Saturday, 16 December 2017

Review: Star Wars - The Last Jedi (third-pass)





Star Wars: The Last Jedi (third-pass / 2D / SPOILERS!)
Cert: 12A / 152 mins / Dir. Rian Johnson / Trailer


Previous reviews: 1 | 2

This is your spoiler-break. The section at the top of the post which acts as a buffer between the start of the page-code and the bit with the actual spoilers, so that any previews or auto-pulled segments of the review don't present the reader with unwarranted plot-details. After all, the movie's only been out for two days, and if you haven't seen it yet you really shouldn't be here. But this is your last chance, because I'm nice like that.

This post is about Princess Leia, I think I can tell you that much at least. It was always going to be a tricky move releasing The Last Jedi less than a year after Carrie Fisher's untimely passing (that's definitely not a spoiler), not least because Episode VIII is the second-act of a trilogy and not yet the one where Leia was meant to have a pivotal role. After the news came through, Lucasfilm quickly went on-record to confirm that her character wouldn't be digitally recreated as she had been in Rogue One. And not that I suspected they would anyway, it came as a relief as that's one aspect of the Death Star heist which I didn't particularly enjoy.

That's all history, of course. Nonetheless, it's interesting to watch Leia Organa-Solo's character arc in The Last Jedi, knowing that these concerns will have been present in the room throughout the pre-production of IX and post-production of VIII. Speaking of which…

Spoilers ahead: Last chance…

You're still here, smashing. Now, there appear to be many people gleefully moaning about The Last Jedi on social media at the moment. I'm not one of them, and this isn't one of those moans. I love this movie, I love that Carrie Fisher has more to do in it, and I love that Rian Johnson has given her the script and direction she needs to do it well. While the principal photography for TLJ had been completed by last Christmas and the story pretty much 'locked down', there were - no doubt - many long discussions of how Carrie's loss affects not only future projects, but also the one mid-way through production. What's the best way to honour someone who won't be around to watch their final movie? All credit to Lucasfilm that they went for dignity without mawkishness*1, celebrating Leia while celebrating the galaxy she's been instrumental in saving.

But what the hell is going on with Super Space Flying Leia™?

There. I said it.

I don't imagine I was alone in expecting Leia to meet her in-universe end during the running time of The Last Jedi. So when the bridge of the Resistance cruiser Raddus was targeted by Kylo Ren's support-pilots, shattering the viewport and pulling everything out into space before the blast-doors kicked in, I also don't imagine I was alone in watching Leia looking just off-camera as a huge fireball engulfed the room and thinking 'so this is it'. Not a particularly peaceful exit, but in times of war you can't really have people going down with tetanus from an infected paper-cut. Even the general herself acknowledges here that things get blown up. So if you are going to write (or retool) an exit for a character for practical, IRL reasons - getting pulled out into the airless void during a space battle is a solid enough way to do it.

Except dear reader, as you know*2, that's not the end. Moments later, we cut to the exterior and find a largely intact general floating gently away from the Raddus, the physical signs of explosive trauma as scarce as emergency breathing equipment. And as she gradually regains consciousness, Leia opens her frostbitten eyes, sets her sights on the shellshocked crewmembers through the other side of an impromptu airlock, and summons enough Force-power to move through the zero-gravity towards them; all the while gesturing like Superman's cool mum. Leia is rescued and put into recovery on the stricken starship.

Now, leaving aside the impracticalities of surviving in hard-vacuum (it's not completely impossible), leaving aside Leia's Jedi powers previously only being shown as needing a bit of a sit down when Han was turned into a smuggler-kebab (and she's in zero-g so relatively little active telekinesis would be required), leaving aside that the momentum of exiting the ship and subsequent lack of gravity would have her quickly belting off into infinity, and leaving aside the fact that opening the blast-door to get her back onboard would rip everything in that corridor back outside with Leia, what is the purpose of that scene?

I know the overall narrative reason is to strip the command-structure to its absolute core and incapacitate Leia so that Vice Admiral Holdo can hold the reins for the second-act, but this pseudo-resurrection comes off as overblown and frankly unbelievable (I know Star Wars isn't a documentary, don't @ me). Even if she'd been rescued from space by a crew-member quickly donning a vac-suit, I could have bought it. Or if she'd been tethered to the bridge by a cable not quite snapped in the blast, or a protruding beam crossing Leia's path and barring her exit. Or by a flock of porgs which happened to be passing. Any of those. Instead we get 'I'm basically invincible so think very carefully now about how you're going to explain my absence on the set of the next film'.

Of course, the explosion is an early point in the movie for writing out a central character*3, and it seems evident that Leia was never supposed to die at that juncture. So how about having her (in a highly injured state after the explosion, say) volunteer to stay behind on the Raddus while everyone else flees to safety? Nope, Holdo's got that. That's leaving aside, of course, the fact that Holdo says someone's got to 'stay behind to pilot the ship', yet the only piloting she actually does in the on-the-fly kamikaze mission once the troop-transports have been rumbled - something she can't have banked on beforehand.

Instead, Leia survives to the end-credits. That's fine, the new Rebellion needs an anchor of wisdom, determination and experience. And I'm never going to complain about seeing more of a character I love per se, but it seems intentionally problematic. Because now the only options are to assemble some b-roll footage and subtle CGI/double work to write the character out in the opening act of Episode IX, or worse - to kill off the princess between movies. I'm not sure which I prefer less.

As much as I'm troubled by the decision-making behind all this, what I'm really bothered about is that ridiculous shot*4 of Frosty-Faced Pointy-Fingered Super Space Leia™. There are enough parallels to be drawn with Guardians Of The Galaxy as it stands with the film's humour, never mind throwing in 'space? pah!' comparisons. If our heroes' lives are shown to be unbelievable, how are we supposed to accept their inevitable deaths? It's bad enough that we lost Carrie, don't make things more painful with Leia…

But the good news is that after watching the movie three times, I love pretty much everything else about it. Well, I might have some thoughts on Canto Bight, but we can save those for another time, yeah?



So, watch this if you enjoyed?
The Star Wars.


Should you watch this in a cinema, though?
Yes.


Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
Yes.


Is this the best work of the cast or director?
It's strong.
It's very strong
.


Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
That all depends on how wrong you are.


Yes, but is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
There is.


Yes, but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 0: It is Star Wars.



And if I HAD to put a number on it…


*1 I'm looking at you, 'that clearly too-long shot of Robin Williams in Night At The Museum 3 which the editors hoped would come off as a serendipitous tribute but is obviously a moment when the cameras had been left running and someone then made the decision to shoehorn it into the final print'… [ BACK ]

*2 I mean I assume you know. If you're reading this and you haven't seen the film - after everything I said up there about spoilers - then there really is no hope for you. [ BACK ]

*3 Sorry Admiral Ackbar, they got no love for you, mate… [ BACK ]

*4 Which looks CGI'd judging by the difference in and around Leia's eyes. And while I have no problem with CGI itself, they've already insulted the last ambassador of Alderaan with the final scene of Rogue One, and animating this segment in The Last Jedi would suggest they've done the whole thing posthumously. Which is even more questionable. [ BACK ]


DISCLAIMERS:
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Review: Star Wars - The Last Jedi (second-pass)





Star Wars: The Last Jedi (second-pass / 2D / spoiler-free)
Cert: 12A / 152 mins / Dir. Rian Johnson / Trailer


Previous reviews: 1

Having stuck my head very briefly over the parapet and looked into the ongoing shouty-battleground that is the internet, it appears that not absolutely everyone loves The Last Jedi as much as I do. Which is absolutely fine. My aim is not to change other people's opinions with this blog, only to deconstruct my own. To keep things at a broad level (because there will be no plot-spoilers in this second-pass review), the root of discontent seems to be the difference when compared to earlier releases. This is not a regular Star Wars flick. But should it be?

Two years ago, The Force Awakens came in for flak at the opposite end of the spectrum; some argued it was too similar, structurally, to A New Hope (and to The Phantom Menace for that matter). The classic Hero's Journey, played out again for a new generation. This cyclical nature served two purposes. First, to bring wary audiences back into the Galaxy Far, Far Away with a sense of familiarity - especially in relation to the Original Trilogy era. And second, to set foundations for new characters in old guises - to establish them solidly in the opening chapter so that the following episodes could go further afield.

Twelve months later we got Rogue One, of course, and this was altogether a different type of film. Rather than sprawling space-opera, Gareth Edwards brought us a heist-movie set in the GFFA. This particular tale was perfectly suited to its format, and since it was the first un-numbered anthology entry, being out-of-step with the saga was entirely permissible.

Which brings us to December 2017 and a saga-entry which doesn't play by the previously established rules. The classic three-act structure (introduce characters, present problem, resolve problem) that has previously worked for individual movies as well as trilogies as a whole is skewed by a screenplay that has its own ideas. The overall direction of the story is still firmly present, but there's a particular moment near the start where everyone watching for the first time thinks 'okay, I wasn't expecting that' and a ripple of laughter goes round the auditorium in automatic response. This is a microcosm of the whole film. And the intentional humour is a recurring feature this time around, too. Not used excessively (although that will depend on whose opinions you're reading), but the laughs are certainly ramped up from the Solo/Finn bickering in The Force Awakens, and come from unexpected angles.

There are situations, events and even feats in The Last Jedi that we've never seen attempted in a Star Wars movie before*1, and accompanied (in tandem with Steve Yedlin's intense cinematography) by flashbacks, cutaways and visions which are new to the property as a whole. Rian Johnson's script is more informal than previous saga-episodes*2, staying true to the characters but indicating that we're seeing a new era of Star Wars take shape more firmly.

But it's probably the character-arcs which will raise eyebrows for the longest time. Not everything appears to make sense the first time round, and while the overall detail becomes clearer with a second-pass, there will be a certain amount of it resigned to the pile of 'guessing until the next episode is released'. Again. As mentioned previously, this is an inherently spoilable movie, with (presumably) irreversible consequences. Also as mentioned previously, go to see it with no more knowledge than you currently possess.

But most importantly, don't go into The Last Jedi second-guessing what you're about to watch - but also don't go in expecting the Star Wars movie you expect it to be.
Just open yourself to celebrate the difference…



So, watch this if you enjoyed?
The Star Wars.
(although apparently not all of The Star Wars)


Should you watch this in a cinema, though?
Yes.


Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
Yes.


Is this the best work of the cast or director?
It's strong.
It's very strong
.


Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
That all depends on how wrong you are.


Yes, but is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
I'm fairly certain there is, yes.
WIthout going into detail, it's a truncated version which is used during the first battle which takes place in space (that's not a spoiler for a Star Wars movie, right?). Although I think I might have heard a version towards the end of the movie, too. Time will tell.


Yes, but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 0: It is Star Wars.



And if I HAD to put a number on it…


*1 And I do worry about how the novels and comics will latch onto some of the new ideas, applying too much backstory or just exploiting them until they become the norm. Because the old Legends continuity and the new Story Group version can be startlingly similar in that regard. [ BACK ]

*2 Where one character uses the distinctly 21st century phrases "…the what, now?" and "that big-ass door" [ BACK ]


DISCLAIMERS:
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Review: Star Wars - The Last Jedi (first-pass)





Star Wars: The Last Jedi (first-pass / 3D / SPOILER-FREE)
Cert: 12A / 152 mins / Dir. Rian Johnson / Trailer



Oh, and here we are again; too many thoughts, too many feelings, not enough words. Although I assure you that there are categorically no spoilers (stated or inferred) in this review, my sole piece of advice would be to neither click, read, watch nor listen to anything Star Wars related until you have seen The Last Jedi. Including this. You need to see the new episode knowing no more than you currently do.

Go on. You can come back to this when you get in from the cinema.

Ah, welcome back. As I write this, it's 3am. I have a fresh beer open and I'm trying to think of what I can say, never mind how I can say it. It's outstanding that a series this far into its mythos can still return a product so unexpected, and with so much delightful uncertainty. Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi addresses some (but by no means all) of the questions raised in The Force Awakens, and even then those answers are split between sincere, vague and frankly-suspicious. But there's plenty for future dissection in there, that's for sure.

In terms of overall tone, this latest installment is much the same as its chronological predecessor. The melancholy is increased the year-old loss of Carrie Fisher of course, an inescapable backdrop to every one of her scenes, but the film is a fitting tribute to the princess we all miss. Leia's screentime is increased and Rian Johnson has written (and more importantly directed) a more satisfying role for her, here. Truth be told, Johnson gets more layered performances from all the cast here, although obviously the returning actors have more backstory to draw from now. Oh, and the spot-the-cameo game has been raised to the same level as Rogue One, which is always entertaining*1.

The main thread of narrative connection is to The Force Awakens for obvious reasons, but there are still strong links with the Original Trilogy-era (and fleeting references to the Prequel Trilogy). Fans of the animated TV shows will spot a few visual nods here and there, but there seemed little more on this first-pass of the movie. Steve Yeldin's cinematography is more urgent than Dan Mindel's work in SW:TFA, to reflect the story it's telling. Higher in contrast, richer in tone and more dynamic overall. John Williams does the business with the score as one would expect, but as usual there's far more to be unpacked in there than can be accomplished by just watching the film once. Much like the film itself, in fact.

Aficionados of the saga will love The Last Jedi. As mentioned above, the screenplay doesn't devote itself to box-ticking, but isn't afraid to ask new questions and take the story to new, unexplored places (physically and metaphorically). Whether casual audiences will get quite the same buzz remains to be seen; this isn't 'for-the-fans' Star Wars, but it's certainly by-the-fans. Rian Johnson's love and respect for the Galaxy Far, Far Away is clear, but what I took away as 'pleasant surprises' may be received by others as pushing the envelope.

But what the hell do I know?
I've only watched it once…



So, watch this if you enjoyed?
The Star Wars.


Should you watch this in a cinema, though?
Yes.


Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
Yes.


Is this the best work of the cast or director?
It's strong.
It's very strong
.


Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
I shall look over my spectacles and ask you to jolly well explain yourself.


Yes, but is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
As usual, I didn't hear one this time but will be listening intently during future-passes.


Yes, but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 0: This is Star Wars.



And if I HAD to put a number on it…


*1 Oh and if you're reading this AJ and Owen? Told ya! [ BACK ]

DISCLAIMERS:
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Review: Star Wars - The Force Awakens (twelfth-pass)





Star Wars: The Force Awakens (twelfth-pass / 3D)
Cert: 12A / 135 mins / Dir. J.J. Abrams / Trailer



There are two moments across the Star Wars films which make me involuntarily stop breathing. Every time. The first is the part of Revenge of the Sith where Vader has his helmet fitted, the cut-out silence of Palpatine's makeshift operating theatre is filled with an electronic 'charging' whine and we finally hear the infamous respirator. The second is the visual exchange at the end of The Force Awakens, with Rey and Luke on a clifftop, wordlessly communicating over a proffered lightsaber. In those moments, I forget to breathe. Until I'm roused by the sound of the breathing apparatus or the 'directed by' credit. Every time.

Quite often, people will ask me "yeah but what do you get out of watching Star Wars over and over again?". Which is a fair question, even I have to admit*1. One one (quite literal) level, it's like the childhood bedtime story that you never got tired of hearing. But as the years wear on and I become more nitpicky in my enjoyment of films, Star Wars is the gift which keeps on giving. Every time I watch one of the movies, I'll notice a facial twitch, inflection of a line of dialogue or a detail on a set or costume which I haven't seen before*2.

It's only been two years since the release of The Force Awakens, and already the film has that air of established familiarity*3 - that feeling of being at home in the Star Wars universe*4. And having had a whole year to digest and reflect upon Rogue One, this (short) distance highlights the stylistic differences between the two*5. Although well received, The Force Awakens has a classical structure which is all but absent in the Death Star heist-movie (even though that was also very well received).

It makes absolute sense of course that the 'anthology' movies should have a different cinematic style from the saga-entries, but the first of tonight's double-bill raises two questions:
1) Will The Last Jedi be going firmly back to this more sweeping style of storytelling? And,
2) What will the more casual-end of the critical sphere make of the gear-change if it does?

Anyway, I enjoyed The Force Awakens again.
As you would expect.



So, watch this if you enjoyed?
The Star Wars.


Should you watch this in a cinema, though?
You've pretty much missed your chance with this now, but yes.


Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
It does.


Is this the best work of the cast or director?
It's at the top-end of the list, yes.


Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
I shall sigh heavily and ask you to explain yourself.


Yes, but is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
There is.


Yes, but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 0: This is Star Wars.
(I'm not doing the long-link for a short review like this. Sorry kids, they just take too long, and I've got to do one for the first-screening of The Last Jedi)


And if I HAD to put a number on it…


*1 The general answer is here, although it doesn't quite cover the Star Wars phenomenon. [ BACK ]

*2 I try to do this with all movies of course, hence me writing a review for each subsequent cinema viewing. but in all honesty who wants to sit through (to pull an example completely out of the air) Transformers: The Last Knight more than once, to see if it's magically any more charming or coherent on repeat? [ BACK ]

*3 Although bear in mind that I *did* watch it eleven times during its initial run, so you'd expect me to know it by now anyway.
[ BACK ]

*4 And remember that I'm someone who says (and has always said) the same thing about about the prequel trilogy, so adjust your reliance on my enthusiasm accordingly... [ BACK ]

*5 Not that Rogue One isn't Star Wars in any way, just that it's very different Star Wars. Plus Lucasfilm need all the differentiators they can get, now they've essentially abandoned the episode-numbers, outside of the opening crawls. [ BACK ]


DISCLAIMERS:
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Review: Jumanji - Welcome To The Jungle





Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle
Cert: 12A / 119 mins / Dir. Jake Kasdan / Trailer



Before I get stuck into Jake Kasdan's latest effort, I should point out that I actually haven't seen 1995's Jumanji. No agenda behind that, I just didn't catch it at the time and it hasn't crossed my path in the intervening years. My increasingly-usual manic schedule for December means I haven't had time to slot the film in for cramming.

So it was partly this 'not knowing exactly what to expect' which subdued my excitement for Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. I say partly, it was also that the more I saw the trailer, the worse the prospect became. Although I enjoy Dwayne Johnson as a comic actor, his overall record is far from exemplary. And while I actually quite liked his recent double-act with Kevin Hart, the thought of reuniting the two for similar bouts of shrieking did not sit well with me. Elsewhere we have Jack Black, who other than a solid turn in Goosebumps is also on a downward trajectory in my eyes, and Karen Gillan - a great performer who appears to be being held back by an agent who accepts every undemanding job which lands on the desk.

I have already gone on record as saying I was not looking forward to this.
I am now on record to say that I am delighted to have been proved wrong.

So, when four disparate teenagers (Alex Wolff, Ser'Darius Blain, Morgan Turner and Madison Iseman) come across an old mid-90s console (complete with a cartridge of an unknown adventure-title) while cleaning a store-room in detention, they're magically zapped into the game where they inhabit the bodies and in-game skills attributes of the playable characters (Johnson, Hart, Gillan and Black). In order to win their freedom, the gang have to work as a team, learning the structure of the game as well as their own limitations and untapped potential. Plus it's set in the jungle and there's an artefact to recover, necessitating the actual adventure setpieces. So sort of The Breakfast Club meets Tron meets Indiana Jones.

And against all my expectations, it's great.

Don't get me wrong, you're not going to find the meaning of life, the cure for cancer or the basis of an enduring cinematic franchise in Welcome To The Jungle's 119 minutes. But in terms of a fantastically fun, funny family-friendly yet sassy adventure movie for the holiday season, this movie delivers on its own terms. That's all I ask.

Yet at the same time, the new iteration of Jumanji is by no means a perfect nor revolutionary movie, but it's at least aware of its flaws. And while that knowledge doesn't always forgive those flaws, you can be sure that the 1) linear nature of the ongoing story, 2) convenience of the game-to-film mechanics, 3) overtly sermonising themes and 4) ridiculousness of Karen Gillan's outfit are all issues which have been considered thoroughly by the writing team. The movie just then deemed them fit for use anyway. Welcome To The Jungle absolutely should not work, which perhaps ironically is its greatest strength*1.

The central cast have natural chemistry, and since theirs are essentially body-swap roles, they're each doing twice the work they would normally. As this is A Studio Comedy™, my worry was that they'd each be playing themselves (Mr. Black especially) and leaving behind the story's 'real-world' personas for the main drag of the movie, but Jake Kasdan's direction and a careful script don't allow this to happen*2.

But most importantly, I laughed loudly and consistently throughout Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (as did the rest of the audience). On that front alone, this is already better than most comedies this year. And while the overriding message may be slightly trite, the film still has more dedication to its own characters than most comedies, too. It's just a shame that it'll reach nowhere near the audience it deserves because Sony Pictures' general-release window pits it against Star Wars*3...


So, watch this if you enjoyed?
Well Jumanji obviously, but any lighthearted action-adventure like Indiana Jones, Romancing The Stone, Willow.


Should you watch this in a cinema, though?
In between watching The Last Jedi several times, sure.


Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
It does.


Is this the best work of the cast or director?
As a group-effort, it's certainly one that other writers, directors and producers will try to replicate.


Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
Nope.


Yes, but is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
Not that I heard.
Ridiculous
.


Yes, but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 2: Missi Pyle is in this, and she was in 2005's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory along with Garrick 'Biggs' Hagon and Sir Christopher 'Dooku' Lee.

And an interesting (…) duo of GFFA trivia for you: the first Jumanji was directed by Joe Johnston, the guy who basically designed Boba Fett. This second movie is directed by Jake Kasdan, son of Empire/Jedi/Force Awakens/Solo screenwriter, Lawrence Kasdan.


And if I HAD to put a number on it…


*1 And trust me, as much as I'm defending the film, Karen Gillan's hotpants/crop-top outfit here is not irony. It's just a thing they noticed could be problematic, referenced in the script, then carried on using it as if that absolves them of the exploitation. The same arguably goes for Jack Black's entire performance, although I'd be lying if I said I didn't find it funny all the same. [ BACK ]

*2 There are four screenwriters here, mind, which is never usually a sign of anything coherent. And although I haven't watched the original Jumanji, I can still see the glaring hat-tips in the new movie's script when it's being referenced. But generally speaking, the "standalone sequel" Welcome To The Jungle works well enough on its own terms to not have to rely on these moments. [ BACK ]

*3 It's not even as if this is a cunningly scheduled 'alternative' flick (cf. Sisters, In The Heart Of The Sea and a two hour melodrama about mops) it's basically playing to the same demographic. And given the opportunity, would you rather watch a shrieking Kevin Hart, or Star Wars? [ BACK ]


DISCLAIMERS:
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.