Lock Noir

Mr. Jules entered through the rear door of the small diner and maneuvered with ease around the lifeless countertops, sliding into a pale blue booth. Morning dew spread like wildfire across the concrete jungle outside and he waited as still as a rock in that café. His eyes set on the clock to his right – eight in the morning. A few more minutes and his target- one Albert Rochell – would come strolling in with a thick eared grin.

That wouldn’t last. Mr. Jules had a job, an assignment to complete. He reached into his long black coat and withdrew the black colt pistol, placing it cautiously on the table as to not make a sound. His figure hidden in the black shadows of the booths corner. His fixated gaze dwindled, and his iron lungs rose slow, like flowers growing in the field. Suddenly, the diner door clinked to life, the bell above rang out and in strolled… one Albert.

Mr. Jules retrieved the pistol from the table as quick as a deadly viper and shot three times at the man. The first bullet pounced across his face, barely scraping his chin and giving Albert enough time to glance his way. The second bullet, seemingly swirling around the man’s ears and the third straight through his chest. He’d never missed a shot in his life. Albert was keen though, agile, and he moved forward to the counter, dropping his jacket and hyperlight lunging across the top and into the kitchen area. Mr. Jules had no choice but to pursue. He jumped up out of the booth, slid across the diner floor and hobbled around the countertops.

Albert, the sorry bastard, was nowhere to be seen. The kitchen cold, lifeless. The drops of blood had even disappeared. Mr. Jules heard a click, span fifty degrees to his right to see Albert wielding a double barrel shotgun. Mr. Jules went to shoot but as he lifted his arm Albert squeezed the trigger and a buckshot rang out splattering through his chest, sending his ragdoll body into the cookers and pantry.

“Good mornin’,” Albert whistled, as he placed the shotgun down and began to prepare for the day ahead.

Thanks for reading. If you liked then please like, comment, reblog and follow. I’m trying to mix it up by bringing short stories today. There is a page of them, albeit not many. Have a great day!

The Oscars Assault

Today I found out that Will Smith has allegedly assaulted Chris Rock at the Oscars. I was told that it was a punch. I didn’t believe it. I thought it was staged. When I got home earlier, I searched YouTube for the clip. It is on there.

I can’t really believe it. When I started to watch the clip, and I heard the joke about Smiths wife, I didn’t think much of it. Will Smith is also laughing at the joke. But off camera, he must rise from his seat and start to walk on stage.

This is where we start to see that divide between rich and poor. Not only can the rich and famous get away with assaulting someone on live air, but also killing people too. That latter part is me referring to Alec Baldwin shooting someone on set. You see in the normal world, if I did that, slapped someone hard in the face, I’d be arrested. There are millions of witnesses, and yet, what is the outcome?

Chris Rock handled it well being a comedian. You can tell that he is genuinely shocked and the incident seems to be one of two things. It could be the result of a hidden feud between the pair and this is the climax, which is not unusual in Hollywood, where stabbing people in the back on live air seems to be the norm. It could also be the result of Will Smith being so rich and famous that it has gone to his head. Seriously, what was he thinking?

Being rich does not give you a free pass. In fact, being such a role model ought to have consequences. I suspect his masters will be having a word with him, possibly some form of payout to keep it ‘looking good.’ Then there is the mass of delusional celebrities stating that he was defending his wife. No… he attacked Chris Rock. That is not defending anything. If he had shouted at Chris from his seat rather than hitting him, that would have been defending her. Instead he took it too far. I guess you can see ever so slightly that he is upset about the incident. Maybe he had enough of the roasting that they all get? Maybe he had no other way to demonstrate ‘doing the right thing.’

But in reality, there is more to this. To do it live on air, in front of all those people is more a statement of ‘look who I am, and what I can do,’ rather than being a defence against words. Also, since we are talking about jokes, it was not that funny. Free speech campaigners including famous celebs have constantly advocated for freedom when it comes to stand up comedy. Is Will Smith stating that he is against freedom of expression in comedy? What he is ultimately trying to prove? The matter could and should have been resolved off screen and no doubt that it will impact his image.

There are better ways to deal with issues. I urge you all not to take notice of this incident as a way to deal with them. You can do it better. Will Smith can too, and I suspect that if he is a good human with a good heart that he will apologise. Apologising at the Oscars to the academy is his way of bowing to the corporate masters who can cut him off from it all. Basically, he realised he messed up.

What do you think? It’s a hot topic right now, so I wanted to see how you all felt too.

Youth Offenders – Dangerous Children?

What would you say to a child who had stolen some money from your purse? What if they apologised and you decided to show remorse? Think about this, what would you do if that same child, exactly a week later, was arrested and charged with causing grievous bodily harm because they smashed a glass bottle over another childs head?

Youth offenders, also called young people, young offenders, are rampant in the United Kingdom. In fact, the UK has the highest rate of youth offenders across Europe. (https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2008/sep/22/ukcrime.prisonsandprobation) Although the article is from 2008, what does it tell us? Charity Barnados stated in that “custodial sentences are ineffective because 78 per cent of 10 to 14 year olds reoffend within 12 months of release”. Quite a significant figure. If you look at what is available to youth offenders, or children, you will see that the criminal justice system or youth court system powers vary widely when dealing with children.

Before going any further, it would aid if you understood exactly what a child is in the eyes of the law. The age of criminal responsibility is from 10 years old. This may bring up mixed emotions when you read it, as surely that is too high, or surely, is too low? Under 10 and you cannot be arrested and charged with a crime, a rather frightening thing though isn’t it? (https://www.cps.gov.uk/crime-info/youth-crime). Some suggestions out there state that people are born good or bad, and if that is true, and a child is bad and commits a heinous crime, like murder at 8 years old… that leaves open a massive hole, which will likely be filled by media misinformation. Young persons therefore, are from 10 to 17 year old. Actually, its 14 and under at which they are classed as children, at the point they committed the offence. 18 onwards is classed as an adult by the law of England and Wales. However, it gets complicated with the 18 year olds. If sentenced to prison, they will enter an establishment called a young offenders institution that holds 18-25 year olds. To read more about the sentencing guidelines of youths read the following (https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/overarching-guides/magistrates-court/item/sentencing-children-and-young-people/).

“…that leaves open a massive hole, which will likely be filled by media misinformation.

 Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act (YJCEA) 1999 introduced safeguards for children which would allow youth court to operate completely differently to the normal courts. The youth court would not be as formal as a crown court. Counsel would not be wearing wigs or gowns and the child will be addressed by their first name, to help put them at ease. There is no public in the court and the identity of the child is to be kept hidden to protect them, although the press is allowed into the youth court. Usually there would be a parent or guardian required if the youth is 16 or under. There would be someone there from the youth offending team (https://www.gov.uk/youth-offending-team) if appropriate along with a court officer. The court will deal with offences such as theft and drug offences, (https://www.gov.uk/courts/youth-courts). More serious crimes like rape or murder, also called grave crimes, will be sent to the crown court.

There has been an overall decrease in young offenders and child offenders ( (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/youth-justice-statistics-2020-to-2021/youth-justice-statistics-2020-to-2021-accessible-version), however, what the statistics show is that a lot of the crimes committed are predominantly by males.

Young persons committing these crimes seems to be an integral part of society, it drags it down and doesn’t look promising for the future of our country when the children are turning to the dark side of crime. Take a look at the following post by the Crown Prosecution Servicehttps://www.cps.gov.uk/wessex/news/59-year-old-man-stabbed-and-beaten-teenagers. Both defendants were young offenders at the time of the offence, Clarke being 17 and his unnamed accomplice 15. Upon sentencing, at which point Clarke turned 18, he was stripped of the protection of the youth courts in terms of keeping his identity hidden. His accomplice must have been 16 and thus, they cannot name him. This change in age is significant and it will impact the sentence they received. It was a heinous crime involving stabbing a 59 year old man. Clarke received a sentence of 3 years detention in the young offender institution as has been touched on above. Notice also, that he was sentenced in the crown court. This is because of a few factors, most notable is that he is receiving a sentence above two years. The youth court cannot deal with him due to his age. The youth court can only impose a maximum of a 2 year detention and training order, Section 34A Children and Young Persons Act 1933. (https://yjlc.uk/resources/legal-terms-z/youth-court#:~:text=The%20maximum%20sentence%20in%20the%20youth%20court%20is,Section%2034A%20Children%20and%20Young%20Persons%20Act%201933). Reviewing this 3 year sentence, it does seem appropriate, given his age, given the nature of the offence and his plea. Had he been sentenced under 18, he may have received a detention and training order from the youth court at a lesser rate.

Moving to Clarke’s accomplice, who pleaded guilty to battery and criminal damage at Southampton Youth Court in June 2020. He received a 12 month referral order and must pay £50 compensation to the victim. Being I presume 16 at the time of sentence means he is still within the definition of a young offender. He received a referral order, meaning that he was pleading guilty and would have likely been his first offence. A referral order must be imposed on any youth with no previous convictions who pleads guilty to any imprisonable offence, unless the court is considering an absolute dischargeconditional dischargeMental Health Act order or custody(https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/pronouncement-cards/card/referral-order/). The justice system determined that 12 month referral order with a fine was sufficient. Due to the complex nature of the various possibilities with youth offenders, it will not be possible to cover all of it here.

There is more to young offenders and children being convicted of crimes. There appears much scope for the issues to be tackled before the crimes are committed. Perhaps targeted towards the rampant availability of dangerous weapons which are easy to get hold of. Or, perhaps the inadequate or uncaring parenting that is resulting in damaged children seeking some sort of justice for the way they feel? Is the crimes being committed by children due to a lack of education or empathy? Maybe a lack of human contact or support, drug use, housing issues, family issues… the possibilities are endless. This articles suggest some of those reason – https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/preventing-involvement-crime. Parents are not invisible to the court system though, and should they find their children involved in crime, may be given a parenting order. Such arises where a child doesn’t attend school or commits a criminnal offence (https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/explanatory-material/magistrates-court/item/ancillary-orders/19-parenting-orders/). (https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/law/research/criminology-research/parenting-orders-criminalisation-parenting/).

Ultimately, what someone does or does not do can come down to a range of varying factors, some of which may never come to light, due to embarrassment, such as mentally ill children who have been abused, or those who come from broken homes, or lower income families. It isn’t about blaming anyone though. We can’t resolve an issue by ignoring possible solutions whilst pointing the finger. Youth offending teams and the multiple charities supporting young offenders is incredible. Support is there to give them the rehabilitation they need and possibly more. It is easy to judge someone if they have a child who is convicted, but how would that affect you? Do you see beyond the newspapers and the mostly rhetorical nonsense that the news tells us about the real reasons for young people committing crimes? Do you better understand the legal definition of children and the possible sentences available, so when you see stories purportedly suggesting a 15 year old ‘should have got 10 years’… what will you say?

This has been an article on children and young offenders.

The Fast and The Furious: Remembering Paul Walker

The first movie in the franchise, The Fast and The Furious, was released in 2001, 20 years ago. It was a high octane racing thriller and captivated youths all over the modern world. Everybody wanted to be either Vin Diesel or Paul Walker (Dom and Brian). A film that spawned the biggest grossing series in the world, with the first movie ranking in $206,512,310!

What really kickstarted the series was Paul Walker, an undercover FBI agent. See, he’d starred in other movies, but the Fast and the Furious films were what he was and is still known for. First starring alongside Vin Diesel in the first movie, then being the star of the second, and reuniting with Vin for number 4. Film 4 and 5 was where we start to see a competitiveness between the actors to be the lead. Vin had vanished for movie 2 and made a brief appearance at the end of movie 3, Tokyo Drift. The 3rd movie, Tokyo Drift, was never my favourite, I preferred the first 2 movies. At the time though it didn’t matter, you liked it and you were cool, didn’t like and you were living in the past of the first movie.

The movies could arguable be the reason for video games such as Need for Speed: Underground released in 2003, and Need for Speed: Underground 2 released in 2004. Don’t forget Burnout, released in 2001. I played all 3 and I preferred Need for Speed, simply because of the car customisation which was a huge part of the first few Fast and Furious movies. They went from being crime films full of octane chases and races, to more of action thrillers where the cars customisation took the backseat. I still like the movies and for me number 7, Paul Walkers last movie, was my favourite. I still have to see the 9th movie!

So, what happened? Obviously Paul passed away in 2013, after the release of Fast and Furious 6. Making a digital appearance for number 7. It was known that he loved cars in real life as well as being in the Hollywood success series. The 6th movie also introduced Dwayne Johnson, which was a surprise. What was a bigger suprise was that he stayed on in the following movies. Going from antagonist to friend of the group.

See, Paul Walker starred in the first few movies, helping to build up the franchise and make it what it is today. Sadly, not everybody wanted that. He brought to the series a likeable character. Overshadowed by one person and pushed to the back seat a lot of the time, which we start to see in 2009 releases Fast and Furious.

We can’t change the past, but we can appreciate that Walker played the main character, Brian O’Connor in the first movies and added that undercover cop magic. The series grew, so did the income, so it was really not a surprise to see more recognisable faces showing up, like Dwayne Johnson, like Kurt Russel. The excellent spin off movie, still a part of the franchise, Hobbs and Shaw, starring Johnson and Jason Statham! Yes, an epic combination and to be honest, one of the best films I have seen in terms of action and plot. It still retains that Fast and Furious seal of approval, the upgrading of vehicles, the car chases. The crew of the series did well to integrate this spin off. See, Jason Statham, if memory proves correct, made a brief appearance at the end of one of the Fast and Furious movies. I think it was number 7, and then then film ends. So, to bring him back in film 8 (?) been a while since watching, was a good idea. An ideal villain. Anyway the spin off was good.

Back when the franchise was starting Paul and Vin were the only big stars in the movie that people cared about. There was Michelle Rodriguez though, who turned heads. She stayed in the series until film 4, Fast and Furious, in which she was killed and the plot evolved around Dom trying to avenge her. It was a rather emotional entry in the series. But fear not, she magically comes back in a later movie and sticks around. Rodriguez did go on to star in films like Resident Evil.

If the series continues, and no doubt it will, because of the money, then lets hope they go back to a time when the film was about the races, the upgrading of cars, and the neon lights on the streets of Los Angeles. The movies still have cars and fast chases, but the original movies were about racing. They lined up, some women in tight shirts would wave the banner and then they race. There was nitrous, there were crashes, and there was winners and losers. It felt very real. The newer movies don’t feel quite the same.

This has been a remembrance of Paul Walker’s contribution to the franchise, without whom it would not be where it is today. For the sake of clarity, I like the movies.

Joker: Movie Review

The Warner Bros Trailer for Joker


Highly anticipated and received to mixed reviews, Joker.

Released 2019 with a run time of 2 hours 2 minutes. Released 4th October 2019 UK. Directed by Todd Phillips. Gross Revenue of $1.074 billion.

Winner of 2 Academy Awards, 2 Golden Globe Awards and 3 British Academy Film Awards.

8.5 IMBD 68% Rotten Tomatoes

I watched Joker with my friend the Monday just passed. It was quite an insight into the mind of a psychopath, the Joker.

Acted and played out brilliantly by capable Joaquin Phoenix, and well supported, including by legend Robert De Niro. A somewhat slow paced crime thriller, bordering psychological thriller. The film certainly delivers the elements of a serial killer movie developing through emotional distress and being shunned by society.

I kept watching to see whether we would learn anything interesting about the Joker or his background. The only things we learn are that he had a crazy mother and that he’s magically middle aged whilst Bruce Wayne is a child? Come on, that is a major inconsistency….making Joker a pensioner in the Batman films….which he clearly was not, especially in The Dark Knight when portrayed by Heath Ledger.

He has a maniacal laugh, later suggested is not a medical condition, which I suspected, but is a part of his psychopathy. Treated badly as a child, raised and ignored and made a laughing stock of on national tv by his presenter hero De Niro. Of course, this sets in motion a series of events that unintentionally lead the Joker to creating a massive clown masked revolution without really doing much at all. Started by the killing of three men in suits in the subways. Small ideas are thrown into the public eye and they eat it up quick enough, quick to cause carnage…a great and accurate representation of the world today.

As a literal clown for a job, he is invited on a tv show to showcase some of his work. He has it all planned out, after committing a series of murders on former work colleagues. The whole time we can see his mental health deteriorate as he slowly loses his grip on reality. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him, as he has had a terribly abusive past and was lied to and humiliated consistently from start to finish. I am not surprised he did what he did. That might be why critics were riled and mixed reviews/poor reviews about promoting violence came through.

The finale sees him on the show where he brutally murders, by shooting the tv host. His actions come after a rant about his previous murders of the suits. Here we see some movie magic but also a dangerous film mechanic. Suggesting that the societal mentally sick are somewhat righteous to go and kill the wealthier is absurd. When Joker shoots the host, of course that is the start of the riots and mass criminal activity. Thousands called on by this self entitlement that the Joker seems to display throughout.

An okay film, with brief but not overly detailed insight into the Jokers mind. Due to the themes and suggestive nature of the film and the violence associated with this, I have deducted half a star for the final rating.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

3 and a half stars. Not too bad, worth a watch, very controversial content surrounding mental health and the poor rich divide. Good luck watching this.