Friday, August 16, 2019

Blogger: My First Time At Sziget Festival

For years now I have avoided the Sziget Festival, despite it being organized in my city, mostly because 1, I did not appreciate during my teens live music as I do now ; 2, I am not spontaneous enough... When my friends told me stories, I would only heard the bad things, and well, that is my fault. But I grew up in a household where it is easy to hide behind fear, especially if we think that fear was justified by one news article... so here we are, hearing "horror" stories of how there are too many people, how getting of the island was problematic, drunk teens left and right, storms, mud everywhere... I just put it off.

... but music persisted.
Years passed and my love for music grew deeper and deeper. So much so, that I have made a list of bands and singers that I just have to see live at least once in my life. One of these was The 1975, who have been touring around Europe for years, with three albums out in just six years, and they finally returned to Hungary. But I have written about them in detail a few weeks back, and you can read that here! So going back... when I saw the line up, I just knew that I had to buy the tickets. Never again will I pass up an opportunity like this, if I have the money for it. And that meant losing my Sziget virginity...

The thing that I never thought about, although I should have, was that I have very smart and intelligent friends who loved Sziget and maybe, instead of an article about the problems, I should have focused on the good things they told me about. I don't want to make excuses, really, I was just uninterested for the most part. I don't really drink when I go to concerts, I like to be sober, to take in every second, remember every moment and enjoy every beat. Being among drunk, well, hippies, was not on my bucket list... but I finally went and was somewhat... mesmerized.

Now, I keep reading about Woodstock...
It appears in movies, TV shows, just the other day I saw an article entitled "50 Years After They Met at Woodstock, Couple Finally Finds a Photo of Their First Hours Together", it is a part of history that will remain with us forever. And first, I had this sense of sadness, because I felt that I will never experience something like that, but then, it also made me happy how music brought people together in a way that made its mark in the history books. And when we arrived at Sziget I was without words, as if, I was able to travel back in time to a place where the problems of the world are left outside. OK. To be fair, one guy tried to air-hump me and like, honestly dude, f*ck you, but jerks exist everywhere and since they sell alcohol it was somewhat expected too, but I felt that that was just a reality check in case I forgot that I am still alive and that I did not travel in time.
Nonetheless, the way music brings people together amazes me. First, everyone was wearing clothing that even a casual Friday would disagree with: from the shortest shorts, to the big full body kangaroo onesie. And then, the glitter... so much freaking glitter! Some very well placed, along with the sparkly make up, and some just everywhere on the body. I believe that the guys who had glitter on their chest hair were my favorite kind of people. The theme that got closest to my heart was the emphasis on diversity. The whole island has the theme of freedom, from war, work, hatred, reality... everything that today makes our world bad again. CocaCola signs saying #LoveIsLove, couples being free and there was (for many consecutive years now) a tent from BudapestPride where you could marry your loved one, whatever their gender. I do believe that a lot of artists are voicing their opinions on how equality is key, and for Sziget it is very smart to enhance that message, helping their guests and just being good hosts in a world that tries to promote hate. One of my favorite moments of the two days I attended was when I tried to take a picture with a huge Sziget sign, and this random girl showed up and just hugged me, photo-bombing my pic, but I could not stop laughing. This kind of love of one another is the one that we should all promote...

... and the bands I saw did promote love.
As I said before, the first band I watched was The 1975, who have just gotten in trouble for fighting the ban on homosexuality in the United Arab Emirates. But they are not shy on political issues. I find that nowadays very few songs focus on current political situations. I was just at a peace march a few days back and all the songs they played were from the 90s... and of course, we had very good times, but they are shit now... This band is not shy when it comes to expressing their opinions. Matt Healy, the singer, said "I hate guns", and then proceeded to dedicate their song "Be My Mistake" to the United States... I find that to be a very powerful message already. Their song "Love It If We Made It" is also a nice nod to the disgusting filth going on in the political sphere of the planet as of right now. During one song he asked the audience to embrace their loved ones, girlfriends or boyfriends, and just sway with them to the melody of "Couldn't Be More In Love". I have been waiting six years to see this band live and it was everything I dreamed of. They are wonderful performers and they got the crowd dancing and singing with them, featuring songs from all three of their albums. I was blessed to have seen them, and I plan to go every time they come anywhere near me again. They are simply my favorite band of all time. 
And the promotion of love and peace was overall the main message of Woodstock as well, so in that fashion, the second concert that I went to hit all the right notes again: Florence + The Machine. The other day I realized that I had been with this band for over ten years, not having realized that their first album came out in 2009. I heard their song "Cosmic Love" in the show One Tree Hill, and I did not really take into account how many years have passed since... I became legal that year, and it was actually this silly drama for teenagers that taught me to value music more in my life. Florence, stepping out barefoot onto the stage and dancing her way through the whole concert, dedicated this very song to us, the fans who have been here since the beginning, saying it was the first they wrote, while very hungover. I felt blessed to be part of their fan community, and blessed is the right word: Florence went down to the audience and chose one person to whom she directed "What Kind Of Man" and the guy was simply in trans. What we saw on the big screens in those three minutes was worthy of a thousand hours in church. She took the audience with her on a trip and we all felt every note of that song flow deep within us. She spoke one more time before that, and told us to tell the person we came with that we love them and then to turn to strangers and do the same. Finally, she dedicated their song "You've Got The Love" to the LGBTQ+ community, telling as that "We love you and we are with you". I still cannot understand how I was lucky enough to take part in this experience.

Final thought...
What this island now represents to me is simply the notion of being present. The fact that I experienced all of these moments live is something fascinating to me. I, for one, will never forget that Richard Ashcroft when on and he closed his set by singing "Bitter Sweet Symphony", a song I have known for 20 years, 2/3 of my life, and there I was, hearing it live and I felt tears come to my eyes. I think that for too long I was focusing on the how of the organisation of these concerts, instead of the fact that I would hear my favorite artist live. That is the major change in me when it comes to concerts now: being there in the moment is much more important to me, then just hearing a song on my MP3. Now, my list of artists I wish to see live is not that long, but I got at least two more crossed out and that alone made even the weird and unwanted moments of the Sziget experience worth it!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Fresh From The Theater: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

I have been looking forward to this movie for quite some time, and boy, I was NOT disappointed! So let us dive into it!

Hobbs and Shaw are recruited for their skills on a mission in which neither of them really want to take part, but the world is at stake. Although they might not agree on most things, they still want to save those they love, and at that point their goals align. Despite the bickering and the obvious differences in style, the two work together to save Shaw's sister and, with it, the rest of the world.

I just wanted another F&F movie... obviously I missed the main characters, but over the past movies, these two have evolved into very strong characters and they kind of deserved a story of their own. Not to mention, that I am on board with anything that has more Helen Mirren and these two! As far as the story is concerned, it was just a simple action movie, but I didn't want more... I wanted to be entertained and I sure as hell was. Now, I still have issues though. There is this tiny conflict in me about Shaw's character... he was an awesome addition to the cast, and in this movie his interactions with Hobbs were simply outstanding, but he did kill Han... I understand that when he was added they did not know how well he would be received, and also that Tokyo Drift happened to soon, and it had to be added to the franchise in a different manner. And when it came to The Fate Of The Furious they did not forget his history, but again, goals aligned. I think that movie was supposed to erase what happened, and I am not sure I can... at least not 100%. That does not mean that I don't love this character, I would just much more prefer him to be an antagonist. That said, there is plenty more about Shaw that the writers can investigate and I hope that they do. 

Watch it? Oh yeah. It is another one of those instances when a movie just wants to be crazy and fun and filled with action movie and nothing more. And it delivers. They put together two awesome actors and had some other outstanding ones and gave us a story that is just beginning of something much larger. Can't wait to see where it all goes!

Until the next item on my list!
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Brixton - Idris Elba
Queenie - Helen Mirren
Madame M - Eiza González

Thursday, August 1, 2019

What's Next On My List? Cocktail

I actually put this movie on some of my lists, but I always re-watch it at the end of summer, and somehow this year too, I can tell that it is coming to an end, once again. I decided to watch it now, and while I did I also wrote down a couple of thoughts.

Brian Flanagan moves to New York to learn business, but his part-time job as a bartender becomes his dream. He is betrayed by his friend and decides to move his dream to Jamaica, where he meets a beautiful young woman by the name of Jordan. Brian keeps running into his old friend, and a continuous competition between them almost drives Brian to lose the only person he really cared about.

For the first time I am watching this movie with the intent of understanding what it is that I love so much about it, because it is definitely in my top 10 favorites. Have to say, that I like a story that is about things not working out the way you planned them. Our main character is thrown curve balls all of his life, and yet he makes the best of it. And that is something to aspire to. He fails at college, his best friend betrays him, he gets too cocky and loses the love of his life, only to find himself fighting for the things here never thought he would need. Brian might not be a conventional hero, but what I love about him is that he learns his lessons. It shows that just a couple of years can teach you to grow up and own your mistakes. It also taught me, the audience, that sometimes friendship is more than just being nice and caring toward each other, and on top of that, love is much more than just romantic movie cliches. Even if Brian was able to save himself and his relationship, even if he wasn't able to save his best friend, I think it is important to remember that he might not have succeeded, BUT at least he tried. And that is the most important and likable characteristic of the protagonist.

Watch it? To be honest, I was quite shocked to learn that imdb had such a low rating for this movie... makes me think that those younger generations that do take the time to rate movies online might not have liked it. But as an avid 80s fan myself, this movie just hit all the right notes. And I am sure this movie got a lot of praise when it came out. The soundtrack is great, the casting is marvelous, the story is simply real and as such very painful at times. But at the end of it, I want to re-watch it, and that says a lot about a story with lies, betrayal, even death, but the purest form of love available out there. I recommend this movie to any Cruise and Shue fan, they are bound to fall in love with it themselves.

Until the next item on my list!
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Brian Flanagan - Tom Cruise
Doug Coughlin - Bryan Brown
Jordan Mooney - Elisabeth Shue
Bonnie - Lisa Banes
Mr. Mooney - Laurence Luckinbill
Kerry Coughlin - Kelly Lynch

Sunday, July 28, 2019

What The F*ck Is This Sh*t: Cats Trailer (2019)

I love musicals. Many people don't. Which means that a lot relies on the movie adaptations, which if fail, Hollywood leaves out several years before making another musical movie, which leads me restless and sad. Thankfully lately they have been on a roll, especially some that are made directly for movies (and are as such better made than some transformed from stage like Les Mis...). The reason I love movie musicals so much is because I know that there are some musicals that I will NEVER see on Broadway and I will NEVER see on London's West-end. But there is something magical about movies, the big screen, and if it is in the right hands, you have the same kind of magic as you would have listening to those majestic songs live. Theaters are mostly against recordings of the stage performances, which I find to be equally important, and not the cause for less people going to theaters lately. And again, if recorded/directed by the right professional, the stage performance is the best thing someone who will never see the big shows can ask for. In 1998 Cats already had one of these performances, it is one of our family favorites, and we watch it every year around the Christmas season. So we thought, if that is the base of the movie, how could we NOT be excited about it coming to the big screen?

And then...

Then this happened.

And I don't understand how it happened.

Cats (2019)

What is that? What am I looking at? Is it the worst Halloween costume ever made? When I put on cat ears I am more believable, seriously. What is the point of CGI here? What incredible technological revolution are they trying to sell me? Because 1, I ain't buying, and 2, would rather ask them to go back in time and decide not to do this. Why aren't they in real make up, like the cats in the stage musical? Why couldn't they even try to imitate cat noses? Why is there NO effort to hide their human characteristics? And when posing this question I realized: it was more important to showcase how many famous people are in this movie than to actually disguise them AS THE ANIMAL THAT THE WHOLE MUSICAL IS NAMED AFTER.

I have come to the point where I think that the weirdly moving animatronic cat from the original Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1996) is well made. Look at it. Just look. It's terrible. And it got slightly better with each season, as at first it looked like something a truck had ran over, not to mention, that it was OBVIOUS when they cut to an actual cat. It sometimes ran left and right, or the aunts would pick him up and they would still dub a voice over him, while the cat was NOT into being held by anyone at any point during the shooting. It was just funny, a puppet, a stupid badly made puppet, animatronic even at some point, I am sure, thus the change from season to season, but it served its purpose: it looked like a f*cking talking cat. 

Hell, even this complete and utter nightmare is more cat like:

This performance by Mike Myers in The Cat In The Hat from 2003 received 3,9 rating on imdb, and I can tell you that even if the plot is beyond stupid, looking at it now, the cat is clearly not the worst part of that movie.

And I don't want to bring up well made cat costumes, I want to point at how, the BAD ones are SUPERIOR to the mess that this movie is. Not to mention the casting, WHY is the male cat, who has fathered hundreds of cats now a woman? And I AM a woman, not a misogynist, I can complain, because the lyrics just don't make sense no more! The only new thing about this movie is the fact that they are truly cat sized in our world and seeing just those two minutes... I could not care less.

Because you know what also looks better than this? THE ACTUAL CATS MUSICAL THAT WAS TAPED BACK IN 1998!

Even at the risk of never getting a Wicked movie (which some 5 years later after its first announcement still has no cast...), and with the risk of people getting too critical with musicals again, I am advising everyone to stay the f*ck away from this mess, because I am done with CGI, with green screens, with whatever technology, when I know that there are perfectly skilled and award winning make up artists out there that should be doing this. Look at this musical, these are not actors in suits, these are cats, believable cats and well... if you ever wondered what Judi Dench or Jennifer Hudson would look like in a fur coat, now you know. Yey.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Blogger: De, Egy Karkötő Meg Tudja Menteni A Világot

Scroll down for the English version!
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Senki nem fizetett nekem azért, hogy leírjam ezeket a gondolataimat, de nem bírtam ki, mert elegem van abból, hogy ha valaki megoldást mutat annak beleköpünk a kezébe.

Egy számomra azelőtt ismeretlen magyar blog oldalszerűség megosztott egy cikket, aminek semmi más célja nem volt, mint az, hogy minél több klikket kapjon a címével, egy Amerikai cégről írtak, a 4Ocean-ről, akik éppen a világ tengereit és rakpartjainak a tisztításával foglalkoznak.
Nagyon kellett koncentrálnom, hogy ne menjek át bunkóba ebben a bejegyzésemben, mert rendkívül feldühített a cikk, ugyanis csak arra koncentrált, amire akart, és annál könnyebb dolog nincsen, mint információk kihagyásával félre vezetni emberek százait.
A cég újrahasznosított műanyagból készült karkötők eladásával finanszírozza a munkát, amit végez. A legnagyobb baja mindenki az, hogy mennyi pénz megy a cégben, miközben sokan önkéntes jelentkezők. Itt hozzátenném, hogy nem mindenki... sőt, rengetegen fizetett dolgozók. Nem beszélve arról, hogy olyan helyeken dolgoznak, ahol a minimálbér, mondjuk amit csak a mi országunkban kapnak, az egy elképzelhetetlen összeg számukra. Instagramon és Youtubeon is konstans tartják a kapcsolatot a követőikkel és az adományozóikkal, valami, ami minden olyan cégnek, akik csak a pénzedre pályáznak nem prioritás.

Az én kérdésem az, minden kritikustól, hogy akkor mutassanak rá arra a zöld, környezetbarát projektre, ami INGYEN VAN. Nem tudom, mi a baj azzal, hogy valakik egy olyan programon gazdagodtak meg, ami jót tesz a bolygónknak? Semmi nincsen ingyen ebben a világban, és ha megnézzük, hogy az Amerikai kormányt, hogyan befolyásolja a pisztoly és a olaj lobbi, én nem hibáztatok cégeket, akik a kormány segítsége nélkül kezdenek el dolgozni valamin. 

Kérdezném azt, akinek a pénzzel gondja van, hogy megnézte-e valaha bármelyik videójukat, amit az olyan állatmentő és megőrző egyesületek készítettek, akiknek az adományuk többségét adják? Én tengeri teknősök és egy Hawaii fókáknak a mentésére küldtem nekik pénzt, ami után két videó is készült, hogy milyen hálásak voltak az adományokért, amit kaptak, és senki nem tartott pisztolyt a fejükhöz, hogy azt mondják, hogy hálásak... Főleg mert ez a Youtube csatorna olyan ezreket tud elérni, amit az ő kis mentő szolgálatuk sosem tudna. Nem beszélve arról, hogy minden 30mp videótól a 4 percesig, oktató videókat töltenek fel, és be is mutatják azt, hogy a Te pénzed mire lett fordítva. Nekem megér 20 dollárt akkor is ha esetleg 19 abból egy ember zsebébe megy, mert közben látom, hogy oktatják a világot arról, hogy a műanyag milyen károkat tesz. Valami, amiről az oktatásban még MINDIG nem esik szó, véletlenül sem.

Igen, szerintem egy karkötő, ahogyan a reklámjuk is mondja, meg tudja menteni a világot. Nem tudod, milyen messzire jutott a szemeted, mert eszedbe se jut, hogy egy nagyobb eső és a csatorna milyen messzire tudja elvinni a szemetet. Én horrorral nézem a videókat, ahol bemutatják, hogy egy teknősbéka beléből miket szednek ki, de ha valaki azon gazdagodna meg, hogy egy olaj földet örököl senki nem turkálna a zsebében, "Ügyes voltál Feri!" és mennénk tovább. Nem gusztustalan? Nem szomorú, hogy a pénz vezet mindent és ezért nem fordítunk környezetbarát programokra? Hogy, ami csak 10 év múlva termel profitot azt a tervezetet meg se nézik? De ha valaki bemutatja, hogy a környezetvédelem is jövedelmező, akkor nem nyugszunk, míg nem húztuk le a leplet az állítólagos csalásról! 
A youtube kommentemre reagáltak.

Én elhiszem majd, hogy ez a cég átver engem, amikor tényleg egy bíróság elé kerülnek, és nem buta magyar honlapokon látok cikkeket, vagy vlogokat, amik csak a klikk számra mennek rá. Addig is, senki nem állítja meg ezeket az embereket, hogy kitalálják azt, ami az ő zsebükbe nyomja a pénzt és megmenti a bolygónkat. Én tudom, hogy nem vagyok erre képes, szóval legalább nem állok annak az útjába, aki ezt teszi helyettem, sőt, támogatom is mert nem bírok ki még egy fotót egy bálna beleiről, és nem tudom más, hogyan bírja. 

Én azt tudom tanácsolni mindenkinek, hogy ne higgyen el mindent, amit elsőre olvas. Főleg ha egy olyan cégről van szó, amiről senki csak egy kis buta magyar blog mond rosszat. Sőt, a "ezt átverés?" youtube videók, amik készültek is arra jutottak, hogy "nem". Ezek után meg azt mondanám, hogy ha valakit irritál, a sok reklám, amit lát a 4Ocean által a Youtube videói alatt, akkor ne álljon meg ott, hanem nézze meg a többi videóikat. Nézze meg, hogy hány cégnek segítenek, nézzék meg hány ezer ember jelenik meg a tengerpartokon és takarítja szívesen az utánuk hagyott mocskot. Nézzék meg azt is hogy instagramon hány ezer ember hálás a karkötőért, amit kapott, hogy nem csak egy csekket küldött, hanem kapott is vissza valamit, valamit, ami onnantól kezdve minden beszélgetésnek a része lehet, és ő maga is oktathatja az embereket körülötte.

Nem arról van szó, hogy egy karkötő egyedül mit tud tenni, hanem az, hogy ha összefogunk mind, akkor mit tudunk elérni és sajnos materiális emberek vagyunk... igenis jólesik, hogy kapunk valamit cserébe a segítségért, amit nyújtunk, de számít ez, ha legalább segítettünk? Túl sok kárt tettem már én is, mire megtanultam, hogy oda figyeljek arra, amit hagyok magam után, és itt nem a gyerekeimről van szó, hanem az én életemről is még. Valamit tenni kell és most. Szóval mi lenne ha hagynánk azt dolgozni, aki helyetted, igen te, aki ott ülsz és olvasod ezt, helyetted is arra törekszik, hogy jobb hely legyen a földünk?

És ha ez a cég nem szimpi, semmi baj: mások is próbálkoznak, mint The Ocean Cleanup, avagy bármelyik állatmentő cég, ami a partnerjük volt - nekik lehet külön is küldeni pénzt vagy jelentkezni önkéntesnek. Merjünk utána nézni a dolgoknak! És értsük meg, hogy a karkötő egy mentalitás, amin jó lenne ha mind osztoznánk, hogy jobb legyen a világunk!
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One Bracelet CAN Save The World

Nobody paid me to share these thoughts, but I couldn't handle being quiet anymore when I keep seeing people spit in the hands of those who are looking for solutions.

Some Hungarian blogish site decided to write a click-bait article, with the intent of ruining the image of the 4Ocean cleanup company and their sale of bracelets made form re-used plastic.

I really had to concentrate on not using fowl language, because the article made me really pissed off. But I feared that my message would get lost, so I want to remain strong. Most important thing is that we need to remember that with lack of information, it is very easy to mislead people.

The company finances the work it does by selling bracelets made of recycled plastic. The biggest problem for everyone is how much money goes into the pockets of the founders of the company, while many workers are volunteers. Here I would add that not everyone is a volunteer... most of them are paid workers. Not to mention that they work in places where the minimum wage in their country is unthinkable. On Instagram and Youtube, they keep in touch with their followers and donors, something all charities that want your money never do.

My question is, for all the critics, that they point to the green and environmental project that is FREE. I don't know, what's wrong with being enriched with a program that is good for our planet? Nothing is free in this world, and if we look at how the US government is influenced by the gun and oil lobby, I don't blame companies that start working outside of the government and without their help. The $20 are worth it for me, even if some of it goes into the pocket of the founders, because I see that they teach the world what damage plastic is doing. Something that is still not always discussed in education, not by a long shot.

I'd like to ask those who are caught up on the question of the money, if they have ever actually seen any of the videos that were posted by the companies they are collecting donations for? Any of those animal safety and preservation companies that nobody would know about, had it not been for the audience that 4Ocean already has. I sent them money to save the sea turtles and the Hawaiian monk seals, after which two videos were made, where the workers at the preservation sites showed how grateful they were for the money they received, and no one held a gun to their head to make them say it. Not to mention that every 30 second video, up to the 4 minute ones, are training and educational videos and a demonstration of what your money has been spent on.

Yes, I do think a bracelet, as their advertisement says, can save the world. You don't know how far your garbage has gone, because you don't think how far the rain and the water-ducts can take the garbage away. I look at the videos with horror, showing you what a turtle has in their stomach, but if someone gets rich off an oil field they inherited, no one would rummage in his pocket, "You did good Johnny!" and we just go on with our lives. Isn't that disgusting? Isn't it sad that money drives everything and so we don't invest in environmentally friendly programs? That something that will only make a profit in 10 years is not even considered? But if someone demonstrates that environmental protection is profitable, we won't rest until we uncover that alleged fraud!

I will believe that this company is ripping me off when they really go to court, and I see more than articles from blogs on silly Hungarian websites that just look to be click-baits. In the meantime, no one is stopping you haters from finding green solutions yourself. I know I'm not capable of doing this, so at least I'm not causing obstacles to those who ARE tying to make changes, and I will also support it because I can't look at another photo of the disgusting waste they take out a whale's stomach. I don't know how others can look away.

They answered one of my comments.
I can advise everyone to not believe everything they read. Especially when it comes to a company that people are trying to make look bad with ZERO success so far. I would say that if anyone is irritated by the many advertisements you see for 4Ocean on your Youtube videos, don't get irritated, investigate! Click on their page and look at their other videos. See how many companies they help, see how many thousands of people appear on the beaches and clean up the dirt left behind. Look at how many thousands of people on instagram are grateful for the bracelets they've received: we are not just sending them a check, but also getting something back that can be part of every conversation from now on, and we can educate people around us.

It is not just what a bracelet can do alone, but what we can do together, and no matter how much we work together, we are still material people ... it does matter that we get something in return for the help we provide, but isn't it more important that at least we did something? I have done too much damage myself, by the time I learned to pay attention to what I leave behind as far as trash is concerned, I feared it might have been too late. Something has to be done and now. So how about we let work the person who, instead of you, you sitting there reading this, is working on making our Earth better?

And if this company isn't to your liking, no problem: others like The Ocean Cleanup, or any of the animal rescue companies they've partnered with - you can either send them money or volunteer. Let's dare to look at things closely! And understand that bracelets are a mentality that if we all shared we could make our world a better place!