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Renegades (2017)

Renegades (2017)

What a fun war movie this was! Although one with such a misleading name.

Sure they're insubordinate AF, but renegades? That's not what this movie is about as all. It's about helping their country, and another country. It's about a group of soldiers - one of whom is in love - orchestrating an inofficial operation to bring up three hundred million dollars worth of Nazi gold bars from the bottom of a lake, and to give half of that to their host country, and the woman who asks them for their help.

The enemies are on their tails however - since they kidnapped a local general just a few days prior and drove a tank straight out of the city and into a river... and escaped. You wonder where their base is. It doesn't look like a secret place, and it looks like it's close - maybe within the walls of this very same country? Seems like a possible loose end, that otherwise makes for a perceptible threat throughout the movie.

Unfortunately some of the special effects are crap. It seems to be a trend lately. Most of it is fantastic, and the filming overall is both atmospheric and clear. Refined. Well-defined. The setting's warm, serious, mysterious... whatever the mood requires. It kept impressing and surprising, so if only some of those smoke clouds and gun shots at the beginning could have been better CGI... or even better: not CGI - that would have been great.

Unlike the typical movie these flaws are actually all in the initial phases at least, and then it gets better, but it still chips down the score a notch.

I love everything else about it, from the actors to the intrigue - to the magical, hazy setting at the bottom of that lake... and on the surface where you can't even guess what greatness hides beneath the shimmering waves.

It's a fantastic setting, and despite the war theme: a refreshingly different movie too. Sometimes it doesn't seem like they're at war at all.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

RIP Avicii

He was an inspiring dude.

We Are All Now Connected...

We are all now connected by the Internet, like neurons in a giant brain.

Spring Post

It's like a door post but with more bounce, you know?

Seriously though: it's spring, and I really feel like writing a bit about what I've been up to the past few months. It's been too long.

Apart from a series of short chronicles written on the commuter train, dreams, music (almost like 420 but backwards lol idk y datsun funny), quotes, rants, and other really short or irrelevant posts (that's just the tip of the iceberg on the irrelevant), I basically have nothing to show for my life from the last... two months!? What a way to chauffeur my life huh.

Last time I wrote something I was kinda depressed, but now... better, right? The sun's shining, the warmth is spreading, and it feels like good things are on the way - even if time still flies like a seagull and sometimes it just seems hopeless to keep up. And I don't like sea gulls.

I haven't relapsed any more into Trackmania since I wrote that aforementioned post, but I have been going steady with those other two sites (I won't link to them this time, as a step to recovery) - even if they rarely have anything of interest these days. Other sites on my weekly reading list are TF and the Backblaze Blog, the latter of which I've been plotting to post a post about for... a few months now? Time. Damnit.

The Lost in Vegas impressions were just a phase at least, and since Montreality started pumping out new interviews at a steady pace again I've been seeing/hearing less of the NoJumper ones. I wish they'd ask their questions in audio form though so I could have them in the background like podcasts - as I can with NoJumper. Sometimes the artists repeat the questions before they answer them, which helps, but usually they don't, and often the question isn't entirely obvious from their answer.

I've also moved from King Los to Merkules - backtracking through both music videos and albums, and pondered taking a train trip to Borlänge when I discovered he was actually doing a concert in Sweden this month! But I thought about it some more and... skipped that. My fascination's fading a bit, though he's definitely a great artist. If you feel like watching a hundred of his music videos I just posted a dose! And yes I have watched them all. Might be why I feel like it's enough. For now.

My ambition still doesn't feel quite up at the surface right now, but it goes in waves. I haven't checked back on my resolutions since I wrote that last life-chronicling post either. Maybe if I posted more often the posts I posted wouldn't be so gargantuan ones and take so long to type up that it often feels like I don't have the time to do so... it's a recurring theme that one. Lack of time. Always on my mind. Clock it ticks. Stop up think. Wonder where I'll be... in another thirty years. Will y'all remember me, or just sleep deep and dream free? Will I put out work to show all that I'm way more than this lil peep; that I'm the dream steal. Beats me.

It's spring though. Finally. Last week I caught the traditional cold (I checked my calender - last year it was May, and the year before that March), and it lingered for just about a week. On Wednesday I was back to work, and Thursday it was (I decided) officially gone. I caught it the Thursday previous, and had to work on Friday since my boss was on vacation and we were expecting a delivery - which I don't think really shortened the recovery time. I wrote about that I think. One of the commuter posts.

I was feeling alright though - proud that I didn't let a puny virus bog me down, strong in mind though weak in body. Come the next day I took a bike ride to the premiere of Plantagen in Bro too - against my better judgment, and that night my nephew stopped by for a night, after attending the Stockholm Film Festival where we hope he'll win a prize.

We played games and tried some Fanta Mezzo (it tasted just like Coke - disappointing) and I think that's when my immune system finally gave up and the cold got caught. Followed him to the train on Sunday, but after that it was time for a couple of days at home; taking it easy; catching up by the computer when possible, and soaking in the occasional sunshine on the front porch at suitable intervals.

I was plotting to post about the first ice cream I ate this summer/year too, which was... the 22nd of March. I remember since it was the same day I went to my early-year health check-up (which is much better now - but more on that later), and had to break a 500 SEK bill, and so decided to buy an ice cream cone for change. That was how it all begun.

This Friday I had seven - though not all cones! A cousin and I took a hundred year old boat on a trip out of Waxholm (the archipelago's proud inofficial capital), and strolled around the island seeing the sights and taking advantage off Pressbyrån's early spring ice cream rebates (half price on everything). Suddenly I'm almost all caught up with this year's new flavors. With the main brand, at least. A few more do await this summer.

It was a nice trip too, albeit with pretty long travel time there and back. Over an hour each. Cruising the waves though... in moderate doses it really is pretty nice! We managed to time in the warmest day of the month - at most 24C in the shade, so it was just perfect.

The weekend's been equally warm, albeit with the sun drifting behind slow clouds, and the coming week's claimed to become cooler again. I'm happy I really took advantage of the warmth that was. Hopefully I didn't get burnt. Most of that island day was spent walking on the shadowy side of the road; hiding my reddening face under a badly shielding cap and expired sun scream. My tan just takes way too long to tone in properly. I get red too easy. Or more like: bright pink and flush.

So this weekend's been great, and the two months leading up to it... mostly. I've been spending a lot of time on NG, and maybe that shows in my (lack of) activity here.

I've been getting stuck more and more on revising reviews too, where I write them fast, and post them, and then check back the next day in search of errors, and find a few, and edit those, and find some more, and find some things I could have formulated better, and leave them for a while, and move on to the next, and then check back the next day and start skimming from the top again... and find more!

It's annoying! I write a review best right after I've watched a movie, and I'm most impervious to post-writing perfectionism when I'm on a roll with my writing too, so I know that the best time to write a post is right after the movie - and the best time to revise is right after I post it.

For some reason both posts and revisions end up getting delayed though, and everything's pushed back further and further. The pressure amounts, the cycle commences, and here we go again. That inane rollercoaster of... I don't know what. Self-improvement? Loathing? Doubt? And then I get distracted and open up my Gmail or NG and all begins anew.

No more, I say! Though I've said that before. I know. Sometimes you just need to affirm your goals though, and resolutions, and get a grip again.

I've been looking at way too many music videos too, and posting collective posts with them when I do. Somehow the occasional clips I wanted to share turned into an obsession of posting everything I watch - or at least everything music-related.

I've had some plans on turning that around. I've had thoughts of abandoning those posts too. I still haven't really decided, but in musical news: Gröna Lund is opening early next month, and with it concerts! For the third year in a row I hope to be going to as many as I can, and there are some awesome artists on the line-up this year, most notably The Offspring. OH HELL YEAH.

There's a bunch more, but I think I'll do like I usually do and post about them when I see them. No concert is guaranteed, but there are a few I really don't want to miss (like Timbuktu, Thåström, Marilyn Manson, Hollywood Vampires, Queens of the Stone Age, Europe... and did I mention
The Offspring?!). OH HELL YEAH.

Actually there's a few more I'm hyped about, but when I start considering who I'm most hyped about they start to blend together.

Both the first and last concert of the season are on my list too. Hopefully the crowd's not too dense then. Hopefully it's cold or rainy... or just cold. Or better yet just not so huge a crowd that I can't get in, but huge enough that you really get into your zone and vibe out with the music! And so the bands enjoy the audience as much as we them, and catch some of their warmth.

However it turns out though it's going to be awesome.

Speaking of awesome: we also had our Vernal Equinox AKA Spring Equinox... a month ago. March 20. This is the day when each side of the Earth receives an equal share of sun, and after that comes the time when this side starts getting all the more - until Midsummer comes and the sunshine shares get flipped around again. Which is just a couple months off, so best enjoy these short-lived days of life and light to the fullest!

In other life news I've been on four hella expensive Osteopath visits in an attempt to fix my back, neck, and all that is related (like the lack of dopamine in my brain). It definitely feels better now, but all the advice I received on how to best maintain a correct posture and keep my back alright after the visits felt incredibly vague, always along the lines of: however feels good for you and it's highly personal!

I know the therapy worked, because I do feel better, the dopamine levels on the health check-up mentioned earlier checked out, and I've had less headaches than I've had in years, but I want to keep it this way too. For a moment I thought the headaches might be gone entirely, but alas, one particularly stressful week they came back with a vengeance.

If it didn't cost so much I could definitely use some osteopathy more often - only in close conjunction do the visits really do the most good - as muscle memory easily kicks in and brings you back to your bad habits, but as it is this is it. My back's alright now, and I'll get back alright - to life and all nice things that crack my smiles.

A good lifestyle is more important than any number of appointments though, so I'ma try to keep my back straight and polish up my habits, one at a time. Better diet? Check. More exercise? Check (I took a run yesterday to make up for all that ice cream for starters). Better posture? Working on it. Irregular blogging? Check. Excellence is a habit, as they say.

There's also been a... few deals/restaurant visits? I honestly don't remember if there's been any since the last post, but I know I've eaten at a couple places this year at least, and the latest one was awesome.

Fusion Sthlm. Highly recommended. The food wasn't just great, but the portion generous, and the service too. The prices weren't unreasonable either considering the meal.

Searching the blog I see I haven't mentioned Espressobaren, Cyclo Deli, Noodle Mama or Akoya Sushi either! They're not recent, but they were great too.

It hasn't been quite as culinary a new start to the year as I'd planned (with an exception for that recently rich ice cream tasting session), but I think I'll appreciate getting back to it more come autumn, when that winter hunger sets in again...

Otherwise there's been some more taste testing sessions, a lot of movies (at the movies), my first jogging attempt for the year just before I caught that cold, a few more walks, my first voice acting role - if it turned out alright (it's for a short animation TBA), one art contest entry... and that's about all I have to show for my artistic endeavors since last.

You can see the art via NG (sidebar - to your right - a little lower down - or higher up if you're reading this on a page where this post is at the bottom), and that other one might be coming soon! Small contributions, yet exciting times nevertheless. An old collab that was abandoned three years ago was brought back to life too, so there's that too.

I've taken a break from writing a hundred words each day the past couple of months in an attempt to get more time for things like the above, but now it's a daily haiku instead, and the 750 one runs on automatic (so automatic I even received a notice I'd renewed my optional subscription though I was planning to just have it on for a month - it's turned off now)... and work. But as long as you can take half a Friday off for a long cruise through the dazzling blue Stockholm archipelago, and have a Sunday hour to spare writing a gigantic seasonal catch-up post like this it can't be all that bad, can it? I won't revise this one so roughly either, just write my mind. So pardon the block of text.

Hopefully more creative updates will be on route soon. Until then: I'll keep posting music, dreams, and probably plenty of irrelevant stuff. Good day.

Fragment Of A Dystopian Dream

I dreamt I was in some sort of a zombie apocalypse. Or maybe more like vampire apocalypse, like Daybreakers? Or was it just a regular apocalypse, where the enemies were other humans instead of more supernatural fiends?

Whichever it was we were all holed up in a large building complex in the middle of... I don't know where. It was so big it was more like a neighborhood than just a building, with a ceiling so high it was like a skylight - but I don't remember seeing the sky - and if there were trees there they certainly weren't many. I don't remember the ground being dirt either. Maybe it was a shopping mall... or similar.

There was at least one large shop there in which we scavenged our food, and I remember one bit where we were talking about how long it'd last, and everyone was walking around rummaging through the items available; taking what they needed. There was no panic. It was just the order of the day: scavenge what you need. Some lady was taking a large batch of caviar. I found some interesting little cookies hidden away on a shelf - they reminded me of something but I'm not sure what. Something I'd tried.

The food wouldn't last forever, but it didn't seem like that big a problem. The bigger problem was being able to eat all the food before it went bad. And how did we keep the refrigerators running? We must have had some form of power too.

Outside the shop everything was divided up in fractions. We all had our own rooms to hide in, or sections, and there was one particularly pompous part of the building that served as headquarters.

At the end of the dream (which of course is the only part I remember) things were getting bad, and so I ordered three guards to stay by the entrance all night - three on each shift, so maybe nine total. Two stood on either side of a wide stairway, and one stood a bit higher up; ready to wake up the rest if trouble loomed.

The trouble: On the other side of the complex there was a house that had been boarded up, but for some reason we'd opened the doors, and there came the enemy. I noticed the threat, but I trivialized it - thought we could handle them.

A group of us were standing around when they stormed. We managed to get a couple of them before a lady with the wand came out, calling forth spirits from within her painting. She called forth a flood. She called forth... something else, and the guards there were gone.

I'm not sure what happened after that. Maybe I abandoned the dream in favor of kinder ones - though I'm sure there had been a lot of going back and forth with the enemy before this! But it was a different kind of enemy. I remember thick walls, long hallways and guns. I was with a group, and we mischievously crept out to the open world... it wasn't a kind place to be.

It never ended badly, at least, and so it was less of a nightmare and more... an exciting dream. Like a movie. Action. Adventure. Not so much horror.

These are the memories that course through my mind in the ebbing of a cold; early morning on my week's free day. Good morning.

Musicalish #247

Merkules newest album is here! Cole. Here's the whole thing (official uploads), minus the ones I've posted earlier as videos (This Again, Survival Of The Fittest, Moment and Fuk Is You Sayin'). Enjoy!

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