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Monthly Archives: December 2015

Jurassic World, review

With Christ Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Omar Sy and others. I watched this film when I was very bored and it was perfect for that occasion 🙂

Jurassic World tells the story of two boys, Gray and Zach (played by Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson), who are send away on a vacation to their aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) in Jurassic World, the legacy of John Hammond. Why this has been arranged, doesn’t really come forward.

Having seen the first Jurassic Parc film, this one doesn’t even come close to have the same thrill. Things go wrong as is meant to happen, but nowhere near as wrong as in the first part. While there’s parts in this film that do recall that very first film, which does give it a nice ‘ah, yes, I remember’ nostalgia-touch, I guess.

It is funny to recognise so many things that would indeed be part of such a themed parc if it would exist. The load of mobile devices to photograph the animals, the alternative ‘dolphin’ show, the petting zoo for the smallest dinosaurs, meant for children to indeed pet the dinosaurs.

Meanwhile, not a lot happens in this film. Mostly thanks to Chris Pratt, who is reanacting The Horse Whisperer with dinosaurs. With his lovely sidekick Barry, played by Omar Sy. Who you remember from Intouchables. Obvious why he was chosen to play this part, which he does very gracingly.

Vincent D’Onofrio is the bad guy, but the baddest about him is actually his beard. Or that would be my interpretation. In the first film it’s obvious who’s the bad guy and why, given that Nedry simply doesn’t care if anyone lives, as long as he has his money. So the scene with the dinosaur there brings a certain amount of satisfaction, whilst in this film, you’re watching the scene, thinking ‘yeah, right’, because it’s not that realistic in ANY situation what is depicted here. Hoskins is more of an experimentalist. Which means his theories are against those of the amusement park, but lets face it: if all this were true, people would indeed want to know if dinosaurs could be used in a battle to defend something. Hoskins is deeply unpleasant, but actually the people behind the amusementpark are not necessarily the good guys when it comes to theories of ‘if you have total control of an animal, what would you do with it?’

The relationship with the parents of the boys is being depicted so weird that you’re wondering why the hell the studio decided to keep that story in at all? It’s not worked out properly. There’s a few hints of it not going too well between the parents, but no such sight between the parents themselves. All you see is the sisters (mother and aunt Clair) not getting along over the phone, where mother says that her eldest can be so mean to the youngest. Of which you also see no proof at all during the entire film.
Bryce Dallas Howard is bitchy, like I expected her to be after seeing The Help. The funniest scene of her is when Chris Pratt tells her she can’t come along with him:
‘Not wearing those shoes!’
*adjusts clothes*
‘What are you doing??’
-Well, I’m ready to go NOW!’
When basically, she has done nothing. Except for unbuttoning the first 2 buttons of her blouse and tie the ends into a knot.

All in all it’s an amusing film to watch in itself, but don’t expect anything major. If children wouldn’t have such a vivid imagination, I’d almost say that children the age of 10 can easily watch this, but given that I myself have recently seen The Walking Dead and was kind of anticipating on anything, that may be a bit much. Nevertheless, I can’t say this film is really that scary. It’s too contained.

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2015 in Films, Opinion

 

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Hatespreading and platforms

I do like social media. The news, gossip and funny jokes never stop. ALso the interaction with people who seem to think the same or different (for the discussions here and there). It’s refreshing and it keep syou on your ties.
Since newspapers and radio channels are also part of twitter, it’s possible to have a bit more serious tones on your timeline or feed(as it’s called).
The only time when it’s therefor not that pretty, is when hatespreading is occurring.
It spreads like wild fire on twitter.
I like to retweet things that seem important to me. A retweet, for the unfamiliar twitter user, is when you push a button to repeat a tweet on your own timeline or feed. People who follow you will be able to read exactly what you read.
I retweet things that I laugh about, but also more serious matters.

However, when the happenings in Paris occurred, I did not login to twitter. For the first time I noticed how social media is helping the bastards who claim responsibilities to these acts. They thrive on being known on twitter.
Because social media are everything.
They know exactly how these things work. They know how stupid people are. To respond to the urge they get from the bottom of their belly and just punch the button to retweet. Which is where a message is kept in its original state and goes ‘viral’, as it’s called.
Someone posted a video of people running away screaming after/during the Paris attacks. Retweeting that would have literally spread fear. Because of course running away screaming is what normal people do if a gun is pointed in their direction and you have no idea what you did to deserve such a thing.

Then again, there’s also people like Katie Hopkins, Miley Cyrus and KIm Kardashian. Who also thrive on the power of these media. Women that have barely any use in life, despite what they may think themselves. And of course, this doesn’t matter if you lead the kind of life that Miley and Kim do. Their appearance and the social media are their life. Miley sings, yes, but this is not how she earns her money. Not really.

Katie Hopkins is a different story. She disappoints me even more. A woman that is so educated and throws it all away to be nothing more than some hatred clickbait. To create an atmosphere in which your children are so thoroughly hated, just because they’re her offspring…it’s scary. I’m sure she thinks she is much loved by a lot of persons, but in reality I think her biggest concern should be her legacy of hate.
Does she really want her children to know, at a later age, that so many people have wished her dead? That she was so incredibly keen on the perfect shape of body that comments on someone’s appearance are considered ‘her right’? Would she really? I can easily imagine one of her children developing an eating disorder by the unhealthy approach Katie Hopkins has on the matter. Not just her own children, children globally. I do know Katie Hopkins doesn’t care about those children. They’re not hers, so why would she care? The only thing Katie Hopkins cares about is her right, her ability, to spread the word that she, Katie Hopkins, despises fat persons.

Which is why I’m so incredibly surprised that this same Katie Hopkins is given such a big platform. BBC radio, for crying out loud, talkshows, a column in a newspaper.
I do understand there’s a great deal of money concerned. People are stupid enough to want to listen to someone who tells them something that will make them angry. Lord knows why. It’s just true. People like to be offended these days.
In a time where fear and hate are being spread like wild fire as it is, shouldn’t there be a bigger platform for those who try to aim for a better society? Especially educated broadcasters as BBC?

Also, as I said: I’m disappointed in Katie Hopkins herself. Not so much for her hate spreading. Whomever loves to be hated, must have some weird ’50 Shades of Grey’relationship with themselves that I’m far more rather unaware of.
What concerns me is this: why would anyone who has studied, who has had good chances in life, throw it all away to become what’s basically nothing more than a Kim Kardashian (famous for a sextape) or Miley Cyrus (latest seen wearing a strapon dildo with glittering balls)?
The most superficial beings ever. Concerned about nothing else than their appearance? Not being asked for their wit (because you’re not, Katie Hopkins) or their intelligence, but purely to perform a trick. Sit up straight and tell everyone what you think. It’s easy. So easy, anyone could do it.

I’d say that’s beneath someone with such prudentials. Then again, you’re so happy with it, that probably you’re not. You couldn’t live up to the standards. You’ve made your life out of being hated. It’s how Hitler started, you know.

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2015 in Daily life, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Sterke genen/ Strong genes

Jaren geleden, bij het overlijden van mijn oma van vaderskant, gebeurde het al eens. Dat mijn oom (van moederskant) me aanstootte en fluisterde:
‘Zeg, help me eens even om hier wijs uit te worden; waarom lijken er hier veel meer mensen op jouw vader dan waar ik mee bekend ben?!’
Ik legde daarop vlug uit dat wijlen mijn opa twee keer getrouwd was geweest. Op één kind na hebben al zijn nakomelingen (acht totaal) hun uiterste best gedaan zoveel mogelijk op hun vader te lijken. En dus op elkaar.
Dat leidt tot verwarring als je je niet bewust bent dat er twee verschillende gezinnen waren.

Nu bijna een herhaling. Dit keer zonder de betreffende oom die om uitleg vroeg.
De halfbroer van mijn vader overleed. Dienst en plechtigheid in een kleine kapel. Tussen de modderige voetbalveldjes. Parkeerplaats vinden voor de deur of iets droger bleek onmogelijk. Een veld vol plassen.
Bekende gezichten zien, zonder ooit echt kennis te hebben gemaakt. Wel ongeveer van elkaars bestaan weten. Opmerken dat de dochter van de overledene toch wel héél veel lijkt op je eigen tante. Eén gezicht. Het is bijna eng.

Een klein zaaltje. Een kist met een foto, omringt door vazen met veldbloemen. De kinderen links, de kleinkinderen rechts. Daaromheen de overige genodigden. Waaronder wij, die andere kant van de familie. Die uit respect en nieuwsgierigheid waren gekomen. Nieuwsgierig naar familiebanden waar we nooit zo bij zijn geweest. Vanwege de echtscheiding die er destijds heeft plaats gevonden.
Mijn opa scheidde van zijn eerste vrouw, waar de overledene een kind van was, en ging verder met mijn oma.

Beide kinderen van de overledene spraken. Dochter tamelijk kort en wat afstandelijk. Duidelijk is dat ze haar vader accepteerde zoals die was en van hem hield op haar eigen manier.
‘Ik zou geen andere vader gehad willen hebben!’ besloot ze krachtig.
Zoon had meer te vertellen over zijn vader, die kennelijk nogal een knutselaar was (‘geen pvc-buizen voor de elektriciteit, maar tuinslang, want dat was goedkoper’, ‘van een fotostatief maakte hij een schildersezel’, ‘autobanden bewaarde hij, want daar kon je schoenzolen zo mooi mee repareren’). Ondertussen ook dat vader niet altijd de meest voor de hand liggende oplossingen voor problemen had (‘van de eettafel kon weken niet gegeten worden, omdat pap daar de motor van zijn auto op had gelegd. Die was hij aan het repareren’, en ‘de caravan paste niet goed in de garage, dus groef hij met een spade een deel van de vloer eruit, zodat het wél paste’…).

De echte dikke tranen kwamen bij de kleinkinderen, die het simpelweg niet droog hielden tijdens hun voordracht.

Het is merkwaardig zoveel herkenbare zaken tegen te komen op de begrafenis van iemand met wie je nauwelijks kennis hebt gemaakt. Een liefde voor uien, bijvoorbeeld. Het altijd bij je dragen van een zakmes. Het eten van hele knoflooktenen en zeggen dat dat ‘heel gezond is’ (dat is kennelijk een familie credo!?). Het eindeloze knutselen als zaken niet werken op de manier die je voor ogen had. Het doornemen van complete handleidingen vóór je ergens mee aan de slag gaat. De liefde voor fietsen. De liefde voor de natuur. En zo nog meer zaken.
We hebben allemaal dezelfde achternaam. Het bond nu meer dan ooit.

De verhalen over de scheiding zijn verschillend. Zo heb ik zelf vernomen dat de eerste vrouw van haar man af wilde en hem dus maar koppelde aan degene die mijn oma zou worden. De tweede vrouw. Of dit waar is, geen idee. Wat wel duidelijk is, is dat de eerste vrouw na de scheiding boos was. Ze hertrouwde, maar koesterde wrok. Het was kiezen óf voor haar, óf voor haar ex.
Zelf heb ik nooit geweten dat ik kennelijk bij ‘het andere kamp’ behoorde, omdat ik onderdeel uitmaak van de familie waar deze eerste vrouw zo de pest aan leek te hebben. Niet dat ik er last van heb gehad. Haar eigen kinderen des te meer. De oudste was bovendien met het broertje van de nieuwe vrouw getrouwd. Dat hielp niet.
De overledene was nog wat te jong om te beseffen dat wat zijn moeder over zijn vader vertelde, vaak niet waar was. Als tiener is dat ook lastig, me dunkt.

Ik sprak met de dochter van de overledene, die me duidelijk maakte dat ze altijd al wel meer contact met de rest van de familie had gewild. Ze bedankte ons hartelijk voor onze komst, enkele keren zelfs.

Wij stapten het vieze veld weer in, met modderige schoenen.

Years ago, at the funeral of my grandmother from father’s side, it happened. My uncle (of mother’s side) poked me, and whispered in a desperate tone:
Can you help me? Why do I see more people resembling your father than I’m aware of that even exist?’ so I was quick to explain that my grandfather had been married twice. Except for one child, all of his children (eight in total) had done their utmost best to resemble my grandfather as much as possible. And so each other. With success, it now appeared.
It does lead to confusion if you’re not aware you don’t know all of them.

Now it seemed like a repeat of that situation. Without the uncle asking for explanation.
The halfbrother of my father had died. Sermon and funeral in a small chapel. In between muddy fields where soccer was being played. No parkingspot in front of the dry chapel, instead we had to go for one of these muddy places.
Noticing familiar faces. Not really knowing them, despite the fact that you’re aware of each other’s existence. Then you notice the daughter of the diseased one, who resembles one of your aunts (not present now) in such a way it’s almost scary. 

A small chapel. The coffin, surrounded by vases with flowers. The children on the left, the grandchildren on the right. Others circled around them, chairwise. Amongst them, us. The other family. For support and out of curiosity. Curious about the familyties of which we were never really a part. Because of the divorce that took place.
My grandfather divorced his first wife, which the diseased was a child of, and married my grandmother.

Both children of the diseased spoke. The daughter quite short and a bit pragmatic. She clearly simply accepted her father the way her was and loved him for his part in her life.
‘I would not have wanted a different father!’ she concluded quite powerfully.
Son had more to tell about this father, who was, apparently, quite a dabbler (‘no pvc-pipes, but a garden hose, as that was cheaper’, ‘out of a photo tripod he made an easel’, ‘he kept every car and cycle tire, because they were great for fixing broken soles of shoes”). Meanwhile this also meant that not every solution for a problem was that practical (‘we couldn’t eat at the dining table for weeks, as dad was occupied fixing the motor of a car and that was the operating table being used’, ‘the van didn’t fit in the garage, so dad took a spade and dug out the floor to make the van fit the garage’).

The big tears were wept when the grandchildren spoke, who simply couldn’t keep dry during their speech.

It was very remarkable to hear so many familiar things about someone you have barely known. The love of onions, for instance, the fact that he could eat a bulb of garlic, stating it was ‘so very healthy’ (this seems to be the credo of our family?!). Always carry a pocket knife. The endless handicrafts if things don’t work the way you want them to work. The thorough read of a manual before starting to work with a new piece of equipment. The love for nature. The love for cycling. And so on. And so on.
We all carry the same last name. Today, this bonded more than ever.

The stories about the divorce are different. I have heard that the first wife didn’t want more children after two and that my grandfather did want more. Then my grandmother appeared and the first wife kept pushing the two together until they fell in love and a divorce was inevitable. But the first wife remained angry. She did remarry, but this never changed. It was a choice: either you were with her OR you picked for her ex. 

I had no idea that I was, apparently, part of the ‘other camp’. I have had no burden because of this. I simply wasn’t aware I was part of a family that this woman appeared to hate so much. Her own children had problems with this. The eldest especially, as she was married to the brother of the new wife. The one who died now was merely a teen when the divorce happened. He first believed all of the (often nasty) things his mother told him, only later on he realised it wasn’t true. This is difficult for a teenager, I can imagine.

I did speak to the daughter, who told me immediately she would have wished to have more contact with us. She was apparently quite happy we were there to attend her father’s sermon, for she thanked us several times for coming.

After that, we stepped back into the dirty field, into our cars.

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2015 in Daily life

 

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