Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Tragic Mystery

It has been a hot minute since I have blogged, however I felt inspired recently. I read the news … a lot. I follow stories to see their progress, one story in particular has stayed with me, that is the one of the sad and mysterious death of 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins.
If you’re not familiar, the young woman went out with her friends on a Friday night. Their destination and party spot was a hotel. Ms. Jenkins like a lot of young people, had some drinks, got separated from her friends and ended up in the walk in freezer of a seldom used catering kitchen of the hotel.
It’s a hotel, right, there’s video, right? Yes. There is. It’s everywhere on the internet. However, unless there is something not made public, we never see her walk into the freezer. We see her in the kitchen, but that’s where it ends.
There is just something not adding up on this one.
The surveillance shows her stumbling around, unable to stand. Yet, a video of her partying shows a young woman who appeared be sober.
How did she get to be in such an inebriated state? Admittedly, when I first saw the surveillance, my mind immediately went to a paranormal explanation. It scared me. It reminded me of Elisa Lam.
Hotel, surveillance, both young women seemingly talking to someone else.
After my initial, ‘oh stop, it isn’t a vengeful ghost beckoning her’, I couldn’t help but shake the feeling that she was following someone or someone was calling out to her, “This way. I’m here. Help me.”
She is looking around, even seems to have direction. Enter the kitchen … fade out.
Uh, I worked in a kitchen. How did she open that Freezer door in that condition, those doors are not light.
Let’s assume that she made it into that kitchen, opened that heavy door, stumbled inside and passed out.
Here’s where the injustice comes in.
We know she was alive at 3:20 am. Her friends are already searching frantically for her, after they have no luck, scared to death, they call Kenneka’s mom. She hightails it right over. Of course she did, this is her child, her baby. It was only a couple hours before hand that she said what we all say to our grown children when they leave, “Be careful, I love you.”
Mrs. Martin, Kenneka’s mom, probably tried to stay calm. Still, she’s a mom.. You know damn well, at five in the morning she is pleading with the hotel people, ‘Just look at the footage. Please, look at the footage.”
And they … refused. Yeah, they wouldn’t do it. I don’t get why. Mrs. Martin wasn’t asking to see the footage, she wanted them to look.
She would have to wait and file a missing person’s report, and then it would be twelve hours since Kenneka was last seen alive before the search would commence and near another twelve hours after a search started that they’d find her.
You may think twelve hours is not a lot, but it is when you’re in a freezer.
Rules be damned. What was wrong with these hotel people that they couldn’t have someone come in and pull the footage. No compassion? No heartstrings with a frantic mother?
Even if they had to wait until seven in the morning for security, they could have done it.
The friends knew when they were separated, it would have been easy to find her on the footage.  They would see where she was last. The kitchen.
When our children are little they hide and often fall asleep. As parents we learn to check the danger zones, Washer, dryer, car, oven, Freezer … check these places first.
Why didn’t they.
Had they pulled the footage when Mrs. Martin pled, had they just been human, at most, only four hours would have passed and Kenneka would be alive. Frost bitten, suffering from Hypothermic, but alive.
That alone is an injustice. Again, things just don’t add up and I refuse to believe it was a simple case of a drunken girl stumbling into a freezer. It ceased to be simple, when they failed to add an ounce or urgency, compassion and common sense into looking for the girl.  To me, they dismissed her as some wild party girl and they didn’t give a damn. That was wrong. She is a human being.
Kenneka is not alone in stories such as these. Kendrick Johnson who was reported missing and found in a wrestling matt at his school, Elisa Lam, who went missing in the hotel and found in the water tank on the roof, Richard Potter, missing for eight months and despite all his wife’s pleas to check the airport garage, finally 8 months later they did and there he was.
Now, there are comments to the extreme of both sides of the Kenneka story. People are mean, they really are. The internet and the ability to be anonymous brings out the heartless bastards in so many people.
Why? It’s not them. It’s not their friend, their child. They don’t care and that’s a shame. They should.
A young girl died. She died and she shouldn’t be dead.
I think the worst comments that say the mother is only after money. This was her child, IS her child. A part of her soul was ripped from her being. An agony unimaginable. She doesn’t want money, she wants answers and deserves them. I pray she keeps up her strength and search until answers are found, because I truly believe there is more to this story.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Train to Busan: A Ride You Don't Want to Miss - Review

Ever see a movie that you just loved so much, that you want to shout to the whole world, ‘See this film!’? For me, Train to Busan was that movie. To me, it is simply the greatest zombie/virus movie ever made.

Now, granted, unless you like end of the world films or are a zombie enthusiast, you’re not going to feel the same way. But if you like zombie or virus movies … this one is epic. E-P-I-C

Train to Busan is a Korean film, and yes, there are subtitles, however, I implore you not to let that influence your decision to watch. I promise you, fifteen minutes in, you’ll be like, ‘what subtitles’. It’s apocalypse, dialogue is minimal and as my son put it, the actors were animated in delivery and the dialogue went with the action, you didn’t need to read it.

The premises, a father (Yoo Gong) takes his daughter (soo-an Kim) on a train to see her mother. Unbeknownst to them, the outbreak has begun and it’s on the train, their destination may be one of the only safe places remaining …if they can get there.

The movie is about what people will do, and how far they would go for those they love and strangers. The film covers a wide range of characters that act and react a certain way to the danger and stress. Each character could be someone you know.

The acting is top notch and I fell in love with Don Lee’s (Ma Dong-Seuk) character. He’s tough, believable and he does an amazing job. His chemistry with his pregnant wife and the others is instant, and he provides a lot of comic relief when it is so desperately needed.

Let’s not forget the little girl Soo-an, she’s outstanding and delivers a performance never seen in this genre.

The focus is on the people, and you care about them, really care about them. Yes, we see some really cool zombies or infected, but the gore is actually PG rated, really, very little blood and violence. Your fear comes from the point of view of those on the train. It pulls no punches and will emotionally rip your heart out. Yeah … you’ll cry during a zombie film.

I have heard it compared to 28 Days later and World War Z, while the infected are similar, Train to Busan crushes them both. Another comparison … Snowpiercer. Yeah, good movie, it has nothing on this one. There is no down time. In fact, unlike those two films, on my third time watching Train to Busan, I had no desire to hit a fast forward over slow scenes … there are none.

I don’t want to give too much away, because you deserve to watch this film. I’m telling you to watch this movie. You’ll thank me for it. Just a heads up, in the beginning, once you see the father and daughter in the car going to the train … buckle up, it doesn’t stop from there.