onsdag, desember 24, 2008

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years

I havent been a lot on the blog lately and it has its reasons (busy busy busy) I hope I will get more time next year but as far as I can see it does not look to good.

I do however want to take the time to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

and might the next year bring you more of what your hearth and soul desires as well as happiness and joy!

;) Chand

søndag, oktober 05, 2008

Personal Computer Security (Antivirus and Firewalls)

A great world of confusion drives the world of personal computer security. First of all I will discuss the Windows PC computers.

The need of a personal firewall:
While security companies don’t really want to tell the truth so that they can earn a lot of extra money on all the components and solutions you don’t need. I am here to help and confuse you. (Of course a lot of people might not agree to what I am saying, but this is al based long time experience)

First of all: Most normal users have no need for a personal firewall. Why? Because while before users hooked up to the Internet through dial up modems, today there is almost always a router with NAT functionality between. A NAT functionality is not the same as a Firewall but most of these boxes will have the possibility to run a basic firewall as well.

Even with only the NAT function you will greatly surpass outside attacks. Even if I don’t think it is strictly needed utilize the build in firewall function to get even more security as it can work both ways. Remember if you use it to tweak it to allow all the services you need to use. These basic firewall though will probably only work on port level so they will be useless to intelligent attacks from the inside.

So with no personal firewall how do we stop the attacks from the inside? Again depending on the quality of the personal firewall it might not be able to detect cleverly hidden attacks from the inside. Some of them will do however to mixed extend.

As a user however it will be up to you to allow the firewall rules. For many users, maybe most of them this can be a tedious and difficult process as its hard to know what are legal traffic and what is not. So again, many users with personal firewalls end up blocking important services and/or allowing malicious connections.

So how do we stop this threat if I say that we do not need the FW? When you are a personal user and not a Company who do you thinks represents the threat? Actual hackers sitting in a remote destination trying to get in to the system? Well sometimes it might be, but for most cases it is mass software based threats. Viruses, spyware, intelligent hackingtools, botnets and all kind of other Malware. What kind of software is it that deals with this? Different security packages like antiviruses, anti-spyware, botnet removers and etc.

Which means these software packages have been optimized to deal with the threat that you still think you need a FW for.
Final question here is. Do I still use personal firewalls? Occasionally.

Malware attacks
In the later years, I would say since around 2k3 antivirus and other malware removing packages have had a real hard time. This is because the nature of modern exploits has been moving swiftly to a new degree and the security software companies has a hard time to keep track.

I don’t know how many times I have seen that supposedly fully capable security packages are unable to stop a known virus attacking as well as removing it. When did it become acceptable for a security package not to be able to do its job? Often a user has to spend days, weeks to fix its computer often in the result of a complete reinstall.
It completely pisses me of that the security packages are such in a bad state and nobody does anything with it. Often I have resorted to Panda Antivirus which has a special capability of removal but lately again this has not been enough.

One day one security package is awesome, the next day the threat picture changes and it is rendered useless in the fight.
This means we as users are up to a new time of war, one that we can not win as even if we try to protect our computers the best we can, the software that are supposed to deliver the capability does not live up to its reputation.

And to be honest I have no solution for this.

One thing I think is very important for you users to think of for the future though is to have some software that are able to hinder the most modern type of attacks and specially browser based attacks.

The other option is to switch to LinuX, Unix or Mac OSX. While there will be times of malware and antivirus attacks on these systems as well, it is not now, and it will never be as many.

ATI HD 2900 (Hardware)

Being late in the race for 3D I just tested one of these low end ATI cards. It is supposed to do a lot worse than most of the other cards around, but I was after a silent card that still could do the math.

I was pleased to say that it meets all my needs and more. Not only is it able to cope with any game I am playing at the moment but it also have the nice VIVO function (which I never understood what was until now) making movies look crisp and clear as ever.

When watching a DVD it is almost so good as I think the source is true HD.

Great stuff.

Indiana Jones 4 (movie)

I am surprised to see what modern technology can do. Harrison Ford is still almost as quick and witty as before. The movie takes the Indy formula from all the movies and plays with it just perfect at all times not to disappoint anyone at any time. So for new viewers this is a good entrance into the Indy universe. I however felt bored most of the time, I have seen it all before and maybe I am just to old to be captured by the action – or maybe the action is just a bit blunt.

Not to say the movie has it moments, quite enjoyable moments that shows the genius of it all.

Maybe what I miss in all the great exploration is some of the down to earth things, like with National Treasure it might just become a bit too grand at times.

To be honest I simply fail to know if this is good or not, as I was a bit bored, but I think that despite my boredom the movie is quite well done and therefore deserves a star in the book.

Hawaii, Oslo (movie)

This movie is special in it own kinds. I will closely resemble it with the movie Déjà vu as the movie is fast approaching a future moment of time we all know will be a very very sad one, and we know it has already been written.

The build up of themes, stories, acting is done in such a great matter we just feel the sadness, the unenviable creep closer on us every minute. Like human kind has no intention and capability at all to change the world, to solve its own problems.

As with Déjà vu, the question is….. Is it possible to change? Is it possible that one or more person can change the flow of time and make what is supposed to be a sad ending to become a beautiful miracle?

Of course I will not give you the answer, its up to you to find out.

Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles Season 1 (TV series)

The Terminator universe is an oddity. The first movie much rightly showed off Arnold as the bad guy, The Terminator. In all respect this is the best of them as Arnold just is the coolest as the bad guy. In the later movies he of course chooses to be the good guy just because he is famous, which in return means the scripts are written around him.

When the rights for the Terminator franchise were sold years ago I feared that we would see Terminator 3 and 4 with shitty actors. For the best reason of all Arnold was back in T3 and delivered another great movie and I hope the forth will be just as good.

Now to the bad, Sarah Connor Chronicles exists in an alternative time space after T2. This I really do not like as it kinds of disturbs the Terminator saga in more confusing, will we then get another Terminator 3 movie in the alternative time space?
The Good? The series are brilliant. It is full of all the things we love about the terminator. Machines, violence, time travel and so on. Even if there are no Arnold the actors does an incredible good job to make these chronicles just as pleasant and interesting than the movies.

In fact because it is a series it has the possibility to explore many more of the interesting sides of the Man vs Machine problematics. This is of course not something new as we see this also in Bladerunner, Battlestar gallactica and so on. The interesting twist here is the fact that time is not what is seems, future grips its dirty hand in the past and the computers are fighting for their own existence by trying to uphold humans own desire to design their own terrible faith.

I really do not know why no one did a series of this long time ago. It is just soo good and enjoyable. I feel like I am 16, eh underage I mean 18 again…..

mandag, september 08, 2008

Once (movie)

This is a movie about those things that happens in life, during a summer brake, a travel, a short moment of time when you meet someone and something special happens. Something that lasts only for a brief moment of time but still lasts forever; hence the title: Once.

In addition to that there is a strong musical element in it, not as forward as in The Commitments but probably even more beautiful. The actors are not actors but musicians but this somehow makes it all more belivable.

Enjoyable to say at least, and one to make us all remember what “once” happened.

Rogue Assassin (movie)

The promise of this movie is gigantic and that is often the first reason to fear a failure. Rouge Assassin is not a failure, it’s quite an entertaining even. I think of movies like Black Rain and Yakuza.

The failure lies in the fact that you have two extremely good martial arts actors performing almost no martial arts at all. What a complete waste! I would rather go and see Kiss of the dragon or Crank to be honest.

Drammen Elvefestival (festival)

Dum Dum Boys
Deliveres the hard stuff as usual. An exploding concert that delivers what we want. Backdraw is that they play way to much of the new stuff. Do they not realize that many of the fans it there just to listen to the waste ocean of old classics? A bit egoistic to play half the time new songs when there is a limited time Festival gig I think.
The good thing is that they are playing really well nowadays and that soon there will be a new album release! Be prepared!

Lene Marlin
Lene Marlin is what often referred to as a one hit wonder. She did her amazing hit that also went outside Norway and yet today she still surfs her fame on this. No matter what one thinks she is an ok artist so watching her is not a waste of time but a ok warming up.

Knutsen og Ludvigsen
Last time I saw them I had such a funny time and you can find my thoughts about it if earlier in my blog. This time however we can obviously see that they have been playing together again for a while which means that they have found some of that old magic back. While previously when I saw them they were like to separate entities that shared one fame and didn’t quite know how to take it. (Much like seeing Dinusaur JR on stage nowadays). This time they have put the fun back into business and the stage show is full of jokes and we can see that they enjoy them self even more than we do.
They start of slow and before long everybody is hooked. Totally even without being fans. This is what we call: magic – enthralling! 10 points to Knutsen and Ludvigsen

Young Neils
Having had the pleasure to see Neil Young himself earlier this year it is good to add on with a Young Neils concert as this is the next best thing. The gig time is just way to short to play all these magnificent songs and one has to add up with a little Cortez the Killer back home! It´s all great fun and great pleasures for body and ear.

I was really impressed. They played awesome and delivered probably the best show of the whole festival. Of course I enjoyed other bands more, but this my friend is a performance you just don’t want to miss, even if you do not like the band too much. They give it all and rock up all the songs to feel really live.

Even though Madcon has some awesome songs that are sailing far beyond the borders of Norway, even though the scene show they deliver is one where they give everything, even though, they kind of disappoint me. Why? Because they lack the routine and perfectionism needed to support a live show with the sound and professionalism needed to get me hooked. Never the less this is something they will get if they manage to stick together.
So we will see in the future.

Blade Runner – Final Cut (movie)

There are so many versions of this movie that a lot of people are debating whether or not there is a need for just another cut. To be true there is not a lot of extra content or changes that justifies this. This is more a matter of cosmetics, and the reasons of the different versions each has its history. I think that alone speaks more about The Movie Industry than anything else, also maybe because the movie is such a classic that it can get away with remakes and fiddling to get to the perfect result, which should have been the initial theatric release.

To be honest though I have watched this movie many times and also read the book, but there has always been elements that I have not understood. Seeing the Final Cut most of these things have finally become clear to me! And I am very happy about that.
I also think that the paste of this cut is more right, sometimes slower, sometimes more nervous and it all feels more right.

There is a fundemental SCI-FI question that returns in Phillip K. Dicks writing and that is the one about the difference between man and machine. This issue is also returning in several other movies and novels and seem to be a troublesome one for humans. I think it is more for men than women as men always had a tendencies to “give” their machines a human touch, typically female ones.

So is Harrison Ford a replicant? I do not think he is, but I agree that the question is an open one and the whole drama of not knowing gives the movie just that extra touch.

The same is evident in Battlestar Galactica where this is taken even further.

I like this version and I think this is the one you should see.

Battlestar Galactica (reimaged) – Season 1 – 3 (TV series)

I did not have a lot of expectation to this series as I thought it would be some kind of second-rate experience. I was so wrong. This series is just so well made. It starts with the great way they have assembled the intro and you know instantly that you are up for a treat.

BG does it all right. It plays along in a Sci-Fi environment where the very human race is at risk attacked by the very Cyclones that humans created. The Cyclones has evolved and looks just like humans down to the cell level.

But it does not stop there is a sexual overtunes in the series and our favorite promiscuous doctor gets more women than any and even the Cyclones women. And the Cyclone models even fall in love with him, even when he screws around with other women.

There are space fights, internal fights, love, hate, and all the other things. It is hard to exactly pin down what makes this series great. But it is, the cutting, the suspense, the acting and so on. It is just one of the best SCI-FIs out there. You will need to watch it.

After watching these episodes I just keep missing more of them, season 4 here I come.

Batman - The Dark Knight (movie)

I have been Batman and cartoon fan since I was a kid. In the older days it is not so much of course but still I have a strong feeling about it. When the first Batman movie came out it was to great disappointment to me. Later now, it is obvious that it is not such a bad movie. Jack Nicholson does an almost perfect job at the Joker, problem is rest of the movie stinks of second and third rate acting. The other problem is that The Joker is Batmans nemesis and they can only exist with each other, and therefore The Joker cannot be killed.

Unless on the big picture, right? Kill your arch nemesis and what do you got left? Not much, still a few of the later Batman movies are pretty good, specially the one with Tommy Lee Jones ;)
In TDK, which is the second movie in a new series, Batman is harder, more realistic but not really darker than Tim Burtons interpretation. And the good news The Joker is back and he is not killed in the end as the makers has understood that you can not kill him – unfortunately and to the sadness of many the actor died in real life instead.

I have a trouble to understand why (as I have been ranting about earlier) movies like Bourne Ultimatum and also this one get dice 6 – the third installation of Bourne I found really boring, but this against many others so I think I must be a bit strange there.

This movie however is not a 6er either. Yes The Joker is pretty good but not far as good as Jack Nicholson, there might be a little more vitality and confusion about this new Joker and I like it, but some of the point is missing. The real craziness, the smilex and the laughter. It is almost all there, just a little to much toned down and that makes the Joker too much like a twisted human and not a super hero.

Batman is doing a good job as well, but overall the movie is missing some of the drive and I think also feeling needed. Its like they try to put too much into the movie. There is also a Pearl Harbor twist as well as many other twists and I am sure this is why it gets dice 6. But you ask me I think also Pearl Harbor did it too far and it just becomes boring.

There are parts of this movie that are excellent and even in a period in the middle end I am almost falling over its excellence, but it doesn’t last. It just does not add up.

So Ill say it this way: A good movie and if I was forced to dice it; it would get a strong 4.

The Wire – Season 5 (TV series)

The final season of The Wire tries to get back into ”The Wire” business. Where season 4 gave moved the series a step further and gave us a bad taste by missing out on having an ending at all, season 5 goes back to its root and does about everything right again.

Problem is of course that after the Grand Bang from the first three season which I already before qualifies The Godfather status the key players and the gang has to be partially swapped and introduced from the beginning. In adition to this we have the continuation of the political play and the introduction of the press.

The Political part is good and we see a man that originally wanted to be good fall into the roots of the system and becoming one of them and we as viewers questions us if he always just wanted power or if he just caught up by the hard truth?
In a way this is even more troublesome than all the honest and hard truth told in this series as it is about the very system, about democracy and where it is meant to impose the very possibility to change and get a better society – and it just does not work.

The sub story about the free press is as all the other thing in The Wire done with great care and it feels just as realistic as any. The fact that great journalism has to dodge for the short way to the great story is something that faces each media of the Press every day.

And to keep it all interesting we have the streets, the dope and all that makes The Wire one of the best series ever.
A worthy goodbye to the series and that’s always something to make a viewer happy.

Thank you.

søndag, juli 20, 2008

Hot Fuzz (movie)

A good comedy is actually hard to create, as it requires humor to hit the audience at the right time. And as we all know something as easy as telling a joke can be quite a challenge because its all about how its told not the actual content.

Hot Fuzz failes to be much of a winner. You will find some good fun at times, but for the most it is one of those painful, I try to be funny kind of thing. There are also at least to places where we have some really gory scenes for no other reason than to what??

Should you watch it? I don’t know. I would say its about average.

Blackball (movie)

A good British comedy of “sports”. I am not going to go to deep into the story or the movie. It is basically a typical good “no brainer” comedy that you will enjoy watching both alone, with friends or family. Basically its one of those movies you can pick from your shelve and you have a sure winner.

Reign of fire (movie)

This is a strange one, part Mad Max 2, part LOTR, part end of the world disaster movie. The story while interesting is totally unbelievable. My mistake some miners are digging a hole into a dragons cave, the dragons take over the world and kills almost all humans.

Only a few are left among them the one that first saw the dragon as a kid.

Although the story is basically utterly crap. It is not too bad a watch actually.

Penelope (movie)

The start of this movie screams cheap family movie, cheap laughter and probably some youngster in the family might like it so much you will have to bite your teeth together and watch it time after time.

The “ugly” child is actually a cute girl with just a pig nose. So what we get is a very limited version of Shrek´s Fiona. I think that this is an obvious reference to teenage girls (but maybe also to a certain extend boys?) that are good looking but have one (1) part of their body they are not happy with, mostly without any good reason. (just a part of being a teenager maybe) And later in the movie it seems that my thought are just about right.

Now the good parts: The initial impression of the movie, while right, its done in a good way, although it fails to be hysterically funny, it has some nice touches and lines and at times almost an enjoyable watch.

Jumper (movie)

The rather ridiculous back-story of Jumper hits us with a bang. But not to worry, we have been subjected to this kind of crap before and we do not really care, we are watching for the thrill.
People with amazing and special capabilities, a love story that can not be since she is normal (sic), a abandoned mother and a pretty useless father. Perfect conditions for a (anti)hero with capabilities to jump in space (not time this time around).

With this kind of story it is basically how the package is wrapped together which will determine how well the movie works.

Unfortunately you will not need to see it as I will tell you already now: Not too good – this one is not really worth it, there are plenty of other movies with similar settings that are a better watch.

The Wire – Season 4 (series)

First of, The Wire Season 1-3 is The Wire. That’s a complete cycle with its skeleton story of wiretapping and Godfather tendencies. In season 4 there is only the left over character to play on and quite correctly they take them out of theire old roles and we meet them in new places new roles.

This is nice but however it has nothing to do with The Wire. At least they should have changed the name to: The Wire – Aftermatch. As that what it is. Basically instead of making the mistake to try to invent an artificial story and again playing wiretap against some new drug lord, they put all the emphasis on drama and pointing at new important sides of society. Brilliant and enjoyable! But there are also some fall downs. They have obviously had some panic in the material not knowing what to put in there at times (which is something all series will face in time) and in this season we are for the first time subjected to obvious story flaws and gaps.

The biggest thrill is the election of the major and to see if it is possible for a white man to be elected in Baltimore, but this storyline is already finished half way in the season and so there are now real ending or drive for the last half.

Leaves us to watch the last 10 episodes of season 5 and hope it will be all summed up (again).

Veien til Jerusalem – Jan Guillou (book)

This is the first book in a trilogy about Arn Magnusson the crusader. While Jan has taken the step to stop writing about the Swedish James Bond and try to write more serious fiction I actually do spot some of his trademark in Arn. It is not too hard to spot either, as Arn is some kind of superhuman blessed by the Gods. (he just do not know it yet)

Jan mixes old believes with modernism and old magic with Christianity. Although he shows a good commitment to the history and knowledge and even tries to be objective at times I do have a strong feeling that this story is strongly influenced by Jans personals views.

Nothing wrong with that really but when it is partially hidden behind objectivity then… well nothing more to say about this at this moment as it is purely speculations.

The truth is that Jan is wise using his skills from his Carl Hamilton books here as it keeps the tension up and keeps the reader hooked to the awkward story and funny happenings he sometimes presents us – and without his cold seriousness it would end up being a comedy instead of a popular and enjoyable crusade.

I am looking forward to read the later books and also watch the movies.

Rockwerchter - Music Festival

I have wanted to visit Rockwerchter since 2001 when I was in Macedonia – because I heard from ”Careful with that Axe, Eugene” that this was an amazing festival.

Neil Young
More so I have wanted to see Neil Young again. I saw him the first time at Kalvøya in 1994 and then I didn’t even know much about the man (and the legend). Yes I have to admit that someone at home had desperately tried to make me listen to his works but I was to young and naive to understand what it was all about.
I was at Kalvøya to see Pearl Jam and Rage against the Machine. When Eddie Vedder was about to leave the stage he said some bad ”F” words to the later to be ”Mirrorball-pal”.

Neil went on the stage and delivered something that was rated (probably subjectively) among his ten best concerts! I was amazed and I understood. And I went back to see him in 1995 when he played even better. How was it possible.
This year it was on high time to see him again and I was just as eager as all his fans. He is older now and its almost funny to listen to him play “Old man take a look at yourself, I’m a lot like you are….” (In the end the snake bites his tale) but not fully though as he refuses to let down and plays his songs and the guitar like he is still 15 years old!

It is 2 and a half hour of magic. And we get the feeling that the paradox is a lot more complex than we can apprehend.
He has an enormous catalog of great songs so it is just impossible to hear them all. He does not play the best song (my favorite anyway): Cortez the killer – but he performs the best song in the world. While this song can only be performed perfectly by one guitar player and he has been dead for a long time, Neil does a god second best – we are of course talking about: All along the watchtower!

To be honest I wish I could see a lot more of Neil, Right now!
When I came home I just had to play Cortez the killer a few times just to fill it all up to the brim and get wonderful dreams.

Lenny Kravitz
I remember in the beginning when music videos had become popular and Lenny was jumping around screaming: “Are you gonna go my way?”

The pumping energy that Lenny showed us right there, lead us to understand and know that this was something different. But at the same time we had a feeling that he would be just short lived fly on the music heaven.

So wrong and later sometime in 2004 in Latina, listening to his new album at the time, asked the inevitable question: “Has Lenny grown up?” I dared not to think so, I dared not to believe it. Even when “Where are we running” hits me, this question have been bugging me – until I see him first time live on stage.

Even if you might not give it a lot of thoughts a lot of Lennys song has a lot of post-production (as with a lot of music today) and that is often a hard task to bring into the live sound. Lenny knows however that there is something called Rhythm and Blues and by having a great backing band and relying on parts of Rhythm and Blues he makes his tunes different but more alive. Just the way the crowd needs to be pleased and amused.

He is definitely older, but his tunes are not. To my disappointment he does not play “Were are we running” but when he jumps around in the end and screams “Are you gonna go my way?”

We all know that he has not grown up, not even a bit.

Again someone at home tried to make me understand and like REM already in a young age. I was to young but still some of it was actually easier to grasp than Neil Young. And when “Loosing my religion” hits the hits, it was easy to start exploring the catalogue. As of later REMs catalogue of unique and interesting album is quite long and I have to admit that I even enjoy some of the later albums that has been considered “weaker”.

One of my friends back in time went to see REM in Oslo I think and when she came back she was paralyzed and told us about a special moment where Michael Stipe was pointing right at her. True or not true, all of us that sat around the table and heard the story wished that it was us which was there standing between thousands of fans and had that magical short moment of communication with Stipe himself.

Seeing them live for the first time and enjoying them is big. However I had a little of the same problem as I have written about when I saw White Stripes last year. Even if they have the unique REM sound every song is just so special and strange that a full concert of REM just becomes too much.

As with White Stripes I do not intend to criticize REM for this, rather the opposite: The World would just not be the same without them.

Jay Z
This performance was the one that surprised me the most as it was not only good but a lot more. It reminds me a little of seeing Timbuktu actually. The set was set up of a long series of short but hard pounding tunes/raps. Even his most known hits he played short and all in unusual versions.

But it ruled, even his less known songs (which where many) was all rocking us and I cannot say the same of all his studio albums.

Basically he (and his crew) just knew to get the crown straight on a height and carry us higher, never letting us down. In fact there are not many live performers that are able to this without even one (1) weak point. I take my hat(which one?) for this one.
Overall for the festival I was not to impress by the area. Of course I had to try the fries but they made my stomach ache (not the good ones.) and the rest of the food was mostly equally unimpressive. The drink system was also terrible, if you want a soft drink you can only choose Cola. Come on? What about at least some choice like Sprite and Fanta.

For beers you could also chose Kriek while I would not really call it beer, it is an interesting drink. I also find the actual areas itself a bit too small and too crowded, but for strange reasons there was almost never any big lines. I do not understand this, seems to be some strange secret among the Belgians.

fredag, juli 04, 2008

Seigmen at the Opera (concert)

In Oslo there is a new Opera house and I was one of them among others that though it would all be in vain (for normal people).

But of course not, this is Norway we are talking about at so the people at the administration in the Opera are sporty enough to let the Opera be used for some cools stuff.

Housing a brilliant concert with PJ Harvey which I unfortunately did not attend. But more so the only Norwegian (rock)band that has been allowed to play there is the split up Seigmen.

And the only reason why Seigmen get together again and give us is a gig is because of this unique chance and honor it is to give a concert at this nice “palace”.

So all the hardcore Seigmen fans from all over the world came together and lined up for a two-day show.
Seigmen delivered something of an awesome concert. The sound in the Opera is the 2nd best I have ever heard (and the best was only within a demo stage) it was such a precise sound that when I could feel it rumble under my seat it was because it was meant to rumble just for me!

The set was divided in two parts. The first part started off with a brilliant opening and followed by some more slow songs. To my dislike is that here they played also some songs from the later era, the industrial part. I am a firm believer why Seigmen never made it well internationally is they progressed from the unique punk-goth style they had to the industrial side where they did not have the unique and interesting touch anymore.

Don’t get me wrong it didn’t sound bad, my favorite parts were just to come. They played even an Opera piece and then the second part begins and all was just full of awe and good stuff until the end.

If there is anything bad to add up to this concert is the fact that since the sound picture was so good there; Seigmen did have a hard time in a few songs to get that real feeling if only because …… the sound was to good.

Imagine that! I was a fan of Seigmen all since the first “Det finnes ingen utvei” and I am just hoping I will be there somewhere in the DVD that will be released from this awesome concert.

The Wire – Season 1-3 (TV Series)

The Wire is really a masterpiece. It is lo-fi realistic TV. Gone is anything that reminds you about being in the 21st century and here we are back with hard ass acting and plot.

Every scene has so much love and detail and realism in it that you just have to smile again and again. The main story line however progresses slow and during one season there is just enough main story to fill up a normal TV series episode! So how come it is so good then?

For some reason it is extremely satisfactory to sit and let the world unfold in a slow matter (realistic drama like). I think one of the reason why reality TV is so good is because people like reality and a series like this (unlike reality TV) gives it in such folds that you and I really believe that what happens is not only true, but also that the actors are not really actors but For Real ;)

The first season can be explained as something like the movie “American Gangster” just longer and better.

There is another very important point about this and that is the underlying stories it tells about people, about society is really bare to the bone. And it leaves us with a deep impression and wish to make the world a better place.
Season 1-3 really sums it all up in a great way.

This is the Real Godfather Trilogy!

The 4400 – All Seasons (TV Series)

I had heard that this would be a good watch but I had never foreseen the fact that I would get hooked. It is SCI-FI on its best. Like nothing I have seen before, except Heroes – but I think heroes is the later one…

Basically first of all one has to understand what the SCI-FI genre is all about: Its not about future and hot gadgets but about pointing the finger on present issues in the society by extracting these issues in a different world, often a futuristic world.
If you ever had time to read 1984 you will understand as it ”was” a futuristic novel about how the World would become in 1984 but really it is telling a story about the WW2.

The 4400 uses the promise of mixing people from different ages, races and ages and mixing them all together in a promise of making a better world. In the works you can find inspiration from movies like ”The Terminator” trilogy as well as the ”Back to the future” trilogy. But 4400 takes the promise to play with time even further and giving the people special abilities (Heroes like).

But of course it is not meant to be easy. The opening is one of the best I have ever seen and it got me hooked. The way they mix the stories and play around with reality and our minds really has no limits! And this is why I just had to see all seasons… before I could rest.

The last episode kind of sums it all up in a nice way but still people are demanding more or at least another ending episode.
There are some bad parts about 4400 also and I have to tell about them: but let it not stop you from watching it: B-rated actors, most of the actors sucks pretty much, they take themselves too serious and do not how to properly act. Sometimes or quite often there are obvious history glitches, which can only be caused by bad quality control. But the worst part in my eyes is that when they are not able to keep the story going wheel enough they resort to cheap soap drama tricks, which means that people change sides and friendship like rats without other meaning than to keep the tension up.

tirsdag, mai 13, 2008

Tom Clancy – Net Force (book)

I am always a bit skeptical before reading someone really mainstream big, but then one day someone said to me that I had to read Tom Clancy, so I figured ”Why not?” and got a book.

I was looking for a while for ”Red Storm Rising” but could not find it so I went for the lesser-known ”Net Force” instead.

I do not surprise me that Tom is using a rather easy accessible language (typical for mainstream success) that gets you as a reader easily hooked. While this is not always regarded high literature, I also think that some writers has a tendency to overdo the words, and while they can perform writing like every sentence is the most beautiful poem – it can be hard and confusing to read.

Tom builds the story through several subplots that each has its own sub-ending. This is in fact an old method of story building and it works pretty well. There is just one major mistake: The most enthralling subplot gets its ending first and then its like the book is over, even if there is one chapter left.

Its funny but I actually put the book down at that point and had to convince my self to read the last part, it took a month.

There is also one other thing I have to put the finger down on. Tom seems to create some fictional high tech world but it’s extremely unrealistic. Its like the guy have no technological understanding. Its weird and again destroys some of what the book has to offer.

For the rest? It’s a pretty downright methodic and well written story that will keep you up at night. But I am not convinced yet that Tom Clancy is such a great writer many thinks. But I will give it another try some other day and we will get back to it.

The Golden Compass (movie)

Again we are thrown into a fantasy world where things are not quite the way we usually thinks. This fantasy world has more in common with traditional fairytales that fantasy.

This is for the good as this is more of a children movie than anything else, and therefore the Fairy tale is more fitting. While I as a grown up finds it a bit daunting and boring because it just has the usual fairy tale stuff just hidden in between some good graphics and Nicole Kidman I think children will like it.

The reason is that the plot unfolds in a fitting pace. The only thing that can be a bit confusing is the terms of what “dust” really is and the difficult relationship Nicole Kidman has to the little girl.

There are not that many real fairy tale movies nowadays so this one is a welcome addition ;)

Varg Veum - Falne Engler (Norwegian Movie)

This is the fourth movie about the PI from Bergen. This tie however the movie is not a traditional crime solving puzzle but rather a thriller.

The thriller is well built up and works fairly well. There is just some small problems. Major problem is that this movie has nothing to do with Varg Veum and would worked just as well with any other person in the main role. Bummer!
And then of course you guess that the usual small problems is in there like: Where does Varg Veum get his salary from? And what is his real nature?

So while the movie works, it doesn’t work. Get it? I still would go for “Din til Døden”.

Delicatessen (French Movie)

This is an old classic that I finally had the chance to see. It is a macabre but humorous movie. The pictures, the angles, the people the acting is all very well done all through the movie. And movie lovers will just enjoy every part of this movie. It is done with such passion and love and insight in how to make a masterpiece that I just take of my hat and bow.

If you can get a hold of this one with subtitles for your own language, then go for it and prepare for a laugh.

Across The Universe (Movie)

This is a musical based on various Beatles songs. It contains of course many nice versions of Beatles songs. It is the highly inspiration and creativity that makes me give it some good points. Do you like music? Do you like romance? Do you like The Beatles? The you will probably like this movie.

But please understand that it is a musical and should be watched as one.

The Bank Job (movie)

Making movies like this and still add a twist to make it worthwhile is not that easy since so many others have done it before. It is however every once in a while that it succeeds. I think The Bank Job does. It gives us some humor, some thrills and a little bit of drama in between.

Quite enjoyable in fact.

The grand (Movie)

The typical: “Lets make a movie and pretend it’s a reality show” idea is coming up both here and there. Usually it does not work very well. Why? Because in the end reality is not that fun… it just feeds on the same instinct that makes people play games like The Sims.

So while the grand tries so much, it also fails almost as much and I would rather not have watched it. Or to say one of those average movies.

The Warlords (movie)

One of Jet Li´s weaker performances (I guess someone will wrong me on this one??) for a while. The movie is grand and almost Epic and in the beginning I thought this would be a really good movie. Again I am surprised by the Asian unfamiliar way of telling a story.

And so it works well for a long time, but the problem is that halfway in the movie, it gets stuck and we just keep having the same over and over again (This is a problem that is returning in many movies – stagnation) and so it turns into a bore and I hardly convinced myself to see the rest, just to be disappointed.

Maybe I had to high expectations? I am not sure.

Beautiful Girls (movie)

This movie instantly reminds me of “Garden State” quite wrongly as this one had to be first. If it was not for the fact that “Garden State” is a far superior movie I would have been able to enjoy it more.

This is a small gem of a movie and deserves watching.

The Gutter Twins – Saturnalia (Music Album)

Wow, this is even better than the concert guys. This supergroup is something that I really like. For the first time in a long time I have been playing an album over and over again. Every song has its own story to tell, its own highs and lows..

And even higher highs.. and higher highs than that?

Ok get it? A little bit of Screaming Trees mixed with a dash of The Afghan Wigs and you have some of the most exciting that has happened to music in a long time.

Madrugada – Madrugada (Music Album)

As we all know this is the last Madrugada album that will ever be released.. hmm well… History will tell if that is the truth.

Anyway it is a real shame because this album is really well, except for the last song.

The best song is without a doubt “What is on your mind?” and I have been playing this tune quite a lot recently.

Buy this one now and pay homage to a piece of great music history

Working on the third book

I am good along working on the third book in my trilogy. It is going surprisingly well. When I am done I am going to re-write the whole things, just as a quality control to make it best possible.

It has been stimulating to get these stories down on paper and I am loosely planning to continue this stuff – depends of course if I get a good idea or not.

I might also (pre)publish some of this on the web. If you can not wait you can give me a note and I might just let you read some… then again……

Raga Rockers – Übermench (Music Album)

Raga has become even more sophisticated since last time. I remember sitting together with DJ Astra one night while Hugo was doing some of the last mixing on the tune “Gå med Våpen”. During this session we got some good inside information of the progress of Raga.

In the latest album we see the fruits of this. We get a better sound picture. We get songs which experiments in a way we have not heard since the earlier works.

The drawback is of course that all the song themes have been used earlier in their own far superior counterpart. But lets not dwell on that. Just sit jump up and down and rock along.

No Country for old men (half a second view)

My brother was watching this one day, as I had seen it before I only watched it it one eye or something. However I noticed something peculiar, something that is worth mentioning and that changes my view on the movie totally.

Previously I have been assuming that the theme of this movie is about “No country for old men” but seeing it again and discussing what I saw with my brother I think the main theme of this movie is “Greed”.

The second last scene is similar to another scene with the “Hero” in it when he crosses the border. And these two scenes are playing with each other. And from there on you can put “Greed” as the driving factor to a lot of what happens in the movie and it gives more sense.

I still think a little cutting would have done the juice but at least I will have to go back on the word of thinking it’s a failure of concept ;)

The Valley of Elah (movie)

Not only because Tommy Lee Jones is playing in both I think The Valley of Elah somewhat has shared interests with “No country for old men”: Something with the statement that the world is just not what it used to be, and that for the worse.

Personally I do not agree in this statement.

While many people wrongly can think of this as an anti military movie, I do however think of it as a movie that tries to pinpoint the wrong sides of war. There are peace forces and there are forces for destruction, and many subtle places in between.

The movie is build up around a crime scene that has shared civilian and military interests and the dad whose son is dead is an ex. Soldier.

This mystery that builds up is very well done and we keep asking ourselves what has happened. Through this suspense the story slowly descend and strikes us where it matters the most.

torsdag, april 17, 2008

The Gutter Twins (concert)

This is a hobby band of Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan and at the same time this is nothing else than a Supergroup.

From The Agfhan Wigs, The Twilight Sisters into Screaming Trees you know it will be good. Supergroups are a strange phenomena since sometimes they deliver and sometimes they don’t. This time I can assure you that The Gutter Twin does.
Mark and Greg have been working together since 2000 or something like that. And some of use (like me) has been waiting both for the album and to see them live as The Gutter Twins.

I was very excited and happy to see that they combine their musical taste and make some truly nice Sub Pop branded music ;) While I still miss the original big band I acknowledge the world constant desire to change and sometime for something good. While sometimes the songs feel slightly “fast” put together they are not really so, its just that they put more emphasis on voice than before.

I ended up buying the new album and right now this weekend it will be constantly on my ear.

I hope The Gutter Twins will be a success and that Mark and Greg will continue to work together because I know they have a lot more and even better to deliver!

Freeshine (concert)

I was so lucky to witness a special event with the upcoming Freeshine and the new music video “To Kill a Child”.

Fresshine plays really well, it is some kind of muddy rock that we just like and fall into straight away. One can feel inspiration from blues and jazz but without ever converting into these styles.

Problem is? Is saw them in the same place I saw kakka madafaka and the same problem with sound arised. This time I am even sure that the sound mix was done alright so the lousy sound is purely up to shit equipment and/or the bad sound qulaities of the hall. So bad in fact I had to leave the concert.

I Really hope to get the chance to see Freeshine again somewhere else soon. Also they have a new album out called “All blood is royal” which I am thinking about getting. So maybe you should as well?

Sleuth (movie)

This movie surprised me hard. Even if it is obviously based on a play it is just so fresh and well made. Camera angels are constantly daring to express more. The actors Judge Law and Michael Caine are giving us the best of acting. The spoken lines are constantly fresh and intriguing. Yes this is a movie that shows us what moving media is all about!
So should I just tell you to go out and get it? Yes

But wait! Is it more? Yes, this movie is a remake of a 1972 movie starring (surprise) none other than Michael Caine however at that time he had the same role as Judge Law has now. My thoughts go back to the movie “Alfie” which also an Michael Caine original starring Judge Law in the remake. Unlike “Alfie”, “Slueth” I a refreshing movie that deserves a remake.

But there is also the problem all remakes faces – how and why to improve on a classic piece. Because the 1972 Sleuth is quite a magnificent piece of a movie. It builds up a little bit slower and the language is a bit softer. But it still has quite a challenging setup and the story goes deeper and includes more meat on the bone in the history telling us more about “why” things are like this. It is also hard to know that this one is based on a play. Its all based on games, games and games.

In the remake the surroundings has less soul and we are presented a high tech monster of a place, although smaller than the original. It has fast pace and an is putting us constantly on the edge – but then there is something odd. For some strange reason they have chosen not remake the third act into something completely different. While the original third act keeps building up where the previous left of the new third act leaves us with a strange taste in our mouth.

It is hard to understand why? Its like the third act stumbles tries to be something that it can not be, and the end is therefore a bit abrupt because we are simply not told why things go like this. But also it is hard to understand because the original third act is the best piece of “Sleuth” there is and makes a perfect ending.

I do love the fast pace and everything else so no matter what – it is two classic movies for you to see straight away.

The Mist (movie)

From the moment this movie starts we know we are in for a treat. It just starts of in an unusual and creepy building matter. This keeps going until the first time we actually see the enemy.

The first sight of what hides in The Mist is somewhat a let down because it gives us visual with the threat. If you have seen Signs you know what I mean. It is a lot more terrifying with an unknown enemy than one that has been identified, and the Mist is a real good way to hide the enemy.

There is also another oddity: The camera is somewhat following “The Dogma” lo-end cam and this is really a brilliant move but is somewhat ridiculous when you add nicely computer animated enemies.

For the story to unfold it is necessary to reveal the identity of our fear.

Building up fear with a viewer can be a real hard task and while (as I said before) the movie does this pretty good at times there are also fallout periods. Marcia Gay Hardens role as Mrs. Carmody is rather irritating and while I understand what they try to say – I think it is kind of storytelling like Evil Dead (while this is funny it also gives the movie a special character) – and I think maybe the mix gives the movie some kind of identity problem.

The end is excellent! It reminds me a bit of the beginning of the movie Azumi. Some people might not like it but I find the impact so hard that the message of what they are trying to say will reach out there.

In other words: This movie is no “The Shining” but it has elements at times that glimpses up there. Defiantly worth watching.

torsdag, april 03, 2008

Garmin Nüvi 360 (hardware)

I’ve had the pleasure (not really) to play around with the Garmin Nüvi 360 for a while so that I could make up my mind if I wanted to buy something like this.

Previously to this I had been used to TomTom Version 5. While I think TomTom 5 gives me all the options I need, I do see reasons to progress further.

Garmin was a really unpleasant experience. Yes I know a lot of people that prefer Garmin before TomTom – and I honestly do not understand why?

Of course it has something to do with what you are used to.. For example I think its perfectly ok to use three hours extra to get home because it constantly keeps guiding you in the wrong direction?

The fact that I get confused by the interface and keep having problems getting things done can have something to do with being unused with the unit.

I like the possibility of having Bluetooth connected to my cell phone but the sound quality is no good so it can only be used as an emergency solution.

After using it for a while I have gotten kind of used to it (as we always does) and I am kind of friendlier to it. It does have some nice touches and it gets whatever it is not able to done.

My problem is in the end that what I want is TomTom 920T and it is a bit expensive… so if I can not get that then should I go for something less than the best…?? Ahhh don’t think so….

Vanity Point (movie)

I don’t think people can fully understand the difficulties with creating a concept movie. Concept movies are usually challenges in ways of expression with moving media.

Because of the hard and dedicated works that usually are put in, it will often succeed. While creative directors might solve the challenge in a special fashion way, Hollywood productions tend to use fast paced action as the solvent.

To understand what I am talking about I can mention a movie like ”Phone Boot”.

Problem is while the movie successfully proves the concept it will never ever be able to rise up to be a great movie. I think this is part because of the action solvent but also because a concept story never (or hardly never) work well enough.

Vanity Points starts off as something like a concept movie, nothing really new but we are presented into the story from several angels. Several people. For every story told we are unfolding a little bit more of the mystery.

But not only that… perspective is slightly changed during the stories and In an odd way I think they think (sic?) that the audience are stupider than they really are.

After the introduction the story continues without the odd story telling angle and in more traditional ways.

The worst part however is the ending. Pure luck of circumstances solves the crime. Come one, you can do better than that…

The acting are mostly B – rated but such could have been forgiven easily if the concept worked. But as you might understand this movie is just half a concept movie and then half an action movie.

Failing somehow to keep up the promise its starts off with.


I never thought you would tell me to leave you alone
I never thought our days would ever be gone
I never saw you enter that door
I never thought you to be gone

´cause the day I meet you I knew it would be us
we would share ours hearts and live like one

we are bound together carrying white wings

I never thought you would tell me to leave you alone
I never thought our days would ever be gone
I never saw you enter that door
I never thought you to be gone

´cause the day I meet you I knew it would be us
we would share ours hearts and live like one

Give your hearts - stand together
Give your hearts - stand together

The wind blows across the oak tree
And the flowers in the garden

I never saw you enter that door
(And came back home)

mandag, mars 31, 2008

Lange Flate Ballær II (norwegian movie)

This sequel is not as good as the first one. Main problem is that is are not able stand in the way for the temptation it is to use some stupid poo humor – the movie basically is a wild mix between irritating low en humor and some nice touches.

It also tries to be to big and at the same time small.

But then again this is not about quality and more about the humor people like. The movie gets bad reviews but still it is the movie that brings the masses to the cinema. Then again Norwegians like things like Sputnik (the artist) as well…

It makes me smile and laugh its fair share so there is no real need to give any recommendations; people will go and see it no matter what.

Hitman (movie)

This movie is based on the Hitman games. Games that I don’t like at all because it is not my style. Not so with the movie(s?).
Grafically it is an excellent conversion, it looks just like the game and at the same time it looks (movie) real.

Someone has called this a poor mans “Leon” (The Professional) and that is quite a glory I would say as that movie is a classic.

Hitman is not a classic but it does deliver the goods which is entertainment. The story reminds me more of the first Bourne movie but honest it’s a story that has bee recycled so many time it hurts, unless you are totally aware of this at the times of the making and compensate in other ways.

Summary? Quite some good and cool fun but almost no humor (cold).

I would have preferred them to choose a different and more challenging story for the movie. But that’s just me.

fredag, mars 28, 2008


I can feel your breath close to me

Into the infinity of the Ocean
It reflects my thoughts about us

I shiver when I sense your cent

we know we are seperated
far away from each other

maybe we will meet one day

my hearth feel your warm touch

maybe the distance only
is real in our minds?

onsdag, mars 26, 2008

The life continues after Easter

Well another Easter is over.... and again we are back to our normal (??) lives. This Easter was pretty good despite many people in total chaos ;)

In the end I spend some time reading a bit in one of my cousins books. It was about Singularity. Quite an interesting book predicting the future of technology. I did not have time to read it all but the book was full of all kinds of interesting facts. I always known that the science elite always knows a lot more of what goes on than the common man - without being sarcastic or anything as the truth can just as well be among the world of the commoner.

Even if it is interesting I see it in such a way that idea of Singularity and that the purpose of life and the universe is intelligence is nothing more like your everyday Religious movement. (because a religion does not necessarily need a God). And therefore the book also fails in many points being shortsighted in any direction not feeding on its own.

This reminds me of a man that once told me that the meaning of life is to lay down as many women as possible. He probably stated so in some kind of victory rage... I have a feeling though that in the end he will not be very pleased neither about the numbers of women as well or the goal itself ;)

For the rest... ;) hectic days, work and fun... for you as well I hope..

The assassination of Jesse James (movie)

As I said some time back about Babel, the movie is gorgeous, the pictures, the acting, the sound, yes basically everything is excellent. And in a way I am tired to say the bad thing as people would say? What do you think its a bad movie? What is wrong with you?

No what I am saying is that its an excellent movie but it has a one essential flaw and that is it leads nowhere. This is almost the same for Jesse James. It is slow paced, and since we know what is coming we will be constantly tortured waiting for the inevitable to occur. And it is even so sad and ridiculous that it a real low.

A movie building up to a low?

But hey, there is more. In the bitter end we are somewhat explained the reason for all of this. The torture. The wait. We kind of suddenly get a warm feeling of having shared the tragic fate.

And to achieve such an feeling through a movie is nothing but the touch of a genious.

And therefore I kind of forgive the length of this movie.

American Gangster (movie)

Denzel Washington as a mafioso boss?

Sir Ridley Scott is no small name at all and his movies deserves respect. This movie is of course long, well done all the way through but there is a few buts.

1. I have been writing some about this before but can be repeated, recycled and rementioned many times. There seems to be a thing with directors that they all have a secret dream about making a "Godfather" clone that is better than the original. (much like all mp3 player manufacturers dream about making an ipod killer??) No of course this is bound to fail - for many reasons - some of them I am sure you can find from my earlier ranting about these movies.

2. When making an epic master piece one is advised not to tell the whole story but to find an angle and a subplot to put focus on - otherwise one can easily end up with a movie which is:

To long
We do not understand what the real meaning is

of course you do understand where I am going? So I will not go further on these issues.

Now there are other things. Denzel is an excellent actor but he somewhat does not feel right to this role. Maybe this is why he is put there. To make us feel uncomfortable with it? This is at least a possibility. On one hand a kind and caring man on the other hand he plays a man full of complex issues because of being on the low end of the food chain (driver) for many years. This makes us uneasy and in a way maybe even forgiving when we see pictures of drug addicts having a bad time and cold blooded murders?

Oh and then there is Russel Crowe. Again a personality there is hard to understand what drives. On one hand he is so loyal and honest that other cops dislike him for it, yes even hate him. On the other hand he can not care jack shit about his wife or kid... This is of course a part of his personal development during the movie.

and again I do the mistake of ranting about a movies bad sides when there are good sides. Yes it is a good movie but a tad to long and a tad tad.. The one scene where he introduces his brothers to what he is doing is just "classic"!

I am legend (movie)

Honestly I am not a big fan of Will Smith. As far as I am concerned his carrier height was Fresh Prince in Bel Air. Ok there might be a few heights afterwards as well but no matter what: He is not a good actor - and probably never will be.

But since he gets to play in some big movies we still watch him occasionally and what we get can be pretty decent. So what about I am Legend?

The movie screams: I am a Resident Evil clone. This in itself might be very bad but on other hands, if done well it can be quite entertaining. A world with (almost) no survivors and everybody else is not dead but infected with a virus. Will Smith tries to find the cure and save the world (once again).

I didn´t expect to much about this movie but it has it few nice moments. When the beasts (infected humans) adapt from Will and put up a trap much like his own. When he talks about Bob Marley and when its about the butterfly. All small touches of ingredients that spices up a movie.

But the most curious fact is as I said earlier: Wills acting sucks making his style becoming a bit retarded and cold which fits perfect into the main role. Why? Because he is all alone in the world and lives a controlled life to keep alive. I think I have been talking (writing) about something similar in a other movie: the fact that an actors lack of skills becomes his skill.

To sum because of its better parts this movie puts itself in the big pot of movies that are above to watch.

onsdag, mars 19, 2008

The Brave One (movie)

I for one have a lot of respect for Jodie Foster. She is one of the icons of the movie industry and without a doubt one of the best female actresses there is. And the fact that she is cute in her own special way does not make things worse ;)

I was of course a little sad that she wouldn´t do the successor to "Silence of the Lambs" because they didn´t want to change the (excellent) ending. But I also understand her view on the case. The other real disappointment I´ve had from here movie carrier is "Contact" which turned out to be something like utter crap.

But mostly she delivers good quality movies that not always follow the main stream. The Brave One is controversial in a way that it is totally understandable that people talk a lot about it. When you consider the ending you see that it is even more controversial. Is it morally ok? Is it even morally ok to question?

Because of this the movie starts up extremely slow and the way it progresses its obvious that the story tries too much to justify itself, which in turn is kind of ridiculous as we would simply believe it with the first happening. Why should it be so that because her boyfriend is killed she constantly gets involved in situations with bad people something she never did before? Realistic? Maybe but do we believe in it? no...

This is the movies only weakness and we can easily forgive it as the slow paste in the beginning soon has us in a first class thriller. Make no mistake, this is no "Silence of the Lambs" but it is good. It has tension and builds up a unresting feel that it will not let go.

The fear that she feels early on is so well done I think a lot of people will recognize it as its own. And that is basically the main theme of this movie. Why should (normal) people be afraid of doing normal things? Is it not so that the civilization should make the world a safer place so you and me can be safe on those streets?

The camerawork is excellent done, and often I find myself a little fascinated. Also I will say that the location manager(s) has done some of the best jobs ever (could there be an Oscar for best location manager??) and New York is looking like some of the most beautiful and romantic spots of the world - building up to the contrast between beauty and fear.

Jodi Foster delivers the goods in such a way I actually think this one could be a nice movie to bring a date.

tirsdag, mars 18, 2008

Happy Easter Everyone

The time is here of course to celebrate Easter!

So I wish you all do have the best time ever!

Easter Big

Now we are just waiting for the beagle to save the holiday once again ;)

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (book)

Someone recommended this book to me and eventually I found it in a bookstore and before I knew it it was at my night-table.

While it is a pretty cute story and probably an excellent youth novel (??) I can not shake of the feeling that the writer uses manipulative technics by telling us his truth through the mind of this little boy.

He has a high level of intelligence but knows little about socializing. Also for example it is stated that he know no feelings but at the same time he is dead furious and scared of the killer. I just simply do not get it all to add up.

Despite this as I say so often it is nice reading that can be recommended.

No good country for old men (movie)

Like many others I had high expectations for this one - and you all know why.

And I was not disappointed. The beginning is as fresh as you seldom see of a movie and it kind of never stops. The movie does not follow conventional genre and story building and therefore is in constant danger of falling a part. That is if it was done by someone non professional.

So I can just take my hat of and bow.

Then there this issue about the end. I don´t know what to say about it. Some like it and some don´t. The truth is that the movie changes totally paste from being something like and action/thriller to a drama - for me that is a killer since I normally avoid drama movies and I understand that many others will feel the same.

Because this is a Oscar winner I have taken some time to go deeper into it and to give this movie a chance. I do understand the reason of changing the paste and I do understand the message which is : "No country for old men" This in fact bothers me since we already know this from the title and the first spoken lines in the opening - and there is nothing more to it than watering this out in the end.

I feel that the end of the movie just should have been shorter to be effective - like it is now it is too slow and the last scenes is just gibberish talking to "symbolize the theme". If the makers feel that these scenes are important to fulfill the movie they should have been nested earlier in the script so that the end could get the impact it deserves.

Its also because of this that I think this movie is a failure as a complete experience - despite of this you should still watch it for its strong points.

Sweeny Todd (movie)

I wanted to see this movie since I like "From Hell" and "Sleepy Hollow" but Sweeney Todd is nothing like it. Yes we see some of the darkness that Tim Burton likes but there the similarities stops.

This is in fact something as silly as a splatter musical. I wonder if Tim Burton has been looking at splatter movies at kid and been thinking "lets turn all that gore into a musical" A pretty sick thought might I say. But also genius enough to earn him an Oscar.

It is so that I actually had a few laugh in the movie when things just became too ridiculous and thats what I feel is the verdict of this movie. A bit too far...

Varg Veum - Din til døden (norwegian movie)

Third time is the charm. The norwegian PI from Bergen is back in another direct to DVD and Television release - and this time it is even more unfortunate than last time since "Din til døden" is the best movie so far.

It opens up with some decent and fresh action scenes but does not stop there. It contains all the ingredients that defines a top movie including complicated romance and love.

It is also obvious that the director has no fear in making even the usual talk scenes into fresh and moving scenes. The haircut scene is in many ways both daring and maybe a bit naughty.

For the bad. Again it is hard to understand what lies underneath Vargs choices as well as why and who is actually paying his salaries. No-one? Also the make up team has done its worst job till now about the hair.

Except for this - this movie is a real pearl of a movie and deserves a lot more attention than it gets.

Varg Veum - Tornerose (norwegian movie)

As a part of the mass production of Varg Veum movies this one is released straight to DVD.

In many ways a wrong choice I would say as it is better than the first movie that got Cinema time. Yes it is true that the first one has a better and more artistic picture overall, but it still dosen´t count up for the whole movie.

Tornerose has a much more difficult plot with a a real family and friendship disaster nested together with drugs and other crimes. Everywhere Varg goes he uncovers just more pain and rot. And it is in fact quite entertaining.

Even if the make up and screen is not as polished as in the first it actually looks more real and down to earth this time.

For the negative it can sometimes be hard to understand what kind of person Varg really is and we do want to know more of what drives him. Sometimes the dialogue can also be so strange to understand what and where the director wants to tell us.

Electric Eelshock (concert)

I was intended to be on a Madcon concert this Saturday but since they got sick (but why?) I went to see this Japanese band instead.

First of there was a Swedish warm up band. I forgot the name but they was just as good as the main event and they put the mood just right. Too bad I didn’t have my Swedish hat this time ;)

The eels did surprise me as well as playing fresh, funny and energic noise straight out to the audience. And they just got better for each song.

I can easily recommend this band to anybody that gets the chance.

Sony Ericsson P1i

As I have ranted about so many times earlier - I was really really unhappy with my Nokia N95 - its some of the worst phone I ever had - despite all its raving reviews. Then I kept and used my old 6880 as GPS.

The bloatware that you find in N95 reminds me about the the way Windows CE went. I think one of the main problems is that they start product cycles (software) that updates to a new version too fast and you never get a stable mobile OS that get to attract a high level of 3rd part software.

For the average user this will not be a problem since the problem first arises when you are a power user.

So what I did was crapping the N95 and go for the older SE p1i. And to say what it is at this time more or less the perfect mobile companion. It has a large (but not as large as I wished) software support. It has all the things you need except GPS. The interface and the way it is used is far superior to the S60 series 3 interface.

I do however fear that this phone will be the last of the p series as SE has announced their first Windows based mobile.

We live to see...

mandag, mars 17, 2008

Rambo 4 (movie)

When the reviews about this movie started arriving it was strange to see. Some reviewers even went so far to give it the lowest score available naming this move a cynical use of unnecessary violence

Hmm there is a other movie I saw the other day called Sweeny Todd which splats blood desperately just for the fun of it and this movie even got an Oscar for best art movie.

If you want to give Rambo 4 a proper review there can be smart to know some of the story first. When Rambo - First Blood first arrived it became an instant hit. And to understand why, you will have to see the movie for yourself. It is not just bunches of action and nonsense but quite a difficult story plots that unfolds.

Rambo became equivalent with one though gut standing alone against all (odds..) and this success lead into to more Rambo movies that even thought they are fair as entertainment - they fail to deliver any of the dept that the first movie did - turning the Rambo franchise into a ridiculous direction only fulfilled by Rambo defeating a whole army by himself in the end of Rambo III.

No wonder Sylvester Stallone said that he never wanted to do Rambo anymore. And even denouncing himself in Tango and Cash!

So.. would Sylvester make a new Rambo movie after all this years just to have some kind of cash cow? Now I haven’t seen the last Rocky movie so I can not say anything about that - but for sure the quality of the Rocky movies has been easier to maintain because it follows the stereotype Stallone story that is perfected in Over the top.

And so I was eager to see this movie, not expecting much more than.... a cash cow..

And I was totally wrong. Rambo 4 is without a doubt the best Rambo movie yet and all on the top of Stallone´s carrier.

Instead of continuing where Rambo III left us, Stallone has somewhat gone back to the original Rambo and then taken in consideration all the years in between and made a real hit of an action movie. It hits hard, it drives you and entertain you. And also it shows us that war is brutal, gruesome and unforgiving - just in the way it should be shown.

I am looking forward to see this one again!

Lomsk - Amerikabrevet (music album)

Of course I had no choice this time....

after the successful concert during Christmas there was only one thing to do: buy the album ;)

It is funny because all the songs are distinct different so I really do not know what to call it, I do however occasionally find myself humming desperately on these tunes.

Because: it is really good stuff. Of course Lomsk is a small band and therefore they will never reach out to a wide public. But for us... we are some lucky people...

and for you ...

... you can be lucky too....

onsdag, februar 20, 2008

Carnival 2008

Again it was time for Carnival and a lot of fun. This year I was surprised to see that the amount of Norwegians (and also Swedes this time!!!) had increased a lot.

Except for that it was the usual fun and madness. I am not putting out any piccies this time, but if you are interested in those just get in thouch with me.

Kakkmaddafakka (concert)

I was a little surprised by this band as there are several friends of mine that think they are good and still I saw none of my own agegroup at the concert. Why might I wonder – is there something I missed?? ;)

The band certainly puts on a good show. You can see that everybody on stage is having fun and the choir is so active with movements that they steal half the show.

This easily amused the crowd: it is not often you see a band that knows their audience so well. It is a show where everybody is a part of the stage and the hall is vibrating of fun.

So I know what you are thinking – what is the catch? Well sound quality was awful like porridge – so I actually left the concert before it was over. I can not stand band sound.

I have been in concerts in the same hall before so I think this is the returning problem of fresh new bands that they have some lousy soundmixer that thinks he is cool but in reality kills the whole band.

We will give it a chance to progress for a new concert sometime later.

Resident Evil – Extinction (movie)

I am not quite sure what to say about this. I have enjoyed the previous movies as they are not trying to be anything more than they are. Mindless action and effects. And of course Milla driving the movies further.

This time we have a different take. A movie that tries to be something like Mad Max 2 and Waterworld but without the acting (except Milla) and directing skills that are needed to drive more plot.

So what we get is a bit slower movie that tries to build tension, thrill without the same amount of action.

Good or bad? While changes sometimes can be good I think that they fail in several places and therefore this is the weakest of the movies – but misunderstand me the right way – it is not a complete failure, you can still enjoy it.

Death at a funeral (Movie)

To make this movie funny they have used all the cheap tricks they can, swearing, drugs, sex, poo and so on. You get the picture.

Now, cheap use of these tricks will easily ruin a movie or make it some kind of cult classic. Except for some unjust swearing Death at a funeral does integrate these things pretty well and most of the time you don’t even notice.

Because it’s really funny, but also cleverly done. Excellent actors , scripting and cutting leads to: fun. Even the poo scene is so well done you do not well uneasy as you often would do.

One to watch.

Jo Nesbø – Snowman (book)

He is back. The Snowman. But why? Because it is winter. ;)

Jo did it again, made a masterpiece of a book. I don´t think it is his best, but its all up there on the top. I have to admit since I have been reading a lot of him lately that I kind of know his style now and he fails to surprise me anymore.

Spoiled maybe?

The theme is about unfaithfulness and all that it leads to. In the book he claims that 15-20% of all children does not know who their real father is. That’s an awful lot and I would like to see this number verified because if so it shows quite a lot about – hmm –yeah – unfaithfulness.

In many ways this book is tighter scripted than his earlier books – together with the actual theme and the scary snowman this book is at times close to become a thriller.

And it feels good….

Finn Kalvik (Private Concert)

I somehow became so lucky that I was filming one of Film Kalviks private concerts last year.

Now one can have many meanings about Finn, both his personality as well as his music.

But no matter what, he does a have a few good songs. And when I was sitting long and short nights to cut it all together I had to listen to a lot of Finn Kalvik and slowly his songs went underneath my nails and skin.

And I have to admit that there are several songs that has more to it than the first sound might reveal…

Anyway the concert was tad short for the price so even if it was a good show, he should have played twice as long.

onsdag, januar 09, 2008

Ubuntu Feisty

Every now and then I decide to give Linux a serious try as a complete desktop OS. Every time Linux get better but still I am always left in a feeling that it just is not able to deliver what I need.

First of the history of free software is a long one. Popularity of free distributed programs got big at the time of C64 and just got even bigger as well as put in better systems in the days of the Amiga.

But Linux went a step further and Open Source project became popular as well.

And it is quite fantastic to see today that one can have a fully operating system OS as well as apps running on pure free and open software.

However I do not feel that any Linux distro has what it takes yet to become a complete desktop replacements.

For it there are just too many things that goes wrong, problems with video codec’s, library files that doesn’t match and so on.

Worst off was that my Linux distro had the tendency to crash every now and then by no evident reason at all. I checked around in the net and found out that this is a problem that people don’t have a real solution for.

So while I totally believe in Open Source software, I think there is just a little bit more time before Linux can replace your desktop.

If you ever knew AmigaOS it had something of the best ideas both from Apple as well as DOS and UNIX and together it became quite a powerful OS at the time. Mac OS X is somewhat similar that it combines Unix with the easy of Mac OS classic – and therefore becomes a much better choice for desktop OS than both Windows as well as Linux.

But it will be interesting to keep an eye on the further development of Linux.

Macbook Pro with Mac OS X 10.5

One of my lost loves from my childhood is a C64. While not being my first computer it is the computer that made the difference.

At the moment I had the Macbook Pro in my hand I knew I was up to something just as big ;)

While being lost in a world of Windows for many years it is not until now I understand that Mac OS X is now my choice of HW/OS platform.

Yes it is true, I use bootcamp for a Windows install so I can play NWN2 and UT3 – but that’s also the only thing I need it for.

Why is Mac so good? I think you need to go back in time to the early beginning when Apple stole the idea of GUI from Xerox (which again stole it from someone??)

While PC users was lost in a land of command line, Mac users was early introduced to the simplicity of a far superior GUI based enviroment.

Today it is much less difference between the platforms but still Mac just have more years on the back and they have Steve Jobs, and you get a computer and a OS that just works off the pack – that has significant less treats – and that conforms to the computer needs for the amateur as well as a pro.

I was very skeptical about the codec hell for playing movie files but soon found out that with a few extras the codec system works better on OSX than on Windows! It plays everything I throw at it.

A few problematic things I want to say is: isync 3.0 doesn’t like my shitty N95 phone. The choice of media applications specialy music and video editing is not that big. If you don’t like itunes you are a bit lost – I did however find a decent replacement in Songbird. For video editing I can find the best app of course in Final Cut Pro but the price is also crazy and for options there are of course Adobe Premiere. Else than that there is not much. Imovie just doesn’t have what it takes… so I am still looking.

So yes there is a few things here and there but then there is just 100 times 100 of small nice things with this computer. In fact there are so many things and every day I discover something new and nice about it.

Too much things to talk about there.

Macbook Pro with Leopard - You just got to love it! – You just got to try it!

Unreal Tournament 3 - Game

Since the original UT, even the original first person Unreal I have been a fan. But now it has been a while since I was up there in the multikill frag heaven and so it was a nice refreshment to play UT3.

While as I have said some times before the Unreal universe is not as unreal as I used to be, much because the engine is now a much more professional one. So while we get great gfx we loose in terms of unreality, but not too much though. In fact it seems that the makers have put a painful lot of details to make UT3 as great as ever and the same time bring the UT universe a bit further.

It works well. It plays excellent. It is a winner without any doubt.

Neverwinter Nights 2 – Mask of the betrayer expansion pack

Neverwinter nights 2 is among my favorite games, although not as good as KOTOR and Planescape Torment it is delivering some serious bad ass RPG fun to us gamers. I had been waiting for the expansion pack for quite a while.

The expansion gives us several ours of fun play with high level characters. Unfortunately they have tried to give the game some more spice by adding a hunger for spirits – eat a lot and be evil – suppress it and be good. While the idea of spicing up gameplay seems to be a good one it is not. In an RPG like this one of the key elements is exploration which does not conform much together with a time pressure.

Other than that I am pleased to say that I am quite pleased with this package – even though the story is not as immerse as the original NWN2.

Shit City – concert

I somehow ended up watching this band as well during Christmas. However I do not understand the hype about them. Totally not my kind of music.

But I still had a great time that night at Felix.

Lomsk - concert

During Christmas time one of my friends tipped me about a Lomsk concert in Vågå.

When I was a lot younger in the days where Gausdal was the place to be (??) and we used to go to local parties with different local bands, Lomsk sometimes played on stage. At the time they only played cover tunes but already back then we could hear that Lomsk played better than the rest.

Later in 1999 I went to a Lomsk concert in Hamar. This time they played their own music; Folk Rock. While it requires quite a lot from the listener the music is really awsome and they get full pot on music reviews.

In other words Lomsk is a hidden Gem for the ones that haven´t heard them before.

So I went up to Vågå for a real treat, and I was not wrong. They played better than ever. And the trip was a success. I hope I will be able to see them again soon.

Young Neils - concert

Back in 1994 I was in for a surprise. I was attending the Kalvøya Festival beacuse I wanted to see Pearl Jam live. However the main attaction this day was Neil Young. I had never really cared much about him at all but there where many people talking only about him.

At the end of the show Eddie Vedder said something bad about Neil Young. And then Neil entered the stage and delivered a show that later was reviewed as one of his 10 best shows – probably a bit overated but it is a general idea of how good it was.

(Later as you might now Pearl Jam and Neil Young worked together and also released the mediocore album Mirrorball)

Next year Neil came back and delivered a live show even better than the year before.

Nowadays the nearest you can come to this heaven of live music in norway is young Neils; a concept band that plays covers of Neil Young.

I saw them first in 1999 and I decided it was time for them again this christmas. In the beginning it sounded a bit flat and I was worried I had made a mistake, but soon they build up the sound and the songs got better and better – just to end up in a superb version of Hurricane. I just wish they would play more of the songs with the same freshness as the last one.

And of course they play in 3 hours till end so its all worth the money, just for the fun the music, the thrill and everything else!!

onsdag, januar 02, 2008

Yoyoyo Acapulco to the NRK URØRT (untouched) final

Some great news is to tell you that Yoyoyo Acapulco has made it to the final in NRKs contest of untouched bands. We are of course talking about the excellent music video for F-word.

You can visit the link


And vote for yourself

Dum Dum Boys – Concert

This year something sad happened. Karlsen left DumDum Boys and this was after this year’s mini tour was announced. Earlier it was also rumours that they this mini-tour was done as a part as a promotion stunt for a new album.

As you all understand this did not happen and suddenly Dum Dum Boys instead lost one of their members. No more information has been released to the public so we can only guess why such things happens.

So how do the band sound now? I would have guessed more rocked up to compensate for the lack of keyboard/synth. But I was wrong in fact there is like something subtle is missing from the songs.

Still it rocks! And I enjoy the concert pretty much. The guys are getting pretty old but still manage to hit the beat like there is no tomorrow. What I did miss though was that they played to many songs from the last album and this mean they had to squeeze out some of the other classic. Thats just BAD... even though I understand why...

I hope to see them again in 2008