotland. Research finds that Scottish people still don’t feel like their side of the news is reported impartially, particularly in relation to Scotland vs UK news.

The Vow

Scottish Independence

image via The National

You’re perhaps wondering what “The Vow” is. Well, during the referendum when the polls were showing a tie for the votes of Scottish people, David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg all signed “The Vow”. This was an agreement or pledge that if the people of Scotland voted to remain in the UK, parliament would respond in kind by granting the Scottish Parliament more powers and a fairer share of resources. Not only is the entire thing patronising but it also directs a spotlight towards the lack of power that Scotland already had at this point. Why should a parliament of a country have to threaten to leave in order to get power over its own country and a fair share of resources? At the time most people were sceptical because if governments are known for one thing: it’s going back on promises.

It’s been three years since the Scottish independence referendum and the government hasn’t made any steps towards keeping this promise. It doesn’t help that David Cameron quit after the EU referendum (another issue we will look at) but a deal is a deal. Interestingly, a poll has found that only 9% of Scots believe that this deal has been kept with 22% believing that none of the promises have been delivered.

The general distrust towards this vow may lead you to believe that it wouldn’t sway many people. Yet the polls suggest that it did and certainly the outcome of the vote itself is evidence of this. Only 3.3% of Scottish people needed to believe that this vow would lead to a desirable outcome. Considering how many people were on the fence on the run up to the vote, it’s hardly surprising that this would get the no campaign the votes it needed.

The Crumbling of the UK (and Scotland along with it)

Scottish Independence

image via Daily Star

Regardless of your views towards the Scottish Independence referendum or the EU vote, it’s not exactly shocking to learn that the UK is in a downward spiral. The value of the GBP has been dropping fairly consistently since 2007/8. Obviously this varies a little depending on your choice of comparison. For example, when comparing the pound to the Euro, you find a similar drop with the only difference being a peak in 2015 before dropping again. The NHS is in crisis while companies such as Amazon, Google and Facebook actually pay less than half the tax of more traditional companies. It’s estimated that multinational companies avoid paying as much as £5.8bn to the UK in tax.

Crime in the UK is on the rise so it may also shock you that the UK police budget is expected to lose £700m by 2020 along with up to 22,000 jobs! London, the centre of the UK (not geographically…obviously) and the home of Parliament now has a higher homicide rate than New York City. This is due in part to the reduced police presence as a result of budget cuts. So crime is on the rise, the hospitals and healthcare systems are failing, the police force is being shrunk and the UK currency is fragile and drastically lower in value than a decade ago. At least we have the EU, right? Wrong.

The EU Vote = A Slap in the Face for Scotland

Scottish Independence

image via Economist

One major, major reason people voted to remain in the UK during the Scottish independence referendum was the EU. Threats from the no campaign included tweets such as “What is the process for removing our EU citizenship? Voting yes.” David Cameron himself made the claim that the only way Scotland could protect its EU membership was to reject independence. Some of the biggest and most influential arguments against Scottish independence offered by the no campaign included: Scotland would have to leave the EU and reapply; Scotland wouldn’t be able to use the pound; Scotland would lose access to services offered as part of the UK (including NHS connections). All things that seem more like a positive now, in comparison. The idea of an EU referendum hadn’t been mentioned prior to the Scottish independence vote.

So you can imagine the shock to the Scots when A) the possibility of leaving the EU is announced as an option and B) after 62% of Scotland voting to remain, being told that because we’re part of the UK, the actions of the country include Scotland and the EU vote isn’t a just cause for a 2nd Indy Ref. It’s worth noting that Northern Ireland also voted to remain in the EU. With less than one year left until the UK officially leaves the EU, I find it troubling how little has been resolved so far. Even more so considering I don’t live in the UK anymore and could very well be forced to return when free roaming is no longer an option for UK citizens.

So you can probably see why I’ve described this move as a slap in the face for Scotland and for Scottish Independence. We aren’t even finished yet and so far we’ve covered the bias news coverage, the broken promises of Westminster and the dissolving of all major arguments for remaining in the UK. This goes a step further when we look at Brexit negotiations where 90% of business owners don’t trust the government to secure the best deal for Scotland.

Renewable Energy

Scottish Independence

image via Caledonian Mercury

If you know nothing else about Scotland, you should at least be familiar with the weather: it’s windy and wet as fuck! Out of all the countries in the UK, Scotland is number 1 for producing green energy. In 2015 Scotland produced 97% of its household electricity needs through wind energy. Just a few days ago it was revealed that Scotland produces two-thirds of its energy (68.1%) through green schemes. Officials even stated that this is 45 points higher than the rest of the UK. One of the threats  made during the referendum was that independence would put a halt on the UK’s production of green energy.

Yet back in 2015 it came to light that windfarm subsidies to Scotland would end, putting not only the green energy production of the country at risk, but also further damaging the country’s economy. It seems that this hasn’t been the case or at the very least hasn’t had a lasting impact. However, the impending threat of cuts as a result of the UK government will continue and their general disregard for the people of Scotland will become more apparent.

The Traitors of Scotland

Scottish Independence

image via Outlandish Observations

When I talk about traitors here, I’m not referring to people who voted differently from me. They have a right to vote for the outcome they believe is best. Maybe their vote was right. But one thing that stood out during the referendum in 2014 were major companies threatening to leave if the people voted for Scottish Independence. Shipping companies (particularly ship building companies in Glasgow) and banks (such as the Royal Bank of Scotland) were among those readying themselves for a move. Many viewed this as an empty threat but with RBS making the same threat during the EU referendum and now considering a move to the Netherlands. The company which is continuously being investigated for shady dealings as part of the HSBC network should do us all a favour and fuck off already.

Why do these companies annoy me? Well, you can’t claim to be fighting for the people of Scotland but then threaten to cut thousands of jobs if things don’t go your way during the Scottish Independence referendum. From a company perspective, I understand that but you can’t fight on both sides. The no campaign stated “by working together as part of the UK we can ensure the future of Scotland’s shipbuilding industry” and yet just a year later the project was reduced and then ultimately delayed indefinitely. It’s even been stated that the future of Scotland’s shipbuilding is unclear. This brings to question people like Ruth Davidson who push every single one of the arguments at the time of the referendum.

I can’t help but view this as yet another sign that Scottish independence wouldn’t have made any difference to the threats that were made back in 2014.

Scotland as a Society

Scottish Independence

image via Hill Walk Tours

I won’t go into too much detail in this section because I covered my views on the dangers of alcohol and the benefits of weed (both to the individual and the society as a whole) in a separate post. I will however cover how these views relate to Scottish independence. You see, as much as Scotland has its own parliament, it still has to go through Westminster for most decisions. The increased powers promised to Scotland by David Cameron and his merry men would have given Scotland more freedom. As this didn’t happen, neither has the freedom (not in a Braveheart sense of the word).

The SNP voted in favour of moving to decriminalise medicinal cannabis use back in 2016. In my eyes, this is a great step towards eventual legalisation. Yet the Home Office ruled against such action. The Home Office is another aspect of government that hinders progress in Scotland (whether you view such progress as positive or negative is up to you). This isn’t the first time that this has happened in recent years either with plans for safe drug consumption facilities being shut down. These plans would have helped contain the spreading of HIV in cities such as Glasgow which is a direct result of unsafe drug use.

Of course you get the lap dogs of Parliament jumping at the bit to criticise every move made by Scotland. Such as the Express which claims that marijuana use in Scotland is a real problem. Not the drinking, smoking or other drugs which actually kill people. They decide to focus on the minority consumption of dangerously strong weed strains. Can weed be harmful? Sure…yet notice how even the most harmful weed isn’t as dangerous as the legal drugs. But I’m getting off topic here.

Would Independence Really Be Any Better?

Scottish Independence

image via CityAM

It’s all well and good to say X would have happened or Y would have been different if Scottish independence had been given a yes vote but the truth of the matter is that I’m not a fortune teller. None of us are. You’ll find so many differing opinions in relation to the initial independence referendum, whether there should be another, Scotland’s place in the EU, Etc. I’m not here to claim that I know more than anyone else, I don’t. In fact when it comes to figures, I know very little. So let’s instead focus on the absolute truths:

  • The Vow made by David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband has not been met;
  • Threats made by the “Better Together” campaign have come true despite the majority of Scotland voting to remain in the UK, including (but not limited to) losing EU membership, a failing currency, damage to the economy, etc.
  • The inability of Scotland’s government to make major decisions impacts not only the economy in Scotland but also the health of those living there. Without such powers, Scotland’s growth will be limited to whatever Westminster allows.

So no, Scottish independence may have failed miserably and when the divide between of a country is 50/50, there are always going to be disappointed people. However, in my opinion I firmly believe that the people of Scotland made a horrible decision in 2014 by voting to remain part of the UK. The continued faith in a failing government is something I can’t wrap my head around and as such, I’m glad that I don’t have to play a role in the continued downfall of an upper-class controlled country that allows backwards thinkers to make all the decisions.


Thanks for reading! Did you find this Scottish independence post informative or do you think my opinion isn’t supported by evidence? Let me know down below! 

Don’t forget to follow me on here and on Twitter to stay up to date!

If you have anything to add or perhaps a suggestion for a future post, leave a comment!

Peace!

The Importance of Free Speech and the Death of Comedy

With the recent news that a man in the UK has been charged for teaching his dog to do a Roman salute (perhaps more commonly known as a Nazi salute) and reporters such as Lauren Southern being denied entry to the UK for criticizing Islam, I think now more than ever it is important to discuss why being able to say whatever the fuck you want is essential. Before we jump right in, it’s important to acknowledge one thing: I’m not encouraging anyone to be offensive. There is a HUGE difference between thinking someone should be able to say anything and actually pushing hatred, violence, racism, sexism, etc. None of the people I mention in this post have pushed any of these things. Just to clear that up at the start!

Why Does It Matter?

Free speech

image via Relaxed Focus

You may be wondering what difference it makes. Perhaps you’re even thinking that if somebody is offensive, they should be charged. Let me explain why that idea is moronic. For starters, where do we draw the line? Can anybody just come forward and claim to be offended? Can I get someone charged if they leave a mean comment on my blog? What if they name their dog Jesus and I’m a die-hard Christian, can I get them charged? What if I believe unicorns rule the world and someone criticizes my belief system? You may be thinking that these examples aren’t comparable to a dog doing a trick…so let’s discuss that.

What the fuck is offensive about a dog doing a Nazi salute. Do you want to know which comedians have done Nazi salutes in the past?  A fuck ton of them! When I take a look at some of my favourite comedians or comedy groups (such as Billy Connolly or Monty Python) I can think of several examples where a Nazi salute has been done for comedic effect. Now, if you’re training your dog to do that and then running into synagogues with your Nazi uniform and Hitler mustache -wearing dog, then I can see why that could create a problem. That’s a bit different from a dog being taught it to annoy the owner’s girlfriend. I mean sure, the video was on YouTube…but there are videos on YouTube far more offensive than that. There used to be a Jim Jeffries video on YouTube where he calls his microphone Muhammad and claims it’s a gay microphone. Yet I guarantee that he isn’t getting charged over it.

The Death of Comedy

Free speech

image via Chucks-Fun.Blogspot

You may think that comedy is simply a form of entertainment. When you need a laugh, that’s what you go for. But for decades now it’s comedians who have highlighted aspects of our society that are fucked up. Quite often we find comedians entertaining because they say some of the things we’ve been thinking. They can offer a social commentary unlike any other media outlet and also…they are funny (I mean that is their job). There are times when you laugh even though you know what you’re laughing at is offensive as hell…but so what? You’re not signing up to the KKK or joining a Hitler fan club, you’re watching a comedian in an environment where you’re simply trying to laugh. Is that such a crime? Being offensive isn’t on the same level as being evil or a criminal. Have we as a society forgotten that?

If we start censoring the jokes that comedians can tell then (and I hate when people say this because it always seems to over-dramatic but…) we’re one step away from 1984. If journalists can’t criticise religions then how long until the general public can’t? How long before we have to accept every aspect of every religion? It’s apparently not offensive to tell someone that they are going to burn in hell for all eternity for being a sinning piece of shit…but if you say that the Bible is immoral or that Muhammad consummating his marriage to a 9 year old is sick then suddenly your “crossing a line”. Is that really the path we want to go down? Banning journalists form your country in order to protect people’s feelings is fucking stupid!

Once the Greatest, Now the Most Criminal

Free speech

image via Imgur

One major aspect of this that worries me is that many of the greatest comedians of all time are offensive. Don’t believe me? The Rolling Stone website listed the ‘Top 50 Best Stand Up Comics of All Time’ and despite the fact that I’ve only watched about half the comedians, I know that 8 of the top 20 are offensive. I don’t mean that they may be offensive to some people. The 8 I am referring to are brutal! I mean take a look at the list for yourself and tell me that many, if not most of these comedians are offensive. Are we seriously suggesting that the road we want to go down is one that turns these people into criminals?

I know, I know, I’m perhaps sounding a bit on the crazy side.  The truth is that being offended is entirely subjective. What offends you might not offend me and so how are we supposed to live in a world where being offended trumps everything else? Soon we’ll all be scared to leave the house out of fear that our presence alone might offend someone. Courts will be convened to determine who is the MOST offended in order to press charges. We’ll have prisons set up entirely for offenders (pun!). We’re creating a society of fragile glass people who crack from opposing opinions.

Ricky Gervais: Humanity

Free speech

image via Google

I started writing this post before watching Humanity but now that I’ve seen it, I feel like I have to include a small section in here to highlight some aspects of it. Ricky Gervais is outrageous, he’s famous for it. His hosting of the Golden Globes made it spectacular but also sparked controversy. He made a joke regarding Caitlyn Jenner. He wasn’t being transphobic in the slightest (if anything he was being entirely respectful of her transition) but was instead using stereotypes surrounding women drivers. I won’t write the full joke but after highlighting how brave Caitlyn Jenner is and complimenting all of her successes over the years, Ricky Gervais goes on to say “she didn’t do much for women drivers”. In case you didn’t know, she hit someone with her car and they died.

I was completely unaware that Humanity had been slated for its offensive nature when I started watching it. My first question would be: why would someone who is easily offended watch a comedian who you know for a fact is going to be offensive? Anyway, a lot of the criticism was based around Gervais being transphobic, racist, sexist, etc. Did he perhaps take a few low blows? Sure…but he also manages to make an incredibly valid point within his stand-up: If you label people like him transphobic for making a joke about a trans person (NOT about the fact that they are trans or anything related to their previous gender), you take away meaning behind the word and as such, people who genuinely are disgustingly transphobic get grouped in with comedians. It’s sort of like calling some who smokes a joint every once in a while a drug addict.

What you have to take into account is that 1) We have no control over what we find funny. Why do we find people taking a shot to the nuts funny? It’s fucking agony and can cause serious damage. Yet when you see it happen, you laugh. 2) Comedians wouldn’t be comedians if they didn’t have an audience so don’t watch their shows, don’t watch their interviews, don’t tweet about them, write about them, see any films their in…if they lose an audience, they’ll stop. So if you don’t find a comedian funny, there is your solution! 3) You are allowed to be offended but you don’t have to ruin the enjoyment for others. There are plenty of comedians who have entire bits making fun of Scottish people and Scottish culture but I don’t start a petition to have them jailed because of it. Hell, some of them are hilarious!

Context is VITAL!

Free speech

image via WFL Atheism

One aspect of comedy that everyone seems to forget is the context. You don’t go to see a comedian because they are kick-starting a hate group or because you want to devote your life to their teachings. You go to see comedy to laugh and as such, anything you hear or see is designed to achieve that outcome.

Take, for example, the detaining and banning of Lauren Southern and her “accomplices” from the UK under the terrorism act. If you went by the reports of “the law”, she is banned entry for distributing racist material. Firstly, you’re not racist for commenting on a religion. I’m not racist for saying Jesus looked like a weed smoking hippy! Secondly, her flyers simply said “Allah is gay”. Now obviously, these are meant to be provocative, despite what anyone may say. They knew there would be a reaction from these fliers which was the entire point of the exercise.

However, you have to consider the context as well. Southern and her team were carrying out a “social experiment” in an effort to highlight that Islam and LGBT don’t go hand in hand, despite what many claim. By calling Allah gay and getting a reaction (you can find the video here) they believe they proved their point. For the record, I don’t have a dog in this fight. I think there are always going to be consequences when you’re intentionally provocative. That being said, banning a respectable journalist from the country for it is ridiculous and beyond unreasonable. This stunt may have been a bit “on the line” but Lauren Southern as a reporter does an excellent job of providing a non-mainstream news outlet. Something the UK is in DESPERATE need of (I’m looking at you BBC).

Feelings>Freedom

Free speech

image via Slap the Stupid

Once again let me just reiterate that I’m not condoning randomly shouting abuse at people. When I say that freedom of speech is essential, there can be consequences. To use the Lauren Southern example, I think it’s completely fair to put an end to their experiment for the sake of public safety. The police have the right to do that and given the situation, I think that it was understandable. Similarly with Count Dankula and his Nazi saluting dog, I think it’s more than fair to remove the video from YouTube, perhaps (and this is a stretch) give him a warning of some sort…but charging him with a hate crime which could potentially result in a prison sentence? No. If he was doing the same thing in Germany, that would be a completely different story…but in Scotland? Fuck off!

Why is it that religious freedom is now more accepted than any other freedom? I’ve been told that I’m going to hell on several occasions. I’ve seen signs from several different faiths claiming that homosexuals are sinners (and will burn in hell for all eternity) and that those who don’t believe in, follow and worship [insert some irrelevant deity here] will also…you guessed it…burn in hell. Calling someone gay is now classed as inciting hatred, being racist and an act of “right wing terrorism” for some fucked up reason. I have to say that if I was religious, I’d be a lot more offended by someone telling me my God was a lie and that I was going to be tortured for all eternity for it than someone calling him gay…

Sigh!

You’re probably wondering if there is any point to anything that I’ve written here. The truth is that this is the only way I can show some sort of support for the idea of free speech. I don’t think that offending someone is a criminal act. My logic is that by expressing my opinion and sharing it with the small number of followers I have, I might be able to at least show one side of the coin. Most of this is nonsensical ramblings but if even one person reads this and thinks “actually, he has a point” then I’ve achieved what I set out to.

In all honesty I am ashamed that my country would take these actions and all I can do is shake my head. Following the UK news is like watching a time-lapse of coastal erosion or melting icecaps. You know that you as one person can’t do anything to change it, so you simply watch in despair as houses collapse off cliffs or polar bears stand stranded on an iceberg. Thank fuck that I don’t live there anymore! The sinking ship has been abandoned!


Thanks for reading! Do you think I missed anyone out? Who are your favourite actors from your country? Let me know down below! 

Don’t forget to follow me on here and on Twitter to stay up to date!

If you have anything to add or perhaps a suggestion for a future post, leave a comment!

Remember: There’s still time to potentially win a $20 Amazon gift card!

Peace!


I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.

-Voltaire

Top 10 Best Scottish Actors!

I feel like the world sometimes forgets about Scotland when it comes to the big screen. This surprises me given the wide range of A-list actors who frequently appear in top films. As an ode to Scottish actors, I’ve decided to compile a list of my top 10 favourite Scottish actors. I’ll count down from 10 to 1, tell you some of the films they’ve been in and highlight my favourite. It’s going to be difficult!

Honourable Mentions

Before we dive straight into the top 10, I feel like it’s necessary to acknowledge those who didn’t make it onto the list. A top 20 list may have been more appropriate but “top 10” has more of a ring to it. I’ll just mention the actor and my favourite role they played.

  • Richard Madden (Robb Stark, Game of Thrones)
  • John Hannah (Holden Radcliffe, Agent’s of Shield)
  • Peter Capaldi (The Doctor, Doctor Who – although the storyline sucked)
  • Laura Fraser (Lydia, Breaking Bad)
  • Alan Cumming (Floop, Spy Kids)
  • Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond, Lost)
  • Iain De Caestecker (Fitz, Agents of Shield)

Now onto the Top 10!

10-Rose Leslie

Scottish Actors

image via The Mary Sue

I have to admit that I had absolutely no idea that Rose Leslie was Scottish, and from Aberdeen no less! She was initially number 9 on my list because I loved her character in Game of Thrones and Rose Leslie did an excellent job both with the accent and just the role in general. I then realised I’ve only seen her in one other thing: The Last Witch Hunter which was a below-average magic/monster film that barely held my attention. She’s in Morgan though which I do plan on watching at some stage but hopefully she’ll make an appearance in some more films in the coming years.

Favourite Role: Ygritte (Game of Thrones)

 9-Robbie Coltrane

Scottish Actors

image via BBC America

From Still Game to Blackadder to Ocean’s Twelve to James Bond, you’re probably most familiar with Robbie Coltrane as the “I shouldn’t have said” that groundskeeper himself: Rubeus Hagrid. Robbie Coltrane has played a vast number of roles in his life, most before my lifetime and yet he is still a major player in the world of cinema. One of his more recent appearances was in the Scottish tale by Pixar: Brave as Lord Dingwall.

Favourite Role: Hagrid (Harry Potter series)

8-Brian Cox

Scottish Actors

image via The Independent

Not to be confused with the keyboard playing physicist of the same name, Brian Cox has been involved in a wide range of movies: Super Troopers, RED, Troy, X-Men 2, The Bourne Identity, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and of course: Braveheart. He was also in Morgan alongside Rose Leslie. Brian Cox has even made appearances on popular TV shows such as Doctor Who and Frasier.

 

I became to truly admire this man when he returned to Scotland during the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2015 to show his support. With people like J.K. Rowling as opposing celebrity forces (why celebrities involve themselves in the first place is beyond me), someone had to appear at debates to highlight why independence is the right way to go.

Favourite Role: Ward Abbott (The Bourne Identity/Supremacy)

7-Billy Connolly

Scottish Actors

image via Pinterest

Granted, Billy Connolly is more well-known as a stand-up comedian actor but that’s not to say he isn’t capable. He’s appeared in films such as Muppet Treasure Island, A Series of Unfortunate Events and Garfield 2. As well as The X-Files: I Want to Believe, and even The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies. He’s also voiced hilarious characters such as Fergus in Brave and McSquizzy in Open Season. Not to mention his brief appearance in House as Thomas Bell, one of the potential fathers of the diagnosis genius!

For me, Billy Connolly will always be the man who was not afraid to shout and swear at his audience. He would scream at everyone to hilarious comedic effect. If there is ever a man who says what’s on his mind (whether it be on stage or in interviews) it’s Billy Connolly. I could watch the man talk for days and still find him incredibly entertaining.

Favourite Role: Fergus (Brave) – Although, his stand-up is my favourite aspect of his work!

6-Gerard Butler

Scottish Actors

image via The Cheat Sheet

Gerard Butler may not be the best actor in the world but he is far from the worst. Certainly he appears in many, many outstanding movies. It’s hard to say what role you may know him from: Perhaps as a dragon tamer or alternatively a dragon fighter? Perhaps you remember him as a simple law-abiding citizen? We all know the tale of the Spartan army and its 300 soldiers, right? Maybe you know him as the slick One Two?

 

Whatever you know him from; the man has covered a wide range of roles. Granted, I still hear his Scottish accent whenever he shouts “This is SPARTA!” If we ever get a better William Wallace movie than that Braveheart garbage then I’d vote for him to play the Scottish hero!

Favourite Role: Clyde Shelton (Law Abiding Citizen)

5-Karen Gillan

Scottish Actors

image via Inverse

It’s impossible to discuss Scottish actors without mentioning the red-headed Karen Gillan. I first witnessed Karen Gillan on-screen as Amy Pond, the bold and brave Scottish sidekick to Matt Smith’s Doctor. She’s without a doubt my favourite Doctor Who companion and her storylines covered some of the darker aspects of the series.

Of course, she’s now up in the big leagues alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy as Nebula. As well as running through the jungle with The Rock and Jack Black. I think this is an actor we should all keep an eye on.

Favourite Role: Amy Pond (Doctor Who)

4-Sean Connery

Scottish Actors

image via Evil Geeks

The man, the myth, the legend: Sean Connery. This man is a globally recognised success who will definitely go down in the history books. He’s been a double-O agent, a Crusader, a dragon, and an author. He’s been in romances, action films and comedies. Now, he’s in his late 80s now and as the original James Bond, there’s not much one can say about his career.

Favourite Role: Professor Henry Jones (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade)

3-James McAvoy

Scottish Actors

image via The Hook Mag

I think I first noticed James McAvoy in as Mr. Tumnus in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe but he’s come a long way since then. Having starred alongside names such as Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Daniel Radcliffe his career is still on the up and up.

Next year James McAvoy will be retuning as Kevin Wendell Crumb alongside Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson in Glass. I think that Split was an excellent presentation of James McAvoy’s ability to act. I genuinely felt like I was watching someone experience many different personalities. We’ll also be seeing a further exploration of the X-Men universe which could be interesting!

Favourite Role: Kevin (Split)

2-David Tennent

Scottish Actors

image via Blogtor Who

When it comes to notable Scottish actors, I think we can all agree that David Tennent is pretty fucking awesome. I think I probably first became aware of who he was in Doctor Who when he replaced Christopher Eccleston as the time lord. Of course since then he has appeared in Harry Potter as Barty Crouch Junior and voiced Spiteloud in How to Train Your Dragon, among other appearances such as Broadchurch and Kilgrave in Jessica Jones.

David Tennent is also set to appear as John Knox in the upcoming film Mary Queen of Scots (so at least there is one Scottish actor in it. I have a real issue with historical films having main cast members who have nothing to do with that history…a rant for another time).

Favourite Role: The Doctor (Doctor Who)

1-Ewan McGregor

Scottish Actors

image via Nerdist

When it comes to my number 1 favourite Scottish actors, there is really no competition. Ewan McGregor has been playing major roles in movies all through my entire life. From Jedi to clone to heroin addict to robot to a Vatican priest to tsunami survivor and even a sentient candlestick. Ewan McGregor is truly a Scottish icon and a talented actor.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for his re-appearance as Obi-Wan Kenobi in coming years in a Kenobi stand-alone movie. Unless of course Rian Johnson is set to direct it in which case I never ever, ever want that movie to be created!

Favourite Roles: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars Saga) and Bob Wilton (Men Who Stare at Goats)


Thanks for reading! Do you think I missed anyone out? Who are your favourite actors from your country? Let me know down below! 

Don’t forget to follow me on here and on Twitter to stay up to date!

If you have anything to add or perhaps a suggestion for a future post, leave a comment!

Remember: For this month only you could win yourself a $20 Amazon gift card!

Peace!

Annihilation Review and Explanation!

If you haven’t seen the Netflix Original: Annihilation then I suggest you stop reading immediately. Go watch it and come back when spoilers aren’t going to impact your viewing of the movie. Like seriously, as soon as this paragraph is finished, I’m going to be diving face-first into spoilers and there are moments in this movie that NOBODY should be prepared for prior to watching it.

Quick Summary

Annihilation

image via Digital Spy

With most of my reviews for films, I spend far too long summarising a movie that only those who had seen the movie in the first place would be reading. So i’ll try and keep this short.

Annihilation is many things: a commentary on human biology and nature for one. It’s also a bit of a mind-fuck in some scenes. Not so much that you leave with your mind blown but rather you feel just as confused as the characters. The film follows Lena (Natalie Portman) who after assuming her husband has been killed on a mission, finds him wandering up the stairs followed swiftly by a rushed ambulance journey. Lena learns of “the shimmer”: a bizarre anomaly that is infecting a swampland area of the US and has been for the past 3 years. Upon learning that this was the mission her husband was on, Lena volunteers to join a task force heading into the shimmer in order to reach the point of origin: a lighthouse.

What follows is a trippy journey through a beautiful yet terrifying forest that has creatures and plants that appear to have been thrown together, almost like Frankenstein’s monster but of nature. The film isn’t particularly tense or scary but the fucking human-scream bear is one of the most chilling scenes I have seen in any film in years. I’ll admit that even though I knew it was a trick of some sort, I was not remotely prepared for that thing walking in and making that noise.

As character’s are knocked off one by one, the movie ends with Lena encountering her husband’s corpse (a twist I think we all knew was coming) and a double of herself. This is another chilling scene. Something about a humanoid yet metallic creature imitating human movements while being higher, stronger and more agile is creepy as shit! The final moments of the movie show Lena hugging her shimmer-husband as both of their eyes shimmer…I’ve said shimmer too many times but it’s the best word to use here.

Review

Annihilation

image via Film Crit Hulk

Honestly, I was pretty impressed with this movie. I think it’s fair to say that Netflix have hit the nail on the head with this one. With Hollywood forcing out female-led movies and failing (particularly awful reboots like Ghostbusters and Ocean’s 8), this film was incredible. I don’t mean that in a patronising way, I’m not suggesting that women aren’t capable of being the leads in movies. What I mean is that when it’s forced, it tends not to work. This movie on the other hand worked wonderfully.

I was even doubtful going in because Natalie Portman has never impressed me with her acting before. Similarly, I’m not a huge fan of Tessa Thompson mainly because of comments she made regarding Thor: Ragnarok but also because she’s just never shone out as an actor in my eyes. I’m happy to admit that both of them did incredibly well in this movie and the acting is part of what was awesome about this film.

Actually, every aspect of this film was superbly done: the special effects were crazy, the soundtrack was awesome, the ending of the movie was a bit “meh” but not bad by any means and it certainly left questions open, hence why I’ll be doing my version of an explanation now.

Ending Explanation

Annihilation

image via Syfy

I’m completely winging this. I watched the movie less than 20 minutes ago so don’t take my word that this is actually the explanation that the creators were going for. If you’ve read any of my other theories, such as my Pokemon one or my journey through Happy Feet, you’ll know that usually I clutch at straws to make a theory sound a little more compelling. In this instance, I’m going solely with what I just saw in Annihilation.

Shimmer Children

Annihilation

image via Elpais

So throughout the film we hear about cells. The film opens talking about cancer cells, we hear the team discuss the suicidal nature of biology (i.e. that at a cellular level we are self-destructive). There were two things that stood out to me in the movie: 1) The idea that anyone going into the shimmer must be suicidal or at least self-destructive on some level and 2) That each person in the final team has nothing to go back for (apart from Lena). We learn that each member has an issue. Dr Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is dying, something we don’t discover until near the end of the movie. Anya Thorensen (Gina Rodriguez) had a drug issue (I think). Cass Sheppard (Tuva Novotny) lost her child to leukemia (along with part of herself). Josie Radek (Tessa Thompson) used to self-harm.

Lena is there for her husband who she cheated on and now feels guilty about his current state. I mentioned these characters for a reason and I will circle back to it but first, here’s my main theory in regards to the shimmering eyes at the end. I think that Lena and her shimmer-husband are almost like Adam and Eve. Everything else within the shimmer caught fire and burned yet Lena walked away unscathed and shimmer-Kane recovered. I think this moment symbolises a rebirth of sorts. Lena’s DNA has been altered through her time in the shimmer and Kane isn’t even Kane. I think they lost that self-destructive aspect of themselves and their children will go on to pass it on. We know from the crystal trees, the tree people and other aspects within the shimmer that this anomaly or being was trying to create life.

Cellular Self-Destruction

Annihilation

image via Scleroderma News

As for the other characters, I think they died in ways related to their “cellular self-destructiveness”. Josie had cut her wrists but never committed suicide. It’s theorised by Sheppard that she was trying to feel alive. When we last see her, she is becoming a plant just like the tree people. Dr. Ventress is dying and has no partner, no children, no friends, no family as far as anyone can tell. She becomes one with all life in the shimmer and passes her genetic make-up on. Sheppard talks about a part of her dying and how losing that aspect of herself is akin to losing her daughter. Yet when she dies, all of her goes, apart from the terror and fear she felt before her death: no happiness, no joy, only darkness.

Anya is the character that sort of throws my theory off a little bit here. If it was drugs that were her self-destructive tendency then it could relate to a lack of control. She said that her hands moved when she looked at them. This is sort of a way of saying that she isn’t herself which is a common saying by people who have been in dark and deep drug addictions. They lose themselves much in the same way that Anya was losing herself. She wanted to cut someone open to prove that it wasn’t just her.

Lena

Annihilation

image via Bloody Disgusting

Lena, as the main character, plays a more interesting role in this theory. It’s mentioned several times both by her and other characters that she had something to go back to: her husband. She isn’t being suicidal by going into the shimmer, she’s actually on a mission. Yet when she enters the lighthouse she has to face the reality that that isn’t her husband waiting for her. This is perhaps something she has considered before the lighthouse as she looks worried when she starts playing that camera, long before it shows him dying and his double walking in front of the camera.

Lena isn’t fighting a creature or an alien but rather part of herself. This thing is more than just a double, it’s more like her shadow. I think that this thing was supposed to represent her self-destructive tendency. When she tries to escape it’s her desire to die that stops her. She’s literally stopping herself from escaping and by killing it, she’s freeing herself. She leaves the shimmer without that self-destructive tendency at a cellular level. Leading to my explanation as to why neither her nor Kane burned like the rest of the shimmer shit.

The Tattoo

Annihilation

image via Mythologian NET

One aspect of this film that I can’t get my head around is a recurring tattoo. At first I thought is was a number 8 but it’s actually the eternal serpent/infinity snake. It’s an image of a snake swallowing its tale and it’s a symbol of rebirth. I guess this would apply to the idea of rebirth of Lena’s character and of the human genome. It isn’t the symbolism I have a problem with though.

What I don’t really understand is why it kept appearing on people. I mean we could assume that it was on a person’s arm from a previous mission into the shimmer but tattoos aren’t genetic. I mean this life-force/event/being can replicate dripping blood, as it does with Lena and it does the same with sound so the refraction must not be limited to DNA. I just don’t get why that tattoo would appear on people’s arm but not others. I mean sure, we could just accept that it’s being used as symbolism for the movie but I feel like that’s a bit on the nose, so to speak. I mean we know that everything inside the shimmer is being reborn as something else but I’m sure there must be a better explanation out there. Annihilation doesn’t seem like the sort of film to throw a tattoo in just for symbolism without any real explanation.

One meaning behind the symbol relates to the serpent Jormungandr who, in Norse mythology, guarded the tree of life. Maybe nobody had the tattoo at all and it’s actually a mark from the being/event/life-force. Here’s a wild theory: what if the shimmer was no accident. What if some aspect of Norse mythology is based on fact (which is interesting considering Natalie Portman’s Thor connection) and life on Earth is threatened by humanity and so, this guardian or whatever is sent down to correct things.

Nah…


Thanks for reading! What did you think of Annihilation? Do you enjoy seeing reviews on this blog? If so, what else do you recommend? Let me know down below! 

Don’t forget to follow me on here and on Twitter to stay up to date!

If you have anything to add or perhaps a suggestion for a future post, leave a comment!

Remember: For this month only you could win yourself a $20 Amazon gift card!

Peace!

10 Movies We Don’t Need In 2019

2019 is set to be a great year for films: Avengers 4 will end a decade long saga, we’re getting a host of book to film adaptations, Robert Downey Jr will be talking to animals and Deadpool will be voicing a detective version of Pikachu (in a manner of speaking) Let’s take a look at some of the films coming out in 2019 which we perhaps wish weren’t. Of course we will look at some of the reasons why these films just shouldn’t exist or at the very least are treading on thin ice.

Untitled Terminator Reboot

2019

image via IGN

Terminator has had a bit of a rocky decade or so. Terminator: Salvation and Terminator: Genisys were average movies at best with the latter being somewhat nonsensical. Considering all the areas that could potentially be explored within the universe, it seems a shame that the films don’t branch out a bit. This movie will be the 6th in the series.

These films are being released largely in relation to the film rights which will soon transfer. So to cut a long story short: in a desperate attempt to make money they are releasing awful and badly written films. Hardly a shocking thing in Hollywood these days but I guess there is always hope. With AI reaching somewhat terrifying levels in the real world, maybe there is scope for an interesting commentary.

Hobbs and Shaw

2019

image via Car Throttle

With 8 Fast and Furious films (which some would argue is at least 5 too many) and another one on the way in 2020, it may shock you to learn that there is a spin-off coming out next year. Hobbs and Shaw will follow the characters (Hobbs and Shaw…obviously) played by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Jason Statham. The film itself is surrounded in in controversy, beyond the milking of a dead cow.

Co-Stars of the previous Fast and Furious films Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel appear to have fallen out. Rumour has it that during the shooting of The Fate of the Furious, the pair wouldn’t even be in the same frame. This was taken a step further when the spin-off bumped the 9th Fast and Furious film to 2020. Personally, I stopped watching the franchise after Bard the Dragon Slayer was killed during the 400 mile long airplane runway!

Top Gun: Maverick

2019

image via Screen Rant

With nostalgia-fuelled reboots and sequels still very much on the rise, it was only a matter of time before someone set their sights on Top Gun. Having been released in 1986, it will have been over three decades since we last saw Tom Cruise take to the skies as Maverick. Yet we have to ask ourselves, is this film even remotely necessary? I mean with Independence Day, Ghostbusters, Jurassic Park, Jumanji, Star Wars and more all getting reboots or sequels, do we need another?

Apparently the sequel has been in the works for some time with Tom Cruise being one of the few committed to the movie. Cruise will be playing an older Pete Mitchell who struggles to adapt to the more modern U.S Navy all while training new recruits. With a new love interest and children of other main characters showing up, I can’t imagine there is much more story to explore. We can all get excited about war movies but in an age where sci-fi and WW1/2 movies seem to harbour all the success, I think this is one film that should have been left in the 80s!

Bond 25

2019

image via El País

Don’t get me wrong: Bond movies are awesome! I would love a new Bond movie but…I’m sick of Daniel Craig as Bond. Especially after that abomination they call Spectre! I mean how can you turn Christoph Waltz into such a mediocre villain? After seeing him in Inglorious Basterds, I was completely set for him to become my favourite Bond villain, possibly my favourite Bond character…but the convoluted storyline combined with what was a poorly written character just ruined the Daniel Craig bond series in my opinion.

So on that note, I was set for the reset button to be hit: a new bond (I was hoping Idris Elba), maybe some new characters, a new story, new villains, just a whole new feel. So hearing that Daniel Craig is returning worries me a little. As great a Bond as I feel he was (up until Spectre), I feel the series is in need of a change.

Frozen 2

2019

image via YouTube

Now the first Frozen isn’t really my cup of tea but I’m accepting enough to understand why people enjoyed it. It was entertaining, the singing was pretty good, the messages it sends to kids were fairly positive and the animations were done wonderfully. It was commercially successful and sing along versions have been released since and the merchandise is still selling everywhere. Here in Spain they market bottles of water by printing Frozen characters on them.

One of the many issues in Hollywood these days relates to the idea of making a sequel simply because the first was successful. I mean Interstellar was successful, it’s potentially one of my favourite films, yet I wouldn’t wish for a sequel at all. It’s a one story film and a sequel would be incredibly forced. I mean there may be plenty of directions that a Frozen sequel could take but in my opinion, it’s just unnecessary.

Alien Covenant Sequel

2019

image via MovieWeb

You may have read my take on Alien Covenant. The alien films are great and contrary to popular opinion, I quite enjoyed the combination of aliens and predators. Even when we got to Prometheus, I was completely ready for an awesome film….but all they have been doing over and over again is regurgitating the Alien formula: a group arrives on a spaceship, something goes wrong, some get face hugged and then the newly birthed aliens stalk the team, leaving a survivor or two. It’s pretty lame considering how awesome the potential of these films is. I mean Alien Covenant even hinted at a better storyline, the one they didn’t show us.

So why is it that rather than doing a proper Prometheus sequel or prequel they are instead going to follow on from a storyline that I don’t think anyone cares about? The issue is that sci-fi films are always going to make money. I think people are just in hope of finally seeing an awesome sci-fi film and there is even a nostalgia element from the previous films. So I can’t say that this sequel should exist, especially considering how lame the first one was. They are too focussed on creating this larger universe that each film is ultimately shit!

Minecraft Movie

2019

image via MineCraft.net

I’m not going to say much for this. The idea of creating Angry Bird movies, Minecraft movies, ETC is ridiculous. I mean I’m a Pokemon fan and that stemmed from games and I loved the TV show and films that followed. Yet Pokemon had an incredibly interesting premise. I don’t think a game about firing birds at pig structures requires a movie. Minecraft is a little different because the premise itself is actually pretty cool: a story of surviving the arrival of nightmarish creatures at night such as skeletons, Slenderman-like beings and exploding zombies. Creating voids to alternative dimensions that allow for different speeds of travel across the map, if you can survive the abominations that lurk in this hellish zone.

The issue stems from it being aimed at children. If they made a horror film following the same idea it could be super cool but an animated story probably following goofy characters doesn’t really sound that compelling. I also think that Minecraft has certain stereotypes regarding its fan base. This is another problem that I believe a Minecraft movie present: why would anyone who doesn’t play the game go and see the film?

Angry Birds 2

2019

image via i09 – Gizmodo

Speaking of which, why the fuck does anyone need a sequel to some piece of shit angry birds movie? The game was average at best. It was addictive, don’t get me wrong, but so was flappy bird and I don’t think we need a movie for that either. I can understand that these are films at kids but c’mon, they are moronic. I mean I watched shit like Spy Kids when I was growing up and there were 3 films of that (I know there were 4 but I don’t count the final one). Yet at least these were empowering kids and showing them that they could be the heroes, it had cool gadgets, promoted creativity and family values…what do the Angry Bird films promote? That you’re right not to trust the foreigners with the large families, weird traditions and beards?

Suicide Squad 2

2019

image via DC Comics

Do I really need to say anything at all here? Suicide Squad was a disaster. Usually, I’d say that everyone is entitled to their opinion and that people love films I hate and I love films they hate, all of which is fine. But if you liked Suicide Squad then your future is bleak and the smartest thing you can do is leave me everything in your will before rolling under a bus! I mean what an utter pile of shit that was! What annoys me most about Suicide Squad is that even though I don’t read comic and knew little to nothing before the film’s release, I understood the premise: villains forced to work as “heroes”.

That isn’t what the film was though. It was villains pissing around and being besties. I half expected them to be braiding each other’s hair and making friendship bracelets by the end of the film. Don’t even get me started on the Joker. What a disaster! They tried so hard to make him unique (there may be a comic book version exactly like that) but I felt like I was just getting a glimpse of John Travolta’s heroin-fuelled mental breakdown. I could write a whole post about why Suicide Squad was a monstrosity but it just continues the streak of shit to average films that DC are releasing.

Now you see me 3

2019

image via MovieWeb

I loved Now You See Me. I have to say that I was a little disappointed that it turned out to all be tricks and not actual magic but in a way, that was an awesome reveal as well. The sequel…wasn’t great, if we are being honest. It felt forced and unnecessary, it added twists to try and keep up with the first film (which didn’t work) and the finale at the end was super lame. I was a little worried about the switch from Isla Fisher to Lizzy Caplan as the main female role (both are great in my opinion) but actually the drastic change in personality was one of the great qualities the sequel had.

That didn’t make up for the rather unrewarding storyline though which appears to be the majority opinion judging from review sites. With no cast currently confirmed and it seems no plot disclosed as of yet, I’m not holding my breath. I think if they find a way to make it original then it could be great because magic is awesome! I especially loved the appearance of Harry Potter in the films. That was amusing. But repeating the same idea for a third time isn’t going to win them any prizes. Unless something stands out in the trailer then I’ll be watching that one when it’s available for free!


Thanks for reading! Are you looking forward to any of these films or have some that should be added to the list? Let me know down below! 

Don’t forget to follow me on here and on Twitter to stay up to date!

If you have anything to add or perhaps a suggestion for a future post, leave a comment!

Remember: For this month only you could win yourself a $20 Amazon gift card!

Peace!

The Future of Star Wars

I’ve made my opinion on Star Wars quite clear in the past: I enjoy watching the films, I think the universe is awesome but for the most part they are just generic sci-fi films. The new trilogy has added very little to the saga in my opinion. As is usually the case with the other Star Wars films: the actors are great (obviously there are a few exceptions), the special effects are awesome, the premise is cool as fuck…but  the storylines are incredibly meh! I may not be a shiny ball of optimism but I do happen to think that there is hope…a new hope!

Rian Johnson

Star Wars Game of Thrones

image via Digital Spy

Rian Johnson (not the new hope) destroyed the new trilogy as far as I am concerned. Certain question work as a lure into the storylines: Where does Snoke come from? How is he more powerful than anybody else we’ve ever encountered in Star Wars? Who were Rey’s parents? Questions that Johnson quite happily demolished in order to make his film seem more unique. As I’ve said before, I appreciate what he was trying to do: the franchise was getting stale and needed a new take…but he fucked it up! I’m not going to sugar coat it.

I have three major issues with The Last Jedi that I want to just beiefly touch one. Firstly: What is the point of making Snoke incredibly overpowered just to have him be killed by someone we already know isn’t that powerful…Secondly, making Luke a coward who dies for no real reason was just silly. He could have died after training Rey but everything to do with that sort of went down the drain. Lastly, I think most of the storyline of the film was boring, irrelevant or spent too much time forcing social commentary down our throats.

Sadly, it seems that Johnson is getting his own trilogy. To be fair, maybe when he has control over the start, middle and end, his story might make more sense but that doesn’t mean I’m even slightly looking forward to it! When you kill off Luke Skywalker in such a moronic way after turning him into a coward who uses too many on the nose jokes, you’ve lost all credibility as far as I’m concerned. But my post today isn’t about Johnson’s failures but rather why the future of Star Wars looks a little brighter!

Obi-Wan

Star Wars Game of Thrones

image via YouTube

We’ll start with the less recent news: the Obi-Wan solo movie. Very little has been confirmed as of yet. What we do know is that production is set to start in 2019 and so far, it seems that Stephen Daldry is set to direct. Ewan McGregor has expressed interest in returning to the role and in my opinion, if for whatever reason they can’t use McGregor they’d be better off ditching the project.

Needs:

  • Ewan McGregor (this one is important so I’m mentioning it twice
  • A good stand-alone story
  • Consistency
  • Force ghosts (Liam Neeson in particular)

Should Avoid:

  • Being a prequel to the prequels (more on that in a moment)
  • Too many references to Luke
  • Being unoriginal
  • Too many cameos

There are a lot of pitfalls than an Obi-Wan film could fall into. Let me use Rogue One as an example: it was a great film in terms of being a bit different to the others. Yet, they tried WAY too hard to fill it to the brim with references to every single other moment in Star Wars. For example, Cornelius Evazan who is a wanted man with a death sentence in 12 systems. I’m curious how he walks away from the Death Star blast!

Personally, what I as a fan of Star Wars, Obi-Wan and Ewan McGregor want to see is an exploration of Obi-Wan’s continued training. We’ve seen very little in terms of Jedi training beyond the occasional moments in the prequels and the running and forward flips under Yoda’s tutelage. Let’s see a deeper exploration of the force through Qui-Gon Jinn as he guides Obi-Wan as a force ghost. We don’t need to make Obi-Wan more powerful in a traditional sense as we know where his path leads…but we do need to make him more knowledgeable

Star Thrones

Star Wars Game of Thrones

image via YouTube

For me, the most exciting news in recent months is in relation to the writers behind Game of Thrones: David Benioff D.B. Weiss. The two of them are set to create their own series of Star Wars films. With the success of Game of Thrones soon to be another notch on their belt (with the final season airing in 2019) the pair have expressed their excitement in getting started once Game of Thrones is completed.  I for one cannot wait!

Whether you are a fan of Game of Thrones or not, there is no denying how incredibly successful the show has become. I’ve never read the George R. R. Martin books which the show is based upon but once the final season airs, I do plan on starting. For me, I hope that Benioff and Weiss bring some of the ruthlessness of Game of Thrones with them. I think one thing the Star Wars universe needs is some darkness.

The Star Wars Death Problem

Star Wars Game of Thrones

image via Far Far Away Radio

I mean sure, plenty of characters die. I mean just look at the numbers:

The Phantom Menace: Qui-Gon dies followed swiftly by Darth Maul

Clone Wars: Anakin’s mother dies (followed by a ton of Tusken raiders)

Revenge of the Sith: Padme dies, Count Dooku dies, Mace Windu dies, General Grievous dies, most of the Jedi die

Rogue One: Like pretty much every character dies: Jyn, Cassian, K-2SO, Chirrut, Baze Malbus, Krennic, Saw Gerrera, Bodhi Rook, Galen Erso…

A New Hope: Obi-wan dies, Luke’s aunt and uncle are burnt alive (or disintegrated if you believe Boba Fett did it)

Empire Strikes Back: Strangely the film where the empire supposedly strikes back has the least number of main character deaths. I mean Han is tortured and frozen, Luke loses his arm and C3PO breaks like a Lego character.

Return of the Jedi: Boba Fett dies, Jabba dies, Yoda dies, The Emperor dies (along with the Empire for a few years until the First Order takes its spot) and of course Darth Vader dies.

The Force Awakens: Han Solo dies

The Abomination: Luke dies (as does what little faith I had left in this new trilogy) and so do some very minor characters like Holdo, Phasma and Snoke who apparently isn’t a major character at all thanks to Johnson. Presumably Leia dies sometime between episode 8 and 9 unless they choose to just CGi her face in.

Problem Solved

Star Wars Game of Thrones

image via YouTube

Yet, none of these deaths were really surprising, shocking or dark in any way. Even the inherently evil characters never seemed to be truly merciless in Star Wars. There are always moments leading up to one of these characters dying where you just know it’s going to happen. Maybe the force is telling us it’s about to happen?

Game of Thrones manages to keep you on the edge of your seat and with the exception of perhaps Jon Snow and Dany, any character could die at any time. I think we need that sort of risk. We don’t need more Han Solo characters who defy all odds. We need characters who don’t have luck or aren’t that gifted with the force, or are but just aren’t a match for genuinely powerful dark side users.

The Dark Side

Star Wars Game of Thrones

image via Top Backgrounds & Wallpapers

What I would love to see is a dark film. But will Disney ever allow their family-oriented films do become darker? Yet, it’s what needs to happen. We need a Star Wars film with a proper villain. Darth Vader may be an incredible and iconic villain but he’s not twisted or even inherently evil, he’s simply misguided.. I want to see a force user with the personality of the Joker. Someone who perhaps isn’t wreaking havoc on a galactic scale but rather a planetary one. Let’s get a film where the good guys lose and not just as the mid-way point of a trilogy but rather they get well and truly defeated!

We see cities and planets getting destroyed (sometimes several at a time) by giant Death Stars in most Star Wars films. We’ve watched numerous heroes fall at the hands of evil characters. Yet Vader is really the only half-decent villain and he was basically a henchman despite his apparent power. I’m so sick of stroppy children like Anakin and Kylo Ren. I want a Game of Thrones version of Star Wars.

Anyway, that’s what we have to look forward to from the Star Wars universe (provided they don’t fuck it up even more). We need something to reboot Star Wars and give it a fresh take. A Kenobi film might not do that but we all love the character and the actor enough to look past that (at least I do). Hopefully Benioff and Weiss will kick Star Wars in the ass and give us a film series that we can all truly appreciate. Perhaps even something that’s a but of a mind-fuck!


Thanks for reading! Hopefully you enjoyed my rant on Star Wars. Do you think that combining Game of Thrones and Star Wars would work? Do you agree that Star Wars needs more of a dark side? Let me know down below!

Don’t forget to follow me on here and on Twitter to stay up to date!

If you have anything to add or perhaps a suggestion for a future post, leave a comment!

Remember: For this month only you could win yourself a $20 Amazon gift card!

Peace!

23 MIB: The Men in Black-Jump Street Crossover and Why We Need It!

21 Jump Street (2012) is unique in one way: the sequel is better! 22 Jump Street (2014) saw Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum return as Schmidt and Jenko, once again trying to find and take down a drug supplier. The credits of the film took us through the future films (considered canon) which included 29 Jump Street: Sunday School (with a hilarious switch of Jonah Hill for Seth Rogen), 30 Jump Street: Flight School and even 2121 Jump Street which sees the duo in space! Not long after the film aired, rumours began of a Men in Black crossover movie, presumably titled something like 23 MIB. Sadly, this no longer seems to be on the cards. So instead, I’m going to tell you why it would have been awesome!

Men in Black

23 MIB

image via MovieWeb

The Men in Black franchise started off as a book series but is more well-known for the 1997 movie starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. This led to a pretty entertaining sequel followed by one that was less so. Personally, I got the feeling that Will Smith’s involvement in the storyline led to the clichéd father/son arc which literally ALL Will Smith films seem to have (I’m not even kidding: Focus, After Earth, Men in Black 3, I am Legend, The Pursuit of Happyness, Shark Tale, Independence Day (I know he wasn’t in the awful sequel but it did follow his character’s son)…just for the record, I love Will Smith as an actor. This isn’t a criticism, simply an observation.

Anyway, doing a Men in Black 4 would have been ridiculous. We all know the films as having Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith so without either, it’s probably going to be a bit of a let-down. That is until 2019 when the movie gets a spin-off. With Chris Hemsworth set to take on the male lead (alongside an older male and a woman lead) the franchise could get a much needed bump. It could also crash and burn, further driving the franchise into the dirt like most reboots, spin-offs, sequels and prequels have in recent years…but I’m happy to be a glass half-full guy in this instance.

The point being that the Men in Black franchise is hardly up there with Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. It’s a fairly entertaining movie with pretty ridiculous concepts, clichéd storylines and actors who add the charisma (or lack of it in K’s case). My point being, they don’t have much to lose!

Jump Street

23 MIB

image via Moviefone

In comparison, the Jump Street films did an excellent job of jump-starting the franchise. I’ve never watched the original movie (which I believe is based off a TV series) but I could appreciate Johnny Depp showing up. The films themselves make fun of sequels and reboots. Every joke is completely on the nose which in most cases would be a bad thing but for these films it just adds to the humour. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t describe these films as works of art…but they can be incredibly entertaining. I for one have watched 22 Jump Street high more times than I’m willing to admit.

My point in all of this is that Men in Black could use a helping hand while Jump Street needs that boost into new levels of ridiculous. If the MIB spin-off is a success then it could even be incorporated into the film. Seeing Chris Hemsworth as a sort of K-like character could be pretty hilarious (as long as it wasn’t exactly the same as K).

My Take

23 MIB

image via SlashFilm

Now my opinion on this matter isn’t hugely relevant to the world. I’m just a movie fan who would love to see something ridiculous but hilarious finally come out of Hollywood. I’m sick of all these movies being taken so seriously that nobody takes any risks. The same formula for every movie is used time and time again and quite frankly, I’m getting bored of it. It’s rare that I see a list of upcoming films and don’t let out a sigh!

So what do I think 23 MIB would look like? Great question!

Premise

23 MIB

image via Tenor

In the same way that 22 Jump Street opened with the characters essentially narrating what had happened since the last film, 23 MIB could do the exact same thing. The film could even open with the pair landing back on Earth after their space mission which would already set up the story for aliens. They could explain all their missions and how they are ready to take a break…when suddenly, they are carted off to a secret location with bags on their heads.

When the bags are lifted, they are facing Chris Hemsworth’s character from the spin-off. He informs them that there is a mole in MIB and that he needs both of them to go undercover as MIB agents to find the mole. Alternatively, the fact they just landed on Earth would be a good opportunity to give them weird features and have them go undercover as aliens, perhaps trying to find a weapons supplier or a crazy drug (again, it would be so ridiculous that you’d just say “c’mon!”) This could lead to scenes of hilarity whereby the duo have their eyes opened to the world of extra-terrestrials.

The film would start off like the other two, seemingly heading in the exact same direction. Perhaps they even go to some sort of MIB academy and follow the same sort of scenes as last time but with sci-fi shit! They could solve the case pretty quickly when some crazy shit happens: Some sort of covert alien invasion whereby aliens are undercover among the human population, the complete opposite of the previous films.

The Jokes

Related image

image via Imgur

Again, this film would be very simple to add humour to. It would already be crazy so just add some of the Schmidt-Jenko relationship to the mix and you’re sorted. For example, there has always been the divide in fitness and intelligence. In the first film, Jenko was strong and dumb but managed to use his intelligence to save the day. Schmidt was unfit and smart but despite freezing under pressure, managed to pull the trigger and shoot a dick off. We’d simply take that up another step: have Schmidt become strong and fast through alien technology while Jenko gets some sort of alien implant that makes him a genius. It wouldn’t have to be a running gag through the whole movie but certainly a few scenes. Think Scooby-Doo 2 when Shaggy and Scooby drink the weird chemicals.

Ice Cube could even have a funny role in the films again. Perhaps it turns out that he is in charge of MIB and has been training the pair for this very purpose (or he’s a recruiter or something). Hell, maybe he’s an alien and it’s revealed that his daughter is as well (obviously) which could lead to more jokes. Fuck it, make him the evil overlord!

Jokes Aside

Image result for tumbleweed

image via Tumbleweedhldgs

I think that when it comes to films like this, we need to realise that they aren’t supposed to be serious. As long as it makes some sort of sense then people should just go for it, man. I mean I may have absolutely despised what Rian Johnson did to The Last Jedi but I admire him for trying to do something different. I don’t think Star Wars needed more films in the first place…but if they are going to do it, they need to do it well. That’s why I’m incredibly excited by the idea of the Game of Thrones writers getting their hands on their very own Star Wars trilogy!

We need a satire such as 23 MIB because every film showing in cinemas these days lack imagination. Those that do have imagination have no storyline. That’s why films like 21 and 22 Jump Street are so entertaining! They highlight to us just how ridiculous the film industry has become. I mean 2019 will bring us the 7th Transformers film! THE 7TH! Not to mention a Fast and Furious spin-off film that has literally nothing to do with the Fast and Furious films beyond using the characters! What the effing fuck are we doing? Marvel, DC and Lucasfilms (2 of which are Disney) have over 60 films planned for the next 5 years or so!

If we have learned anything at all from Ubisoft and the Assassin’s Creed series is that WE DON’T FORCE THE RELEASE OF TITLES SIMPLY TO MEET SOME IMAGINARY QUOTA!!!!! Come up with ideas first, work on them, find the perfect cast, the perfect director, do re-writes if necessary. Why are we hiring writers who submit their first draft as ‘it’? I mean I am awful at doing drafts but only about 10 people see each of my articles! I’m not crushing a fan-base or crumbling an empire!

Laughing Hysterically

Image result for 22 jump street laugh

image via Perez Hilton

I feel that while 21 and 22 Jump Street and entertaining films, they remind me of a moment in Rogue One. Yes, I did just criticize Star Wars a couple of paragraphs back. There is a moment in Rogue One when some of the characters are on the base that is just about to be hit by a blast from the Death Star. They know they are about to die and yet they look up and see this space station eclipsing the sun. Total destruction is about to occur and yet there is a beauty in that moment. Almost like a sparkle from an asteroid just before it hits Earth or the immense sight of a 300-foot wave as it envelops a city. A moment where the chaos is almost paused to allow for appreciation of just how fucked up things are.

I think this is the same idea with these films. Making 23 MIB would be ridiculous. You’d be marketing what was once a family-friendly movie to adults and stoners (sort of like Adventure Time which is marketed for ages 10+). In a way, maybe the MIB spin-off needs to flop HARD for this crossover to ever take place. We’d stand and look out the window as the film industry collapsed around us with 23 MIB doing a backflip off one of the buildings as it crumbles to the ground.


Thanks for reading! Hopefully you enjoyed my exploration of just some of the theories surrounding Rick and Morty!

Don’t forget to follow me on here and on Twitter to stay up to date!

If you have anything to add or perhaps a suggestion for a future post, leave a comment down below!

Remember: For this month only you could win yourself a $20 Amazon gift card!

Peace!

Rick and Morty: Aw jeez, not another theory!

Rick and Morty: The animated adventures of a genius, egomaniac grandfather and his insecure, idiotic grandson. Challenging morals, scientific principles and philosophy, there is something in Rick and Morty for everyone. I understand that many people view the fan-base as being inherently toxic so you can relax knowing that I won’t be making the claim that “only smart people understand Rick and Morty”. You may be unaware of the underling stories and theories surrounding the show so this post will take a quick look at the main story, some smaller theories and, of course, provide evidence for all. So grab your portal gun as we jump right into another dimension!

Background

rick-morty.jpg

image via Complex

So before we start throwing the main theory out there, we need to cover some background information. It is stated throughout the show that Beth has abandonment issues due to her father (Rick) leaving her and her family. We know he wasn’t around for the birth of Morty (at least). There are varying theories as to why Rick left (some of which we will explore later on) and even the death of Rick’s wife/Beth’s mother is somewhat of a mystery. We see a fake memory in The Rickshank Rickdeption (S3 E1) but many believe this is based on a memory while others believe it is based Simple Rick’s memory. Rick and Morty regularly refer to themselves as being from dimension C-137 (which is the world from Rick Potion #9 (S1 E6)).

The Theory

If you haven’t seen the show then this theory will probably make little to no sense. Even if you do watch the show, my explanation is most likely going to be atrocious. So, this is it: Rick is not originally from C-137. Morty C-137, as a result, is not his original Morty. This theory suggests that when Rick first returns to the family, he is taking the place of a dead Rick (similar to what Rick and Morty do in Rick Potion #9). Why would he need to do this? Good question.

 

Rick and Morty

image via Rick and Morty Wiki

What if a Rick lost his Morty in his original dimension? I say lost when what I really mean is abandoned and left for dead. Assuming that his Morty wouldn’t survive, Rick quickly moved across into another dimension and returned to the family he hadn’t seen in however many years. This Morty became his new Morty and nobody ever caught on. So how do we know this? Well, as we know that Rick has been away for at least 14 years, how could he have memories of a young Morty? In Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind (S1 E10) we see that Rick has memories of Morty as a baby. It’s one of the few times we see genuine emotion from Rick. Perhaps mourning the loss of his previous Morty?

Rick and Morty

image via Rick and Morty Wiki

You can see further evidence of this in Get Schwifty (S2 E5) when Bird Person rescues Morty. While explaining the “good” in Rick, Bird Person points out some photos: One of which shows a younger Rick holding a baby Morty. Morty even comments something along the lines of “who is that baby?”

BHcQtAg

image via Reddit

Abandoned Morty

 

Rick Intro

image via Gus Calvo

The theory doesn’t end there though…no, sir! Remember the Morty that Rick left behind? The one he assumed (or simply didn’t care enough to check) was dead? Well he fits into this theory as well. In fact, this theory suggests that you’ve seen this Morty several times. During the intro to all three seasons, we see a 3 second or so clip of Rick and Morty running. Rick portals away leaving Morty trapped as big green, frog-like creatures approach. We assume that this is just a typical Rick and Morty moment where Rick thinks only for himself and abandons Morty. The fact that this is one of few recurring intro scenes makes a lot of sense. All the others also reflect a larger storyline e.g. Cthulhu.

Opening_morty_stuck

image via Rick and Morty Wiki

Yet we know from many episodes (e.g. S2 E1) that Rick would sacrifice himself for Morty. We also know that he’s seen as a “rogue Rick” (S3 E1) due to his emotional attachments to his family. Not to mention that in Rest and Ricklaxation (S3 E6) Rick tries to purge his toxins, which to him includes his emotional attachment to Morty. So what if there was a reason for leaving this Morty behind beyond the idea of ‘Rick being Rick’?

Evil Morty

Eyepatchevilmorty.jpg

image via Rick and Morty Wiki

This is where we welcome in the infamous Evil Morty. A fan favourite from the show, we were first introduced to the character in Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind. Evil Morty was after “our” Rick and had gone out of his way to frame him for the murder of other Ricks. I won’t explain the entire episode but Rick says something rather interesting at the end:

Morty: “The Mortyest Morty”

Rick: “Just don’t get too big for your loafers, Buster Brown. A cocky Morty can lead to some big problems. It can be a real bad thing for everybody.”

Morty: “Oh yeah? How’s that?”

Rick: “U-Uh, I’ll explain when you’re older.”

rick-and-morty-quotes.jpg

image via Smosh

The idea being that the Morty Rick left behind had become “a cocky Morty”. Perhaps he’d found a way to increase his intelligence or maybe he was just learning too much from Rick. In Vindicators 3 (S3 E4) Morty displays a wide range of skills that he’s picked up from Rick. Many of these simply relate to understanding Rick’s mind but others are technical such as defusing a neutrino bomb. After being left behind by Rick and somehow surviving, Morty started down a path of revenge. He found a way to control a Rick, he started kidnapping Mortys and killing Ricks (hiding himself and framing Rick C-137 in the process) all to get his revenge on Rick. He extracts the memories from Rick but the reason for doing so is never explained. Is he looking for something in particular: Perhaps a specific invention or a specific memory?

Season 3 Finale

h7Ds1TGq-720

image via Rick and Morty Wiki

Fans loved seeing Evil Morty return and become President Morty in The Ricklantis Mixup (S3 E7): Leading us to speculate whether this had been his goal all along or simply another step in a larger plan. Season 3 was supposed to be 14 episodes long as opposed to then 10 we received. The episode we got as the finale, The Richurian Candidate, didn’t pack much of a punch and left many fans disappointed. It’s possible that if deadlines had been met and the full 14 episodes had been aired, we may have seen Evil Morty’s plan unveil itself as the real end of season episode. With the Citadel of Mortys up and running, it’s more than likely that season 4 will show us the Morty!

Bonus Evidence

There is some more evidence to display. Not so much in relation to the whole Evil Morty theory but simply in support of Rick not being from dimension C-137 originally. We often see Rick reference songs or movies that don’t exist. This is often chalked up to him being a bit crazy and having travelled across the universe and into other dimensions. Yet it also seems likely that had he originally existed in another dimension, there could have been different music, movies, TV shows, ETC. This evidence isn’t concrete and is actually a bit wishy-washy but I figured it was better to mention it all the same!

Alternative Rick and Morty Storylines

Fans often assume that when they watch Rick and Morty, they are watching the same Rick and Morty. Yet, the creators of the show have left breadcrumbs for us to follow that suggest otherwise. The first example of this would be the pilot episode. Not so much the episode as a whole but rather the opening scene with the neutrino bomb. There’s no reason to believe that Morty was able to do anything about the bomb which had already started its countdown. Yes, we could assume that it didn’t go off (perhaps a joke by Rick) or that Rick regained consciousness just in time to stop it…but why? Doesn’t it make more sense that the bomb simply went off but it was a different Rick and Morty? Of course this is only a very minor example of this. So let’s fast forward to Mortynight Run (S2 E2).

Mortynight Run

C7rgO

image via SciFi Stack Exchange

In this episode, we follow Morty (and a reluctant Rick) away from Blips and Chitz in order to help FART escape. Turning out to be a pro-genocide multidimensional being with the plan of wiping out all carbon-based lifeforms, the episode ends in the deaths of a lot of innocent people. This is the first of two episodes which sneakily show us the lives of an alternative Rick and Morty. How do we know this?

At the start of the episode, Rick checks Jerry into Jerryboree (a care centre). We can see on the form that Rick has put C-137 as his dimension (although puts N/A for Jerry) and in return they are given ticket number ‘5126’. So we know at this point they we have been following the usual Rick and Morty.

KcB7LkBJsMQmxNPy_yEWnVozIEskimh671I7tWoG_XU

image via Reddit

Yet, at the end of the episode, having followed a Rick and Morty on their FART journey when they eventually go back to pick up Jerry, Morty, being Morty, has lost the ticket. This doesn’t seem to matter too much…until another Rick and Morty (quite separate from the Rick and Morty we followed in this episode) ask of they have 5126, holding out the ticket we saw Rick and Morty C-137 receive at the start of the episode.

Screen-Shot-2016-04-28-at-2.41.53-PM.png

image via Geek

Total Rickall

b75e2f463e5a28c1-e1503346152967-2048x1024.png

image via The Daily Dot

So we followed a different Rick and Morty, big deal, right? That is until two episodes later in Total Rickall (S2 E4). At the start of the episode, we see Rick throwing out glowing green space rocks which leads to the murder of Uncle Steve (who is really an alien parasite that came with the space rocks). We then meet Mr Poopybutthole who appears in the intro alongside Rick and Morty. This isn’t just a joke about Mr Poopybutthole being a parasite (as we learn at the end of the episode that he isn’t) but rather it points to a different reality. This is a world where Mr Poopybutthole really does travel around with Rick and Morty.

b9NxhRM.jpg

image via Reddit

How do we know this? Well, we can actually trace the “glowing space rocks” back in Mortynight Run (above). As we know that this is a different dimension and therefore a different Rick and Morty, it makes sense that Total Rickall is the home of the very same Rick and Morty. We later see Rick disposing of the same rocks (below). You may notice that the same purple dots that appear on the rocks also appear on the parasites.

Rick and Morty

image via YouTube

Bonus Theories

These are some smaller theories to explore as well. I mean these are probably more akin to Easter eggs rather theories but here we go.

maxresdefault (1)

image via YouTube

  • The “tall Morty” we see in The Ricklantis Mixup isn’t a Rick who was born that way. The reason he looks like a normal Rick (as opposed to Dufus Rick) is because he is from a reality where Rick used the microscope given to him by the devil (S1 E9). The microscope made him mentally retarded.
rick_and_morty_jpm_1.png

image via Den of Geek

  • Rick’s genius actually comes from the seeds we see in episode 1 and this is true of all Ricks. We see the effects of the seeds on Morty at the end of the pilot episode which then puts him into a paralytic state for a few days. We also see these same trees being grown at the Citadel of Ricks/Mortys. This could simply be due to their value but what if rather than being an alcoholic, Rick keeps a seed-juice in his hipflask in order to top up his genius.
rick-and-morty-helmet-theory_cartoon-network

image via Uproxx

  • In relation to the larger theory, one piece of the puzzle is a smaller theory regarding Rick’s suicide attempts. We see the “suicide helmet” in several episodes and at the end of Auto Erotic Assimilation (S2 E3) Rick nearly dies. What if this suicidal tendency exists in all Ricks, including the original C-137 Rick who actually went through with it, opening up a spot for “our” Rick to step into.
mesmapessoa

image via Aficionados

  • Rick is Morty and Morty is Rick. There are two theories: one that Morty is actually a clone of Rick. This isn’t a huge leap but there also isn’t much evidence for it. The opposing theory is that Rick is an older version of Morty. This ties into the idea of the seeds being used to provide a genius level intellect. It also explains how Evil Morty could become so intelligent as to defeat Ricks.

Thanks for reading! Hopefully you enjoyed my exploration of just some of the theories surrounding Rick and Morty!

Don’t forget to follow me on here and on Twitter to stay up to date!

If you have anything to add or perhaps a suggestion for a future post, leave a comment down below!

Remember: For this month only you could win yourself a $20 Amazon gift card!

Peace!