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Deepwater Horizon (2016)

Deepwater Horizon (2016)

Here's a true, somewhat glorified story about the biggest oil disaster in US history, back in April 2010, and along with it a big bash at the BP people - something I'm surprised to see considering this is a blockbuster, and Hollywood's no saint either.

That said, they don't delve much into it becoming the biggest oil spill, so much as the personal tragedy that precedes it, and the chaos that ensues within the building is the big action.

Focus lies on the people on the rig, and on a set of main characters that do their best to save each other, though the eleven lives lost in the initial explosion are the real post-movie tragedy... not the billions of people ultimately impacted by the carelessness of those BP bosses, by the disastrous effects that spill will have on the Earth and life upon it.

Mark Wahlberg plays Mike Williams, a chief engineer working an the ultra-deepwater offshore drilling rig with the movie name, at the time situated in the Gulf of Mexico. Kurt Russell's the big boss Jimmy Harrell, and if there is a single villain it's BP representative Vidrine, played by John Malkovich, whose thirst for profit paves way for the disaster. Gina Rodriguez has a notable part too, and at times looks remarkably much like (her not sister - I checked) Michelle Rodriguez.

The characters all play their role convincingly, and there's a glimpse of family on the side for added survival importance. Mike is the main character, but Jimmy's the real tough guy. They work well together, and that guy who maneuvers the crane - saving the lives of everyone about to board the lifeboat at the cost of his own, he had a short but important fifteen seconds of fame too.

While the others escape, Mike and Co stay behind and do all they can to contain the situation, but in the end there's nothing they can do. They climb the stairs with the flames licking their feet, and make an impressive dive through the inferno; into the oily waters of the bay.

It's a fascinating, and dramatic chain of events, that really focuses on the detail of each operation. The machinery. The pipes. The pressure. The I-don't-remember-their-names-but-all-those-important-parts-that-were-mentioned: the inner workings of this giant metal and concrete contraption meant to suck out oil from below the seabed.

I understand they don't focus so much on the Earth itself as there's little of interest there. It's a slow death. Spill with no want for watching. Exploding rigs is what the audience really wants to see (I did too). The fire is fierce, as is every other aspect of the constructive carnage, and though a message about what it all meant for the world might overshadow personal grief, it feels like it's intentional. Like they still don't admit their guilt. As the credits roll we see pictures of the 'original' characters, and their families - from I assume both before and after the event. It's a nice personal touch, but it gives the impression that although it was a tragedy, and a great personal loss, they survived and life moves on. But it doesn't. The survivors may have healed their wounds, but the world has not, and BP keeps pumping their billions.

It's like BP is sending out a message: we are not at fault. If you want a villain, then focus on Vidrine, and not the profit-hungry machine that drives everyone like him. The crew did as much as they possibly could to lessen the damage, so hear their story, and hail their glory, and forget about the oil. I guess it's Hollywood after all.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Project 2017!

After three years of daily poems, then lyrics, and at last a mesh of varying creative crafts (of which most turned out poems), I decided to slow the roll this year, and go for a weekly piece instead of a daily.

Falling behind on daily writings as the old year came to a close might have something to do with that. Writing every day does keep you going, but it gets tiring too. After a year of daily poetry I decided to post leftover bits and pieces back in 2015, so after last year's dailies I'm taking that route again. A break... but not really.

I want to keep going, just not all the time. Though it's fun to delve into different things I also want to focus on the one thing I really want to progress with. It's not poetry. Nor leftover lyrics. Nor art...

Well maybe it is. All of those. It's poetry - in lyrical form. It's audial artistry, but it's no leftovers: it's all new. It'll hopefully be an evolution and showcase of my lyrical abilities: in the form of a past forecast, or a vision for the future, or... something different entirely. In it's entirety. With a larger time frame for each, and no definite day on which to craft each piece, I hope the process becomes all the more inspiring.

Be it spoken word, or rap. Be it freestyle or pre-written cagestyle. Be it with or without a beating. With reverb or high-pass. On a voice recorder or microphone. By me or my ghost writer. Whichever it be: the plan is to keep honing my craft, rhyming regularly, toning my voice, and by the end of the year hopefully having put out at least a few bits of mastery amidst the mundane and regular rhyme and ramble.

I did have other considerations for what I might like to do with this year's project, not least the ones I considered last year, but hopefully there's many more years left before I'm out of time to fuel my creative vein with yearly projects such as this.

What else is there to say? Not much! Let's get this thing on the road! And stroll, or race against a sunset that glows like gold, till we're gray and old, and cold and bold, and sold our souls to be tolled in the cold-hearted cauldron this world controls... knowing there's a rise just beyond that fold. Oh, you know...

Project 2017! Is on a Go.

Stand By Me (1986)

Stand By Me (1986)

Here's a movie based upon a work by Stephen King: The Body, a novella originally published in 1982.

It tells the story of four kids, as they embark on a quest to find a dead body in the woods, and traverse all kinds of obstacles to get there. They're all twelve years old, adventuring at the end of the summer, right before Junior High, and this is their memory. A tale of bonds and characters more than it is about the dead body.

It's not that complicated, but the character's are all their own, and the one who tells the story is the narrator grown up - looking back on that one last summer. I feel like I'm looking back with him.

It's nicely filmed. The settings are hazy and warm, like my own childhood. Like when you look at old photos and think back.

It's not a very spectacular or particular story, but familiar, relatable even if it really isn't. Maybe it's because the four main characters seem to collectively embody such a mass of common traits, backgrounds and habits, from life, or movies, or wherever they're fetched from. I don't relate to any one of them, or what they go through, yet it feels like they're telling my story.

It feels like Stephen King-based movies often have that tone. That familiarity. I don't recognize any of the actors except Kiefer Sutherland - most of them were kids, after all, but they were all great. Everything was great. And maybe the lack of well-known actors help you not perceive it as much as a movie, as... something else. Like a memory. A glimpse back into another time.

I wonder what happened to those other guys? Maybe they saw them... maybe they didn't.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Ghostbusters (2016)

Ghostbusters (2016)

Sure the special effects are awesome, but did they really have to turn Good ol' Ghostbusters into an anti-chauvinist Chick Flick?! Isn't this a bit unnecessary? I do like seeing the franchise get a facelift, and reboot, and the reversed roles were an entertaining twist, but the shift of genre seems a bit unnecessary. The new characters feel out of character too - maybe as a result of the former. And also: it's mean. No need to go so hard on the Ghostbuster gals now that you've intently made them so!

Kate McKinnon as the somewhat jilted inventor Jillian Holtzmann is a clear favorite though. Out of the whole new Ghostbuster crew she's the only one that really gains my liking. Kristen Wiig plays the very not-so-special (and thus I assume supposed-to-be relatable/likable) main character Erin, Melissa McCarthy the not so likable but in the end not so bad Abby (the boss woman), and Leslie Jones the black girl (Patty).

Chris Hemsworth is the secretary - a very visually appealing (there's the intended audience made clear) but unfortunately also very stupid such. Of course the villain is a man, too, and pretty much everybody else who happens to have something against or make things hard for our Ghostbuster crew, except maybe Ozzy Osbourne - who stops by for a quick cameo. Apparently Sigourney Weaver is in somewhere in there too. It's all depressingly audience-angled though, and not as charming as the old. Many of the ghosts familiar at least, and the janitor villain's a suitably Ghostbusterish type. They do get some things right.

The story follows the girls before they are the Ghostbusters, until they are, and from before the world acknowledges them, until they do. The process isn't all that arduous though, and even in the meanest moments the threat never seems all that fierce. The threats look nice, ghastly and green, and with plenty of slime, but overall it feels like one big bucket of wasted potential. They're like ghosts of their former selves.

With a remake like this they could've done so much, but even though it embarks into uncharted territory it ends up following the same old path anyway, and making changes for the worse wherever possible. I'd like to see more, but if there is to be more I hope they at least swap out a few core members, and a whole bunch of others. The intrigue's like it should be, and the story's not wrong either, but everything else is way out of wack. Comedy, and chemistry, and character most of all.

 rated 2/5: decent

Tank 432 (2016)

Tank 432 (2016)

When there is no enemy within the enemies outside cannot hurt you.

The catchphrase is genius, as was the original title: Belly of The Bulldog (Bulldog as in the tank). The movie... it could have been.

A bunch of people - soldiers and prisoners, wake up in a forest fog, and run onto a field to find a tank. They enter, and get locked inside, and that's where the whole movie plays out. There's paranoia, claustrophobia, craze, and sudden death, and for a B-movie all of this plays out surprisingly well, and yet there's not really any substance. It leads nowhere. The actors are good enough, the settings hazy and desolate, and in the end... it starts again.

It's surprisingly well-choreographed, and acted, and with a great setting, but no meat on the plotbones. Or dialogbones. Or characters. The little there is gets blown up or runs under the tank. It's all just... bones. I feel like if they'd spent more time in their think tank and put together a better script, this could've been more than a B-movie, because everything else surpassed my expectations Even the no-name actors.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Happy 2017!

Happy 2017!

It's that time of the year again! That time when there's no more time. When the old year passes, and through the fireworks and ashes a new one rises.

Have you set any goals for yourself this year? Any resolutions? Hopes and dreams and visions you wish to chase? I'm echoing mine in my mind as I type this, Trying to make them a part of me. Hoping I'll remember. Knowing there's no way I'll forget, but that maybe, just maybe, my resolve will falter as the exhilaration of early days fades away, and routine lumbers in and blocks the way.

But not this year! No. I'll beat my routine, and I don't mean like an abusive stepfather. I'll train my routine, and I don't mean like that rail-bound vehicle that follows the same tracks no matter what. Instead of dragging my routine behind me, like a boulder glued to my back, I'll let it carry me through the arduous days, and let it grow stronger the further we go. My resolutions...? Well, for starters I'm going to make more music. And for the rest of it: I'll save that for some other post.

The New Year is here, and so far it feels pretty hopeful! It's not a fresh start entirely - not as well as I wish it was, but though dues do keep collecting, and collecting dust as they do, sometimes you just have to let some of them go. Especially if they're mostly in your mind. Put down those burdens that weigh you down, and start fresh, feathered as a fleeting dream.

Let's make 2017 amazing.

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