A friend in need……

Hi everyone! Now, just before you all start to jump up and down in excitement, no I am not back (yet). Nor is this going to be a post about me. I do want to say one quick thing though, and that is my thanks to each and every one of you for all of the support you have shown me in one way or another. It’s been overwhelming and it has really put a smile on my face. But, as I said…this isn’t a post about me.

So what is this post about? Well I just had to share this truly heartbreaking post by fellow blogger and my dear friend Dani. For those of you that have been following my blog for a while now, you have probably heard me mention this wonderful woman in one way or another. But for those of you that have yet to discover her, she is one of the kindest, giving and most positive persons that you are ever likely to meet. No matter what is going on in her personal life, she always has an upbeat word or positive note for others. That’s why, when I recently received an email from her explaining her current situation, I just had to come out of my blogging hiatus in order to share this post of hers. If there is that just one person that reads this who might be able to help her out, I am sure she would appreciate it. And if not, maybe if you want, you could share this on your own blogs in order for her story to reach even more people. I want to thank you for taking the time to read this post and hers, and for any help you might give her.

I’m sorry for not being back yet. I hope to give you a short update of my own soon. But sometimes there are stories that touch your heart, and this is one of them. Which is why I just had to share this. Thanks for reading, and I hope everyone is doing well. Take care!

I know many have wondered where in the hell I have been… Well yes I have battled grief and yes I have had issues going online but I haven’t shared it all. I have went through way more than grief, I have been fighting for my ability to take care of my children and to […]

via Coming Clean About My Absence…My Family Has Been Struggling And Is In Need.. Hardest Post To Post — Touch My Spine Book Reviews

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A very hard and difficult post…….

Hello everyone. I am going to warn you in advance: this is not going to be a very happy post. In fact, I don’t think ever since I started blogging that I have had to write a more difficult post than this one. Last week I announced that my blogging hiatus would end this week and I would finally return again to provide you with new posts and my usual comments on your own posts. I am now very sad to inform you of the fact that this will not be the case. And it gets worse….I will not be returning to blogging until at least the end of April. In this post I want to explain to you why I had to make this honestly very hard decision to (at least for a while) stop doing something that I love with every fiber of my being.

Currently things are very busy at my work. When I arrive back at home, I am pretty much exhausted and I simply lack the energy to go write posts, answer comments or provide comments of my own on posts of your blogs. But this is not the main reason for me to make this decision, as not every day is like that. I am an only child, and have a very small family. It’s just me, my mother and my father. No other family whatsoever. As such my parents are at times very dependant on me, especially when there are moments when things are a bit tougher than usual. This is one of those moments. My father might have to undergo a surgery for his back in April. It is nothing lifethreatening, but two years ago my father also had a surgery for something else, and he came out of it in a very bad way. He had a very low, and quite honestly very worrisome blood pressure. In the end it luckily stabilized, and he made it, but it’s something that put the scare in both me and my mother.

Now, on the 10th of April we are going to know for sure if his surgery has to go through. So it’s now the long wait, and if he has to undergo his operation, it will be a very anxious time for both me and my parents. This, combined with the work situation just doesn’t put me in the right mind to work on blogging. I want to be there as much as I can for my folks, as well as find some time to relax too when I get home. And that’s why I decided to put a stop to my blogging activities, at least for the moment that is. I really want to apologise to you as well. If there is one thing that I have grown to love, it’s all the interaction with each and every one of you. You have all given me enormous support and have really made me feel welcome, and in a way it just feels I am letting you all down now. So, that’s why I just wanted to write this post, and let you all know what’s going on, but also apologise.

A request for help….

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There is one other question that I have. And that is a request. In April I was supposed to be the host for the next month of Jon Spencer’s Creator Showcase. I won’t be able to make this happen now, and that’s why I am asking for help. Is there anyone who is going to host in future months that wants to trade places with me? As this is not the end of my blog and I ofcourse totally plan on coming back, I still want to be the host for an upcoming month. As Jon’s project is very dear to me, as you can see here I really don’t want to give this up, but I just can’t do it in April. I feel really guilty in asking this, but I unfortunately have no other choice. If anyone wants to trade his spot with me, it would really be a very big help. Please let me know in the comments section below.

The future….

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Now I want to really make it clear to you that this is not a farewell post. Even though I find it very hard to write this (I am not kidding here, this entire post fills me with sadness), I take comfort in the fact that I will return. I have seen a lot of new followers make an appearance and that’s why I also feel a bit guilty about the fact that one of the first new posts you read from me is me announcing the fact that I am going to be putting a stop to my writing for a while. I hope you will still be here when I return. I really appreciate the follow and am looking forward to getting to know you better when I come back. To all of the people that I have know for longer I want to say a very heartfelt thank you. This entire community is one that is such a warm and welcoming place, that it really feels as if I am leaving a very big part of myself behind. And in a way I suppose that I am. Your friendship, love, laughter, and everything else has continued to put a smile on my face. Rest assured I will return, that I promise. I will try to stay in touch as best I can, and ofcourse if anyone wants to reach me you can find me on twitter at @online_raistlin, or by sending an email to me at mvanderweide28@gmail.com. Thank you for reading, and for now…this is goodbye. Take care everyone.

The 0903: Birthday Party, Competion Results & Blog Update

Let me start this post with a small apology on my part. As you know I announced a Short Blogging Hiatus, that I thought would only last for one week. But, unfortunately I won’t be back this week either, which means it is taking a bit longer than expected. But….it is my birthday today, and you know what I promised you when I announced the competition. Today, finally after a long wait, you can find the winners in each category below. Because really what better way is there to celebrate a birthday by giving away some presents! Congratulation to each winner! If you didn’t win, please don’t despair. There will be another competion somewhere in the future, so don’t give up. For everyone that entered, thank you for participating and for all the support that you have shown my blog. It is very much appreciated.

The Winners:

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There were 16 people that entered in this category. In the end it was J (yes that really is one letter, no typo on my part) that got selected by the random numbers generator and won the coveted Mikasa Figure. Congratulations J!

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The Book Category proved to be the most popular. I guess a lot of people were eager to find out who Raistlin is. But there can only be one winner and that is Biblionyan! Congratulations to you as well!

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It was the movie category that ultimately proved to be the least popular (which is strange as I absolutely love that Back to the Future book), with only 12 people entering it. In this final category the random number generator selected Karandi to take home the prize! Congratulations!

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A note to the three winners…

Well now the only thing left is for me to sent the prizes to you. And ofcourse I have to know your address for that so please sent an email to the following email address: mvanderweide28@gmail.com (you can also use the contact form on my about page) listing your address, or where I can sent the prize too. As soon as I have received your email I will head to the post office to start shipping your prizes.

Blog update: I’ll be back!

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Now, finally how about that blog hiatus huh? I know I said I would only be off for one week, but sometimes things grow a bit beyond your control. It has been crazy busy at my work these past few days, but to top things off, I also had a nasty flu bug that pretty much took most of my energy. In short: I just could not find the time or the proper spirit to write/read posts when I came home and provide you with my usual comments/blog posts. If all goes well though, I will be back again on tuesday. I have a backlog of comments I will first respond to, so I will be spending most of tuesday doing that. But after that I will slowly get back to reading your posts and provide my customary comments again (lol). Of course there will also be new posts from me as well, and to start things off I will provide my first review for the Anime theme month My Hero Accademia, Season 1. (Oh, just so you know…I have become totally addicted to that anime, so by saying this I think you pretty much already know how I feel about that one).

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hmmmmm…..somehow I don’t believe you…….

So, again my apologies for being absent for a while. Next week I will be back, yes this time for real! Now I am off to celebrate me becoming 42 (hmm…is that something I should celebrate though? I wonder 🤔). Have a great weekend everyone, and see you all next week!

 

March Theme: Anime

Yes people, it’s a new month, and it promises to be a very good one at that. There are lots of exciting things that are going to be happening in March. First off, I am absolutely delighted to have the theme for March be anime. Ever since I started blogging, I rediscovered my love for this fantastic medium. But I have to give credit to this by naming one of the most inspiring anime bloggers out there, the wonderful Karandi . I had not watched anime for about 7-8 years before I started my blog. In the early days of my “blogging career” I ran across Karandi’s blog purely by chance and needless to say I absolutely loved it. Because of her I began watching anime again, and now, just like blogging it really has become quite a big part of my life. Just like I did for last month’s theme I asked for your help in what I should review, and you can find the results below. Another thing that will be happening this month is the results of the competition. I know you are looking forward to seeing if you might be one of the winners. Well only 8 more days, and the final results will be revealed…and of course that coincides together with my birthday. Lastly I hope there will be two collab posts coming out as well in this month, but I am not going to reveal any details for that just yet. Gotta keep some secrets right??

My Hero Academia

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Well, before I get into who the two bloggers are that won for My Hero Academia (yes there were two) I want to say another thank you to Stilzel, who has made it possible for me to finally be able to see this anime (I can’t provide a link to a blog, because as far as I know Stilzel isn’t on WordPress (yet), but you can find them on Twitter at @_Stilzel).

Now My Hero Acedemia is a very, very popular anime about a society where 80% of the population has superhero powers. Imagine that! Just like last month I used the random numbers generator to select which reviews I would be taking on, and the funny thing is that this one got selected twice in a row, but with two different bloggers that asked for it, one being Jiraiyan and the other Merlin . As I did want to take on two different animes, I decided to just give both bloggers a shout out for this one when I write the final review, and went on to select a third number.

Baccano!

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The second anime that was chosen by the random numbers generator was requested by Adam and is called Baccano! Weirdly enough this anime was on Netflix and today has all of a sudden disappeared. But I have found another way to watch it anyway, so no worries. Baccano! sounds like a deliciously weird and interesting show, that involves fantasy elements, outlaws and gangsters, and seemingly takes place over several decades.

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Well, that’s it! Don’t like anime? No worries, I have still got you covered. There are going to be some movie reviews, as well as another Korean drama that I am currently watching and am very excited for. So there is still other stuff heading your way this month as well. As mentioned, I am currently on a short blogging hiatus, but I had already finished this post and it was scheduled to go out today. Rest assured though, next week I will be back in full swing, and respond to all the comments you left for me (You already have my thanks for all the kind words and support). I hope all of you are doing well, and look forward to talking with you again next week. Bye for now!

Short Blogging Hiatus

Hello everyone,

Sometimes real life catches up to you, and this is one of those weeks, where unfortunately I will be a little bit less active than usual. This means, except for a pre-scheduled post on the 1st of March, there won’t be any new reviews from me, nor will I be very active on WordPress this week. So I will probably miss reading quite a few posts from you as well. My apologies for that. I hope to be back in action again next week. But I wanted to let you all know, which is why I wrote this short post. I hope everyone will have a good week, and see you all again soon.

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Aliens, American movie (1986)

I have talked a lot about sequels on my blog in the past. Some people love them, some people hate them. One can’t deny that in the current movie climate sequels are coming out of the woodwork. Not a year goes by that we don’t get some kind of sequel to a movie that has been successful in the theatres. Usually for the sole reason to obviously make more money. But there are certain films that were so good, so incredible, that you don’t even want a second part. Huh? What’s that? Why would you not want a sequel to a movie that you loved? Well how on Earth could it ever surpass a film that left you in total amazement after you have seen it for the first time? So why tarnish that film with a follow up that can never be as good? I’m sure that is what the moviegoing audience must have thought when Aliens was released, seven years after Ridley Scott’s original Alien. That classic movie is a masterpiece. So how did, at the time relatively unknown director James Cameron, even dare to touch such a sacred work of art. Total blashphemy right? Wrong… People, stop your grinnin and drop your linen: LET’S ROOOOOCCCCKKKKKK!!!

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Jeezzzz, I can never get a break. First I deal with a cybernetic organism, now this crap…..

At the start of Alien a small shuttlecraft is found by a salvageteam. Aboard is the sole survivor of the spacecraft Nostromo, Ellen Ripley. After her rescue she is shocked to learn that she has been in cryosleep for 57 years. When she tells the story of what happened to her and her crew, to a bunch of executives of The Company, no one really believes her. Especially since the planet where the Nostromo first encountered the terrifying alien species is now terraformed and has been occupied by a human colony for several years. In all that time no one ever reported anything out of the ordinary. Ripley is being dismissed and left to deal with her demons alone. Waking up in a cold sweat every night, Ellen feels like she is slowly losing it. But then she is contacted by Company man Burke, who tells her that all contact has been lost with the colony on LV 426, and that they need her help in finding out what is going on. At first Ripley is very reluctant to do so, but eventually she relents and together with Burke and a group of Colonial Marines she heads back towards the planet of her nightmares. But the nightmare is even worse than she imagined and not even a group of the toughest hombres of the galaxy might be enough to save the galaxy. This time it’s war….

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What are you looking at me for? I’m just looking for the bathroom.

Let me make one thing really clear to you before I am beginning this review. I almost know this film by heart. I can pretty much recount every single line of dialogue from this film. I could have written this review without even rewatching the movie itself. But the only reason I did watch it again anyway is because I am in complete and utter love with this film. You might even call it a small obsession. This is my alltime number 2 favorite movie, and the best science fiction film that I have ever seen in my entire life. (So Karandi I guess your question has been answered now). To compare Alien and Aliens is almost impossible as they are two completely different films. Where the first Alien is true horror, this second movie is an action film. While of course there are still horror elements in it (it would almost be impossible not to include those, I mean just look at the creatures themselves), it is not as claustrophobic as that first masterpiece. But that doesn’t matter as this film has an intensity and thrill level that more than compensates for that. This film is an express elevator to hell, and it doesn’t let up until the final credits.

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Don’t worry honey, I will protect you from all those nasty monsters.

A big part of what makes this film so memorable is the incredible cast of characters. Let’s start with the heroic Corporal Hicks, played by the in my opinion highly underrated actor Michael Biehn. He is just one of those men that has this natural charisma that you instantly like. In a very tense situation, Hicks is the one that stays frosty and inspires the troops with his calm and motivating presence. His on screen chemistry with Ripley works incredibly well, and there is an underlying romance that is never acted upon, but definitely there. The opposite of Hicks is Hudson played by the late Bill Paxton. Also serving as a bit of much needed comic relief, he has some of the best lines in the film, especially when he keeps losing his cool. In the end though he is every bit the hero that Hicks is. On the sleezeball side is the character of Burke, portrayed by actor Paul Reiser. It’s funny to see him play a role that is quite unusual for him as he normally portrays gentle characters that have a real sense of innate goodness in them. Burke though, is a slimy and utterly loathsome man that only has substantial dollar values in his mind, and has his own secret agenda for coming on this mission.

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Awww…true love here. Isn’t that just the sweetest thing?

But, ultimately it is once again Sigourney Weaver who returns as Ripley, that is the driving force of this film. She got an Oscar nomination for her role and deservedly so. Even more than in the first movie, Ripley is a lean, mean fighting machine. But her love for the young child Newt, the sole survivor of the doomed colony is what makes you like her even more. The bond that forms between the two of  them, is a mother and daughter kind of relationship and ultimately gives this film a true heart. And that is an incredible thing to pull off amidst all the action and incredible special effects. Because really let’s talk about that for a second. There is a fight sequence between Ripley driving a power loader and the Alien Queen that to date I am still in awe of. The way they filmed that sequence is just absolutely astounding, and in spite of it being a film that is now 32 years old, it doesn’t look fake at all. In fact you just have to wonder if the government somehow kept these aliens a secret from us. That’s how incredible this looks. And that scene contains one of the greatest lines ever in a movie. Don’t know what I am talking about? Just look at the clip down below.

I haven’t even talked about some of the other characters like Vasquez, or the android Bishop, but if you let me I could write a review that could possibly go on forever. And as that might become bit too boring I’m going to call it a day here. As this review contains not a single negative word from me about it, I can hear you wonder if I am being objective here. Quite possibly I am not. But for the life of me I really can’t think of anything that was bad in this film. This for me has been and always shall be the greatest single piece of science fiction moviemaking that I have ever had the pleasure of watching. A gripping, powerful and utterly moving film, that is accompanied by the terrific score of composer James Horner, you just have to see this movie at least once in your life. It is in my opinion the best sequel to a film that has ever been made, and I don’t think that there will ever be a greater sequel in movie history. Then again, I have been wrong before. So in the words of Hudson: Game over man! Game over!

I give Aliens a 10 out of 10 score.

Bloggers in the Spotlight: Volume 2

Wouldn’t you know it? Another month is nearly over. February came, went and conquered as far as I am concerned. And with March fast approaching it’s time for another edition of bloggers in the spotlight. The title is pretty much self explanatory, it’s where I shed some light on bloggers that I think are seriously awesome and who you might be following yourself, or have not yet heard of. Needless to say if the last thing is the case: it’s time to start doing that, as of right now. Unlike last month’s edition where I featured people in three different categories, this month will focus on bloggers that don’t really fall into any category. That sounds kind of cruel when I think of it, but what I mean is that their blog deals with a lot of different topics, and in that way it is hard to classify them. As I have a blog that deals with a lot of topics myself, I thought it would be nice to feature bloggers that do the same this month. So…let’s get started shall we?

KingDylbagblog

imageIf you haven’t yet come across this wonderful blog called KingDylbagblog  yet, it’s probably because he hasn’t yet discover yours. The funny thing is people always say that I comment on pretty much every blogpost I come across. But I don’t know if you might have noticed this but you see The Kings’ (yes, he really is the King no use denying that) lovely Deadpool avatar appear everywhere as well. He has been a very hardworking blogger, and it shows as his follower count is increasing daily. And that really is no big surprise. Not only is he very kind to talk too, and incredibly enthusiastic, but his blog offers a huge amount of varied content. To name everything is almost impossible, but you can find posts on manga, anime, horrormovies amongst many other stuff on his blog. But to not mention the fact that he also features his own truly awesome art there from time to time as well, would be shameful. So…all I can say is head on over to his blog if you are not yet a follower and say: ” Hail to the King, baby!”

Flowangelic

image I have “met” a lot of great bloggers ever since having started my own blog, but never in real life. This is the one exception to the rule, as this wonderful blog is hosted by the girlfriend of one of my best friends. Flowangelic’s blog is still small, but it has been increasing in follower count lately, and one only has to take a look over there to see why that is. (Oh and just in case you are wondering, no she didn’t ask me to do this, I did this promo all on my own). As I know her in real life, I can only say that she is a very kind and gentle soul, which reflects in her writing. Her blog also covers a wide variety of topics, ranging from animated films (her series on the batman animated films has been really enjoyable to read), comic books, and tv series reviews. But this list isn’t complete as there are many more great things awaiting on her blog. But don’t take my word on this alone, just go on over there and see why I am so enthusiastic about this blog. You won’t regret it, and while you are there just hit that shining follow button. I’m sure she will appreciate that!

Anjalisk96

imageWell, what can I say about this great blogger? I’m happy to see that a lot of you have already discovered her terrific blog, but I’m here to make sure that those of you who haven’t yet will press the upcoming link and see how awesome it is. Anjalisk96 is a blog that also covers an amazing range of topics, but before I get into that, is want to first say some things about herself. The one thing that I absolutely love about this amazingly kind blogger is the way she writes her posts. They very often contain something personal, or something that is really relatable. We also have been into what I like to call ” A make each other blush contest” as she always has comments that are very sweet and kind, and make me very shy (which I ofcourse respond to in kind, and so and so forth, hence blushing contest lol). So what can you find on her blog? A lot of awesome reviews for movies, books and tv shows, that cover a huge range of countries including Korean dramas something I can never read enough things about. As mentioned these are not just mere reviews, but are more often than not true works of art that contain really insightful and relatable views about the movie or tv series the post covers. But there is much more to discover on her blog. So head on over there and subscribe already!

Beetleypete

image What can I say about this man? Beetleypete is a terrific blog that is run by the awesome Pete, who is one of the kindest and funniest bloggers that I have so far come across in my adventures on WordPress. So what is it that makes Pete such an awesome guy? One of the things that I have really been enjoying is the exchanging of comments we have been doing over on his posts. He is a very frequent commenter on other people’s blogs, and always has something nice, and often very funny to say. I seriously had a few times where I literally had tears in my eyes after reading some of his comments. To call his blog diverse is probably the understatement of the year. He writes reviews for movies, his own life and his beloved dog Ollie, A-Z lists, music, and even features some fiction of his own to name but a few things. Pete always has a kind reply when you comment on his posts, and his blog is just a blast to read as it offers something cool for almost everyone. I always look forward to seeing a new post from him make an appearance. So really, no time to waste, press that link and head on over there to see what I mean!

It’s more than just gaming

image The final blog for this month’s feature is run by the awesome and kind hearted John, and is one of the blogs that I have been following for a very long time now. It’s more than just gaming is a blog that started out as a terrific blog for features, previews and unboxing videos for boardgames. But it has grown into a lot more now. Boardgames are still a big part of his blog (and quite honestly my wallet has a serious problem with that as the games he features are usually too hard to resist in buying). But I can’t ignore those posts as I just have to click on them (yes you could say it’s a kind of compulsive disorder now). He also usually has some cool unboxing videos added to the same post, that make you want to buy the game even more (*curses*).But besides boardgames there are also great stories that can be found on it, tips for writers and a lot more. Not only that, but John is a lot of fun to talk too. Always offering some kind of funny comment or advice, it’s a blogger that you just have to check out. So I guess there is just one last thing to do right? You know the drill already, just click on the link and go and follow his blog (I’m just not responsible for you spending truck loads of money because of him).

The End…..(well for this month that is…)

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So there you have it. Hopefully you will go over and follow these bloggers, as they all publish high quality content that you just have to check out. So what will be up next month? Well…I’m going to be doing a kind of special edition for this series, as it will feature some very well known bloggers (You will probably know all of these already), but I just want to shed some extra light on them anyway. So expect a very mushy post next month (😂😂). For now, this post is a wrap. I hope you will all have a great weekend, and see you at the next one! (Hint…it’s gonna feature some Xenomorphs….😱😱)

Competition reminder….

Hi everyone! This is just going to be a very short post where I remind you that the Competition that I am running for my 1000 followers celebration is just open for one more week. And then it closes…like…forever. So in case you haven’t entered yet, or might have missed the post altogether just press on that link, read the rules and if you are eligible for entry don’t hesitate to do so. I promise, I won’t bite…much. Well I could make this post longer, listing all kinds of reasons for why you should enter. But I guess this pretty much covers it. And I said in the beginning that this would be a short post, and I want to keep that promise. So, the clock is ticking. Put on your fighting gear, grab your sword or favorite submachine gun and run towards the fight…..you know you want to!

Special note to my email followers:

If you are following my blog by email and want to enter the competion, be sure to leave a name in the comment. I have seen two messages that ended up in my spamfilter (entered by “someone” as a response to the competition. Not knowing who they were from (or if it was in fact spam) they have since been deleted. So that’s why I put up this special notice. Thank you!

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Only one more week?!? Are you kidding me here???!!

 

Alien, American movie (1979)

Although the official part of my science fiction and horror theme month might be over (the requested reviews), the month it self definitely isn’t yet. And this is well, not a real request, but more something that came up in a conversation. I was talking to Lina the other day (No,not going to be doing a promo here again, you already all know how awesome she is. And if you don’t just press on the link and go follow her already. Whoops…still did a promo, sorry!) and at one point the conversation came to science fiction films. And how cool the movie that I am about to do a review for still is even after so many years. So, seeing as this is one of my all time favorites, and I was planning on writing this one anyway at some point, I figured I might as well do it now. And Lina wanted me to write this too, so there is that. It was the late 70’s when this film came out, and remember this was around the time when the first Star Wars movie had become an overnight success. Science fiction was a very hot property to have and movie studios had certainly discovered that. But audiences just weren’t prepared for the terrifying vision that director Ridley Scott had on this genre. In space no one might hear you scream….but in the movietheatres everyone could hear you scream!

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I know some people like to cover their eyes when going to sleep. This is a bit extreme though…..

In the darkness of space a large spaceship slowly comes into view. The camera moves inside the craft where lights and machinery is being turned on by the ship’s computer. Not only the ship is coming alive though, but also it’s human crew, that is being awakened from their cryosleep. The ship is called the Nostromo, and after having been in space for a very long time, it’s crew that includes Captain Dallas and Warrant Officer Ripley, were looking forward to finally heading back to Earth. But unfortunately they are not anywhere near their homeplanet. A transmission of some kind, maybe even a distress signal, has been picked up from the nearby planet designated LV-426. As per their company’s policy they are obligated to investigate any unknown signals. Using a shuttlecraft they descent towards the surface of the planet. When they finally make it to the ground a small team, under the command of captain Dallas, is leaving the shuttle behind to find out where the signal originated from. Meanwhile Ripley stays on board the ship trying to decipher the transmission. When she finally manages to uncover at least a part of it, she finds out it was not a distress signal, but a warning. However, that warning has probably come to late. For what they find on the desolate planet is something that has come straight out of the darkest pits of hell itself….

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Heeeeeerreeeee’s……Johny!!! Erm…no wait….

It doesn’t matter that this film is now almost 40 years old. Because it is still every bit as terrifying as when this was first released all those years ago. What we have here is a movie that might very well be one of the most claustrophobic horror films ever made. Right from the very start of the movie, when the letters of the word Alien begin to slowly make an appearance, the atmosphere for this film is pretty much set. It is a dark film, both in tone, but also in subject matter. One of the most memorable sequences ever created for film, and maybe even one of the most horrifying ones, is where the alien’s first form emerges in all it’s bloody glory on the screen. The reactions that you see at that point from the terrified cast were real. Ridley Scott never told them exactly what would happen at that scene when they filmed it. And even if he would have told them, I think they would still all have been shocked at the way it looked. Even today it is still horrible. The only reason I’m not going into any more details is because I don’t want to give away spoilers in case you might have not seen this one yet.

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In the future amusement park attractions have certainly come a long way.

The alien itself, designed by H.R.Giger, an artist from Switzerland that has sadly passed away, is a vision that seems to have been born straight out of the mind of a complete madman. It’s dark and sleek form, that can even be called very sexual in a disturbing kind of way, is one of the best movie monsters ever created. Director Ridley Scott has done a great job in not showing the monster right away, but just taking his time, building up to the reveal. It works perfectly. But when talking about Alien, it is not enough to only mention the cool set designs, the terrifying creature and terrific special effects. No…there is one other element that makes this film so great, and that is actress Sigourney Weaver. In her role as Ripley she created the most iconic female character to ever make an appearance in a science fiction movie. She is totally bad ass. Ripley is not only a strong figurehead for women all over the world, she is a character that personifies the word girlpower. Yes she is scared, who wouldn’t be when faced with such a terrifying creature. But she doesn’t cower in a corner: she takes the lead, and does something about it. And by doing that she more than gives the men in this film a run for their money.

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I’ve got some thinking to do here. Will I go shopping tomorrow? Or kick some aliens behind?

The rest of the cast of characters in this film also do a great job in their respective roles, especially actor Ian Holm who plays the sinister character of Ash. And yes, trust me when I say that he becomes very sinister indeed. I could go on talking about this film all day. Don’t worry I won’t be doing that as this review is already getting pretty long. Alien is simply one of those rare films that, just like the Xenomorph itself, is simply the perfect organism. It’s a timeless film, that doesn’t feel dated even for a single second. Okay, maybe the spaceship scenes don’t look as great anymore as they did back in the days. But seriously I’m really nitpicking now. Well..and now there is a question that needs to be answered, right Karandi? Is this film better than it’s sequel? Sorry…I’m not going to answer that one just yet. I will though….soon…in the review for Aliens that will be coming up somewhere next week (yes…I am evil that way). As for this film: see it! That’s pretty much all I can say about it. It is one of the most powerful science fiction horrormovies ever made, and I absolutely love it!

I give Alien a 10 out of 10 score.

The Ritual, UK movie (2017)

When your day starts you never quite know what you can expect from it. I mean sure, you might have a general outline of things, but there might also be some events that you have absolutely no influence over whatsoever. Some of these might be very normal like a flat tire on your bike. But there are also events that you hope to never encounter in your life. Like a terrible accident or a hostage situation. And when things like that occur there are always people that rise up above themselves. That can become a hero. But you will never know what you might do yourself until that moment arises. Will you cower in fright or will you do everything in your power to conquer your fears and meet the situation head on? It can be quite easy to say that someone was a coward when you weren’t there. How you might have knocked over that armed gunman or pulled that victim out of that burning car. The truth is you don’t know and you can’t know. I truly hope to never be in such a dilemma myself though. A fact that one of the characters in this film might have wished for as well.

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Yes this really is a picture of four men looking at a bunch of stones.

In The Ritual a group of four friends are trying to come to terms with the loss of their friend Rob who got killed in a horrible way six months earlier. To honor him, they decide to go hiking in Sweden, which is one of the things that Rob had wanted to do. The four of them, Dom, Luke, Phil and Hutch have just about completed their trek when Dom falls and hurts his knee in a bad way. Checking their map they are trying to decide how best to continue. Eventually they think their only course of action is to head of the path and straight into a nearby forest hoping they can save a few hours this way and make it back sooner. I don’t think that I really have to explain that this turns out to be a very bad decision on their part. Soon, they are beginning to encounter very strange phenomena in the darkened woods. Weird symbols carved on trees and gutted animals strung up high above them are just the start. It seems that a strange and ancient force calls the forest it’s home. And it doesn’t take very kindly to strangers….as the four friends are about to find out……

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And now we are all going to raise our hands and do the wave!

The Ritual is one of those movies that you might all have seen before in some form or another and it has a lot of familiar things in it. I often hear people say that a movie needs to be original in order for them to enjoy it. If that is the case than I can tell you right now, step away from this film. This one has a lot of well known clichés in it, that you will often find in these “lost in the woods” kind of movies. But does that necessarily make this a bad film? No way. What the movie lacks in originality it makes up for in suspense. I did not experience a single moment in this movie where I felt bored. Right from the opening of the film, it has a pretty nice pace that doesn’t let up until the end of the credits. The creepy wood is creating a tense and chilling atmosphere, and it also one of those movies that really depends on sounds. I was watching this late last night, in the dark and in a very silent house and trust me when I say that I jumped up quite a few times during certain scenes.

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Why on Earth would you walk in a forest on a “path” like that.

The actors, all of them pretty much unknown to me, did a great job in portraying their characters. The film’s focus lies primarily on the character of Luke, and as such he is the most fleshed out of the bunch. Played expertly by actor Rafe Spall, Luke is someone that you can definitely feel for. His trauma from the past, is one that weighs on him heavily throughout the film. Especially when his other friends are slowly beginning to lay extra guilt on him. The group dynamics and their conversations under pressure are well written and utterly convincing. When it is beginning to become clear that they may never find their way out of the terrifying forest, the tensions between the four men are beginning to rise. It puts their friendship to the test until the breaking point, and it’s done so in a very realistic way. Also, because the film spent it’s time in letting us get to know all the characters, we form an attachment to them, which is important when it comes to films such as these.

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Look! Up in the sky. It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…not that S-dude.

Ultimately The Ritual was a very pleasant surprise. This Netflix original, might not be very original, but for it’s intended audience it works. The movie is based on a, from what I have read, pretty succesful novel written by author Adam Nevill. Having seen this film now, it was entertaining enough for me to try and track this book down. If you are in need for a quick fix of late night horror, this one is definitely worth checking out. Atmospheric, tense, and definitely creepy at times, the Ritual is a well acted and quite entertaining little horrorfilm. I recommend seeing this one with all the lights out, and cranking up the stereo. It will only add to the experience trust me on that (and really who cares if you wake up the neigbours in the process right?). I do know one thing though. After having seen this film, I’m going to be avoiding the woods for a while. Just in case……

I give The Ritual a 8 out of 10 score.

Michels Book/Boardgame/Movie review Blog

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