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Jake + Olive

I thought I'd seen the best when I saw this, but then I found this. So damn tragic/beautiful/inspiring.

Half Life Episode 2

A Complete Pit...

Muay Thai Giant (2008)

Muay Thai Giant (2008)

In my quest for movies with Tim-Man (a Swedish martial artist that's appeared in a lot of Thai-action lately) I stumbled upon this one. Tim-Man isn't in it, instead Nathan Jones filled in the spot as main character, and did a good job at it too! It was a nice break from the serious action movies I've been watching lately (this is an action comedy); Thai-acion is generally pretty brutal. In this movie, even though it's a comedy, with plenty of comedy too, there are some scenes you might not normally put in a comedy. Arms are broken, friends shoot each other, etc etc... but still, it's a comedy. You can tell by the circus music that plays in the background... and because there's plenty of humor. Mostly.

The story is about Barney, an Australian giant who arrives in Thailand. Somehow the police confiscate his passport, and until he can get it back he has nothing, no home, no money, no friends, nothing. The police give him some money and while sitting around doing nothing he meets a young pickpocket and her friend. They become friends and give him a place to live, and he helps out at a restaurant, though he keeps breaking mortars, by accident. It also turns out he turns red and goes on a rampage if he heats some kind of spicy papaya food (?), a feat that comes in handy when suddenly a bunch of bad guys pop up and the main characters are all intertwined in their evil business.

Here are a few quick shots of the action.

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Deep Imact (1998)

Deep Imact (1998)

The plot reminds of Armageddon, the special effects make me think of 2012 and Day After Tomorrow, but the fact is this movie came out before those three did, and before a lot of other movies that are about pretty much the same thing.

Deep Impact & Armageddon were actually both released the same year, and feature very similar plots. IMDB gives both of them a score of 6 stars, though Armageddon leads by .4. Why? What did that movie have that this one didn't? Both of them had plenty of well-known actors (of which none appear in both movies, that I can see). Maybe Armageddon had more action, or maybe it was because it had Bruce Willis (at the time no doubt peaking in fame thanks to the third part of the Die Hard series) but this one certainly had better special effects! It's a shame it was released in the shadow of Armageddon, even though it came out first, cause it's good. At IMDB Armageddon has more than twice as many votes, which goes to show that the movie was, if not better, apparently more popular.

Btw, just for fun, let's compare the summaries of Deep Impact and Armageddon from IMDB...

Unless a comet can be destroyed before colliding with Earth, only those allowed into shelters will survive. Which people will survive?

After discovering that an asteroid the size of Texas is going to impact Earth in less than a month, NASA recruits a misfit team of deep core drillers to save humanity.

What they don't mention in the summary is that the comet in Deep Impact is the size of New York and weighs around 50 billion tons. Maybe that would crack the ratings up a bit? In the summaries above they don't really work in Deep Impact's favor, so maybe it all boils down to bad marketing for the former. Overall the plots aren't so so different huh, though this one I feel has more depth (and I don't mean just the title) than Armageddon does. There it's just about the heroes, here it's about... well, just keep reading. I'll get to that. There's got to be some story as to why two so similar movies came out the very same year. Something about the millennium coming up? Then why were there not many more of these in 99? Anyway, I'll set the comparisons aside and focus on the movie, which was a good one.

In difference to Armageddon (there I go again) there's not one set character we follow, but rather a few, and all of them play important or less important roles. Some of them don't really have much to do with the incident at all, but nevertheless they gain screen time priority. In the face of disaster, we learn about people. We see how they react, though of course it's one of those movies were we get a very one-sided view. There's drama, there's tragedy, there's love, there's heroism, and there's beautiful filming and special effects. It was definitely worth watching. It feels strange seeing Morgan Freeman in the movie as president though, since he's... well, black, but I suppose this movie was ahead of it's time in many ways. Not least in the special effects department.

Usually when I watch movies from pre-millenium, the special effects that were so amazing at the time don't really cut it any longer, but in this one it's almost the other way around. The special effects here were better than they are in many of the modern doomsday movies I've seen. It had to have had a big budget, cause when the huge wave sweeps in over New York it's a powerful sight to behold. Either that or they just had a team of great people working on the movie. If you haven't seen it yet, you better. If you've seen Armageddon, and you liked it, then you'll probably like this one too. If you're tired of movies like this, then... go watch something with Donnie Yen in it, and if you don't like the kind of movies Donnie Yen makes, then... why are you reading my reviews in the first place? ;) Until next time!

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Day Of The Jackal (1973)

Day Of The Jackal (1973)

Could this be the predecessor to The Jackal (1997), or is the name all it has in common? Oh, it was one more thing in common: it's a story about a hitman. In this one, however, the hitman is not known as The Jackal from the start, but rather choses this name at random as his codename when speaking to a his employees. Which codename will you use for this job? Why not the Jackal? Why not. The job? To kill the president. His employees? The OAS.

The story is very factual at the beginning. It starts with a monologue. On August 1962, president Charles De Gaue of France made Albania independent. Some of the population didn't like it. A group of extremists, mostly from the army, swore to kill him in revenge. They tried once, firing over 140 shots in less than 7 seconds at the presidents car (we get a video flashback for this). Miraculously, the president made it to the airport unscathed, even though several bullets pierced the car and one came within an inch of his head. All other passengers were unhurt as well. Now, we jump back the present. OAS is riddled with informants, under surveillance, unable to do another hit, and so they send for one. A relatively unknown hitman with only one job on his resume.

So, the hitman arrives. He goes about the mission professionally, considers it a once in a lifetime job as he'll have to retire right after, and asks for half a million (a lot of money at the time). Half in advance, half on completion. And thus the story starts.

The movie takes place on both sides of the law. On one there's a Jackal, making his preparations, traveling all around the continent, getting false passports, weapons, etc. On the other side the government is trying to find him. They hire a detective to do most of the work, not without success, but it seems the Jackal is always one step ahead. The movie is cleverly filmed and plotted, and it feels like it's partly a documentary, even though it's never mentioned in the film itself. It just seems very realistic. The actors are many, none of them well known, but all putting on a good act. Though the movie is a bit long, it's exiting all the way, and the mysterious main character adds to the excitement. You never get a really good look inside his mind, though you do get to follow all his actions and preparations. Not everything follows plan, and both spontaneity and cleverness blend seamlessly. Even the toughest situations are handled as you'd expect a professional hitman to handle them, although fate doesn't seem to work in his favor.

The Jackal btw (looked it up) is pretty much the same story, with a twist, with Bruce Willis as main character, with a lot more action, with more famous actors, with not as many actors, with not as much planning and with a reinvented plot that kind of ruins the genius in this one. I enjoyed that one too, but that was before I had seen this, the original. This one gets a clear fourth of the full five. The other one... we'll see.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

My NG AP Collection

Over the past 5-6 years I've been collecting tracks from the NG AP (it's free!), and the collection has grown bigger than I thought it would, amounting to over 2000 artists worth almost 200GB.

Back when I started working on the collection (2005?), the AP track listing didn't span past the first page. There was a link to an archive or all entries or something, but it didn't actually link anywhere, because that feature didn't exist yet. Apart from the main AP page where you could browse the most recent 50 or so entries, there was a list of most popular audio, and a list of genres in which you could browse the tracks separately. You could also browse tracks by popularity, or most viewed... I think, but there was no option to view ALL tracks, and it stayed that way up till 2012.

So, when I started downloading audio back then I just selected artists I liked and saved all their tracks to a folder. Eventually I started downloading all audio of artists at random, going through the artists to audio listed on the main AP page. Back then I only had a 2MB connection, and NG wasn't at all as fast as it is today. Maybe it was still hosted in Tom's personal apartment, IDK, but needless to say the audio collection went slowly, and it grew with no apparent strategy or aim. I've added to it occasionally, and finally made a backup back in 2010 or -11 (thank WHOMEVER-YOU-BELIEVE-IN the hard drive didn't crash before then... the drive with the NG AP backup actually crashed soon after), but it was not until the start of 2012 that I actually went through the entire collection and added new tracks for all previously collected artists, and went through the list of artists that apparently didn't exist, looking them up; realizing that most of them actually did exist but had changed their usernames through the years. Suddenly there were a lot more tracks available...

Now, at the start of 2013, I'm going through the collection again. After the current listing is up-to-date (with everything through 2012) I'm hoping to go through the audio chronologically on site, since the feature now exists, and add all old artists I've missed, all the way up till 2013. This weekend I've plowed through around 1,500 artists/folders and today... the rest of them. It's entertaining to see how many users have deleted all their tracks, or all their crappy tracks, knowing that I still have those tracks and that you won't be able to find them anywhere else online. :D Not that this collection is online either, though if I ever get my own server, maybe it will! 200 gigs is a bit much for a shared account though. For now, I'll leave you with some stats and a list of username changes. Maybe it'll be useful reference for some people. :) Back to work then...

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