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Week 4 - Foursefully

It's been a good week, though it passed fast, with a bit too much time spent on superfluous activities... like YouTube. I've played through DOOM too (the Hurt me Plenty campaign - Ultra Violence up next), tried some Trackmania Turbo and Bombshell , and have been reading through the Death Note manga by night, though I need to get my hands on the remaining half to finish it. Bought a batch of other second-hand manga yesterday and have started making my way through Bleach too, though I don't have the whole set of those either. Hope to acquire more soon. Though I've been an avid anime watcher for over a decade now, the world of manga is new and exciting ground. The only ones I've been familiar with up to this point have been One Piece and Dragon Ball.

It's interesting to see how the originals differ from the animated versions, and oftentimes it really is better, not just because of the detailed artistry (as was the case with One Piece and Death Note - I'm a bit disappointed with the detail in Bleach... so far), but because there's no filler. None. Zilch. Why the need to repeat that denominator three times in a row is beyond me like universal truth, but there you have it, like Travis O'Guins radio host interviewer keeps concluding.

But anyway: I'm delving more and more into the world of manga lately, and happy with what I've found so far. After Bleach and Death Note there'll probably be a bit of .hack and Dragon Ball (which I've previously only read the first few numbers of), and hopefully I'll be able to complement my collection before I run out, so I can keep reading those aforementioned two. The Bleach manga just recently ended, so if I can just get my hands on all these pockets it's possible to read through it in its entirety. Same with Naruto, though I'd better not rush with that one. Too many simultaneous reads. I'm not even done with Harry Potter yet, which I stalled with halfway through a couple of years back, due to lack of sequelling books... which the library could provide. Maybe it's time.

In computer news I got my 4x4GB DDR3 RAM (Corsair, CL8 1600Mhz VENGEANCE LP), and opened up my gaming computer to put them in, and though I haven't really noticed a performance boost with the extra 8GB, it's working fine this time. Only problem is they're recognized by the system as only 1333Mhz, and I'm not sure how to change this. There's supposedly a setting for it in the BIOS, but an automatic overclocking attempt didn't set them right, so I suppose I'll have to dig a bit further and see which settings I need to tweak. It wasn't as obvious as I thought it would be. There's a lot of settings in there. Time to dig.

I haven't watched that many movies lately, but there's six overdue reviews for you just posted, the blog recently passed six thousand six hundred sixty six posts, and here's last week. Also. And here's the latest recordings. That's it. Till next week I'll hopefully be catching up on all the things I'm still trying to catch up on, and have time for more polished and philosophical posts. Ciao for now.

CDB Updates:

  • Minor blog edits; fixes.

Week 4, 2017


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Week 3, 2017

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Top Secret! (1984)

Top Secret! (1984)

I thought I'd already watched the greatest of the comedy crazy eighties, with movies like Return of the Killer Tomatoes and Police Academy, and shows like Sledgehammer!, but this was on a different level entirely.

The style of comedy's the same, but the play on perspectives, and attention to detail makes it something else. It's a spy movie parody farce in which an American rock and roll singer becomes involved in a Resistance plot to rescue a scientist imprisoned in East Germany, and though the story may sound cliche, they play with that cliche in the best ways.

There's always something to look or laugh at, and the play on perspectives is a real highlight. The boots. The phone. The backwards scene. If you see the movie you'll probably have many a memorable moment to add. It's creative, crazy and cheesy in all the right ways, with so many inventive filming techniques some of their ingenuity is sure to pass you by, and merit another watch in a year or two or... next week.

It's also Val Kilmer's debut movie - as lead role no less, and with good help from Lucy Gutteridge, Michael Gough, Warren Clarke, Jim Carter and others - he killed it. And by that I mean he was great (such a contradictory idiom).

The dance scenes are as flashy as the action, and the final fight in the underwater bar (how's that for deep symbolism?) is as good as it gets. Comedy like this just isn't made nowadays. I miss the golden age, and I'm happy I'd missed this movie... until now! It's a new favorite.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

Jack Reacher 2 - Never Go Back (2016)

Jack Reacher 2 - Never Go Back (2016)

Jack Reacher 2 just wasn't as good as Jack Reacher 1. It feels like the same thing all over again, but with new characters, and locations, and a little less intensity in favor of making Jack more vulnerable and close.

I assume they're trying to portray Jack Reacher as more human. It being an unintentional motive when the franchise has changed as it has seems irrational. Give him some personal ties that might contribute to sequels, and make him seem less like the anonymous, mysterious, not-so-relatable lone ranger he was in the previous. But if that is their intention it also goes against all that made Jack Reacher 1 great.

He's a lot less aggressive this time. Turner takes that role, as the victim of a major government conspiracy. He breaks her out of holding and uncovers the truth with her, but true to the admirable but also slightly disappointing gentlemanny Jack Reacher style they don't really get further than that. There's also Samantha - who may or may not be his daughter. The villain is a badly introduced hot shot, though most of his dirty work is done by the recognizable antagonist: the former soldier and hitman I'm not sure the name of which was ever revealed.

Compared to the first movie it's pretty dull. Like a blade they've chopped too many onions with. There's no elaborate trail of clues leading up to the grand finale. The army references are getting old. The characters are turning cliche. Jack Reacher just doesn't seem as clever as he did in the first movie, and even though he carries most of the weight himself it's often thanks to luck or the help of other he makes it through in one piece. Even if he is good.

He makes the movie decent, though the action shines with its lack of presence, and the intrigue just isn't there. The filming is professional, as is the acting, and the fight scene on the roof was pretty cool, but the script's hollow. The details that could've been aren't there, the leads that could go somewhere don't lead; the intricacy which was so prevalent in the first is gone.

Maybe it's a sequel just to make a sequel, but it felt like they were aiming for more already at the start. With four years to prepare this should have been better. Hope they'll get back on track with the third.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Babylon A.D. (2008)

Babylon A.D. (2008)

Here's a dystopian, subtly Christian action movie, featuring Vin Diesel and Michelle Yeoh as Toorop and Sister Rebeka, and Mélanie Thierry as the prodigious Aurora. They guide from sanctuary into the world, where fractions fight to own her. And why? It's all revealed in time, but we soon come to know that - among other things, she can see the future.

It's a pretty good movie, and the symbolism's not used in a bad way. The mesh between sci-fi and religion is interesting, and maybe I'll spoil that element if I say more. But that's what the spoiler tags are for, right? Nah, maybe some other time.

The action sequences are good, the scenery's varied, and Vin Diesel is a lot like Riddick in this movie as well, albeit without any special powers. Maybe he's just himself. Powerful. Someone to be reckoned with.

The personalities are strong, and the world is gritty and futuristic. It feels like something that could've been the next Blade Runner, or Aeon Flux, or maybe just a new Riddick movie, yet in the end the theme goes elsewhere. Though it's all interesting, intense, and packed with futuristic elements and action, it just doesn't stand out as all that special. Only the ending does, and the uncertainty that comes with it. It was good, but I feel it could've been more.

 rated 3/5: not bad

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