An Idiocratic Thing Happened to Action Jackson on the Way to Hawaii

Idiocracy

(2006, dir. Mike Judge)

Plants crave electrolytes.

Plants crave electrolytes.

When Mike Judge delivered Idiocracy, 20th Century Fox executives scratched their heads trying to come up with a marketing angle. They failed, buried the movie for a year, then released it with no marketing at all. Thank Moloch for home video, the greatest invention of the 20th century.

Idiocracy doesn’t go to too much trouble trying to hide the subtext that the supposedly future setting is poking fun at modern-day society. The jokes are not exactly subtle, but on the other hand there’s plenty of them. Perhaps not a classic, but definitely worth more than one viewing.

Action Jackson

(1988, dir. Craig R. Baxley)

foo

There’s absolutely no homoerotic subtext in any of this, no sir.

Hot on the heels of the previous year’s Predator, action-hero-in-the-making Carl Weathers is upgraded from a sidekick to the man of the hour in this amalgam of 80s excess. The franchise the studio was obviously aiming at never happened, and if you’ve seen Action Jackson, you’ll know why. Gratuitous violence, even though it was the name of the game back then, just isn’t quite enough, even with Craig T. Nelson as the bad guy delivering seriously badass roundhouse kicks.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

(1966, dir. Richard Lester)

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Rest your gaze upon this image and take in all the hilarity, provided you can handle it.

I’m a bit confused now. I was under the impression that AFTHotWttF is a legendary comedy with wall-to-wall funny moments. Instead, I walked away thinking that it just wasn’t that entertaining. There are a lot of jokes, true, but they’re all telegraphed so far ahead that by the time they finally arrive, there is no payoff – just a vague feeling of disappointment. I don’t know, maybe men dressed in drag was daring and outré in 1966. The original stage play (which the movie appears to follow religiously) may have worked better, I wouldn’t know. Buster Keaton, for all of the 2 minutes he’s in this, is endearing though.

Hard Ticket to Hawaii

(1987, dir. Andy Sidaris)

That snake's gunna git it.

That snake’s gunna git it.

This time I’ve saved the best for last. Directed by Andy Sidaris, the Visa Mäkinen of Uhmurica, Hard Ticket to Hawaii is the Citizen Kane of low-budget schlock. HTtH has it all: gratuitous nudity (courtesy of a bunch of Playboy models), awful acting (see above), a nonsense plot involving diamond smuggling and chasing a monster snake, a hilarious “sex” scene, cheezy special effects, etc. etc.

Still not sure whether this is down your alley? If a rubber anaconda being blown away with a rocket launcher inside a house and said rocket launcher being wielded by none other than Ronn Moss (as CIA agent Rowdy Abilene) doesn’t do it for you, then by all means, go and watch Titanic for the umpteenth time.

What’s conceivably even more amazing is that Ronn Moss, whom we all of course know and love as Ridge Forrester of The Bold & The Beautiful, is easily the best actor in the whole movie. This, of course, is more of a statement about the entire ensemble. YouTube has an abundance of choice moments – such as the infamous “beach frisbee” scene – but really, do yourself a favour and go to the trouble of viewing the whole thing. Your life will never be the same.

What I Did On My Vacation Strikes Back

Thief

(1981, dir. Michael Mann)

My name is Frank. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

Used car salesman by day, master cat burglar at night, James Caan is on top of his game here as Frank the Thief. The plot is nothing to write home about, with holes big enough to drive a truck through – director Michael Mann would revisit many of the same themes later, with much greater success, in his seminal Heat. Still, if you enjoy a gritty tale of the underground with a neurotic relationship story pasted on top, you could do worse than watch this stylish (I am really trying to avoid saying “gritty” again, but it’s kind of hard to resist the temptation) anti-hero tale from way back.

Wake In Fright

(1971, dir. Ted Kotcheff)

Wake In Fright

Beer, the breakfast of champions.

For some reason, I was under the impression that WIF is a horror movie set in the Australian Outback. Well, I got the Outback part right, but really, WIF is closer to a promotional film by the Woop Woop Tourism Board (especially with the alternate title Outback) than a horror flick. I suppose some tender souls might be horrified by the almost non-stop beer skulling (& associated blatant product placement) and general debauchery, all of which was probably quite outrageous back in 1971 when the movie came out. That, and the kangaroo slaughter – even if the movie makers went out of their way to point out that the roos were slaughtered by professionals who had been tasked with keeping the numbers down, and really, these particular roos were kind of asking for it anyway. Worth a watch for a great performance by Donald Pleasence as an alcoholic bush doctor.

Hobo With A Shotgun

(2011, dir. Jason Eisener)

Hobo With A Shotgun

All right, you primitive screw-heads, listen up! See this? This… is my boomstick!

Hobo is a hodgepodge of wink-wink-nudge-nudge over-the-top cliché and hammy acting, with a title doubling as the script (see Snakes on a Plane). It would be a stretch to say that Rutger Hauer puts in a career-defining performance, in fact far from it, but I guess there are a few bits here and there where he’s actually kind of sympathetic as the underdog who rises to the occasion and kicks some serious arse.

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham

(2001, dir. Karan Johar)

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham

Waiter! There’s a fly on my nose!

K3G is a veritable cinematic smörgåsbord in that there’s a little bit of everything, except there’s not just a little bit but so much to gorge on (and quite a lot of it cloyingly saccharine) that gastric lavage might be required to restore a modicum of sanity. This is, of course, par for the course for a Bollywood spectacle. Much has been said about the on-screen chemistry of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, and it’s all true – they do work very well together. One can’t help though but think that the running time of 210 minutes (3 1/2 hours!) could be whittled down just a touch, especially seeing as the plot is pretty paper-thin and, frankly, ridiculous.

What I Did On My Vacation, Episode I

I apologise to those who expected a review of Ian Gillan’s 1986 compilation album; the title is in reference to how I spent most of November. Thanks again to my mate Marius for letting me take over his hammock so I could listen to cockatoos and lorikeets making an awful racket in the mango tree next door all day long.

After sunset, however, an onslaught of bloodthirsty mozzies made the hammock less than ideal. Not to worry: Netflix to the rescue. Also, thanks to Etihad for providing some of the movies below as in-flight entertainment. Speaking of Etihad, I wouldn’t really recommend their Abu Dhabi to Brisbane flight, not that there was anything wrong with the flight per se, it’s just that 14 hours is a fair bit longer than I would prefer to spend on a plane in one sitting.

Zoolander

(2001, dir. Ben Stiller)

There's more to live than just being really, really ridiculously good-looking. I think.

There’s more to life than just being really, really ridiculously good looking. Or so they say.

2oolander aka Zoolander 2 is about to be inflicted upon us, so it was time to revisit the “classic” first installment. A New Hope this is not – but for lovers of slapstick, there’s an abundance of comedic moments that still hold their own after repeated viewings. Apparently there are those who didn’t find Zoolander that funny, and that’s OK – if that’s you, just keep watching those Merchant Ivory movies.

Monty Python: The Meaning of Live

(2014, dir. Roger Graef & James Rogan)

The Pythons have their game face on.

An endearing, at times almost heartbreaking – it’s painfully obvious that Terry Jones has dementia – look at what went on behind the scenes for Monty Python’s last stand. The Pythons have no qualms about coming out with the real reason for the shows (money, what else), and that’s just fine by me.

Critics and fans alike have tried to dissect the allure of the Pythons for decades, and here it is once again laid out in front of us: a hodgepodge of vastly different personalities and talents combined with hard work (and of course they try to play it down) and a splash of incredible luck in timing. There will never be another Monty Python.

Despicable Me & Minions

(2010, dir. Pierre Coffin & Chris Renaud; 2015, dir. Kyle Balda & Pierre Coffin)

The Cheetos are alive! Run to the hills!

The Cheetos are alive! Run to the hills!

OK, I get it – it’s all about the merchandising, especially with Christmas coming and all that jazz. I can’t help it though, these yellow critters are quite cute and funny – I’d love to say “in spite of” but I guess I’ll have to admit to “largely thanks to” their Chipmunk-like yabbering.

The first installment (Despicable Me) has the edge here, seeing as Minions is pretty much based on the same story as The Penguins of Madagascar. Which came first, the chicken (penguin) or the egg (Minion)?

Gravity

(2013, dir. Alfonso Cuarón)

Gravity

My God, it’s full of stars! Well, at least two of them.

CGI is definitely not like pizza – when it’s bad, it can be really bad. Gravity, however, showcases what can be done with computers with a little (OK, a lot of) effort. Too bad the story comes second; I get the need for dramatic twists and turns, but quite a few – if not most – of the plot points ask a bit much of the viewer in terms of suspension of disbelief. Still, infinitely more enjoyable on all levels than Avatar.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

(2010, dir. Oliver Stone)

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

What a wasted opportunity. One of the most iconic silver screen villains of all time, Gordon Gekko, is reduced to a cardboard cut-out of a father trying to reconcile with his estranged daughter, while his son-in-law can’t decide whether he’s in it for the money or some pie-in-the-sky green energy MacGuffin.

It’s as if everyone is phoning it in, not the least director Oliver Stone, who should know better. They even screwed up Gekko’s reunion with Bud Fox, which was such an anticlimax that I guess I’d better stop here before I get a brain aneurysm out of sheer frustration.

To be continued…

Vesivelliä siellä ei syötäis

English summary: Here’s my uncle & dad jamming away on Finnish folk tunes back in 1957 – almost 60 years ago. File under World Music, I guess. Enjoy.

Tein viime kesänä arkeologisia kaivauksia 1863 rakennetussa aitassa, jonka katto on vuotanut jo vuosikausia. Aittaan on hillottu tavaraa, josta suurin osa olisi kannattanut kiikuttaa kaatopaikalle jo vuosia sitten. Rojun seassa oli kuitenkin muutamia mielenkiintoisia artefakteja, ehdottomasti mielenkiintoisimpana kelanauha, jonka pahvikoteloon oli merkitty päiväys “24.11.57”.

Kaikuja lähes 60 vuoden takaa.

Kaikuja lähes 60 vuoden takaa.

Muistin nauhan nähdessäni, että isälläni oli tosiaan vielä 70-luvulla kelanauhuri, joka sittemmin hävisi aikamyrskyn syövereihin. Muistin myös kuulleeni tuolloin vanhan äänityksen, jolla isäni soitti kitaraa ja enoni lauloi. Yleisen käsityksen mukaan nauha oli hävinnyt nauhurin mukana. Epäilykseni kuitenkin heräsi: voisiko tämä olla kyseinen nauha? Ellei, nauhalla voisi silti olla jotain jälkipolville säilyttämisen arvoista.

Kaappasin nauhan kyytiin ja otin yhteyttä vanhojen nauhojen restaurointiin erikoistuneeseen tahoon. Nauha osoittautui kunnoltaan yllättävän hyväksi ja pian selvisikin, että kyseessä oli kuin olikin tuo legendaarinen sessio, jolla nyt jo edesmennyt eno-Matti laulelee toistaiseksi tuntemattomiksi jääneitä, osin nykyajan mittapuulla sangen “poliittisesti epäkorrekteja” ralleja eli viisuja.

Nauhalla oli siis neljä laulua, joiden nimistä tai muistakaan detaljeista ei ole mitään tietoa. Tässä vaiheessa heitänkin pallon Sinulle, arvon lukija: tunnetko näistä lauluista jonkin?

Tässä toistaiseksi parhaat arvaukset:

  1. “Oli mulla ennen heilini fiini”
  2. “Tykit takoo Kannaksella”
  3. “Vesivelliä siellä ei syötäis”
  4. “Rissasen Riikka”

550-5.7.1 errors from Gmail

email-43107-344170_478x359If your mail bounces from Gmail with the following message:

host
gmail-smtp-in.l.google.com[2a00:1450:400c:c02::1b] said: 550-5.7.1 [abcd:ef01:23:45:67:8:9abc:def0] Our system has detected that this
550-5.7.1 message does not meet IPv6 sending guidelines regarding PTR records 550-5.7.1 and authentication. Please review 550-5.7.1
https://support.google.com/mail/?p=ipv6_authentication_error for more 550-5.7.1 information. u5si1912210wyu.71 - gsmtp (in reply to end of DATA
command)

you’re probably using Postfix with IPv6 turned on. To fix this, tell Postfix to just use IPv4. In /etc/postfix/main.cf, change

inet_protocols = all

to

inet_protocols = ipv4

If it’s missing, just add the latter line. Restart postfix and hoppla! Es klingelt.

Gmail also wants a proper PTR (reverse IP lookup) record for the mail server, but the error message is probably something different (or nonexistent) if that’s missing.