Seen: Star Wars Episode III 
Saturday, 18 .June, 2005, 19:40 - English Entries, Movies

There would be lots of things to say about this movie, but I think all of it has already been said. It is a more than worthy ending for this great adventure - Lucas really did it all better than ever before.

Episode I and II were disappointments to me, although the ending of II had already some scenes in it where the spirit (or the force?) came alive again. It was the first time we saw Yoda fighting and I felt as excited as I felt when he, many many years ago, in another galaxy, taught "young Skywalker" to be a Jedi. And this time? He enters the room to confront the source of all evil and when two of the guards want to make a move for him, he just lets them break down by a little hand gesture, not even looking at them.

Everything is it the peek of strength in this movie, the legend shivering with power and within all that we have a real story. The big question "how could Anakin turn Vader" is answered in a more complex way than I have thought. No no - it is not an intellectual thriller this time, it is still the good old straight-forward star wars, but there is a reflection of Goethes Faust in Skywalkers eyes when he is listening to the messenger from the dark side.

The movie starts high up in the sky, spaceships batteling - and ends in the black and red hell of a vulcanic planet. Symbolism all around, but most of the time it is done so well that you think it is the story you are watching, not the message. And still there are jokes, the movie is making fun of itself without going ever too far (at least in I & II they went over the top).

It gets 9 out of 10, because I did not like how Palpetine was played when he showed his dark side. Everything else was what it should be: legendary.

-- original date: June 18th 2005 --

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Vacation Started 
Friday, 17 .June, 2005, 19:39 - English Entries, Finland, Travel, Thoughts

This evening at 18:00 I left the office and went by bike from Pitajamäki to Töölö, where I live. During that ride my holidays started. Two weeks in Finland, no plans, no too big tasks, besides reworking my part of this for the second edition.

On Wednesday I was in Bonn. It was my first visit there and as it was work related I did not see too much. I arrived there already Tuesday evening, but the hotel was too far from city center to go for a walk.


Is this a sunset over Bonn or a power plant blowing up?

During Wednesday lunch break we took a walk along the Rhine, the sun was up and 30 degress Celcius were hanging around in the park. I saw the bulding in which the members of parliament once worked (Abgeordnetenhaus - der lange Lulatsch) and also the exciting tower of Deutsche Bundespost - both on the other side of the river.

At least I made it at some point in my life to the capital of the country that I have lived in 20 years.

In Helsinki the summer has settled to stay for a while. The whole week was sunny, temperatures up to 20 degrees Celcius and the forecast looks similar. Soon it will be midsummer, the longest day. Now it is 22:22 (10:22 pm) and over the roof of the neighbour building hangs a light blue sky with a growing moon on it.


Finlandiatalo from across Töölönlahti
Picutre taken at 03:30 in the morning

My neighbours have to listen to the song "Deiche" of Kettcar - a powerful rock song with good German lyrics. The right thing to start vacation.


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Shred of Doubt 
Tuesday, 14 .June, 2005, 19:37 - English Entries, Music, Politics

Michael Jackson was found not guilty during this night. It was night in Europe when he walked out into the California sun as a free man. I watched it on BBC world, thanks to a hint from a friend (kiitos kittos).

Do I care about the outcome of the trial?

It seems I do, else I would not write about it here. I have not followed the trial during the last weeks actively, but some news were unavoidable when looking through German newspapers on the web.

There are several things that crossed my mind during yesterdays TV coverage. The jury members made an calm and very thoughtful impression. It seemed they all went on very well with each other. During the two hour bla bla, that BBC showed us, the press conference with the jury was one of the most interesting parts. Unfortunately they cut it at some moment and showed Uri Geller (if you do not know him be happy, because if you know him you'll regret it).

Also the interview with the district attorney was interesting to see. His answers were clear and straight, they were politcally correct and kept out all the emotions that were visible from his face. In a way it was good that neither Jackson nor one of his lawyers said anything - what could they have told us?

The defence lawyers last words to the jury, before it left the court room to find the verdict, was, that they must not find M.J. guilty if there is "a single shred of doubt". It seems that influenced both the media and the jury, although it should be obvious in a court trial that nobody can be found guilty if his or her guilt is not proven beyond any doubt.

I never was a fan of Michael Jackson, although I think it is good to have some people like him around that split the public mind so clearly and that keep an eccentric life-style. He is more a symbol than a personality and found guilty or not would have added to the meaning of this symbol. Now he is reflected as a winner and some people seem to think that he is definitly not guilty.

That is wrong - he just could not be proven guilty. If he did what he was accused for, or at least some things out of the ten accusations, then it is cruel for the vicitims that he can now go free. They most likely now seen as liars in some peoples minds. It was not the trials aim to find them lying or not, there is still the same possiblity as before that they tell the truth. Everybody has to judge by her- or himslef, how high this possibilty could be.

The only thing that we can say for sure is: We cannot know. And those who say they know forget about the shred of doubt. There might be a list of things that I could bring forward why I think that the USA are a strange country and could improve on some issues, at least from my little European view, but the outcome of this trial showed to me that their law system works better then I thought.

Don't worry, I will not buy any album of Michael. He can climb up to Olympus and throw lightning from there - I will still not pay him any attention as an artist.


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Concert in Kaivopuisto 
Sunday, 12 .June, 2005, 19:35 - English Entries, Helsinki, Finland, Music

Today was Helsinki Day and besides lots of other events a concert took place in Kaivopuisto, admission was free.

It took me quite a while today to get myself together, so I managed to come rather late to the concert, sometime around 17:00 and I only saw the last three acts, which were Maija Vilkkumaa, 69 Eyes and Fun like you (not sure if I got that name right - he was hip hop anyhow).

The sky was overclouded, but temperatures were still around the 16 degress (Celcius, for those of you who calculate in other strange measures - and plus degrees, for those of you from Lapland, who leave away the minus, but never the plus when it comes to degrees). It was an ok day for being outside without a jacket.

I have been to Kaivopuisto several times now. It is the biggest park in Helsinki, all grean meadow, hills and trees. Lots of space and inbetween that more space. And today it was full. Already entering the park by bike was not possible - there were everywhere people. And when I reached the concert place there was the whole population of Europe (and as it seemed also half of Asia) already there and singing and jumping with Maija to her rock songs.


They all danced

The singer of 69 eyes ended his gig with a sentence worth remembering: "Helsinki! The Rock-capital of the world" - some people laughed, but most agreed wildly, including me.


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Seen: Hostage 
Sunday, 12 .June, 2005, 19:32 - English Entries, Movies

"Hostage" was the first movie for some time that managed to drag me into a cinema. The critics were quite good about it and compared it with "Die Hard" (the first part).

Well, Hostage is a very good action movie that goes further in introducing comic-book-like elements into film. Already the intro is an eyecatcher: the outside scenary of a hostage place, police everywhere, backyards, helicopters hanging up in the air - but all is more like drawn and the only thing that moves is the camera, as if it was showing us a picture. I don't know if director Florent Emilio Siri stole this idea somewhere, but even if he did, it was a good theft.

The movie itself is not for a minute boring, it takes your breath away and keeps it until the last evil doer has turned into a corpse and a dubious dawn ends the film with a bloody red sky. At some points we see super heroes fighting in the firey hell of a buring house and it all is presented in such bombastic pictures and gestures that you just love to buy it for real.

Yes - really good and well-made, but what about the comparison with Die Hard? Bruce Willis is there - great! As usual he is best when he is desperate and has taken already several bullets. This time he is in a deep moral conflict and even is able to act wrong. What shall he do - it's all about his family.

But then - it is really quite a bit about family and therefore very serious. It is hardly anything to laugh in this film. But there are few pictures of dead kids that I was not too eager to see. The value of family is underlined in thick red with blood and dead bodies and in such a sourrounding it is not easy to crack jokes.

Don't get me wrong, I dislike it too when a good story gets messed up with the usual funny guy who spoils half of the movie with his unnecessary comments. This is not what I meant. Willis nevertheless is capable of mixing more attitudes into a personality than just the traumatized cop that has to get back to hard-boiled in order to save his wife and daughter.

So it is worth seeing - definitly, no question about that. I stick to the 8 out of 10 points and hope you'll all see and like it.


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