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Damascus Under Fire (2018)

Damascus Under Fire (2018)

Two Iranian pilots are in a special mission to save the people of a small Syrian city who are surrounded by the terrorists. But they have to face many challenges before [they] manage to accomplish their mission.

It's a sad story. The main character gets gray hair on short notice. ISIS soldiers come from Europe, with red beards and hazel eyes, it's strange... but it's true.

It's about a war that involves the whole world after all. That lures in those who've been misled in the West, that see the weakness in a life of comfort. The lies in luxury. And though they do have a point this is NOT the way to resolve their issues. This is not the way you make a better world.

The special effects are sometimes sub-par, but good enough for the most part. Initially they're unexpectedly brutal. The whole movie is. Beheadings by sword as much as by blast radius of a suicide jeep. You wonder who was in the driver's seat in that first scene...

The story follows a pilot and his father, volunteering on a mission to fly a plane out of a city under siege. Under the fist of ISIS. This is their tale. It's not a happy one, but it's a good movie, the cover misleads...

The movie's gripping - most so in the final moments. It seems to give a glimpse of all that's wrong in the world - and at the same time all that's right. With those who stand up and fight. For what they believe in. When what THEY believe is the fairer fight. The one maybe... that saves more life? The credits are masterful too.

I'm not surprised this movie flew under the radar. Like the Syria war overall. Like Iran still does. Like the dark side of Islam often seems to - except when there's an injustice that doesn't offer perspective. When there's a clear definition of someone being wronged.

Especially if it's close to home, then it gets coverage... but who wants to see a movie like this on our happy side of the planet?

It's cold. It's all too scary. All to real. The fight of ideologies that rages on.

I suppose we don't want to feel like we could be involved in it too. Yet our own citizens fly off to ISIS training camps, to partake in this bloodshed...

Don't get it twisted. Nothing's black and white. It's just red. When all friends are dead.

Thoroughly impressed with this movie. It doesn't censor itself. With religious war, with absolute commitment and ideology, there are no
happy endings.

 rated 4.5/5: almost awesome

Unsurfed Afghanistan (2020)

Unsurfed Afghanistan (2020)

A documentary film that follows a mans journey back to his home country of Afghanistan. With the help of some river surfers to find surfable waves and bring a drop of joy to the people there.

When you hear 'surf' you traditionally think 'ocean', no?

Apparently there's a thing called river surfing too! It's different... but cool. As are the barren but surprisingly watery landscapes of Afghanistan...

This was... interesting. If you want to watch some surfing you'll get a little. If you want to see some sights you'll get more!

It's fascinating to see how people live in different parts of the world, even in as barren lands as these. The culture really is different. The lands really are desolate.

I'm reminded of a recent news story on Afghans who learned to ski down slopes on just boards of wood, and were now competing internationally. Wonder if that was even on snow. Maybe just sand. It's cool how even if birthed in the harshest parts of the world, you can learn to excel in a sport that usually requires a much higher level of luxury.

But they having real surfing boards too now... who knows. Maybe we'll get some awesome Afghan surfers too.

This was cool to see. Cool idea, albeit not the most exciting documentary.

 rated 2.5/5: almost not bad

Everybody Tripping, Dripping, Slipping...

So my mom caught the covid too apparently. Again. From me. Again.

It's been a couple weeks and a couple days since I probably caught it myself. I've had plenty of time to rest, I've been free of fever for over a week now, yet haven't been making the most of that rest time potential the last few days at least. Staying up late. Sitting by the computer full-time again. Eating less ideally - for the first five or so days at least I was super strict. Mashed bananas and garlic every morning, plenty of imperative supplementation, fluids, cough-reducing tinctures, no milk, minimal sugar - virtually nothing unhealthy at all.

And she was fasting most of that time, which I attributed her not getting sick to later one. A stronger immune system then. Must be. I'd settled in the contentment that she probably wouldn't get it this time.

But no, it just took longer.

Now she has the same relentless cough that I did, probably a fever too, no sense of taste and a sleepless night behind her. Usually she's up early to wash dishes and what-not, but not today, and that routine's a sacred one, in good health or no she always does those dishes... it kind of worries me.

Not that I can't wash dishes. The dishes are handled.

It was a huge pile of dishes yet it took a mere twenty minutes to plow through, and I feel better about my day already than I've done in some time. I understand now why she likes to start the day with those dishes. It gives you a sense of purpose, a sense of satisfaction with the gratifyingly visual dish-related accomplishments and kitchen cleanliness, and at the same time a light kind of warm-up that gets you started proper.

Maybe we should all wash some dishes every morning. It's meditative too. Need to use more dishes.

My worry is not in regard to the dishes though but for the apparently complete depletion of energy that leads her to stay in bed, though awake, rather than head downstairs to complete said task. For the uninitiated reader she's closing in on 80 y/o. Old people are tough but...

If this current case of what I assume to be a newer mutation of the 'rona (or we ought be immune already) is the same as it was for me she'll have a relentless cough for a few days, then a high fever, then get better, then get a slimier cough that lasts at least another week.

I still have mine, though it's gradually dissipating, hopefully it's all gone by the time me and good buddy/cousin David hit the planes and fly off to Poland next week, it's just a few days away now...

My Spring this year really isn't turning out the way I planned it.

I missed the customary half-price ice cream campaign that PressbyrÄn traditionally run at the very start of May too cause of covid - which I've been taking full advantage of in recent years as to try whatever new ice cream they have for the summer.

I missed my first trip up North, as I've raved about already.

My work days got cut even further till August - at which time hopefully company finances have recovered - or said work may end entirely.

I fill my days with dues yet feel a little lost and crippled in this vast expanse of opportunities that the world's comprised of. Like I can't just jump into any occupation I'd like to. Taste-testing and mystery shopping may be fun side hustles, but post tax and commuting costs the gigs I get there don't pay much at all. Super weak cost/benefit ratio.

I bought a reseller hosting account the other day though, real cheap, and plan to get properly started with selling that post-summer... need to register a company name and do it properly this time. Could host people unofficially but would rather not get called in for tax evasion if it does turn into a somewhat profitable alternative job. Which I do hope it does.

I have marketing ideas in store here. It's not so much about the hosting as about what services you sell with that hosting. The market's saturated with people trying to act the middle man and make a little extra the reseller way - the easy way - but few probably do when they don't offer anything new...

So I do have a spark. An idea. A vision I shall nourish and test. I have a few potential clients awaiting. I have other jobs I've been berating. I have a webshop soon in the making. Ideas for which time I'll be staking.

But come this summer this house will be vacant, I'll be on vacation, I'm not complaining! Finances aren't great, but while I'm away, I'll focus more on the shape I will make. My form my norm, my swelling main frame. There's no telling how much I'll excel in my game. I'll get into selling, foretelling my fame. Compelling a melon - to eat is my bane.

In vain my vanity I've tried to claim. Feeble attempt, meager in gain. Crawl like a Smeagol right out of this cave. Go like Moana or Merida in Brave! Into the free sea, onto my reign. I rebel cause regular people are slaves. Stay in the system, sit and behave. Listen while vision we'll take it away.

Dreams are for aliens, deviants pale. Green is my face when I see how they play. Games with the world, greedy and vile, final nail in the coffin? They each have a pile. Each with a smile. Each without seeing the heathens beside, thinking just one nail is easy to try. Easy to not see, we villainize Nazi, yet the evilest people look like you and I!

They cheat and they lie, find loopholes to hold, don't speak your mind.
Only good people, still seek comply.

Hope mom gets better anyhow. I'm out. Walk time. Stroll, saunter, get some sun... hopefully all is good in days yet to come.

Simulant (2023)

Simulant (2023)

Heeey the Fast & Furious lady! Jordana Brewster. Interesting how once you tie people to a certain franchise it's like that's what they are forever...

This is a dystopian tale on simulants and humans - but not all dystopian - it has a message on love too. It's like I, Robot and Blade Runner combined, only the replicants are called simulants, and the world hasn't come to the point where they're free to do exactly as they please yet. They're still bound by human law and regulations, yet that may be about to change...

It's a good movie, with an eerily relevant premise, on AI and souls and all that futuristic shizzle, even if it takes place in a world that looks more like our world than the potential future.

They've got some futuristic-looking tech and holographic signs to at least attempt to make it seem different, but it doesn't go all the way. The cars are the same, the people too, the shops seem to pedal older tech than that which we buy today... it's a little strange.

Reminds me of The 6th Day too, though the sceneries aren't even on par with that level of futuristic.

Also dark twist towards the end. My god. I saw it coming at that point, but still... you wonder if we maybe really do have a soul after all. Or was he always that kind of a husband - was that why she kept her distance more so than because he wasn't real. Or was he just disillusioned by the reproach he felt, or by what he saw on his little stint into the bigger world...

It really makes you question. The future. The benefits or pitfalls of AI. The good, the bad, the potentially inescapable world that may come to be...

It turned out better than I thought it would this time. Maybe it all comes back to that ambiguity too, and not fully knowing where we're going, or why, or what really matters after all...

Plus it's a sad story, and yet there is hope, yet it ends bad for some, yet good for others, and there seems to be no redeemable reason as to who draws the short straw and who doesn't... nuances after all.

Same with the enforcer's son. You don't get full story but... nuances there too.

 rated 4.5/5: almost awesome

The Devastator (1986)

The Devastator (1986)

This one really reminded me of Mercenary Fighters, 1988.

It has a similar feel to it, and a similar intro, with a very similar-looking apartment, but it doesn't take place in exotic Africa this one, but rather home turf USA, where a group of convincing villains (of which I'm sure I've seen at least the main one in other movies before - don't know the name) have taken over a small town, where they grow marijuana, and kill anyone who gets in their way.

In comes Vietnam veteran Deacon Porter (played by Rick Hill - you might've seen him in Dune Warriors), who initially spends time in a bar that reminds me of the one in Deer Hunter, eventually gets shot, runs away, and comes back with a bunch of other Veteran buddies...

The fights are a little too notably sped-up, not the most authentic, but good, in the typical all-out explosive style of the eighties, and the cast's one you take a liking to. They're tough guys - and girls, albeit with their own flaws, and not everyone makes it out of their endeavor alive, but it's just something they gotta do cause they gotta do it.

At least that's how Deacon feels...

It ends a little abruptly, without total closure, but at least the war is over.

I liked it. Not perfect but: there's a lot of fighting. And good sights. And glimpses of the enviable old days, when the cars in particular looked so much better than they do now...

 rated 3.5/5: not bad at all

Assassin (2023)

Assassin (2023)

What a serious mindfuck this was!

I wasn't expecting it. Was expecting it to be just another B-movie with a senile Bruce Willis... but he actually kept it together in this one. Didn't outlast his part either. And the one it's really all about: she shines.

Though who is it about, really? It's a thriller/horror/action movie about a girl who loses her man to the war - he comes home in a coma - and all she want to do is get him back.

But apparently he's not gone at all. He was piloting another body when it broke down. He was a drone pilot of the future - one not much unlike our own - where humans are the drones. Where humans are the pilots. Where you become someone else to infiltrate and take out someone unwilling.

It reminds me a little of that one movie with Denzel Washington. Don't recall the name. That secret military project one. Which was good too.

And it reminds me of Inception - from the first ice bath - with the strange but so very simple devices.

Minimalism's the new thing no? It reminds me of Wim Hof too, momentarily, though of course he has nothing to do with this.

Dominic Purcell (the villain) plays a good role too. Haven't seem him in ages. Glad he got to get one in with Bruce - always felt like he deserved bigger roles than he was getting.

And the girl's great. Though who she is... what a trip.

It's a low-budget movie. It goes beyond what I expected a low budget movie to manage. I don't feel like Bruce is the perfect fit for his role - he lacks intensity these days - even if it was the best one I've seen him play in a long time. And I'm glad he did play a part after all, cause otherwise I don't think I'd ever have seen this.

Love the concept. Love the atmosphere. Love just about everything about this. It's not perfect but... it's surprisingly good. That end twist too.

Great watch all.

 rated 4.5/5: almost awesome

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