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Friday: Timesheet submitted

My weekly highlights in no particular order!

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  • Playing Fire Emblem: Awakening on the 3DS. Frederick: “Pick a God and pray!”. Love it!
  • I got a 2Kg medicine ball! You can do some great exercises with this thing.
  • I’m still ploughing through The Rise and Fall of Third Reich but it’s been a great read. I’m around 50% into it which is 600+ pages and i don’t want it to end. It’s that good. One of the best non-fiction books i’ve ever “read”.
  • Ofto & Tavas at Adoulwth Keryneia with good company.
  • It’s been a while since i watched a great documentary but i was fortunate enough to watch two this past long weekend. They were both fantastic. The Gatekeepers and The Act of Killing. The latter is quite a tough watch so make sure you are up for it, but both are a MUST WATCH!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Mine starts with a (re-)viewing of Star Trek (2009) tonight (together with the customary pop corn) to prepare for Star Trek : Into Darkness.

The Act of KillingThe Gatekeepers

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Posted by on June 28, 2013 in T.G.I Zolos

 

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T.G.I Zolos, 1 June 2012

I think the highlight of the week has to be that i am finally playing a game again which caught me by surprise. A friend was asking about RPGs on the PSP and DS and the discussion aroused my interest in playing and so started playing a RPG on the DS which i was halfway through before abandoning it. More below:

  • MoviesThe Kid With A Bike is Belgian film about a kid with a bike 🙂 . Seriously though, this is basically the European version of the The Blind Side the film for which Sandra Bullock won her Oscar. I had watched The Blind Side and in my opinion The Kid With A Bike is on a different level. I also recommend The Devil’s Double and Rampart although i don’t think they will be everybody’s cup of tea, especially the former. In both films (Dominic Cooper and Woody Harrelson respectively) the lead characters are excellent.
  • Documentaries – Usually i try to avoid reading too much about the film, series or documentary i am about to watch. A simple thumbs up by a person whose opinion i respect is more than enough to get me to sit down and watch it. It’s great as i am more or less open-minded and have limited expectations. However this approach can backfire as in the case of Tabloid which is a documentary (well made in most respects if simple) but about a subject i really don’t give a s**** about! I don’t want to spoil anything but should you watch it prepare for some “WTF?”.
  • Videogames – As i mentioned earlier, I started playing Radiant Historia (DS) again. I had played around 12hrs before i stopped playing for a reason i simply don’t remember now. It’s a really good, albeit traditional RPG, with an interesting story. It does play somewhat with time but the game is pretty much a linear affair. It has a great soundtrack though and the combat is engaging. So far (almost 2hrs) I am enjoying it again which has surprised me, as i am repeating what I’ve already done before.
  • Music – This past week i’ve been listening to Bruce Springsteen‘s new album, Wrecking Ball. It’s excellent. I am not a Sprinsteen fan myself but this is definitely one of the best albums I’ve listened to this year. An artist i discovered recently is Anna Ternheim and particularly her album The Night Visitor. Maybe not a very “summery” artist but good for a more chill out music.
 
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Posted by on June 1, 2012 in T.G.I Zolos

 

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T.G.I Zolos, 25 May 2012

Another week ends and the second ever T.G.I Zolos is here. So here we go!

  • TV Series – I watched Justified Season 3 this week and i was disappointed. It was watchable but i enjoyed the first two seasons a lot more. A criticism i have is that they tried too hard to make all the villains interesting and clever but in the end they come off looking pretty much the same. All of them have their monologues whereby they try to showcase their intelligence both at street level and at a more academic level. But they remain shallow. For example one of the more important villains in Season 3 is always doing the same thing at a slaughterhouse and always sounds and acts the same throughout the season. In my eyes the show tries to make everyone appear like Al Swearengen (Ian McShane’s character in HBO’s Deadwood). But the script there was a lot better and because they only did it with that character it made him unique and went a lot deeper than Justified. Also Boy Crowder’s character, who was fantastic in the first 2 seasons loses a lot of his “steam”. All in all, a still enjoyable series but they need to do something more next season to keep me interested.
  • Movies – I recommend Los Ojos De Julia which is a thriller about a woman who is losing her sight and also Carancho an argentinian film. Also enjoyed Kung Fu Panda which was better than i expected. Killer Elite is an ok pop corn action movie while i did not get why Hitchcock’s Lifeboat is considered to be so good. I do not think it withstood the test of time compared to say The Battle of Algiers. Last but certainly not least is Once Upon a Time in Anatolia. It’s a turkish film and it’s excellent. It’s one of those films i can’t explain why i enjoyed so much. I’ve never found myself more interested and so tense while watching an apple roll down a hill.
  • DocumentariesToo Big To Fail was a huge disappointment as i disagreed a lot with the perspective it took. That Hank Paulson was more of a part of the solution to the crisis than part of the problem. This battle he gave at the expense of his health to save the financial system. This applies to other people like Timothy Geithner, the current Secretary of the Treasury. If you are interested in a documentary about the sub-prime mortgage financial crisis watch Inside Job instead. Apart from the cheesy ending it’s superb. When China Met Africa is a documentary on the expansion of Chinese investments in Zambia to get to the country’s natural resources. It’s more like “reality tv” than documentary and although it’s disappointing that there isn’t anything that people don’t already know it is still worth watching.
  • Boardgames – Played the cooperative game of Flash Point: Fire Rescue with a friend of mine aka The Big Dude. It’s a game where you play as firemen and are trying to rescue people and pets from a burning house. It’s extremely thematic and after a couple of plays it’s easy to understand what you need to do. It plays fast, 45mins, and it has a level of randomness which prevents people from taking over and giving orders to other players on what needs to be done to solve the puzzle. It’s also very versatile in terms of people you can play it with. Both with more hardcore gamers but also with people who prefer to play on a more casual basis.

    Another game i played was High Society which is a 30-40mins auction card game where you bid to buy prestige points. At the end of the game the player who has the most points wins. But that player needs to have more money still in his hand than at least one other player. Light on rules but heavy on tension and interaction among the players. I liked this one a lot.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2012 in T.G.I Zolos

 

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Documentaries

A few documentaries on Afghanistan, which i’d like to recommend.

Camp Victory, Afghanistan – Maybe it’s the particular issue that this documentary is dealing with but I found it to be the most interesting and thought-provoking of all these documentaries.

“Camp Victory, Afghanistan gets at the stark reality of the US/NATO “exit strategy” from Afghanistan. Shot over the course of five years, the film follows a battle-hardened Afghan General and the steady stream of U.S. National Guard soldiers deployed to train him and his army.”

The best part of the documentary is the interviews and conversations between the American advisors and the Afghans. Especially the Afghan commander, General Fazal Ahmad Sayar.

Restrepo – I watched this a few months ago and I was slightly disappointed as I expected much more based on the hype around it. It’s still worth watching.

“A year dug in with the Second Platoon in one of Afghanistan’s most strategically crucial valleys reveals extraordinary insight into the surreal combination of back breaking labor, deadly firefights, and camaraderie as the soldiers painfully push back the Taliban.”

Afghan Star – Again, I watched this sometime in 2011.

“A look at how contestants on the a musical contest program “Pop Idol” in Afghanistan risk their lives to appear on the show.”

 
 

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