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We Cling To Memories...

We cling to memories as if they define us, but they really don't.
What we do defines us.

A Little Random Title Script

I made a little random title script for the movie review pages with more than one review. A little impulsive thing... that took 40 minutes to figure out. Ugh. Here's how it turned out though, in two parts. It's in JS.

First there's the header, that either shows a random title from a specific list, or if the user has JS disabled, a standard one:

<h1><script src="/theme/js/more-reviews.js" type="text/javascript"></script><noscript>More Reviews!</noscript></h1>

Then there's the script with the aforementioned list, and code to cycle through the titles randomly, above refereed to as more-reviews.js:

var r_text = new Array ();
r_text[0] = "More Reviews!";
r_text[1] = "Added Addages!";
r_text[2] = "Ongoing Opinions!";
r_text[3] = "Latter Ramblings!";
r_text[4] = "Future Views!";
r_text[5] = "Later Watches!";

var i = Math.floor(7*Math.random());

if (navigator.appName == "Netscape")

That's it! Depending on your number of titles you might need to change the formula below the list too. I tried using a solution that didn't rely on numbers at all first, but just couldn't get it working, so this is it.

This is what it looks like in action (reload page to see more):

It's such a simple thing, but I dug through such a huge mess of other methods before finding one that for some reason actually worked, that I felt like I needed to post about it. It's not all that strange this one did, but it's strange the others didn't. I still have no idea why. Something with the way H1 tags work? Something about including a JS script in a header? If you have any knowledge about such limitations I'd be intrigued to hear.

So, stranger who stumbled upon this post, if you're wise then feel free to send me a message, and if you're in the same situation - searching for a solution to the same problem, hopefully this will find you faster than it found me! And hopefully it'll work for you, too. It's just a little random random title script, but it sure took a big effort to get right.

The Purge (2013)

The Purge (2013)

I've heard a lot of good things about this movie, but honestly I was expecting more. When the Blumhouse Productions logo appeared in the intro I started questioning if it was the kind of movie I expected it to be, and I was right, it wasn't. It wasn't action, it was horror. Or, well... it was like a hybrid. I do love Blumhouse Productions though, so seeing their logo was a moment of both exhilaration and wait a minute...

The plot idea is that, in a future America, there is a twelve hour period every year when all crimes are legal. They introduce this well in the first scenes of the movie, with realistic-looking surveillance camera footage of people being shot, stabbed, and bashed around as professors, government officials and other important people talk about all the good 'The Purge' is doing - how crime rates have plummeted, and how good it is that these violent urges aren't suppressed. It's human nature. In the long run it's a stepping stone to a safer and more peaceful society!

It's a genius, scary and violent concept, and though I was expecting more of a rampage I'm glad they focused on a single family, and the ethical aspects of such a tradition, taking up social and biological aspects but also social injustice in that it's a day on which the rich are shielded, and the poor at war. It's not as philosophical as it's about the hopelessness a rich upper class family faces when they are unexpectedly brought into the game, but as they bring up their desperation they build a bigger picture as well.

The tables have turned. Suddenly these rich folks are face to face with a dark side of themselves they never expected to meet... though even in the darkest moments they stick together. They're a true family, in the end.

I thought there'd be a lot more violence, and a lot more people, but they isolate the event and focus on a single house, and considering you really feel for the characters like this it's probably the best way they could have done it. The black man too: though you never do get to know who he is, if he's good or bad; not even his name. He's the mysterious hero, and the figurehead of injustice, but at the same time he's the cause of it all. When the husband is dead, yet the wife thanks him for saving their lives, and he walks away... I wonder what he's thinking, I wonder who he really is, and I wonder if we'll learn more about him in the sequels.

The execution of the movie wasn't flawless. There is stereotype, badly explained creepy toys that seem included just to seem creepy, knife wounds that seem all too easily achieved, and moments you expect that it feels like you weren't supposed to, but the idea is a biggest game-changer, and the tension builds up well. The violence is savage. The desperation feels real. The masks are the icing. Eye zing. The two guys batting down paintings on the walls are a crescendo, and as real as it seems, and as convincingly as the topic is brought up, you wonder if, considering our current state of the world, this might actually become a reality some day?

The thought seems absurd, but that it's there at all lends it some level of credibility, and that's the scariest part.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets (2017)

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets (2017)

Luc Besson is at it again! And revisiting his roots again, too.

This time it's with an imaginative, colorful, alien tale of two agents/superheroes on a mission to save Alpha - the future human metropolis of thousand planets! Basically Alpha is giant glass dome floating around in space... or am I confusing it with that other much more fragile-looking one in Star Trek? Either way it looks a bit fragile, so you know the threat's a real thing... or is it really? Twists.

The world feels like a hybrid between Fifth Element (the color and personality) and Guardians of the Galaxy (the aliens)... with a little Avatar (the main ingredient) mixed in. It also features a masterful Rihanna cameo! She's a shape shifter showgirl, so you know that's something to look forward to.

The plot's a bit shallow sometimes. They cut out certain characters to cut out on competition, and the Avatar influences are clear as day, but it was a fun watch. So many species. So much color. I love the world, and Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne make an entertaining and passionate duo.

It feels like a teenage movie in the first moments but... it's more than that. I can't really place it. It's for all ages. It's full of fight, and full of races! Never complacent. Always amazing. It's both the future and refreshingly ancient, and though far from flawless refreshingly ranging, with all from the tragic demise of the old and aging reign of civilization to the tasteful angelic changeling! If naught else: I'm sure you'll find it entertaining.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Captain Fantastic (2016)

Captain Fantastic (2016)

In the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a father devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education is forced to leave his paradise and enter the world, challenging his idea of what it means to be a parent.

How do you explain this movie? The essence of it? The journey of a wild family back to the civilized world, even though they're more civilized than the world they're journeying into?

It's fantastic. The sights. The scenes. The characters. Captain Fantastic: the casual kind of superhero. The dad. The family. The faith. All of it.

The dad plays the lead role, but the smallest ones in the group add the comedy, the older ones the trouble; the girls the beauty. Their encounters are as educational as they are entertaining., and though it feels like a spontaneous tale it spreads a message. Little bits of knowledge. It brings up the aspect of family in the modern world, and of learning, and grows somber as it goes along. We ride the wave. It's a personal story as well as a pathway to finding a new place. Could we all live... like this?

I leave the screen feeling like this is how we should live, and yet I'm sitting here watching a movie, and these guys are eating breakfast, in silence, with the sun shining through the window, and they're more in tune with the world than I've been even on the sunniest of summers.

It's no vacation, it's just freedom, and the comedy's intertwined with desperation and sadness, and realization, and conformity, but then... they find a balance. They go back to their roots, just not all the way.

Viggo Mortensen and his kid actors are all fantastic. With a debut like this they're bound to go far, and though this was just a movie I wonder if it changed them. Did they grow with these characters? The characters grew on me, and I couldn't have chosen a better ending, but it was the journey that really mattered. You only get as far as you go.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

Swordfish (2001)

Swordfish (2001)

Old hacker movies are just so fun to watch! :D They don't get the hacking part right at all, but having a visual representation of what the directors of the time probably considered 'high tech hacker stuff' for the viewers to relate to... it's always so entertaining! In some movies it's futuristic and cool, in some it's just silly. This one? It's a bit of a hybrid, but maybe it's just not old enough yet. We'll see how outdated it looks in a few years...

What's strange is that you'll find just as unusable and alien-looking computers in newer movies too, though maybe there's less and less. Only B-movies now? It's a mystery they can't just use a normal interface or terminal, without spectral vector graphics, layers, excessive information presented in incoherent ways and flashy graphics hovering around wherever possible. Not to forget that typical artificial, apathetic yet often sensual female computer voice to make the visual audial as well. I guess there's nothing flashy about the real thing, and this is how they give it life... or in retrospect at least make it more entertaining. It's just that it clashes with the seriousness of the script a bit... in movies that have one. Like this.

The story is that of a hacker, Stanley, getting invited by Ginger to do a little job for Gabriel. He's given a hundred thousand just for attending the interview, and since he has some legal troubles only money can solve he says yes, goes to the interview, and is given a minute to hack into NSA servers with a gun pointed to his head and a random woman giving him a blowjob. Ginger and Gabriel stand on each side and watch. Smiling.

Not the best or most comfortable start to a profitable partnership, but he does as well as he can, almost makes it under a minute, the gun clicks, he shoves the woman away - nobody blows their load, and that's when he actually does get into those servers. He walks away angry, Gabriel tells Ginger that's their man, and if it didn't already seem so this is the point when things start getting serious. The whole movie is one big flashback, and it starts with death and fire, so you know it is serious right from the start.

The aforementioned trio's played by Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry and John Travolta. They've got their normal dose or more of charisma and class here. They're great. You can spot Vinnie Jones in the background too, and plenty of other faces you might recognize. The plot's not linear, and not too simple either. The stakes are high, Grabriel's not one to be messed with, and Stanley's like a dust particle caught in the storm. Considering it's marketed as a hacker movie there's surprisingly little of that going on, but it is a good movie. Action. Thriller. Mystery...

The main character's a reluctant one btw, but a combination of threats and incentives keep him going, and though there are way higher stakes than his own life that's the one the movie focuses on. Him and his daughter. He's the good guy. Gabriel? The bad guy, supposedly.

Isn't there any movie where the bad guys win? The officer says no, but Gabriel begs to differ. Maybe he's wrong, because every time they try to make a movie like that they somehow end up portraying the bad guys as the good guys, or at least bringing forth some part of their persona or perspective that in part redeems their actions. That makes them human. Relatable. I guess it all is all black and white.

That clue is what this movie starts with though, and even if it doesn't follow through completely it does make for a good show. Misdirection. They prepare you right from the start, and maybe that quote is part of the bigger picture too. Even when it's over you don't really see the big picture. Who did what, who was what, if it was good or bad or not... leave that up to the viewer. It's a refreshingly open ending.

The Swordfish? It's explained in the movie, though even without explanation it's a suitable title. Good symbolism. It sounds cool too.

Details like the one guy waving the gun around before he actually starts shooting into the ceiling, and the slow-mo car scene with unfortunately outdated CGI - not to mention the futuristic tech stuff that seems neither historically nor futuristically realistic in our present day, are details that bring down the score a bit, but most of it doesn't disappoint. The car chase feels typical. The fall down the hill though, that was intense! It has it's moments, and the strongest moments lie with the plot twists. It's got just enough of those to make it a great watch, outdated effects or no.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

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