• Gisaengchung / Parasite (2019)

    Parasite is the best movie of the year. This Korean movie won the renowned Palme d'Or of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. It has been selected as the South Korean entry for Best International Feature Film at the ninety-second Academy Awards.

    This movie combines multiple genres such as comedy, drama, horror, thriller and tragedy. The main theme is the clash between rich and poor in the Republic of Korea. This conflict has been the main topic in other great films such as The Housemaid and The Taste of Money. Parasite however is less cumbersome, melodramatic and moralizing and convinces with wit, depth and creativity instead.

    International audiences might feel slightly confused by this unusual genre mixture at first contact but this is exactly what makes this movie so unique. The story starts in a dramatic way and portrays a poor family who lives in a small semi-basement apartment and struggles to make ends meet. The movie gets more comedic when the son of said family gets the unexpected opportunity to replace a friend as English tutor for the beautiful daughter of a wealthy family. The film turns into a thriller when the four family members gradually infiltrate and even replace the personnel of the wealthy family with ethically questionable procedures. The movie turns into a horror film when the family realizes that the family mansion hides a creepy secret as things gradually spin out of control. The film ends as an almost surreal tragedy that will leave the audience speechless. Parasite is a movie the leaves a lasting impression, offers much food for thought and should animate philosophical discussions. The movie is so detailed, precise and profound that it deserves to be purchased to be watched time and again.

    I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to watch this movie in French in a Canadian cinema and so were the numerous other members of the audience in the packed movie theatre. People are craving for a change and are tired of tame, predictable and repetitive Hollywood superhero prequels, remakes and sequels. There should be more creative, dynamic and entertaining international movies like Parasite in movie theatres all around the world. If you desire to make a statement in favour of cinema as an artistic expression rather than shallow entertainment, do yourself a favour and enjoy this incredible movie on the big screen. This movie has the potential to become a cult classic and deserves all the praise it gets.

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  • Blind Guardian - Twilight Orchestra: Legacy of the Dark Lands (2019)

    Blind Guardian's Twilight Orchestra: Legacy of the Dark Lands has been two decades in the making. It has taken lots of patience, determination and courage to finally bring this project to life. The record is bound to be controversially received. This isn't a metal album at all but an entirely orchestral record with lead vocals by Hansi Kürsch. There are no keyboards, electric guitars or bass guitars to be found on this album at all. The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra has performed all instruments and backing choirs and the only elements that link this release to other Blind Guardian outputs are the lead vocals, the imaginative lyrics and the splendid cover artwork and booklet. One has to wonder whether this record has been released under the Blind Guardian banner for marketing reasons alone.

    More than seventy-five minutes of orchestral music might not be everybody's cup of tea. The only remotely comparable record by a metal band is Therion's Beloved Antichrist released last year. Whether you like it or not, this album is a revolution for the metal genre since something as radical as this has never been attempted before.

    There are a lot of things to be liked here if you like fantasy novels and medieval themes, classical and orchestral music as well as audio books and radio plays. The narrative interludes give the release its concept and are thoroughly entertaining. The longer tracks tell the story in dramatic, elaborate and epic fashion. The orchestral work is as professional as it gets and varies from smooth and enchanting parts over joyous and playful elements to bombastic and epic outbursts that are stylistically close to the essence of metal music. Hansi Kürsch's vocals blend in splendidly as he performs with lots of feeling in the slower parts, mid-paced sections and few energetic passages. This record has the potential to become the soundtrack to a musical that would certainly attract open-minded metal fans and more wealthy, sophisticated and intellectual audiences alike.

    Despite a length of more than seventy-five minutes and twenty-four tracks in total, the record is thoroughly entertaining and dynamic, diversified and creative enough to fascinate with its complex story. The lush production accentuates the stunning orchestral performances, the epic but moderately employed choirs and the brilliant lead vocals that finally get the occasion to shine without having to compete with bumble bee bass guitar sounds, fast-paced guitar solos and double-bass drum patterns. Despite its unusual style, this album might be the easiest to digest in Blind Guardian's discography in that regard as you won't have to process information overload.

    In the end, Blind Guardian's Twilight Orchestra: Legacy of the Dark Lands should be approached with precaution. You must know that this is a conceptual orchestral record and not a metal or even rock album. If you like classical music, orchestral music and soundtracks with narrative parts, you will certainly appreciate this imaginative output. If those descriptions sound horrendous to you, ignore this album even if you are an avid Blind Guardian fan. This is certainly an acquired taste.

    Rating: 90%

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  • Ottawa Fury FC

    Ottawa Fury FC has just announced today that it has suspended operations. The franchise isn't taking a break. The franchise is dead and gone. This situation is only explained in three bland sentences that are a slap in the face for the numerous supporters. The club's website has already been deleted. The way the plug has been pulled is simply heartless.

    However, one might have seen that devastating end coming by a mile. Ottawa Fury FC started playing in the North American Soccer League back in 2014, still playing at the cold and modest Keith Harris Stadium at Carleton University before moving to brand new TD Place. The team developed an intense rivalry with the only other Canadian team, FC Edmonton and competed fiercely against legendary New York Cosmos with star players such as Raul. The team even made it to the Soccer Bowl final in 2015. The North American Soccer League was however struggling financially and administratively at that point already.

    Ottawa Fury FC had no other option but to switch to the United Soccer League, playing its first season in 2017. The North American Soccer League folded at the end of the same year and many franchises either switched to the United Soccer League or had to suspend operations. After a difficult start, Ottawa Fury FC made it to the playoffs in 2019, losing against Charleston Battery after extra time and penalty kicks in the first round. That has only happened a week and a half ago. However, the team had already struggled to obtain permission by the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football to play in the United Soccer League for its last season and the team was heavily pressured to join the new Canadian Premier League that has a much smaller budget, set up quite different rules and features only seven teams. Ottawa Fury FC appealed the decision to not be allowed to play in the United Soccer League and was ultimately allowed to play in 2019.

    At that point, the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, owner of the Ottawa Fury FC as well as Ontario Hockey Leagues's Ottawa 67's and Canadian Football League's Ottawa Redblacks, should have known that it had eighteen months to switch from the United Soccer League to the Canadian Premier League. The team would have gone through numerous changes but could have played in a new and strong Canadian league starting in late April 2020.

    Instead of switching leagues, the team has now folded and the future for professional soccer in Canada's capital is currently looking quite bleak. It's understandable that the administrative challenges have exhausted the owners. It's obvious that a switch to a third league in such a short period of time goes along with lots of complicated paper work. It's clear that numerous players would have been forced to leave and be replaced by younger Canadian players. 

    The disappointing thing is that the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group didn't even seem to be trying to solve those issues anymore, that it released its devastating statement in three bland sentences and closed the website immediately as if to erase any trace of a team that thousands of fans had supported over the years.

    On a positive note, FC Edmonton folded after the final North American Soccer League season back in fall 2017. The team seemed to be dead and gone but rose from its ashes to join the Canadian Premier League and resumed playing in spring 2019. A similar fate might eventually happen to the Ottawa Fury FC or a completely new team in Ottawa.

    It's devastating however how many leagues and teams have folded in North America over the past few decades. Soccer is still overall not sustainable in North America despite significant improvements over the past decade in particular. North America will be hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup. There is a brand new stadium ready to welcome twenty-four thousand fans in the heart of Canada's capital. It would be a shame if professional soccer didn't succeed in the long run in Ottawa. Until then, the fans will be waiting patiently. Canadian soccer fans have already developed elements most hockey or football fans have never known: determination, optimism and resilience. Ottawa Fury FC will not be forgotten.

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  • Ladies and gentlemen!

    I'm aware that the current decade actually started in 2011 and will only end in fourteen months when 2020 will be over. However, when referencing culture and arts, it's often more common to refer to decades by calling them the nineties, the eighties, the seventies and so on. Therefore, I would consider the years from 2010 to 2019 as a decade. Throughout the past ten years, I have started writing numerous film and music reviews. I have taken some time to look back at some of my favourite movies and records from these years over the past few days. It wasn't an easy task but I have ultimately compiled a list of my twenty-five favourite records. I have decided to honour the best three records with trailers, reviews and posters in order to make this list easier to explore. However, all twenty-five selections are worth ten out of ten points for different reasons in my humble opinion. This list includes everything from punk rock over progressive rock to black metal. There should be something for every taste on this list if you like rock and metal music as much as I do. Take your time to revisit the records you have enjoyed throughout the past ten years and share your favourites with me and other readers if you like. 

    1.      Grimskunk – Unreason in the Age of Madness (2018)

    Grim Skunk - Unreason in the Age of Madness (2018)

          Review: http://kluseba.eklablog.com/statements-on-the-pulse-of-time-a-review-of-grimskunk-s-unreason-in-th-a144562964 

    2.      Voivod – The Wake (2018)

    Voivod - The Wake (2018)

          Review: http://kluseba.eklablog.com/the-wonders-mankind-can-accomplish-a-review-of-voivod-s-the-wake-a148771490 

    3.      Amorphis – Queen of Time (2018)

    Amorphis - Queen of Time (2018)

          Review: http://kluseba.eklablog.com/flirting-with-perfection-a-review-of-amorphis-queen-of-time-a144888300 

    4.      Orphaned Land – All Is One (2013)

    5.      Amorphis – Circle (2013)

    6.      Unbeing – Ceres (2016)

    7.      Avenged Sevenfold – The Stage (2016)

    8.      M.H.X.’s Chronicles – Infinite Ocean (2015)

    9.      Blaze Bayley – The King of Metal (2012)

    10.  Rush – Clockwork Angels (2012)

    11.  Amorphis – The Beginning of Times (2011)

    12.  Galneryus – Ultimate Sacrifice (2017)

    13.  Akphaezya – Anthology IV: The Tragdey of Nerak (2012)

    14.  Kreator – Phantom Antichrist (2012)

    15.  Therion – Les Fleurs du Mal (2012)

    16.  Moonspell – Extinct (2017)

    17.  Xandria – Sacrificium (2014)

    18.  Amorphis – Under the Red Cloud (2017)

    19.  Bloody Tyrant – Solitary Eagle (2017)

    20.  Ayreon – The Source (2017)

    21.  Agalloch – Faustian Echoes (2017)

    22.  Loudness – 2012 (2012)

    23.  Stratovarius – Nemesis (2013)

    24.  Idle Hands – Mana (2019)

    25.  Anthrax – Worship Music (2011)

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  • Ladies and gentlemen!

    I'm aware that the current decade actually started in 2011 and will only end in fourteen months when 2020 will be over. However, when referencing culture and arts, it's often more common to refer to decades by calling them the nineties, the eighties, the seventies and so on. Therefore, I would consider the years from 2010 to 2019 as a decade. Throughout the past ten years, I have started writing numerous film and music reviews. I have taken some time to look back at some of my favourite movies and records from these years over the past few days. It wasn't an easy task but I have ultimately compiled a list of my twenty-five favourite flicks. I have decided to honour the best three films with trailers, reviews and posters in order to make this list easier to explore. However, all twenty-five selections are worth ten out of ten points for different reasons in my humble opinion. This list includes everything from comedy movies over dramas to science-fiction. There should be something for every taste on this list. Take your time to revisit the movies you have enjoyed throughout the past ten years and share your favourites with me and other readers if you like. 

    1.      The Wailing (2016)

    The Wailing (2016)

    Review: http://kluseba.eklablog.com/goksung-the-wailing-2016-by-far-the-best-movie-of-the-year-10-10-09-11-a127407818 

    2.      Blade of the Immortal (2017)

    Blade of the Immortal (2017)

    Review: http://kluseba.eklablog.com/mugen-no-junin-blade-of-the-immortal-2017-elegant-and-epic-fantasy-and-a134301326 

    3.      Train to Busan (2016)

    Train to Busan (2016)

    Review: http://kluseba.eklablog.com/busanhaeng-train-to-busan-2016-the-best-zombie-movie-ever-made-so-far--a128199666 

    4.      Shutter Island (2010)

    5.      Shadow (2018)

    6.      My Way (2011)

    7.      Hotel Mumbai (2018)

    8.      Happy Death Day (2017)

    9.      Quick (2011)

    10.  The Handmaiden (2016)

    11. I Saw the Devil (2010)

    12.  Passengers (2016)

    13.  The Salvation (2014)

    14. Parasite (2019)

    15.  The White Storm (2013)

    16.  The Man from Nowhere (2010)

    17.  Champion (2018)

    18.  Rampant (2018)

    19.  The Grey (2011)

    20.  A or B (2018)

    21.  Thugs of Hindostan (2018)

    22.  The Foreigner (2017)

    23.  Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

    24.  Alpha (2018)

    25.  The Interview (2014)

    The list of my favourite records released between 2010 and 2019 will be published shortly.

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