musicmatzes blog

“Men in Black: International” is the fourth installment of the Men in Black film series, and the first one to not feature Will Smith as the main actor. And that shows.

Will Smith truly gave the Men in Black series its special spin. Men in Black: International does not live up to that (fairly high) standard. Still, it does not fail to entertain, in my opinion.

A word on “political correctness”

Yes, Men in Black: International features a female actor as the main character. I get the impression that more and more film makers aim for what is called “political correctness” by installing female actors in movies.

I do not think this is a bad idea.

But, why does this mean that movies and film series which strongly build on the “Macho/Bad-Boy” stereotype are now “reinvented” with a female main character? There was a debate about a female 007, there is certainly some online discussion about “Star Trek: Discovery” and now there is a female Men in Black main actor. In my opinion, that is a rather uninspired and dull move. Aiming for more female actors for the main character is a very creditable goal – but just re-doing movies and replacing a male main character with a female feels like a half-hearted attempt.

I, for one, would love to see more new female main character movies.

Plot

In the 90s, Molly witnesses her parents being neuralyzed by agents of MIB. She stays un-neuralyzed. From then on, she aims to become one of the MIB.

Besides from that, the plot does not differ greatly from the other MIB movies, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Critic

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 23% based on 318 reviews, with an average rating of 4.5/10.

(wikipedia)

Strangely, in contrast to the efforts of installing a female character as a strong woman, the movie has lost its coolness. This could have been the one key point where the movie could be able to continue the MIB franchise with a female main character! The previous MIB movies were always some sort of “bad-boy cool-gangster-themed” action movie with comedic elements. Men in Black International does not continue on that road, unfortunately.

Still, the movie is nice for an evening of Monsters and action, and I would agree on the 4.5/10 of rottentomatoes.

#movie #comedy #action #fantasy

“Iceland: On Top of the World” is a documentary about, well, Iceland (amazon, netflix). Normally I don't write about documentaries here, but this one was particularly nice.

I really liked that it features not only facts about the history, but also about the current culture and life in iceland and, but that's no surprise, the absolutely astonishing images of icelandic nature.

Of course there's no plot here I can talk about. Still, I want to say that the 5.8/10 on IMDB is underrated and I'd say this is a solid 9/10!

#movie #documentary #iceland #nature #history


“Thoughts” is (will be) a weekly roll-up of my mastodon feed with some notable thoughts collected into a long-form blog post. “Long form” is relative here, as I will only expand a little on some selected subjects, not write screens and screens of text on each of these subjects.

If you think I toot too much to follow, this is an alternative to follow some of my thoughts.


This week (2021-05-29 – 2021-06-04) I got very angry about this “you need an app for this” bullshit and some things died.

App madness

I am very angry (german) about every other service forcing me to install an app of some sort or another on my devices. This time it was my insurance that wanted me to install either a desktop application (Windows and Mac only) or a Smartphone app (Android or iOS only) just to update my bank account or address. How mad can they possibly be?

I reported them to #digitalcourage.

github actions

I probably said it before, but the more I play with #githubactions, the more I like it.

This is mainly due to the fact that the features are well-designed. You can make dependend jobs and you can even boot up #docker containers, if your application has to be tested against, for example, a database or some other service. I know that #github will never #opensource this, that's why I hope someone implements it as a FLOSS alternative!

Awesome Rust

It always amazes me how good the #rust standard library actually is. I was able to solve an issue in my codebase with a two-line patch that would have been way more complex in another language!

Dying things

First audacity, now stackoverflow (german) died.

What's next? I really hope we can develop alternative FLOSS platforms. For audacity, there are several alternative tools around that one can switch to. For stackoverflow, not so much. Especially because the software is only one part, the other part is the data. There are dumps of stackoverflow somewhere on the internet (I'm not linking because I don't know how legal these dumps actually are), so maybe someone can implement a FLOSS alternative (please make it federated or distributed) and import that dataset?

This would be awesome!

R.I.P.D. or “Rest in Peace Department” is a “2013 American science fiction action comedy film”.

Let me anticipate: The movie was a flop. It had negative reviews and was financially unsuccessfull. I can see why.

Plot

As always, I do not want to give away that much information (even less than the wikipedia article on the movie):

Nick, a police officer, dies. After his death, he gets recruited by the Rest in Peace Department, where he should take care of the undead that walk the earth and refuse to move on to the afterlife. He, with his partner Roy, soon has to save the earth from the apocalypse.

My opinion

I have to say that the plot is not very exciting and the movie has only a weak 3.70/10 on rotten tomatoes and bad reviews on other sites as well.

And I have to agree. The movie is not complete garbage, I laughted at least one time... it keeps you entertained to a certain level, perfect if you just want to hang around on your couch after a hard days work but you don't want to have one of these exciting action movies or complicated sci-fi movies on your screen, but something simple that keeps your mind busy but not overloaded.

For that scenario, the movie serves. For everything else, watch something else! 3/10 from me.

#movie #comedy #action #fiction

Wrath of the Titans is a 2012 action fantasy film and a sequel to the 2010 film Clash of the Titans. The latter was rather nice, as far as I can remember. With Wrath of the Titans, I have to admit that the things in my mastodon timeline were more interesting than the movie, so I did not see all scenes.

Plot

Well, it is another one of these “greek/ancient gods fight to save the world”-movies. I really have to admit that I did not get the entire plot and had to read up on wikipedia.

To give you the one phrase from wikipedia that describes the plot best:

Zeus visits Perseus and asks for his help, saying that humans are not praying to the gods; as a result, [...] they can no longer [..] hold[ing] back the imprisoned Titan Kronos from freedom.

Critique

You may have already noticed that I wasn't paying too much attention to the movie. Yes, it was rather easy to get distracted! It is certainly not bad, given that quite a few good and known actors are starred, e.g. Sam Worthington (one of my favourite actors), Rosamund Pike, Ralph Fiennes and also Loam Neeson (and of course some more known ones).

Rotten Tomatoes [...] reports that 27% of 172 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 4.47/10.

(wikipedia)

And I must agree with that. The fight scenes are okayish, the acting is good but there were no emotions sparked with me. I would rate it with 4.5/10, confirming the rottentomatoes average.

#movie #action #fantasy


“Thoughts” is (will be) a weekly roll-up of my mastodon feed with some notable thoughts collected into a long-form blog post. “Long form” is relative here, as I will only expand a little on some selected subjects, not write screens and screens of text on each of these subjects.

If you think I toot too much to follow, this is an alternative to follow some of my thoughts.


This week (2021-05-21 – 2021-05-28) I thought about how to scale up the nixpkgs community. Not much more happened.

Scaling the nixpkgs community

I am rather known for my complains about the scaling issues of the nixpkgs community (4.5k open issues, 2.6k open PRs in nixos/nixpkgs alone right now). I am a strong believer in the distributed email based workflow the kernel community and others use and I voiced my arguments on mastodon again, supported by some git-based numbers.

Star Trek Discovery

I am currently watching the Star Trek Discovery series (expect an article on the series as soon as I'm done with it) and I think that, especially in the second season, there's just too much crying (german). Four episodes of sobbing non stop.

This time I want to write not about a Sci-Fi series or movie, but an action movie. The Italian Job is a “heist action thriller”. I like it because it does not have too much violence, only a bit of gunfire and one or two punches, but that's it.

Also, the movie is rather well-staffed, starring Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron and Jason Statham (which is one of the actors I'm rather fond of, to be honest).

Plot

As always, I do not want to spoiler too much, hence only this bit: The movie sets of in Venice, where John Bridger, a professional safecracker, manages to steal $35 Million with his team. After a successful escape, a team member turns on them and manages to escape. Of course, this means revenge.

Rating

The Italian Job “was the highest-grossing film produced by Paramount in 2003” (according to wikipedia). It has a relatively good rating of 6.43/10 on rottentomatoes and I would give it a solid 7/10.

#movie #action #thriller

Once in a while I find issues on github, mails on mailinglists or even questions in IRC/Matrix/whateverelse that always end with the same phrase:

Should I send a patch for this?

One recent example is this very well drafted mail on the sr.ht-discuss mailinglist (*).

The answer to this question is (almost) always: YES PLEASE! Even moreso, the answer to this question is a question itself: “Why didn't you in the first place?”.

Sending a patch vs asking

Most of the time (and with the mail linked above) the overhead between asking whether a patch would be appropriate and just sending the patch is minimal. The effort crafting the patch is something in the lower minute range, nothing that takes a few hours. Plus, the rationale why the patch was created serves perfectly as a commit message!

Consider this: The patch is trivial, the rationale is rather long. Having the rationale as commit message and sending the patch with the rationale as commit message results in several benefits for everyone:

  • If the maintainer of the project wants to apply the patch right away, they can. This is actually huge: it saves everyone one roundtrip!
  • The commit message is there right away and it is very detailed and good
  • If the maintainer does not want to take the patch as-is, there's still one roundtrip saved because they can craft inline comments in the patch on what should be changed

If the patch is declined, very minimal effort was wasted. The ratio between effort saved if the patch is applied and effort wasted if it is not applied is actually very low. Plus, most projects would love to have more contributions, so getting a “No” right away is not that common!

Of course, there's also cases where you'd want to ask before actually working on a patch. That's the case if there needs to be serious effort be involved. If you'd need to refactor a large portion of the codebase, for example, you might want to get in touch with the maintainers first, whether such a change would be accepted.

I'd argue, though, that most of the time you can just fire away with your patches. That's certainly the way I handle it and most of the time they are applied right away without any back-and-forth!


(*): This mail just serves as an example here because it sparked my inspiration for writing this article. I do not want to attack the author in any way, neither do I either agree or disagree with the changes proposed in the mail.


“Thoughts” is (will be) a weekly roll-up of my mastodon feed with some notable thoughts collected into a long-form blog post. “Long form” is relative here, as I will only expand a little on some selected subjects, not write screens and screens of text on each of these subjects.

If you think I toot too much to follow, this is an alternative to follow some of my thoughts.


This week (2021-05-15 – 2021-05-21) I started thinking about hiking. Besides from that, not much happened, to be honest.

Hiking

I started (german) thinking about #hiking a lot more recently because I don't think the pandemic will end soon and even if it does (it won't, srsly!), I cannot go on vacation anyways because my prefered way would be with a camper and I do not (yet) own one, plus, prices are high up in the sky, so I cannot afford one either. So the idea of hiking a lot more came up and I started planning hikes around my hometown and nearby (southern Germany).

I also started thinking about multi-day hikes (3 to 10 days) and am currently thinking whether this would be a plan for the next (approx.) two years, to be able to do the NST (german) in 2023 over the course of 6 months.

I'm not particularly fit at the moment, but a 15-20km hike with a light backpack is nothing I am scared of, so I guess that's a good start for training. Still, having approximately 1.5 years for training shouldn't be a bad idea. Starting slow with lower two-figure-km hikes and going up to 25 or even 30km, adding more and more baggage along the way, including (of course) a tent and sleeping bag, to be able to do multi-day hikes. Also, some of the gear has to be bought, of course.

Maybe this develops into a real plan.

Logging with rsyslog

Another thing I thought a lot about is how to log from several services (distributed over a network) to one central place, in one file per process. A friend suggested #rsyslog and I was investigating the possibilities with that. It certainly can do what I want.

For my particular problem, rsyslog would suffice. Still, I was able to solve it even less complicated, without the need for an additional service.

Per-Process Resource restriction

I also messed around with the idea of restricting resources per process on my notebook. The idea came up because of high RAM usage of #firefox and dolphin, slowing down other things. Putting these two into a resource-restricted environment, only giving them access to 16 GB RAM maximum for example, could solve that minor inconvenience (I have 32GB installed in the device).

IRC

After freenode vanishing from the face of the earth, I think the time of IRC is finally over.

The time of #irc is over. Join #matrix now!

(toot)

I'm not saying that there won't be #IRC channels anymore, but #freenode was the one big network in IRC-land. The takeover was no surprise but a question of “when” instead of “if”.

Still, alternatives exist today and I promote Matrix because I think it is a good thing. Don't tell me it is bloated, don't tell me it is slow, don't tell me the clients suck (go write one that fits your needs, instead of bragging about these things), don't tell me what I know (or what I have experience with that differs from your claims)!

Matrix is here today, has advantages over other communication protocols and works.

I am known for not being the biggest fan of horror movies. In fact, I avoid them like crazy. Now, “The Covenant” is not necessarily a real horror movie, but wikipedia titles it “supernatural action horror film” and I agree wholeheartedly.

Is there a #database of #movies that show #spiders? Because I'd LOVE to have a database on this so I can avoid these movies!

(toot)

Either way, the movie is exciting!

The Plot

As always, I do not give away too much of the plot here, even less than the wikipedia article on the movie!

In “The Covenant”, four teenagers, the descendants of colonial witch families, have magical abilities. At the age of 18, they ascend and their powers become massive. At their school, they meet a new student: Chase. Though, she starts to experience strange things, as do the boys.

Things go strange and downhill faster and faster, with a malicious (magical) actor revealing later in the plot.

My opinion

I already wrote that I'm not that fond of spiders in movies, especially if they are part of the plot. Still, the movie was great and I liked it a lot. The music is very well suited for that kind of movie and I loved the Metalish/Hardrockish atmosphere.

The movie is pretty dark overall, which is not that surprising, given its genre. Still, what really bothered me is that it rains constantly in the movie, except for the scenes where the main character drives his car – because they always drive open-top. It's really a goof, in my opinion!

I must say, though, that the movie was not very well recepted in media. It has only an approval rate of disillusioning 4 % on rottentomatoes, and an average score of 2.84/10!

The Covenant plays out like a teen soap opera, full of pretty faces, wooden acting, laughable dialogue, and little suspense.

(rottentomatoes)

I agree, but the characters are still well-played and it clearly did not fail to entertain me.

#movie #horror #action #supernatural