Kong: Skull Island (2017)
They killed off the general way too easily. I was worried he'd seriously hurt Kong, but in the end he didn't manage to do a thing. He ordered his men to do everything for him, and in the end all he'd done was tell them what to do, and hold the detonator, and die. It was disappointing. I'm happy he didn't kill the king, Kong, of course, but at the same time I feel his character slowly wanes with his lack of action - or lack of impact. What did he really accomplish? What was his role? He wasn't the real threat at all. In the end he wasn't more than a thorn in Kong's side, and he outlived even that part so easily... but maybe that was the point. To shove one at our savage side, and to show how insignificant we really are in the face of legends.
Otherwise this was a good movie. I love the fresh take on the old franchise, and the promising end. The way Kong bashes down the helicopters was a real treat to see too. Unexpected. Surreal. Awesome.
It's a shame about the people, of course, but that part was so well-filmed and animated my expectations for the rest of the movie went sky-high. A shame, because in this case all good things don't last. The CGI looks fake when they close in too much later on, and fuzzy in the fastest scenes. The chemistry between human and animated feels a bit artificial too, like they're not really seeing eye to eye, yet when inanimate-real and animated collide (like those helicopters) it's just fantastic, and Kong's little island utopia/hell is a place full of mystery and history just waiting to be explored.
The whole white-blotch-on-the-map scenario feels ancient and exhilarating, especially in our time when every rock has been turned, every abyss probed, and all potential elements of magic and myth and unknown are explained or done away with... or at least attempted to. The Bermuda Triangle is still pretty fascinating, and it's similar. The closest real life mystery still remaining. It seems like a probable inspiration.
I love the characters. Love the scenery. Love the old bits, pieces and peeps - like the WW2 soldier, played by John C. Reilly. Tom Hiddleston was great. Samuel L. Jackson looked great but did little, and the others... yeah, they were all great. Brie Larson looked great, which was clearly her main purpose. Even Kong saw the appeal. Love the old stereotypes.
I love it all... most. And the ending... is that a hint towards the prequel we already had, or even greater things to come?! If it's the latter I'm really looking forward to it. This was a blast, and that'd be a blast from the past.
It's not just the action or the characters here: most of all it's the adventure. It's the kind of movie that's clearly not perfect, and clearly won't stand the test of time too well... with regards to effects and what-not, but it has that atmosphere. Of mystery, myth and magic. That's the part I love.
rated 3/5: not bad
Alien: Covenant (2017)
None other than the Alien franchise seems to manage the same sense of isolation, desperation, and hopelessness! I guess with so many prequels under his belt Ridley Scott really knows what he's doing by now.
Are there really no happy endings to this alternate universe, though? They keep taking the perfect endings and destroying them, in the most twisted possible way. Oh, spoiler alert. But you probably know the drill by now.
It's not that I wasn't expecting this one, not at the end, but I still expected... or maybe I hoped? ...for something just a little brighter, this time. Each time it's maybe this time. Some day there'll come one that actually ends happily, and each time it feels like maybe this is that time. But it's not. Not yet.
Then again maybe it just wouldn't be this particular franchise if it was. Too Hollywood. Too Human. Too unlike the Alien vein.
Despite - and maybe also because of the darkness, this was another great movie though. Space movies lately really convey the vastness of space well, and this is no exception. It's exceptional. The special effects are great. The atmosphere is great. It's great. It's Alien, yeah?
The story all takes place far from Earth, and is a bit of a spin-off on the earlier Prometheus, where here a group of colonists just happen to stumble upon a previously unknown planet that shows great promise, go in for a landing and... they find that old cradle of life... only now it's the antonym.
You can probably sort of figure out what happens next. It's a welcome return to origins, yet not at all old. It fits right in. With the times, with the origins; with whatever is yet to come. Great watch.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle
Cook Up A Storm (2017)
They sure make cooking look good in movies like this!
Prepare for an Asian cooking competition that's almost more of a magic show than it is culinary. Spectacular cousine and cooking craft a la extraordinaire. Korean VS Chinese, starring Nicholas Tse and Yong-hwa Jung.
What starts as a rivalry and fight between new and traditional, and between the old neighborhood and the expanding city soon turns into friendship, and a fight against a common foe - the God of cookery, played by none other than Anthony Chau-Sang Wong. In the movie he also happens to be the father of the Chinese cook. Big plot batter.
It's all presented in the usual way... if you've seen any of these movies before. Flashy settings, fantastic food and a simple but satisfying story on rivalry and parenting... sort of. Nothing too advanced except for the cooking, which when all is done just makes me want to run down to the kitchen and start chopping onions. Or something. I do love food, and there's no better way to get inspired than with a movie like this.
I like the title too. Witty. They cooked up something good.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle
The Reseller I Didn't Get
A week ago I almost bought a reseller.
It was Black Friday. A hosting company I've been following for a long time had this amazing deal, yet the catch was that you had to subscribe for three years to get the best price. A lot of hosting companies do that. I really considered it. I almost bought it, but it turned out I didn't have enough money loaded onto my credit card (which does not as the name might imply allow credit), and so I thought some more about it and realized... I really don't need that reseller after all.
Is this the right time for me to get into the hosting business? Do I really want to get into the hosting business?
I've bought a reseller account before. Twice, actually. Maybe more. One of those hosts died. That other time I signed up on a deal like this, and ended up just hosting a single site on the reseller for two years... without even getting a proper hosting page up. Needless to say it didn't run the profit I planned. Good thing it was a good deal - though of course more expensive than any good deal I could have taken on a shared host.
I thought I learned my lesson then, and yet the prospect of fast cash keeps coming back to haunt me...
It's never that simple. If you want to start a business you have to prepared. You have to put your all into it, and though maybe I might be willing to do that some day I'm really not there yet, and I don't know if I ever will be, so I'll stick to the shared accounts I have and abide my time until time comes for such a decision. Till then... I think blogging's pretty nice. I should spend more time on this. Writing about earlier failed hosting ventures and acquisitions, maybe? If anyone wants another story just let me know.
One Piece 817
Oh holy shit. One Piece. It's back!
This is the One Piece I love. The feels. The twists. The build-up... it's all boiling down to a point now, and yet I wasn't expecting this one. It's like I'd been spoiled on filler, but suddenly I realize I've been going without real food for so long, and get a taste of the real thing. If I can persevere a few weeks without it feels like this would be the right time to take a break from the series, and then catch up in one big batch. It's about to go down down down down down. Like never before.