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Resolutions 2018

Don't wait, but don't haste. Don't hesitate. Don't stall, don't fall, don't all. Don't say "yes" if you stress. Don't do if you are not supposed to. But mostly, a 'can't do' won't do: think instead of what you could do. Be good too.

Always good with a reminder, right? That's a little something from 2015.

I didn't post any resolutions last year. I posted some of them after the new year kicked in, more as motivation than actual goals. Nothing in a purely resolute form. No resolutions. Really. So there'll be no aftermath here! The one thing I intended to do was to stop stalling and... have I? I'm not sure. I feel like the year's just blazed by, and I've done a lot of good things but not all the things I've wanted to do. Far from all. Maybe my one resolution now should be to start prioritizing better? It'd be a killer combo.

I did get inspired and write down a list of bad habits I hoped to rid myself of in my Happy 2018 post though, and with those I've done OK! Won't analyze them one by one, but I'm happy to see a few I've dropped within the roster, and hopeful that I'll drop a few more of those this year. Some of them I did drop earlier, but seem to have regained during the winter. Unhealthy times these dark times!

I still have my private list from 2016 with a few dues I wish to do before I reveal those for the world too, so as the time ticks away before the New Year I'm not sure what new ones I should concoct, that won't impede my potential progress with my previous ones.

I have done some progress since then, though. This and the previous year weren't entirely worthless, even though they've sometimes felt pretty hopeless with how many projects I've had on my platter, how many I never seem to finish and how many I've had to say no to because I'm still not done with my old dues.

I don't like it. I want to be faster. I want to write as efficiently as I'm writing this right now, at the brink of a new era and the end of another one, when inspiration truly makes itself known and make my fingertips race over the keyboard. It's a good feeling. But you can't force inspiration... can you?

Something I've learned during recent years is that the difference between professionals and amateurs is that professionals do. How they wake up their slumbering pit of inspiring ideas is a different knowledge, but you can't just wait for ideas to come to you, as you just can't wait for time, or opportunity - If you don't get one you have to make one.

I haven't felt like I've had opportunity to do all that I wanted to this past year, and have in fact been way more stressed than usual from time to time, but as the year is crawling to a close and my inbox looks like this, and my PM inbox at NG looks like this (well it did a couple hours ago - seems like other people want to get through all of their responses before the New Year too) I'm finally beginning to feel an inner peace sweeping in... and that really boosts my sense of efficiency. It makes me believe it might be possible to make room for routines like a pro, too.

And so, my main resolution for this year is to follow through with my old resolutions. These ones.

I know you can't see those yet. That's intentional. They're private. I'm linking to the post anyway as to make it so that I'm continually held accountable for actually accomplishing them. All of them. Also: don't tell anyone about your goals until you achieve them, right?

I am confident I can accomplish everything I set out to do back then at this point. I've accomplished a few already, though next year it'll be with a couple modifications on the remaining ones that'll all make sense whenever you're later able to view that old post:

  1. At least three short walks every day if there's no time for a longer one, stretching only after exercise (at least no obligation to stretch at other times), and definitely more focus on posture improvement.

    I'll add to that: daily deep breathing and eye exercises. I have a couple quick routines there that I plan to make a habit. More info on those as the year goes!

  2. I will get a new eye test, and I will also improve my sight before the year is over - or at least make an effort to do so so that I'll know if it works or not. I won't just waste away by the computer, but actively look away. I'll hone my sight. Not ignore my problems.

Regarding the 100 and 750 word challenges from resolutions of old: I'm not doing those any longer. I'm not committing myself to any amount-based writing exercises, but rather to just continually stay creative, without letting any amount-based obligations get in the way of personal progress.

There's so much self-betterment I want to focus on. Excellence is a habit.

I'll start with what I've outlined here, and in the previous resolutions posts, and anything in addition to that... that's a bonus. All other points still apply, though without the amount-based goals on the final one. You'll see what I mean. ;)

I feel like I'm getting a bit better aim in regard to what I want in life with each of these posts... even if there is one particular topic I still refuse to bring up. Maybe next year. For now, just a few minutes before the clock strikes twelve and the fireworks start popping outside, I'm happy with the resolve I have and a select few resolutions on my tray. Happy New Year in a bit, and may it be way better than this one was!

It's been good but: just not enough.

Musicalish #282

Massive end-of-the-year dose of music, new and old? :) Here goes...

(more…)

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

What happened to spider-sense? What happened to the darkness? What happened to the old and corny? The new dude's just not like the old one. He's more like a sidekick, and it feels almost like they're trying to make a new Deadpool out of every one of these guys now. Too much comedy at the expense of themselves.

I do appreciate the Stan Lee cameo (as always), the Captain America PSAs, and the Tony Stark moments were cool too, but it takes all the way until the end of the movie before you really start getting into the Spider-Man vibe. For the bigger part of the movie... it's too much.

And they're getting lazy with the CGI as well. Especially in the early stages of swinging through the city it looked more like game animation than real CGI. Like something they might've borrowed from the animated counterpart (though that one was totally different - in a good way).

This wasn't all it could have been! This really wasn't the reboot I was hoping for. It might've been wrong to boot the same story the same way for the fourth time in a row if they aren't planning to take the same route with the sequels, but this just felt like the wrong way to jump into the story. And what happened to the romance...?

Overall this was a great movie, just not the Spider-Man I'm used to, and the lazy CGI is a pretty noticeable production flaw. I liked it but... I'm a little disappointed too. Plot-wise it's the usual plus a little Iron Man.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018)

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018)

This was the trailer at the end of Venom. The first Marvel movie that truly disappointed me.

The trailer looked good but... it wasn't real, and as such it was a disappointing trailer too, and the first one that somehow seemed to step outside the inanimate Marvel realm. But then again Venom was stepping outside those bounds too. As are Marvel movies as a whole lately. More animate than not.

With that disappointment fresh in mind I wasn't hyped to see this, but I saw it anyway, and in difference from Venom I'm happy to say it didn't disappoint!

Maybe my expectations were lower - as low as they could possibly go in fact - but it's also a parallel dimension thing, and when have you ever seen one of those go the wrong way?

It's a colorful and creative twist to the classic Spider-Man saga too. Or at least to all the ones I've seen so far, which are mainly the main movies. The non-animate ones. Here a bunch of alternative Spider-Men (and woman, and pig, and robot) get together to fight the Kingpin (and stop a little doomsday scenario thing), bond, learn things, and do all kinds of crazy comical comic-kind of stuff along the way!

It's a trip. Fierce, fun and fast-paced in a way that it only can be when it's animated, and since it is animated it feels like conventional restrictions don't apply either. It's a blast from start to finish, and spin-off or no the narrative's pretty strong too. Refreshingly different, but still with that signature Spider-Man wisdom and little mint of melancholy.

And I guess they realized they missed out on the spider sense in the most recent Spider-Man movie (the non-animate one) because here: it's everywhere. Makes sense. Spider sense. Spider-Man's sense though? Eh... maybe not as sensible! Good thing there's at least a couple parallel versions of him who are. This one mixes things up a bit; takes it far.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle (2018)

Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle (2018)

Suddenly Alpha feels very much inspired by something much newer than the old tales that seemed to have inspired it...

Part of me loves this, and part of me hates it. The Mowgli here isn't the same as the old one. He looks weak... but he roars better. A part of the basis for the movie is his overcoming obstacles and learning who he is, so in that regard the weakness feels merited, but at the same time you'd think the jungle would've made him stronger.

His trials are something the old movie left for later, and this one has a darker tone that way too. There's a lot more focus on death, to overcome or else, whereas the old one was just a lot of fun, even if some of it was exciting too. It played with the surrounding, explored it and portrayed it in imaginative and enclosing ways, whereas this one seems to try to capture the most fearful or pompous sides of it - even if those sides aren't the most realistic, all the while portraying the animals in animated states that I just wish they'd kept real!

The albino wolf in particular is so Gollum-like in both appearance and act that it's just wrong, and though there is blood and grit involved all animals come across way too cartoony. Especially the wolves.

But Cyber, you say, wasn't the original one drawn too? Isn't this just like the original? Well it might have been if it was all animated, but when they bring together two worlds like this and just don't manage to make that bridge it comes off so... off.

It did bring me in eventually, and hold the suspense well. It left me feeling, and yet the animated details just irked me until the very end. There's too much fakeness. The law of the jungle seems to demand something more down-to-Earth than this.

Are tame animals too dangerous to use these days? The old movie was definitely the winner in my book here, even if this was a strong and dark, deep, jungle contender.

It's cool that they're bringing all these old titles back to life lately, I just wish they'd do a better job at it when they do.

 rated 3/5: not bad

The Jungle Book 2: Mowgli & Baloo (1997)

The Jungle Book 2: Mowgli & Baloo (1997)

It's another real life take on the Mowgli story! With a new Mowgli, with new animals (I think?), and once again with a new take on the same old story, even though it's a sequel to the original story it's a new take on!

They really mix things together here, not so much with the main story as with different bits and pieces, like Kaa and the Monkey King. The plot:

Pre-teen jungle boy Mowgli gets to human world and is pursued by P.T.Barnum circus scout Harrison who wants to take him to circus as curiosity. Harrison hires local grandee Buldeo for help in tracking Mowgli down. It turns out to be that Mowgli is Buldeo's nephew, and the only obstacle for him to take his late brother's rich estate.

Maybe it is a bit different after all, but as far as the jungle, the animals, and the main characters go this is the one version I liked most of all.

It feels wilder than the previous, despite the narrative twist. And even if it is a sequel to the 1994 version the actors are all new, so it doesn't feel the same at all. Props Jamie Williams on a Mowgli finally done well, and the others. There's not a single bad actor here, villain included. Well-played all.

What really sets this apart from the others is probably the atmosphere though, it's just so genuine in comparison. Compared to the newest attempt it's also much more focused on the comedy, and to me that's how it should be. That's how the original did it too.

Definitely the best version yet.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

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