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Us: Jordan Peele and Horror, A Unique Combination

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Film Review : Us

Jeremiah 11:11
Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape;
and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.

Get out” was a big nod to the racist past (and present) of the United States. A white, prosperous community who use African Americans to replace their worn-out bodies. A cynical story in which the physique of black Americans is being worshipped to some extent. And at the same time, it’s also distasteful because these American fellow men are regarded as superfluous individuals nobody will miss. Their disappearance won’t be noticed, so to speak. And a protagonist as a future victim, who can escape at the end with a piece of cotton (yes, a subtle reference). It’s quite obvious this can be regarded as a kind of allegory with a political twist. “Us” containing a political message, however, isn’t something I could see immediately. Of course, it depends on how you interpret the whole. I myself interpreted the story as a “Twilight zone” -like event. Soul mates leading a symmetrical existence. So no genetic experiments that got out of hand. Or is it all metaphorically intended and a reflection of how we see ourselves as a society? All in all, I put “Us” on the same level as “Hereditary“. A lot of hype-creation, but in my humble opinion a bit disappointing.

 

 

An excellent beginning.

However, the film starts very strong. The most impressive moment is the opening scene with the camera zooming out, slowly revealing lots of bunnies (with a choir as background music). Simply beautiful. Then an intense moment with young Adelaide (Madison Curry) who wanders around on the beach of Santa Cruz during a family vacation and ends up in an attraction. There she stands face to face with something frightening. So frightening that she doesn’t want to speak anymore and her parents (whose loving relationship clearly disappeared) desperately seek the help of a psychologist.

 

Creepy and grim.

When Adelaide comes back into the picture as an adult (Lupita Nyong’o), it seems as if the traumatic experience has been processed. But when she returns to the same beach with her husband Gabe (Winston Duke) and children Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex), where they meet up with friends, there are all sorts of omens pointing to the event from the past. It’s only when a group of weird people in orange overalls appear on their driveway at night that the atmosphere becomes grim and frightening. At first, I had a sort of “The Purge” deja vu moment. The moment the Wilson family comes face to face with these strangers, it becomes apparent that they are really creepy and strangely behaving individuals.

 

 

My God! That voice!??

And the first turnoff offers itself. The moment Red opens her mouth and a terribly annoying voice can be heard. When the ending draws near (and this time the ultimate revelation isn’t particularly surprising), it becomes quite clear why her voice sounds that way. Until that time you are constantly wondering what the reason is for this weird voice. But comfort yourself. You will come across even more mysterious things you won’t understand the ultimate meaning of. I do like films that are not too simplistic and do not offer a pre-canned explanation in such a way that every Joe Average understands what it’s all about. However, I’m not a big fan of films full of symbolism, so a re-watch is a must such that you can discover the deeper meaning behind it. And then you come to the conclusion that your theory isn’t at all consistent with what the director meant.

 

 

Peele and horror. A unique combination.

Jordan Peele has a unique perspective on the horror genre and tries to give it an alternative twist. Only his social-critical message about inequality and the division into classes got through. If Peele once again wants to direct an unusual horror, I hope he will incorporate a different kind of message. Leave out the symbolism and you can speak of a typical “home invasion” film of the same level as, for example, “You’re next“. In that area, it can be called successful.

 

 

Brilliant acting.

There are also a lot of positive things to say about this film. “Us” effortlessly transcends the disappointing film “Hereditary“. Not only the tension rises in crescendo and caused some terrifying moments. But also the footage is masterful. You can hardly call it the ultimate slasher, but quite a lot of blood splashes around. But foremost, the acting performance of the four main characters excels. It’s brilliant how they play themselves and their opposite characters. They underwent a frightening-looking transformation, resulting in two completely different personalities. I’m sure James McAvoy will also enjoy this “Split“-like spectacle.

 

I’m not going to watch it again to find more clues.

Unfortunately, the end was an anti-climax for me. The concept of horror faded into the background and resulted in a preachy plea about our unjust world and the existence of an oppressed population who feel displeased and misunderstood. A symbolic breaking of the chains and the formation of a human chain for a better world ruined it for me. And at the same time, there are the many unanswered questions that are open to all kinds of interpretations. What’s with all those bunnies hopping around? Food for those on the other side? Or test material for cloning experiments? Why the recurring text “11:11”? And why a pair of scissors as a weapon? But above all, where did they get it? And all those orange overalls? Nope, a rewatch to discover hidden answers and subtle hints, is not something I’m going to do. Films with an accompanying manual. It’ll never thrill me!

Ps. Some additional information about the twin sisters from the other couple. You could already admire them when they were really young as Emma Geller-Green in the sitcom “Friends”.

 

 

My rating 6/10
Links: IMDB

 

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Charlie Michael Baker: Journey of Autism, Social Media and Working with Kylie Jenner (EXCLUSIVE)

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Charlie Michael Baker and Kylie Jenner

At just 17, Charlie Michael Baker is giving his all to change the world. Baker is a renowned author, entrepreneur, actor, and journalist and he is on a mission to help millions of people suffering from autism. Charlie Michael Baker previously told Costal House Media he raised over £400,000 to help people with autism. He faced many challenges since childhood but his determination and perseverance were the key to his success.

Baker is a Social Media sensation with over 1.2M followers on Instagram. Charlie Michael Baker is one of the many influencers being bullied on social media every day. He receives 300-500 rape and death threats daily!

Charlie Michael Baker

Charlie Michael Baker

We had the honor to connect with Charlie Michael Baker. You can read our conversation below.

Nikita Pahwa: Congratulations on launching your new book! What can you tell us about it?

Charlie Michael Baker: So my new book is about social media, specifically, the dangers of social media. All young kids now want to grow up and be ‘famous’ but don’t know the bad side of it all. I was one of those kids, I’d always wanted to be famous, it’s something I’d always dreamed of!

NP: How do you deal with death and rape threats?

CMB: The short answer is, I don’t, really. I stopped reading my DMs a few months back because of it all. I don’t deal with negativity and there’s too many trolls to block each and every one, so they all just get ignored.

Charlie Michael Baker Social Media and I

Charlie Michael Baker Social Media and I (Photo: @kaybeephotography2 on Instagram)

NP: What advice would you give to people in similar situations?

CMB: I’d say don’t listen to them, do what I do and just don’t read them. It’s better that way. What you don’t see can’t hurt you!

NP: If you could say one thing to people sending you threats, what would it be?

CMB: Without ruining my career *lol* I’d say just to be a bit kinder. If there’s something going on in your life that you’re not very happy with, ask someone for help. Speak to someone you trust rather than swaying to a life of being a keyboard warrior. It’s not nice!

NP: Is your new book related to Charlie Baker: Autism and Me?

CMB: It is! It will be written in the same – ish way BUT Charlie Michael Baker Social Media And I will be exclusively E – book sold on my website charliembaker.net.

NP: Are you currently working on a new venture with Kylie Jenner?

CMB: I am! We’re working with the same brand – glow beverages. We’re working alongside an NBA star too whose name I cannot remember for the life of me – oops lol.

Kylie Jenner and Charlie Michael Baker

Kylie Jenner and Charlie Michael Baker

NP: Are you planning to collaborate with more celebrities in the future?

CMB: I love working with celebrities. Mostly just to see what they’re like to be honest. Kylie is so nice though honestly I keep messaging her life updates!

NP: Last question, is it true that you’re working on the Charlie Baker: Autism and Me movie? Are we going to see it on the big screen?

CMB: Yes, it is! I’m filming something very very special this year with Creation Media 22 which should appear on Netflix and Prime Video which is so exciting! It will be my first time in front of an actual TV camera so it’s a bit different to daily vlogs!

You can get your Charlie Michael Baker Social Media And I E-copy on March, 1 for £0.01 (yes, a penny!). Get your Charlie Baker: Autism and Me copy on Amazon.

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EXCLUSIVE: Charlie Michael Baker, A 16-Year-Old CEO Changing the World of Autism and Anxiety

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Charlie Michael Baker

Today, at the adolescent age of sixteen, Charlie Michael Baker is already set on his journey to help millions of people worldwide suffering from autism. Baker is more than just an influencer, CEO, and an accomplished author. After being diagnosed with autism Charlie has always tried to transform society and aware people of the difficulties one faces. From being bullied in school to collaborating with Kylie Jenner, Baker is the true definition of a champion as he continues to conquer everything against all odds!

We had the opportunity to connect with Charlie Michael Baker to understand his journey better. Read our conversation below.

At the mere age of 16 you’re helping kids and parents understand autism with your book Charlie Baker: Autism And Me, how do you think it’s creating an impact and helping people going through something similar as you did?

Charlie:
At just 16, it feels like I’ve accomplished so much in such a short amount of time and it’s so rewarding! My book, Charlie Baker: Autism And Me, has helped so many people which is such a rewarding thing to me. The whole reason I wrote my book was to help people and I even helped myself more than anything. Speaking up about what happened to me in school was such a relief for me because I felt like I had nobody to talk to when I was going through it.

Raising £350,000 for autism charities is praiseworthy, how do you plan to proceed further to help more autistic people worldwide?

Charlie:
So far, we’ve raised just over £400,000 ($485,000+, €458,000+). This is an unimaginable amount of money and has helped lots of people worldwide! I plan to continue to donate every cent of the proceeds to my book to charities helping people with autism forever!

Charlie Michael Baker

Charlie Michael Baker

How can other people help in your contribution?

Charlie: Purchasing my book, Charlie Baker: Autism And Me contributes to many charities globally helping autistic people who are not able to work due to their disability. Purchasing my book is a massive help to everyone currently struggling!

You suffered a lot, and even got suicidal at one point, how do you think the youth can protect themselves from situations like you faced?

Charlie: I was in a really dark place at that time… suicide crossed my mind a few times and it was so bad that I even had to lock myself into school toilets to get away from my bullies. My book was my only escape. I found myself in my writing and it’s honestly the most rewarding thing ever! If anyone is going through any sort of unkindness, tell someone that can help! Tell an adult, a friend, a family member. They can help so don’t be afraid to ask for it!

You once mentioned that you were physically assaulted and your teacher “did nothing about it”. Do you think your life would have been different if some action was taken?

Charlie: I was physically assaulted by another student at a school I was at and we were even right beside a teacher…. Not just any teacher, though, the head of safeguarding. The lead of the safeguarding team ignored what had just happened even though it was caught on camera. Many teachers have even bought my book and they were just as disgusted at this behaviour and have been very vocal about it! My book does circulate some school libraries in England which is such a rewarding feeling. Teachers and schooling staff know of my existence and I know some action is being taken off the back of people like me speaking out.

Charlie Michael Baker

Charlie Michael Baker

How do you feel about your bullies now?

Charlie: My bullies still message me to this day. Whether it’s asking me for money, or asking me to shout them out on Instagram… they are still around!

You once mentioned about having a job and working 9 to 5, what do you aim for your future?

Charlie: I work a 9-5 currently at a beauty company in Manchester, England and I love it there! I’ve always loved working and not just ‘sitting around and making money off of Instagram’ as some people may think that’s what we do, so I work full time! All money that I make through Instagram goes into a trust and is helping me build my future. I’m so thankful to every one of my followers, fans and even my not – so – friendly followers. Just remember, it’s nice to be nice!

Charlie Michael Baker

Charlie Michael Baker

Baker has been vocal about anxiety, ADHD, autism, and mental health problems. He continues to donate and help people in all ways he can. You can support his cause by getting a copy of his book Charlie Baker: Autism and Me.

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On Sale Today: The Kick-A** Book of Cobra Kai

The perfect tie-in for the fifth season of ‘Cobra Kai’ is here.

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This feature was made possible by an advance copy from Harper Collins and Dey Street Books.


As the holiday season approaches and fans of the wildly-popular Cobra Kai have likely binged the show’s fifth season, a new addition has arrived that is a must-have for any true sensei. That would be The Kick-A** Book of Cobra Kai; a new book chronicling the history and making of the Netflix series.

Serving as the official companion to the series, The Kick-A** Book of Cobra Kai is filled with vibrant page-turning designs with complete character breakdowns, interviews (including an insightful chat with stunt coordinator Don Lee) and beautiful pictures from the show and behind-the-scenes.

For a complete synopsis of what to expect from the book, see the official one courtesy of Harper Collins below:


The Kick-A** Book of Cobra Kai is a celebration of the superfans — an essential companion to the show acting as a master sensei ready to guide readers through the karate-crazed San Fernando Valley. The legacy of The Karate Kid and Cobra Kai continues with never-before-seen photographs and illustrations as well as interviews with Ralph Macchio (Daniel LaRusso), William Zabka (Johnny Lawrence), Martin Kove (John Kreese), Xolo Maridueña(Miguel Diaz), Mary Mouser (Samantha LaRusso), and MUCH MORE!
The show’s creators will give an unprecedented look inside the making of Cobra Kai: the writing, directing, and production of this beloved franchise that has grown from scrappy underdog to a global phenomenon. You will hear directly from the show’s crew, including our stunt team who will give you an exclusive behind the scenes look into fight choreography, journey through the Valley from the magical retreat of the Miyagi-do dojo to the humble strip mall that houses the Cobra Kai dojo with our set designers, and hear from our composers how the badass soundtrack for the show was conceived. And much more!


What better time than while you wait for the sixth season of the show to read through this incredible guide to all things Cobra Kai? Plus, what would your sensei likely suggest you do? Strike first and get your copy of The Kick-A** Book of Cobra Kai today.

Check out their official website for more information, including where to buy the book.

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