Great Music #15

Hello there, my friends. With summer being right upon us I decided that I wanted to kind of compile a list of songs that make me think of summer or feel all summer-y on the inside. Sure, some songs might be straight up about summer, but not all of them will be. So before I tell you why I like this song, I want to involve you somehow in all of this. Leave the title and artist/band for any song that make you feel like summer in the comments and then maybe it’ll be featured in the future list… Now onto this tune!

So in my journey through the world of music, I have noticed that the best place to look for summer-y songs is country… as in the genre, not like… “Donkey Kong Country”. Anyway, the song (which is country-based) I am sharing with you today is “Water” by Brad Paisley, my personal favorite country musician. First off, this song is about water, one of the most pivotal elements of summer. Also, if you listen to the lyrics then you will be able to tell that the songs is pretty much about summer. Why do I love it? Well, first off we have the previously mentioned Mr. Paisley. Secondly, it’s just a fun and delightful songs which gives off a feel of summer. I can really see myself sitting outside, with a cold drink, listening to this. So yeah… it’s pretty great.
Enjoy!

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Movie Review: The Hateful Eight (2015)

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Bitch and moan however much ya like about how this review is up really fuckin’ late compared to everyone else, but I’m not apologizing for having bad luck in not seeing it so soon. Anyhow, time for Tarantino and his second attempt at a western… let’s go.

Ladies and gents… “The Hateful Eight”.

Bounty hunter John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell) is going through the freezing Wyoming with his prisoner, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh). However, there is a blizzard approaching, so they find shelter in a large cabin. In this cabin there are a whole bunch of other interesting people. And without saying too much, soon it’s a bit of a “whodunnit” of all these characters. I think youtube-based movie critic Chris Stuckmann put it the best when he called it an R-rated version of “Clue”. And was the plot any good? Of course it was, what else would you expect me to say? It’s a mystery, set in one location, that also happens to be a western… of course it’s great. But to elaborate it a bit better: the mystery itself (not really saying anything specific for those who might not have seen it) is really intriguing, entertaining and even a bit suspenseful. It’s one of those mysteries that really makes one think who it could have done that did the thing. Was I correct in the end? Not quite, but god damn it, I loved the plot of the movie!

I think it’s safe to assume at this point that characters in a Tarantino film are going to be interesting and entertaining. And “Hateful Eight” really does confirm that statement. All of the characters in the movie are incredibly interesting and endlessly entertaining, thanks to some great writing and of course some great acting. Kurt Russell fucking nailed it, by being both funny, badass and even a bit of a jerk. Jennifer Jason Leigh, terrific as this really terrible person (AKA piece of shit). Samuel L. Jackson is the best he’s been in years, giving a fantastic performance, even getting to give a great monologue about something that happened in his (the character’s) past… he was so amazing. Everyone else was great too; Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern… they were all so damn great!

The original score was composed by none other than Ennio Morricone, a composer who’s done so much great stuff that I could sit here all day talking about it all, but I’m not gonna do that. What I want to say is that the score for “The Hateful Eight” is another masterful thing from the maestro. It’s cool, suspenseful and badass. And since this is a Tarantino film, expect there to be music from other films in here too. One of those films he took music from was John Carpenter’s “The Thing”… also starring Kurt Russell… with music composed by Ennio Morricone… I am starting to see a pattern here, guys. What I’m saying is that the this music has some damn great music.

As I’ve stated about 42 and a half times already, this film was directed by Quentin Tarantino, who also wrote the screenplay (fucking duh). And his directing is as on point as ever… if not even better. While you might prefer some of his earlier films, I think we can all agree that he’s improved a lot as a filmmaker. His direction is slow, tense yet still quick and snappy… probably thanks a lot because of the snappy dialogue. Because the writing is great, random conversations about the smallest things hold my interest without ever getting dull. There are also a whole bunch of pieces of dialogue that are hilarious in my opinion. But that is amostly because I have a really dark sense of humor and can laugh at a lot of the darkly comical stuff that happens/is being said in the movie. And when it comes to the Tarantino-violence, it’s there, but much more spread out than usual. Also, it’s not as fun as in, let’s say “Django Unchained” as an example. In fact, a good amount of the violence in this movie is really brutal and disturbing… but that jsut kinds of adds to the quality of the film in my opinion. And for the little bit of action in the movie, it’s really good. And the cinematography by Robert Richardson… phenomenal. I can’t wait to see what he’ll do with the cinematography for “Live By Night”.

This is a movie that has received mostly positive reviews. It has a 75% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,9/10. The movie also won 1 Oscar in the category of Best Original Score (hell yeah!). It also got an additional 2 nominations in the categories of Best Supporting Actress (Leigh) and Best Cinematography.

“The Hateful Eight” is another win for Tarantino. It has a great plot, fantastic acting & characters, fantastic music, terrific directing terrific cinematography and great writing. Time for my final score. *Fires gun*. My final score for “The Hateful Eight” is a 9,89/10. This of course means it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “The Hateful Eight” is now completed.

Long-time followers knows I usually add an extra segment (Gunfights/Shootouts) for westerns, but I feel like it’s superfluous and that it might not always work, as I noticed with “The Assassination of Jesse James”.

The “Lethal Weapon” TV-show trailer has arrived

Oh god, why… what the fuck are you doing, human race? Have you seriously lost your mind this much? WHY? *Deep sigh*. Hi guys, it’s Markus, as per usual. As you probably have guessed, I am not very happy at the moment. Why? Because I just got reminded, in my youtube feed, about how some asshat is rebooting one of the greatest franchises ever in the form of a TV-show. Yep, it’s the “Lethal Weapon” TV-show… on FOX. I am a huge fan of the movies, so when I heard they were rebooting it (on FOX), I got pretty damn angry. *Deep sigh*. So let’s talk about this here trailer and why I have no faith in the show.

It tries to re-establish these characters for a slightly younger generation (on FOX). Once again (for the first time) we will get to follow the antics/lives of LAPD detectives Martin Riggs (Clayne Crawford) and Roger Murtaugh (Damon Wayans). Okay… here are some reason why I don’t have any faith in this.

1. The cast. This saddens me to say, but the cast for this is one of the main reasons why this show (and a lot of shows) most likely falters. Clayne Crawford is a very talented actor, anyone who has seen the show “Rectify” would agree with me on that… but having him play Martin fuckin’ Riggs? Nuh uh! What made Riggs work in the first place was teh unhinged madness that was Mel Gibson. Sure, Shane Black’s writing helped a lot too, but Gibson had something special about him that helped him play such a lunatic character. Damon Wayans, funny man… not Murtaugh material… that’s all I’m gonna say. All the other cast, not sure what to say really since they aren’t the focus of this trailer.

2. The trailer. Looking at the trailer, both the shots used and the choice of music… it looks like any generic cop show on cable TV. I admit, I enjoy a good amount of them… but here it just seems shitty because of reason number…

3. The title. A lot of people bitch about reboots and remakes… me included. And while I admit that there are a few (“3:10 to Yuma” and “Bourne Identity” coming to mind) decent ones, most of them are just terrible cash-grabs… this seems like one of them. My guess is that if the show didn’t have the “Lethal Weapon” name to it and changed the names of the characters, I would most likely be fine with it. But no, they have to use it to try to get as muc hname recognition and cash as possible from people.

4. The network. This one might seem weird at first, but hear me out. FOX overall is a good network, with a whole bunch of good/great shows under it’s belt, but I really feel that a franchise like “Lethal Weapon” shouldn’t fall under the FOX banner. I feel like it would be more at home on HBO or Showtime, possibly FX or Netflix… but not FOX. Why? Because those other networks don’t have all the limitations FOX have, considering this is a franchise filled with violent action, curse-filled dialogue and it’s overall not as PG as this show looks like it will be… damn you FOX… DAMN YOU!!!

Look, I think there are a few decent things in this trailer and like I said, if it had a different title and different character names to it then I probably wouldn’t mind it… but this is a franchise that I love and don’t want to see ruined by a shitty show. *Sigh*. So what are your thoughts about this trailer? Are you looking forward to the show? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments below.
Have a good one and “enjoy”.

The “Mr. Robot” season 2 trailer is here!

Hello there, my friends! As you may have understood, I am in a very good mood right now. Why? Because we finally we got a trailer for the second season of “Mr. Robot”. Those of you who have been with me for a longer while know that I reviewed the first season a while back and in the review I told you that I absolutely loved it. So of course I got excited when they announced a season 2 of the show. Now I didn’t know where they could go with the show after season 1… but now we have gotten a bit more insight into it… so let’s discuss this shit!
There will be some spoilers here for season 1 of the show, so if you haven’t seen it yet then I am imploring you to watch it because it is fucking amazing. For the rest of you who have seen it or just don’t care… let’s go!

So basically season 1 ended with our main character, Elliot (Rami Malek), performing the biggest hack ever in the history of “Mr. Robot”… possibly history in general. And it looks like season 2 will explore the consequences of that hack as well as delve into the troubled mind that is Elliot Alderson. I mean, this shit looks intense and that’s about all I could gather from it because I am kind of an idiot and don’t have the time to analyze trailers all fucking day. But yeah… it looks amazing and I am so excited for it. “Mr. Robot” will premiere on July 13th on the USA network.
What are your thoughts? Are you looking forward to season 2 of “Mr. Robot”? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy!

Great Music #14

Hi there, people of the internet who may nor may not be a figment of my imagination. Time to share some music with you again, and this one it is a lot different from what I usually share with you here… so let’s do it!

The song I am sharing with you now is “Long Way Down” sung by Gary Numan. What makes this so different from the tunes I usually share here is how dark, melancholic and outright strange it is compared to the usual rock songs I tend to share with you. And evne though it isn’t a badass rock song, I still surprisingly really enjoy it. I came across it when I was playing “The Evil Within” recently and finally finished the game. Yep, it’s an end credits theme… and a damn good one at that. But after finsihing the game I decided to go back and play it on New Game Plus only to then notice that the song briefly plays very early on in the game. So then I decided to check out the soundtrack and of course found this… and now you know about it too. And who knows, I might talk about the game in the near future too…
Enjoy!

Movie Review: The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

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The third part in my series of reviews leading up to “Jason Bourne”… damn, time sure has gone by quickly. I can swear that it was March like a week ago. Oh well, let’s just move on to the review.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Bourne Ultimatum”.

Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is on the run again… but this time it’s still from the CIA because he is apparently still considered a threat. But now he’s not trying so much to figure out who is trying to kill him, but he’s instead opting to figure out who he is and what he was before Treadstone. And from that we get a relatively straightforward plot with some pretty interesting turns and revelations. While there isn’t much of a “traditional” plot in this movie (much like the previous two films), the drama and suspense that is built up through Jason’s journey in the movie makes it all feel like there still is some kind of plot, and a damn good one at that.

The characters are all very shady but also very interesting. At this point I think it’s safe to say that Matt Damon is terrific as Jason Bourne, giving better performances for each movie he’s in. Julia Stiles once again plays Nicky in the movie and she’s pretty great, getting a much more physical role than in the previous movies.  Joan Allen also makes her return, once again playing Pamela Landy… yeah, she’s great. Then we get some new additions to the cast that are all very welcome thanks to the great performances we get. This includes the likes of David Strathairn, Scott Glenn, Edgar Ramirez, Paddy Considine and Albert Finney… such a great cast (that actually works) is hard to find.

John Powell once again did the music for the movie and as the first two times it’s just great. Tense, big, action-y, dramatic… just great. There isn’t much to say really considering it hasn’t been updated that much since “Bourne Identity”… still great though. Also, “Extreme Ways”… still awesome to hear it even though this is my least favorite version of the song.

Thank you, Paul Greengrass. Thank you for directing this movie because this is one of the most well made action films of the past ten years. The action is tense, it’s suspenseful, it’s quick, it’s badass, it’s exactly what one would want from a modern action flick. Sure, the action is “shaky”, but I feel like Greengrass is one of the few people who knows how t ouse shaky-cam to actually make the movie be good. Here is the example I wanna bring up: Watch the movie “Alex Cross”, then come back and watch this, that way you know how to do/not do shaky-cam. Moving on, is there anything else in the movie that works that isn’t action-related? Yeah, there is a lot. Some things were mentioned early on, so I’m not gonna talk about that shit. But I will say that there is a scene early in the movie that tells you everything you need to know without explicitly telling you what it is. The scene gives you the details you need to easily puzzle it all together and I just love that so much. It’s simple, but not in a way that doesn’t blatantly tell us that were dumb and need everything spoon-fed to us. I love it, it’s great.

This movie has gotten a lot of good reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a  93% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 85/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,1/10 and is ranked #205 on the “Top 250” list. The movie also won 3 Oscars in the categories of Best film editing, Best sound mixing and Best sound editing. 

“The Bourne Ultimatum” is another welcome addition into the franchise, featuring an interesting plot, great acting, great music, great directing and great action. It also has a relatively ambiguous ending that I like. Time for my final score. *Sings “Extreme Ways” to pass the time*. My final score for “The Bourne Ultimatum” is a 9,90/10. This as you may expect of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “The Bourne Ultimatum” is now completed.

After rewatching the movie in preparation for this review I discovered that this might be my favorite movie in the series… also, get hyped for “Bourne Legacy” next month!

 

The “Assassin’s Creed” movie now has a trailer

Hello there, my friends. Time for me to once again talk about a traile that caught my interest. The trailer we ae having a look at today (if you didn’t read it in the title) is the first trailer for the film adaptation of the “Assassin’s Creed” video game franchise. you may not know this about me, but I am a huge fan of the series, having played all of the main series games except for two (one of which wasn’t very well received by critics and gamers). So as you may expect, this is pretty huge for me. At first glance I’d say that the series is perfect for a big film adaptation. But then I remember those fucking awful “Resident Evil” movies. So you might understand my skepticism towards this film… so let’s talk about this here trailer.

Okay, so it starts with Michael Fassbender waking up in a hospital bed, with Marion Cotillard being the first thing/person he sees. And apparently he’s supposed to be dead from execution (death row, baby), so he technically no longer exists. I knew that the death row inmate thing was gonna be part of the story, but I thought it would be more like him sitting there, waiting for his death to then be pulled out into this experiment (getting ahead of myself). Then after that we see Fassy being put in a machien that these people call the “Animus” (so far, so good) which looks nothing like the Animus from the games, but whatever. So now he is experiencing his ancestor’s memories to then learn his skills and secrets for reasons I won’t get into. And from that we get a whole bunch of action set in the late 1400’s, all of it looking very much like a big screen adaptation of the “Assassin’s Creed” series. There is a lot to enjoy with this trailer, one of those things of course being Michael Fassbender who looks like he’s gonna be as great as ever in this movie. Second of all, the action scenes we see in the trailer looks a lot like the stuff from the games but in live action instead of computer graphics. This is good, this is something I like. What I also enjoy is that they slightly altered the plot/characters to set the movie apart from the games a bit. Instead of it being bartender Desmond Miles being put in the Animus, it’s death row inmate Callum Lynch. Also, Jeremy Irons looks menacing as hell in the one shot he gets. Okay, time for the bad… the song of choice. Music can make or break a trailer/movie/game, and the song they chose (a hip-hop/rap song) kind of made the thing a bit worse for me. While I don’t think they’ll use it in the movie, it still kind of bugged me.
But overall, I enjoyed the trailer. It had some great actors, great action and it looks interesting. The cast (thanks, imdb) is great and the director seems like he knows what he’s doing. “Assassin’s Creed” is set to come out on December 21st, 2016.
So what did you think of the trailer? Leave your thoughts in the comments and also tell me if you are interested in seeing the movie.
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!

Great Music #13

Hola, amigos y amigas. ¿Cómo están ustedes? Okay, enough of el idioma paella, time to talk like most people do. I know it seems a bit weird that I would start out this post with a bit of Spanish but trust me, it will make sense in a second. Let’s get into it.

With the weather where I live having been very sunny and very warm the past couple of days it made me think of music I like that work for hot weather/summer. Songs that I can listen to while sitting in the sun, sipping on a cold drink. And then my mind immediately went to one of my favorite songs ever. It’s the song “Smooth” by Santana (now the Spanish will make sense) and Rob Thomas. Why I love it so much is not only because it’s a well made song with good transitions and good lyrics, but I just love the feel of it. The smooth (pun intended), latino, summer-y sound that it produces is just perfect for this type of weather. Also, the guitar playing by Carlos Santana is simply amazing. I love it, it’s amazing… listen to it and imagine yourself being out in the sunny weather, relaxing, having this playing… ain’t it a great image?
Enjoy!