Week 39 – And So…
I went to a Weird Al concert! Friggin amazing. That's definitely the highlight of the week. I didn't get to Europe because... stuff, but this should be enough of a memorable event to bask in all winter! Until next summer; the array of awesome artists they fetch in to Gröna Lund by then. I'm looking forward to it already!
The definite lowlight of the week is probably my microphone's XLR cable suddenly breaking down amidst overdue recording sessions, forcing me to order new ones when I could've been done... which I've just packed up and tested aaaand they're working! I feared the microphone itself might've been breaking up, but it seems it'll survive a while yet.
I bought an extra cable this time, in case disaster repeats itself. Maybe I should order a few more hmm... oh btw, the new brand of choice is Kirlin. The previous, the one that after a mere year of rare usage no longer works - was Deltaco. Just to be fair, the old cable was incredibly cheap... but so is the new one. Hopefully the new is the budget quality the last was not.
The week overall just blew by: on work, recording, a weekend reunion with a buddy, touring the city before the concert (realizing that there are actually some places smack in the middle of Stockholm that... aren't so bad! It can be quite quiet and peaceful if you know where to go); a boatload of other tasks of which... none come to mind at the moment. I swear my schedule was packed though! Must not have been particularly memorable things I've been doing.
In less notable but apparently more memorable news: I managed to cook up a soup in which the leek turned blue! Turns out copper - common in tap water - can have that effect. It didn't look very healthy but... I survived! And attained some rare knowledge while I was at it. The strange coloring effect may apply to other vegetables as well, such as the supposedly even more commonly discolored: garlic.
In neighborhood news: they're blowing up rocks all over the place lately, especially in the morning, and will probably keep doing so for a while yet: prepping for new living quarters. Hopefully this recent sleep deprivation cause will lead to earlier morning routines rather than sudden breakdown...
Btw, ever heard of stepwells? How about tilt shift photos? I was going to post a blog about the latter, but just give it a Google. They're (both) pretty cool!
Swapping topics, there's a new Machine Gun Kelly album coming on October 16, and tonight I would have been able to catch a glimpse of a blood moon if I didn't have to get up so early (and thus get the sleep that watching the blood moon would require missing). It's a rare phenomenon - next time it'll happen is 2033, but hopefully the net'll be overflowing with videos tomorrow so I can see what I missed.
Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)
In the early 1950's, the threat of Communism created an air of paranoia in the United States and exploiting those fears was Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. However, CBS reporter Edward R. Murrow and his producer Fred W. Friendly decided to take a stand and challenge McCarthy and expose him for the fear monger he was. However, their actions took a great personal toll on both men, but they stood by their convictions and helped to bring down one of the most controversial senators in American history.
Is this movie a little over-rated, maybe? 51 wins, 87 nominations, and 6 nominations for Oscar?! For a black and white movie that takes place mostly inside a building, and features a famous news anchor from times of old speaking up on *see above*, it really wasn't that fantastic... was it?
Yet all the while I'm typing this, I'm recalling how awed I was at the speeches; the truthful rendition of this old world, all in black and white, people's faces stylishly veiled by curls of smoke, their eyes alive, glowing in a way you can't seem to portray with color. David Strathairn puts on a so authentic performance he becomes his black and white counterpart. George Clooney kind of stands out, though I'm not sure it's that he doesn't fit the times as much as that I recognize him (he looks very much like his regular self) and I don't subconsciously approve. The actors overall are perfect choices... even Clooney I guess, it's just weird seeing him in this
new old surrounding.
It's an odd type of movie, a truthful recreation of the old world; the people that lived there, how they worked, what they said and did and the battle they fought - with words rather than violence. Amidst the acting, there's a couple of old commercials and some actual footage from those days past, showed on TV within the movie as if not just us viewers but the main characters are the audience.
From start to finish, there is one death, but there's not a single bullet fired. No action. Mostly talking. All of it about a time I don't recall, from a place I have no affiliation with - the US of A in this Day and Age. So, why was it still so inspiring to watch? The fact that it's based on actual events probably plays a part, as do the refreshingly inspiring newscasts - so unlike the ones today. And it doesn't tell a story as much as it delivers a message; a memorable one at that. One that still applies, even in our new and colorful world. All in all I guess it really was... a good movie!rated 4/5: fo shizzle
Kung Fury (2015)
I helped fund the Kung Fury kickstarter some time ago, yet it was only recently I was made aware that... the movie's out! :O And has been a while. Why was I not made aware? What email did I miss?!! Well, I've seen it now, and so should you if you haven't. It's a free, 30-minute feature-film homage to oldskool creative 80s action that anyone can enjoy in HD on YT right here.
Apart from plenty of punchlines and diverse methods of carnage, there's an exclusive theme song by none other than oldskool 80s icon David Hasselhoff, a soundtrack featuring such talents as Mitch Murder, and a plot that spans the fiendish Kung Fu Reich, a Viking Age (with dinosaurs) and a parallel eighties in which arcade bot's ran rampant and wrecked havoc on our streets. But it's OK! With the help of Hackerman, our main hero Kung Fury travels back in time to sort things out. He travels so far back, however, that he has to ask Thor for help getting back to the present. Things happen, and 30 minutes fly by in a blaze aaaaand..
It's a blast! It never slows down. Just goes and goes and goes, and keeps entertaining. The special effects (the whole movie takes place in front of a green screen) are a bit over the edge, and clearly special effects, which if you consider it a flaw would be the one big flaw in this movie. I miss that authentic feeling I consider the grand forte of original action movies from this homeaged day and age, with gigantic explosions and carnage on a material level - no matter how fake it seemed to be, and I really hoped this movie would incorporate some of those oldskool techniques despite their focus on green screens, but... I guess you can't ask for everything! A crazy, creative; fun-to-watch homeage to the mad actionfests of the eighties is more than enough to make it worthy a watch.
Fun fact: how I found out the movie was out already: they had an article about it in N, Norweigen's in-flight magazine on the last trip I flew! You can find a less visual edition of the article online, here.rated 4/5: fo shizzle
Täcknamn Coq Rouge (1989)
Carl Hamilton is a fictitious Swedish special agent, trained by the CIA, army SEAL, a character portrayed in a series of books by Jan Guillou, and this particular segment (from the book Coq Rouge) made it to the big screen!
Stellan Skarsgård plays Hamilton. He's assigned to the Stockholm police force (much to their protest) to deal with a rumored terrorist threat. They know it's going to happen, but where? When? Between authentic Stockholm scenery (you catch a glimpse of Stockholm's Police HQ at one point) and the sandy sceneries of Morocko, Hamilton tries to uncover a plot. There's a lot of chasing around; uncovering things, and little action, but when there is it's surprisingly professional. The character's are well-played, and the plot is solid, complete with unexpected twists and unwanted realism, but on the whole it feels like a somewhat mediocre movie.
Maybe because of realism. Maybe because I'm used to big explosions and special effects, and they didn't even do a panorama shot of the one big explosion in the movie. Probably because it wasn't as huge as it seemed to be - though they did a great job at making it seem as mighty as possible. This movie may not deliver more than a captivating crime case, but that being the case: it's not a bad case. I'd hoped for something a bit more explosive; a bit more uplifting, but if slice of life cop drama with occasional spice is what you like, this might be for you.rated 3/5: not bad
Jönssonligan – Den Perfekta Stöten (2015)
Jönssonligan is the name of a series of classic Swedish criminal comedy movies. It's the name of a gang where each member radiates such a impressionable personality that you grew to care for every one of them, and follow their often erranous criminal escapades with a silly grin on your face.
This was a long time ago, however. The original actors died or grew old. The series faded away from being a piece of the present - where you looked forward to each new segment of the series, to being a series of classics everyone had in their bookshelf... until now!
The attempt to bring life to the series, however, breaths in a whole lot of death. The characters are introduced one by one, and brought together by sometimes entertaining, sometimes tragic circumstance. Vanheden is now black, Rocky is now a girl, Stickan no longer needs glasses and Dynamit Harry is now not only an alcoholic but also suicidal. They meet him just as he's about to blow himself to smithereens in a trailer packed with explosives. Not the best start to a lasting, positive character impression.
On the one hand the new actors are great! I feel they all fit their roles perfectly despite the intentional twists to their character, but the roles they are now acting feel so far away from the originals that I'm not sure it'll ever get as good as it used to, regardless of it will ever feel the same (that seems improbable).
The humor's no longer harmless. The arguments between characters in the gang are no longer entertaining - they're brutal. The whole story, though masterfully put together, compelling on it's own, feels like a tragic reboot of a series that was so much more than this. From permeating hope and vision, featuring a creatively clumsy gang of criminals that were so unlike the gritty underworld of today that you didn't really consider them criminal, it's become a dime a dozen, like a cheap Swedish take on Ocean´s 12 or Fast & Furious... without casinos or car chases. The story? Very generic:
Charles Ingvar Jönsson gathers three criminals to take vengeance upon the people who killed his uncle.
Be it for good or worse, the reboot is off to a very different start, and though the movie was one of the best Swedish movies I've seen in a while, I'm not sure it merits a Jönssonligan in the title. Hopefully it'll be like Bond's chaotic jump back to beginnings in Casino Royale, where the sequels settle, and the main character once again gains the dignity he deserves. I'm fearful of, but all the same looking forward to a sequel; hoping it'll bring back all that this one didn't.rated 3/5: not bad
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