12 Songs of Christmas 2016 (Part 7)

Hey guys, day seven of this silly thing, let’s do it!

So I forgot to do this one really in time, so since I just remembered to do it just now, about 20 minutes after midnight (where I live), I chose a kind of self-explanatory song that everybody knows. It’s “Last Christmas” by Wham! A classic song about a failed relationship that apparently failed around christmas time. Yeah, that’s it. You all know this song, I don’t need to really explain this.
Enjoy!

We now have a trailer for “Blade Runner 2049”!

New trailer, better talk about it!

So it seems that we now have a trailer (or teaser, but fuck that) for “Blade Runner 2049”, the sequel to the amazing 1982 sci-fi movie starring Harrison Ford. So what is this trailer about? Well, it has Ryan Gosling walking…. and walking… and walking. Until he finds a huge building, and in there he finds Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford). And that’s it. We also get some narration from Ford and some gorgeous footage of the future. And really, there’s not much more to it… and that’s what I love. Give us a taste of the tone/vibe of the movie and nothing else. We don’t have to see everything that will happen. This trailer is a perfect example of how to advertise a movie! Now, I didn’t expect a trailer to be out this soon, but I’m not complaining. It’s a great trailer and I am happy that we got it now. It’s like an early christmas present. I’m just really surprised that we got it this soon. Oh well, they’re probably gonna fuck it over with some other trailer later on that shows way too much and ruins it all for us. But let’s stop being pessimistic, and talk about something slightly more positive. I was not excited for this movie at all, the original “Blade Runner” (or at least the “Final Cut” version) is a sci-fi masterpiece, and I never wanted a sequel to it. But after the crew was revealed and then also after seeing this trailer, I am kind of excited about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not gonna completely throw myself at it, but I feel a little bit more confident in it now. “Blade Runner 2049” is set to be released in October of 2017.

What are your thoughts on this? Are you excited about “Blade Runner 2049”? And what do you think of the OG movie? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Enjoy!

Movie Review: The Jungle Book (2016)

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I apologize for the lack of reviews lately, I’ve had a bad case of the lazies. But enough of that, uhm… oo-bidooo, I wanna reviiieeew.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Jungle Book”.

Welcome to the jungle! In this jungle, among all of the animals and plants we have a young human boy named Mowgli (Neel Sethi), who has lived with a pack of wolves for most of his life. However his life changes quite a bit when a tiger named Shere Khan (Idris Elba) threatens to kill him. So Mowgli together with a panther named Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) and a bear named Baloo (Bill Murray) have to go on the run and kind of discover who he really is. Pretty simple premise for a movie, but it’s effective. I was truly captivated by the plot of this movie. It was interesting, it was engaging, it was entertaining, and it was even a bit emotional at times. A little bit predictable at times, but not in an annoying way. It was a pretty damn solid plot.

The characters in this movie were all interesting and entertaining. I have been pretty verbal about my skepticism about having kids act in movies, but even I have to admit that Neel Sethi who played Mowgli was really good here. Especially considering that this was his first movie and that he acted against… nothing. There were no humans to act against in scenes, only tennis balls on sticks (or whatever they did here), and given those two factors… he was really good, he carried the movie very well. Bill Murray did the voice of Baloo and I think he did a great job with it. Baloo was funny, charming, and just overall awesome. Ben Kingsley was great as Bagheera, nothing much to say there. Idris Elba as Shere Khan was intimidating and badass and almost a bit scary. Yeah, he was fantastic. Lupita Nyong’o played Mowgli’s adoptive mother, Raksha, and she was great. But by far, my favorite, one that I advocated for so long that it was perfect casting… Christopher Walken as King Louie. Yeah, he was so much fun and just… god, I loved it! The rest of the cast, including people like Giancarlo Esposito, Scarlett Johansson, and Garry Shandling (R.I.P) all did a great job. It was a really solid cast.

The score for the movie was composed by John Debney and it was pretty damn good. It was fun and really big and epic. There are also some newer versions of the songs from the classic Disney animation spread throughout, and they all sound really good. Not all the classic songs, but several of them are here. And they are implemented pretty well into the movie.

This movie was directed by Jon Favreau and I honestly think he did a pretty great job. The way he directed it is fun and exciting and makes for a very good pace throughout. The scenes flow very well and some of them are even really tense. Which brings me to the CGI, and Jesus fucking Christ the CGI in this movie is absolutely astonishing. I looked at it all and my mind was kind of blown. What’s also interesting is that nothing was shot on location in an actual jungle, this was all a green screen set… and I could never really tell. What they did with the visual effects here was nothing short of fan-fucking-tastic. And based on certain things you see in this movie I find it hard to believe that this movie is rated PG. I’m not kidding, I expected at least a PG-13 rating, but no… this shit was PG. Disney sure gets away with some harrowing stuff.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 77/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10.

“The Jungle Book” is one of the few reamkes/reboots that actually turned out to be great. Not saying that it surpasses the 1967 original, that is still my favorite Disney movie… but I am still saying that this is a great movie in it’s own right. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and fantastic visual effects. Time for my final score. *Roar!*. My final score for “The Jungle Book” is a 9,83/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “The Jungle Book” is now completed.

Welcome to the jungle, We’ve got fun ‘n’ games…

 

12 Songs of Christmas 2016 (Part 6)

Sixth part in my little “12 Songs of Christmas” series! Were halfway there now! So let’s get into it!

So this time we are going with a classic, but not sung by the original artist. The song we are talking about today is “Frosty the Snowman” as performed by Willie Nelson. For those that have lived udner a rock the past 150 years, “Frosty the Snowman” is a nice little tune about a magical snowman. That’s it. A magical fucking snowman dancing and playing and stuff. And it’s in this version performed by country musician Willie Nelson, a man who’s got songs I love and songs I don’t really care about. And as expected, he did a really good job performing this song. It’s no mindblowing version, but it’s fun and charming and very easy on the ears. It’s a good song.
Enjoy!

12 Songs of Christmas 2016 (Part 5)

Time for the fifth part in my “12 Songs of Christmas”. I’ve had fun sharing some good christmas songs with you guys, and I’m looking forward to continuing it until christmas arrives. So let’s jump into this one!

So this song is a bit different from the ones I’ve previously shared because it is pretty much brand new. The song in question is “Bring Back My Cadillac” by Joe Bonamassa. For those that don’t know, Joe Bonamassa is an American blues musician who also happens to be one of my favorite artists. His guitar playing is superb and his songs overall tend to be pretty great. So when he released a christmas song (several actually, but whatever) I of course got pretty excited. And now I’m sharing it with you. And I can’t stress how great of a musician he is, go check all of his stuff out!
Enjoy!

12 Songs of Christmas 2016 (Part 4)

Day number four in my “12 Songs of Christmas”. We’re already one third through this silly thing. So let’s just get into it and talk about some music!

So today I chose a song by one of my favorite bands. The song in question is “Thank God It’s Christmas” by Queen. You know Queen, that incredible band led by Freddie Mercury (may he rest in peace). Yeah, they recorded a christmas song and as expected, it sounds fucking amazing. Freddie’s vocals are as terrific as ever and the instrumentals in the song, while not showing off too much, sound really good as well. It’s just a really good christmas song by one of the greatest bands ever.
Enjoy!

12 Songs of Christmas 2016 (Part 3)

Good day, ladies and gentlemen. And welcome to the third part in my December 2016 christmas countdown thing. With that said, let’s listen to some music!

So I thought we’d tone it down a little bit this time. The previous two times we were listening to some rock music, so let’s get a little more chill this time. Today we have Swedish christmas song “Tänd ett ljus” by Triad. The title basically translates to “Light a Candle” and is about how we should be good and light a candle for everything we believe in, for everything that’s good in our world. I am more often than not on the fence about acapella, but this is a time where I think it really works. You have the singers doing the acapella while also snapping their fingers and it sounds great. There’s not a lot of christmas stuff in this song, there’s really just a tiny bit towards the end, but it has become kind of a christmas tradition here in Sweden, playing on the radio a bunch of times a day around christmas time. So now you know a little bit more about Swedish christmas… yeah.
Enjoy!

Movie Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

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Guys… motherfucking “Star Wars”! No clever intro needed!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”.

Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is a young woman who has joined forces with the Rebellion to try to find the plans for the Empire’s new superweapon… the Death Star. That’s it really. Erso together with a ragtag group of rebels trying to get hold of the Death Star plans. And it’s a really good plot. There are a bunch of layers to it all, which I thought was a really cool aspect of it. The biggest flaw of the plot really is that it takes a little while to get going. There is a while in the beginning that sets up the story and characters and it’s a little slow. It’s not bad per se, I was entertained… but it’s worth mentioning to be quite honest. But everything after that setup… great stuff.

The characters in this movie are pretty interesting and they worked well for the movie. Felicity Jones did a really good job as Jyn Erso, playing this tough, determined, young woman that has a bit of a tragic past. Diego Luna was really good as his character, this Rebel captain that becomes part of Jyn’s group. Donnie Yen played Chirrut Îmwe, a blind man with a strong connection to the force. And he was really badass and gave us a really good performance. Wen Jiang plays Baze Malbus, Chirrut’s friend/sidekick and he was also really good. Riz Ahmed as Bodhi Rook was also really good. Alan Tudyk played K-2SO, a big droid. And he was so great, the character was so cool and so much fun. Ben Mendelsohn was really good as Imperial director Orson Krennic. He was a bit over the top, but in a way that actually really worked for the character. Forest Whitaker and Mads Mikkelsen are both really good too. Now, let’s get to the character everybody wonders about… Salacious B. Crumb. Nah, just kidding. It’s actually Darth Vader. Now, this can be considered a mild spoiler, but I also wanna get it out there. He isn’t in the movie very much, this isn’t a Darth Vader movie, don’t go in expecting a Darth Vader movie. He didn’t really have to be in the movie, but I’m still glad he was. His role may have been minor, but god damn… it was pretty awesome. Again, he was used VERY sparingly in the movie, so don’t expect fifty-five-billion Darth Vader scenes.

This is the first “Star Wars” movie not to be scored by the one and only John Williams. What’s interesting is that the movie was originally going to be scored by Alexandre Desplat, but he dropped out for some reason. So Michael Giacchino stepped up to the challenge. And it was really a challenge for him, he only had four weeks to score the movie. But despite that, he did a great job. Sure, there are a lot of familiar motifs throughout, but most of them are worked into some of Giacchino’s new tracks, and it all sounded absolutely terrific. The score was epic and it fit the movie perfectly.

This movie was directed by Gareth Edwards and I think he did a very good job. The movie had a lot of grit and intensity in it’s direction, which is something we haven’t seen really with previous “Star Wars” movies. What I also loved about his directing is the same thing I always praise about his “Godzilla” movie… you get a real sense of scale here. You really get to see a lot of size differences which really helps it all feel a bit more real. An example is (like we’ve seen in the trailer) how during a battle we get to see AT-ATs from the perspective of the people and how these machines look gigantic. Speaking of the battles, Jesus fuckin’ Christ, they are awesome! Again, there’s a lot of grit and intensity in the directing which makes the battles feel so much more grounded and badass. We not only get the ground battles, but also space battles… and those are really awesome too. You can tell that Edwards knew what he was doing when directing this. Which kind of segues into the visual effects, and all of them look amazing. Okay, there was one digital face thingy in the movie that looked a little off, but for the msot part the visual effects are amazingly good. There was also a surprising amount of humor in this movie. Really funny humor at that.

Any scores from review sites can and will change over time since the movie just came out. Anyway, on Rotten Tomatoes it has an 83% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 65/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10.

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is another great part in this beloved franchise. It’s not the best “Star Wars” movie, but it’s still pretty damn good. It has a really solid plot, good characters, really good performances, great music, terrific direction/action, and amazing visual effects. The only problem was that the slow(ish) opening act. Time for my final score. Ah.. Star Wars! Nothing but Star Wars! Gimme those Star Wars.. don’t let them end! My final score for “Rogue One: A Star Wars” story is a 9,59/10. So it of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is now completed.

What’s this? An actual Star WAR? Holy shit.

12 Songs of Christmas 2016 (Part 2)

Hello there, my friends! It’s the second day in my “12 Songs of Christmas” thing. So let’s just get into it and talk about music!

So today’s song is “Christmas is Here” by Buckcherry. A little backstory, I was introduced to this band a year or so ago when I watched the TV show “Reaper” and one of their songs was used in an episode. I thought “Hmm, that’s a pretty cool song, bettter look it up”. So I looked up the episode, the soundtrack for said episode, found the song (“Broken Glass”), listened to it, then listened to more songs by the band. Then a while later when I was looking for “different” christmas songs (not your mainstream/typical stuff), I found “Christmas is Here” and added it to my “Christmas list of Doom”. And it’s a pretty simple and delightful little christmas rock song. So yeah, I really like it.
Enjoy!

12 Songs of Christmas 2016 (Part 1)

Hello there ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the 2016 edition of “12 Songs of Christmas”. For those who weren’t here last December, I did a little thing called “12 Songs of Christmas” where I shared 12 christmas songs up until christmas. As in Swedish christmas, AKA the 24th, instead of the 25th like ‘murica and some other places. I had fun doing that last year and thought that I would do it again this year. although it took me a while to figure this out since I also optioned some other things for the 12 days. Maybe next year I’ll do something different, who knows? But now I guess it’s time to share a song. And I’ve made sure that I’m not sharing something I did last year. Wanna know what I did last year? Search around on my blog and you’ll find those old posts. Now, enough bullshit… MUSIC!

So I thought we’d start out easy, with a classic… in the style of an awesome rock song! That’s right, it’s “Deck the Halls” as covered by Twisted Sister, the band behind classics like “I Wanna Rock” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It”.  They covered this holiday classic, with falalas and everything. Combine that with some cool rock n roll stuff and you get a damn good cover of a classic. I don’t really have anything clever to say about that, I just wanted to start with this one.
Enjoy!