Movies I've watched recently:
The trailer for this film doesn't spoil anything: it tells almost everything about this film, which (surprise) doesn't pass the Bechdel test. Read my entire review here: http://niklasblog.com/?p=191110.3
This film is actually worse than the first one, leaving no care behind; actually, if "no care left behind" would be the title, I'd given it higher grade out from courtesy. There's just nothing in here, not even anything little that aids or progresses action, for the sake of action. Even tipping a jar of paint onto the street would be more actionable and less questionable, than anything that goes on in this film.0.3
What a heap of troubles. Sweden often combats crime; one may say it's "our" forté. Trouble is, the same actors adapt the same dour, sour stance when affronting the crimes perpetrated by other film-makers and actors, all from Sweden. It's a downward trajectory. Here, the biggest crime is courtesy of Jacob Eklund, who would not be able to act his way out of a paper bag; he's far too lackadaisical and apathetic to be a lead guy, and his character's simply not believable. This story is somewhat interesting as one specific criminal quickly proves to be an informant for the police. That's about it, really. The action is questionable as I kept looking at my wall behind the TV at times, for more exciting stuff; I'm not exaggerating when writing it. Fingers crossed for more excitement.0.3
I'm a sucker for Fey/Poehler, and this time they've managed to be as brash and simultaneously fun as they should always have been; I mean, they've obviously honed their craft. They play sisters who walk down memory lane, and what keeps this from being a regular haw-haw SNL showboat is how they keep their eyes on the prize, story-wise. It's a complete film, lavish with jokes that not only prey upon the remember-when-we-were-young? thing, but show-cases humor in its simplest forms. There are not that many gimmicks, really, but mostly humor. Things work because of the words, not the context, e.g. in comparison with films like almost everything Adam Sandler has made. All in all, fun and funny, they make it work.0.3
This is a pure action-and-vengeance film, from start to finish. There's really no logic to some things, e.g. why the main character does not visit his estranged and brutally hurt (physically and mentally speaking) daughter in hospital, but is on a mission. Apart from that, though, this film is a study in cinematography, vengeance, neat tricks and sheer love for the kind of drama that I think all vengeance-based films should carry. There's a lot of fun too. What Hallyday keeps back because of his limited performance - just imagine if Alain Delon would have played the main character, which is what the director originally wanted - the sidekicks and the beauty of the film gives back. It's a bit like "Blade Runner" meets "Memento" and some ancient John Ford/Akira Kurosawa thing going on. A must-see for all action/vengeance flick buffs.0.3
July 22nd, 2016
Today marks 5 years since the Utöya massacre. A horrible crime that affected many people apart from the killed and the survivors.
I just re-read a piercing blog post by Mia, published the day after the massacre.
I remember the first time I read the post. The sheer urgency and clear-cut thoughts in the post forced me to write a blog post of my own on why people tend to highlight “geographically close = emotionally close”. If in doubt, consider why our papers rarely report on what’s happening in Congo, or how many of us remember the Beslan school siege.
Five years ago today, I saw friends dyeing their Facebook profile pictures in the colours of the Norwegian flag. I even think Facebook allowed its members to do that automatically by the click of a button, as when terrorists in Paris massacred people at the Bataclan concert hall a short time ago.
Anyway, back to five years ago. As Anders Behring Breivik, the man responsible for the massacre, first started by bombing a building in Oslo, one of my “Facebook friends” wrote “Now somebody is bombing us Northeners. Out with the riffraff.” and wrote that the bomber was “unlikely to wear a lusekofta” (=traditional Norwegian sweater). Sadly, I feel that sentiment is more likely to pop up and cause less of a stir today than five years ago, as I feel that xenophobia is more commonplace (at least in Sweden) today. Remember, Breivik was born and raised in Norway, not that it’s very interesting apart from pointing out bad prejudice.
Lojura, a dear friend, also wrote a clear-headed post about what people wrote of the massacre online. She noted that while some have an actual connection with the horrible crimes, other smelled of – and I’m translating her post that’s in Swedish, which really doesn’t do her justice – “White People Have Died grief”. On she went:
Damn, is there anything worse than when a white person dies? Or is it about the fact that it feels so close to a It Can Happen To Me! thought is born, or that it’s too close to be able to pretend that it hadn’t happened? […] What has happened in Norway is disgusting. Really disgusting. But I also think it’s discomforting to see who are seen to deserve R.I.P.s & who don’t.
A sidetrack of sorts: as I look back on my post I feel I was being far too critical and harsh when it came to matters of religion. I hope that I’m a lot more open now, where I used to be a complete atheist who basically looked down on religious persons as being stupid for believing in something that could not be scientifically proven. I was being a dick, and I’m sorry for that.
So here’s to an open mind and an open heart. Love to one and all.
July 20th, 2016
If you’ve watched the Swedish, New Zealand, US…any other version than the British, just forget everything you’ve seen – just consider yourselves lucky that you have perfection coming to you.
The concept of the series is ridiculously simple: five strangers1 will cook for each other, each hosting one night of the week (barring the weekend). They slosh each other up with alcohol and go all in. The Swedish version of this series is extremely tame. The New Zealand version is on Valium and the South African version is just weirdly boring. The British are fucking at it. It’s there, like a gash in the face. They get each other drunk, they dress up, they raffle through each other’s wardrobes, they have great fun, they’re weird and awful and wondrous and envious and spiteful and happy. It’s life!
In the beginning of 2016, an episode of gargantuan content was released.
It was S37E01.
Be aware that the clip below is a spoiler of who wins the game, and it’s worth it (it’s hard to find the entire episode anyway). What you need to know beside that, is that the clip displays the last bit of the episode, when the winner is revealed.
Peter, the chap who is not wearing glasses, is The One. The clip kicks off 02:03 in, where the countdown of who ended up in which place starts. I applaud Jane, the person who gets most of Peter’s words:
Well. In retrospect, I believe Peter’s worst enemy is himself, and karma is surely a bitch.
Also, note that the British CDWM is brilliant in the sense that the soundtrack is always poignant; while Peter’s done his bit, Doves‘ song “Words” is played in the background. Here’s a snippet of the lyrics:
I said your eyes, they say nothing
So you can’t hurt me
On summer days like these
I said words they mean nothing
So you can’t hurt me
See CDWM. It’s brilliant.
- Mostly, although at times – albeit seldom – some of the contestants actually know each other.[back]
July 20th, 2016
You don’t need to know anything about the band to appreciate the below, which is a video clip that really, for me, nails why one loves any music artist at all. It’s honest, poignant and beautiful.
The interviews with Robert Voedisch and Elaine Pan really nail it for me; his story on growing up with an album that can really be closer to you than friends are, and her words on how horrible you can feel while growing up is something all can relate to. It’s universal, these feelings and music, and will naturally always be intertwined.
Buy the documentary!
July 19th, 2016
Holy Fuck has played a few tracks on KEXP, this video’s out now:
I think those guys have fun while on the road et cetera. I mean, they have Cowboy Cat as their mascot, so it shows!
Speaking of which, Australia’s finest – Tame Impala – have fun when on the road (and live) too:
There’s even a “funny moments part 2” so here you go:
Eventuallyyy… – here’s a bonus of the Tamers from Primavera Sound this year. Whoooo.