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Monthly Archives: March 2018

Anomalisa

This is quite an interesting, but confusing film at the same time. In a time where so many tricks are being made with animation, this one really sticks out. It’s a grownup film, mind, with scenes that reminded me of films like Being John Malkovich, The Shining, Lost in Translation, Thunderbirds and even Little Britain. The latter mostly because no matter how many different types of characters pop up, there’s only 3 different voices used in the entire film.

The storyline is sort of dull. A man who is highly confused with himself, goes on a business trip to actually promote his book (about improving business by customer services).
The thing is: it’s puppets (hence the Thunderbirds). The cute little animals (hares, mice, raccoons, etc) you can dress and that have a velvet feeling because their plastic skin has that on the outside? Yes, well, those creatures, but now in human shape.
All the faces look pretty much the same though (this has a reason, I’ve understood). The dialogues are extremely slow, like the intention of the film is to put the record straight as to where the attention is supposed to go: that it’s ace that this film was done with these puppets. And all the voices sound alike. Nearly all of them. Even de women’s voices. Because all of those characters are done by the same person.

In all fairness it indeed is quite impressive. With little face expressions, you do kind of feel the same annoyance that Michael feels on several occasions during his trip.

The funny thing is: because it’s puppets, it’s a lot easier to show a whole lot more without truly getting into trouble. I mean a puppet won’t ask for extra money if he is filmed naked, coming out of the shower. They would ask ‘is there any use for that?’ in this case, it’s done because it can.
After a lovely evening, the storyline takes an even weirder twist. The John Malkovich-factor, if you will.

In the end it is a great film with a lot of ‘what??’ moments, and despite being a bit slow, especially in dialogue at times, it’s worth a watch.

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Posted by on March 28, 2018 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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The Impossible

This film is based on the tsunami that occurred in Thailand during Boxing Day that year.

A family of four; mother (Naomi Watts), father (Ewan McGregor), and three sons (Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin and Oaklee Pendergast), are just vacationing in their hotel when the tsunami suddenly hits and surprises everyone on that coastline.

It’s intruiging and so very desperate to see what those poor people had to go through. Being dressed in not much more than bathing suits, they had (all of them, not just the family portrayed here, obviously) to try and find their loved ones back. Given that trees had fallen down and people probably have been trapped under there, it must have been horrific to witness and to be part of such a disaster.
You also see Lucas having to be far more of a man, all of the sudden. His mother is wounded, he just wants to go back to something that seems familiar and safe, and suddenly his mother points him to creatures that are even more vulnerable and lonely, such as the little barely 2 year old they bump into.
The adventure they have together, aswell as their husband and his father, with the two sons and siblings, is quite remarkable and shows quite well how things went.
The friendliness of local people, but also how cruel circumstances can be, despite everyone’s efforts to make the best of it.

Maria (Naomi Watts) is still being the perfect mother when in hospital and so deadly ill. Giving Lucas the assignment to go look for people who need help. It seems strange to send her son away, and yet: with the adrenaline bursting, it is truly good for his mind to be occupied that way.
The euphoric feeling he gets when he has a match is incredible.

The only thing that quite bothered me -though this is typically Hollywood, I get that- is that they team behind the film apparently couldn’t be bothered to look for a family that even slightly resembled the actual family they have been depicting. They chose their specific story, which is indeed extraordinary, and included lots of other survivors aswell, so why not choose likewise people? This wasn’t a typical American family, as is shown. They are actually Spanish.
Then again: it does not, in itself, mean that Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, nor the boys, don’t do their job well. They do so, the story is desperate and heartwarming. Just what you need on a rainy day with a cup of hot tea within reach.

It’s well worth a watch.

 

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2018 in Films, Poems, Uncategorized

 

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Alcohol

It’s one of the strangest substances. It is wildly craved for amongst those who are not legally allowed to take it yet, and yet it’s a cause of very many unpleasant accidents globally.

I don’t drink alcohol. I have no idea what the fuzz is all about. I am of an age that I’m allowed to drink it, but I just never saw the fun in it, I suppose.

It started as a commitment with my parents, who stated that whomever could hold their drinking (I have some siblings) until the age of 18, could have their driver’s license, and our parents would pay for it. That was enough for me to not even try. Though funnily, I actually hate driving, I somehow noticed that drinking was ‘wrong’, so I didn’t feel like trying.

Don’t I EVER drink then? Yes, of course. I will take a sip of something my father swears ‘you will like it, I promise’. He knows my taste really well. He will also make jokes about it though:
“Here, you want to sniff it? Dangle your tongue in it?” and I’ll go:
‘Oh, ALRIGHT then?!’ and indeed, I will like it. Usually this is some heavy booze, and after that one drop, I start giggling, he pushes me away saying ‘OK, you’re drunk, now get out!’ and that’s it.
In honesty, I have tried to become truly drunk once. I had mixed (in a small glass) 1/3 of red wine (I have no idea which kind, but it must have been a good type, it was that sort of party) with 2/3 of peach ice tea (yes, really). I did quite like that combo. I drank about 3 of those glasses, after which I could no longer stand on my legs. Which someone at that party (who I massively fancied) quite liked and so I was dangling in their arms for the rest of the night. To both our very confused minds the next morning.

Because yes, that was the side effect: waking up the next morning and thinking: ‘oh FECK what happened?!’

Except for New Year’s Eve, I just don’t drink. I don’t have any real reasons for it, except I don’t like it. A sip every now and then maybe, but that’s about it. Which means I can go ages with having only a sip or two on an annual base, to be fair. And I’m quite alright with that. The funny thing is: usually people don’t even notice I don’t drink. Due to my incredibly bad social skills, I’ll state the kind of things that makes even friends go:
“Whoa, I’d need to have drunk at least an entire bottle of wine to say such a thing?!” and no, I’m not necessarily rude, I just say weird things, is all.

Then again, I do usually like places where people drink. The mood it brings them in, the coziness, the jokes, theĀ  ‘easier-to-cuddle-without-necessary-explanation’ I like that.

So no, I don’t drink it, but I don’t mind others using it at all. Alcohol can be good, as long as you know your limits. One should NEVER drink and think: ‘I can still drive’. It’s never true. Never.

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2018 in Daily life, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Annihilation

With Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson and Tuva Novotny.

This film fascinated me from the beginning, but that stopped a bit before the end. I have always been interested in Biology, so the things that occur to Lena (played by Natalie Portman) seem quite awesome to me. Her way of looking at things and explaining them I liked quite a lot. Then other parts came into it, which made it -in my opinion- less believeable, and by the end I could no longer back the theory and so I was just watching a film with nice visual effects.

Lena has been mourning for about a year as her husband was send out on a mission and never returned. Then suddenly he does.
When he does, they are -it seems- kidnapped for whatever reasons, and what follows is a bit of a cross between The Cube (because of the highly trained backgrounds of the women), The Predator (it’s set in a weird sort of jungle and nobody seems to get out of it alive) and other scifi films, except it’s women in the team and not males.

It has its proper moments in horror, in fascination about the beings in the film being mutated -the part that I liked- and other sorts of science messing with nature’s plans.

All in all it’s a pretty nice watch, it’s just that the ending is…a bit open, I guess. It doesn’t come with a major cliffhanger, but it keeps you wondering, in a way.

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2018 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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LinkedIn

Speaking as a barely-user (but having an account, yes) I must say I’m not that impressed by this particular network.

If you see how many options, oppertunities and contact possibilities Facebook has -the network some claim it has similarities with- LinkedIn is the late-to-the-table party here. It is supposed to be for growing networks, but in what way this is supposed to gain you anything, is completely uncertain.
I’ve noticed there’s a lot more possible when you’re willing to pay for your use on LinkedIn. I have no idea who actually does that, but it must be a few, because why else even bother to offer such an account? But does it really gain these people anything else than the possibility to simply send an inMail -that’s slightly a less personal way to start things than using ones own email? I don’t really get it.

I’ve been unemployed for ages -well, not completely, but not the truly paying kind of job- and this network was supposed to bring me back into the flow of working sphere, so to speak. Not only did that not happen, I’ve had a few job offers that were nothing short of a scam. People asking me bluntly: ‘do you wanna work or not?!’ if I had doubts, or even questions about a function they offered me. LinkedIn isn’t the place to be friendly, cozy, pleasant, with one another. It’s the spot where you can show off your business face and show the world what you’ve accomplished. Anything personal is out of the way, as the outlay simply doesn’t invite for that. No-one is showing kids, family or whatever is going on in the personal files. Not too shocking: there’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and so on for that.

Then, yet again, I find myself asking: so what IS the deal with LinkedIn? I truly don’t get it. Because job oppertunities do tend to be offered on other places aswell (such as LinkedIn and Facebook) and with their use of data….it’s just a matter of time before someone appropriate is found for the job on offer.

I’d say that it’s, in a way, done on purpose. Because where would all the employment agencies go if LinkedIn actually did its job by connecting people to the tasks they are able to do?

So no, I wouldn’t recommend LinkedIn. Nor would I recommend Facebook, or Instagram. But at least the latters have the power to connect you to (useful) people for free.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2018 in Daily life, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Collateral

With Carey Mulligan, Nathaniel Martello-White, Billie Piper, John Simm and loads of others.

Don’t expect a prolongued untangling of a strong beginning. This is a miniseries. With a proper start, I’d say.
After delivering a pizza, a courier is killed in the streets. Given that the courier wasn’t the one that was originally supposed to deliver the pizza, the question starts with ‘was it an aimed attack at this particular delivery guy?’
DI Kip Glaspie, nicely portrayed by Carey Mulligan, is about to set her teeth in it, helped by Nathan Bilk and the rest of the team.

I think Kip Glaspie is supposed to be portrayed quite human and resolute, but somehow, the script doesn’t give Mulligan much to go with, it seems. Because I keep seeing it. Her humanitary approach I like, but the lines she has to deal with at times are…a bit soft. Her colleagues and her boss keep being angry with her, but for no real reason. In the end I’d even say that her boss is just jealous because she got a break through. I’ve never seen someone in a police department act in such a way to be fair.
David Mars (played by John Simms, who resembles Tony Cowards -the comedian- in a way that I had to look twice if it wasn’t him??) is the troubled politician, who can’t get a grip on either his political life or his ex-wife. The way he handles his home situation is quite poorly. I can’t imagine a father truly doing that. But that might be me?

The camera work is a funny one. Clearly someone who has noticed that it adds a bit of drama when you zoom in on a small detail; a drop of rain on a window, the corner of a closet, a handle, etc.
What they failed to notice is that this works best if you first see that ‘normal’ object/thing, then go to the scene. Not end with it. Not every single time. Once, twice, then a change in that, fine. Don’t overdo it.
The music each episode starts with is quite uplifting, gets you in a cheery mood, oddly. It’s something different every time, and usually a car radio playing.

The tension on the army base is, just like the rest of the tension in the series: it’s not bad, but it doesn’t hold up. You sort of expect more from the story, and in the entire series, that doesn’t happen. Not too strange as it’s a miniseries, but with Netflix being so big, you sort of expect it to be dragged over like 3 or 4 episodes. Then again, that’s the entire stretch of the series…

All in all I quite liked this series. It’s good acting, actors that you’re already familiar with in one way or another (I like that, personally) and you can get on board with most of it.

 

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2018 in Opinion, series, Uncategorized

 

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Children’s books

So, as it goes, I threw a tweet in twittersphere this morning. About children’s books. I’m an -unpublished- author myself. I write in every direction possible. I write children’s stories, young adult stories, I wrote a science fiction novel, a detective one, a romantic one, a dramatic one, I also write this blog. As I told a friend: ‘whatever I can make work, I will write’.

Then, when talking to someone about this subject of children’s books, it suddenly hit me, because I truly don’t get it: I’ve had quite some nice ideas for children’s books. The thing is: I can’t draw. Not for real. I can’t make it work. If I need to draw a tree, I need to look at the drawing of a tree that’s already been made. Copy it, it you will. I don’t put my paper over the already existing work to literally copy it, but still: without an example, I can’t make it work.

There’s people, called artists, who can actually do this. They usually struggle to earn a living, because either their work should hang in a museum or should be used in a way they can’t visualise for themselves, I suppose? When you make work of something, you want it to shine and shimmer in the way you had originally intended.

And so I’m surprised that a database that connects people together, doesn’t already exist. It should be and maybe I’m unaware about it.
Probably.
I have tried to approach a few artists in means of finding collaboration for my own stories. Hint: they don’t like that. The late authress Babette Cole once pointed me in the direction of a sort of app, if not community (I forgot the name, sorry) and she assured me it was looked at by publishers and so aswell, very often even. I’ve tried that, but I couldn’t make sense out of it.

I know there must be more communities like that online, but I don’t know any of them. And wouldn’t it be easier indeed if pubishers had their own deparment of that aswell? They are approached by so many willing artists, and they don’t connect the dots, it seems. It looks like they overlook talented people so very easily, while they may have matches under their hands if they would only look at it.
Given that they’re swamped with reading the many manuscripts that are send by them on a daily base, I think they should, as my friend @hill79 on twitter stated, ‘have a sort of Tinder app’ for that? Computers can make the matches that publishers clearly don’t? A writer puts his lines down for a children’s book, drops cluewords as to what the artwork should be like, an artist can do the same. Submit works and drop cluewords to what sort of works it should belong.
A publisher could have such a department with their own demands attached to it. After all, an author or artist should always meet their ‘creative demands’.

Well, it’s just an idea…

 
 

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