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X-Men 6 - The Wolverine (2013)

X-Men 6 - The Wolverine (2013)

It's the story of Wolverine again - though this time with a niche. A thin slice of a the life he lived, and the path we walked - somewhere amidst the rest of it. It's heavy with Asian culture, and honor, and though Logan himself is still himself, it's like the scenario changes him, and for a while molds a part of him into a true warrior - just like the cover glimpse. A claw in one hand, and a sword in the other. Wild, but civilized. Wolverine: Reborn.

Not that he wasn't a warrior before, but, you know.

The movie tells the tale a life he once saved, that may bring about the destruction of his own. The story's good, poetic and true. The intrigue's good too, it twists and turns. The clues come and go. The villains are on his tail. There's a girl - but she's not scared of this monster. He's the story she heard as a child. Her protector. They get along well.

There are a few interesting mutants too, but for the most part Wolverine is the stranger, in a land he's unfamiliar with, with people he doesn't know, in a Japan which one moment seems futuristic and civilized, and in the next doesn't seem to have moved on at all since the times of old, and the Ninja still roam the mountainside.

The movie mixes together both new and old in a both nice and tragic way - the bear on the snowy hillside one of the more somber, spontaneous, yet powerful moments.

Overall it has a much more serious tone compared to the former, and feels very different from the other X-Men movies, not just because it focuses on Wolverine... but maybe because it's personal? It's down to Earth in a way the others never really managed to be. They always set the world ablaze with their own power - whereas this one sets the world ablaze with bombs, and The Wolverine faces the blast head first. It's a promising reinterpretation of Wolverine's character, though the final battle disappoints a bit. It goes as expected.

Among the rooster of new talent you'll notice a lot of Asians, like Tao Okamoto, Hiroyuki Sanada, Hal Yamanouchi, Rila Fukushima, Brian Tee and Will Yun Lee. I've seen them around, but probably not all in the same movie before. It's a great cast, and they all help bring Wolverine into a past that, albeit without the clutter and interferences of the former, is still as savage as ever. He goes to Japan to face the demons of his past... both figuratively, and for real. Because he is: The Wolverine.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

X-Men 5 - First Class (2011)

X-Men 5 - First Class (2011)

In 1962, the United States government enlists the help of Mutants with superhuman abilities to stop a malicious dictator who is determined to start World War III.

Simple enough a scenario, isn't it? It gets complicated quick though, when conflicts arise first between the mutants and the fellow 'humans' in the group, and soon between fractions of the mutants themselves. Charles and Eric work together at first, but it soon becomes clear that they both think and do things very differently - even though Charles is the one who first finds Eric, and brings him into the group. He's a man with a very troubled past at first, and at the end... maybe not that much has changed after all.

It's an interesting, and appreciated backstory however, and deals not only with the group above, but also in large with Eric's vendetta against the people who experimented on him during the second World War - notably Sebastian Shaw, played by Kevin Bacon, who has the ability to absorb and send out energy - which is just as dangerous as it sounds!

There are quite a few new other mutants too, like Riptide (Álex González), Azazel (Jason Flemyng), Angel (Zoë Kravitz), Emma Frost (January Jones), Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), Darwin (Edi Gathegi), Havok (Lucas Till) and plenty more! Hank is properly introduced too. Finally. And after this he has a much larger role to play.

The director is now Matthew Vaughn, but Brian Singer co-wrote the story, and I feel it shows. Any X-Men movie he's involved in seems to turn out better, one way or another

Overall it's both a fascinating and flashy movie, full with emotional, and empowering, and larger-than-life kind of scenes. In a refreshingly old milieu. This is how it all started. Origins: The Rest of Them. The true Charles and Eric backstory, and it is good.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

X-Men 4 - Origins: Wolverine (2009)

X-Men 4 - Origins: Wolverine (2009)

At times like this I wonder if I should really keep on with the sequential numbering of these movies... but I guess I will! All for the sake of finality, or structure, or... OCD? Whatever it may be.

Rather than the regular blend of X-Men, this movie focuses on the story of Wolverine, and more particularly his growing up, and the life that eventually leads him to willingly become a lab rat, and have molten Adamantium poured into his bones.

The cold-hearted Stryker is the main villain, but we also get a glimpse of such mouth-less enmity as the at the time very different Deadpool, and let's not forget Logan's brother Victor Creed - their backstory spans all the wars we remember. It's a savage life they lead, and finally: Logan doesn't want anymore. It's gone too far. He's out. He flees into the wild, and marries a nice woman, and one day... Creed comes back and kills her.

It was pretty cool to see Will.i.am play John Wraith, and even cooler to see Taylor Kitsch as Remy LeBeau (I thought that was Channing, though!). There's also Dominic Monaghan as Bolt, and quite a few other mutants of which most are either missing in the prequels, or very different. It's the X-Men story told from a new angle, and it feels both refreshingly savage and intermittently sad. It's a good story, but not really the one I wanted to see.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Week 47 - Advent Stars

Advent Stars Now!

It's Advent! Christmas is official. The stars are in the windows, the lights are on, and the snow falls softly outside. Suddenly, the dark of winter's not quite so dark, and a tide of better tidings tilt in on a jilted whim, like a quilted villain. For just a while... I don't wish I was Brazilian - a civilian sizzling on a sandy pavilion, another one dreamer in a billion vermilion. Picture's the view from my guestroom office btw.

And it's been a great week. I could probably elaborate a bit more, but I'm a bit low on time tonight so I'll just sum it up with that. It's been great. Work. Preparation. An intense session of Black Friday shopping-pondering, and on Tuesday a tour of Vällingby in search for ice cream - more on that in some later post. NaNoWriMo is going great as well. I passed the 50,000 barrier today with a whooping 10,000 word post (it's a new record!), and that little musical collaboration I've spoken about earlier? It's coming online tomorrow! Keep your ears peeled.

Moviewise I've been watching a lot of X-Men recently, and it's pretty intriguing how well the story ties in to our current political landscape. I don't usually post politics here on the blog, but this made me laugh, and hey, I backed that thing! Hope enough people chime in and make it happen. I also managed to get a pair of cheap hosting accounts at re-occurring rebates, right before Black Weekend passed, but more on that in some other post as well. No reseller though. Not yet.

Gamewise I'm still stuck wandering around in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, but making progress! Also keep your eyes peeled for a little spin-off artistry project I threw together last month. Should be up within the coming week as well, and maybe one other much overdue update... I'm watching movies too though. Reviews, routines; all the usual. Can't quit.

On the blog I've posted this, this, this, this, this, this and this, 6 new reviews, and 2 additionals on old movies, and here's last week. Hope you had a good one! If you didn't: give this one a try. It better.

How To Force YouTube To Use Flash Instead Of HTML5

I had a weird issue with this video yesterday.

It refused to play.

No matter how much I refreshed or reloaded the page, or cleared the cache, or typed in the URL anew, or waited... it just wouldn't play. Not at all. It looked like it was about to play, but all it showed was a black screen and no progress.

I did some research, assuming it might be a quirk with YT's HTML5 version of the video player, and found out that you can force YouTube to play a video with Flash by appending &nohtml5=1 or &nohtml5=True to the URL. That's all. Short or long URL - both work fine.

Why the error occurred is still a mystery however. It's possible it wasn't the player at fault at all - just a local caching issue, but if you ever run into an error where even a hard refresh doesn't work - maybe this will! Hope it may come in handy, fellow stranger surfing the Web in search for solutions to our most mundane modern day problems. ;)

And in retrospect, I should've probably titled this post: How To Fix An Impossible YouTube Playback Error or What To Do When YouTube Videos Don't Start or Play Any YouTube Video With This Simple Trick. Hopefully alternate ideas in clear text dom't give any PR penalty...

It's Y'all Not Yall

It's short for you all. It's not yall! Not ya'll! It's y'all! I've been using just plain, simple unapostrophized yall for way too long. Time to step my grammatical game up.

Just making this clear once and for all. Right now y'all.

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