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The JAG18 Stronghold


The Phantom Menace Fight Sucks?

Posted by JAG18 , Apr 25 2017 · 71 views

And not just in terms of everything except choreography.

[Yes I've known about these videos for some time (and I've also seen the video where Obi-Wan Force Speeds straight into the power generator pit), I'm just posting them as food for thought, and no I don't mind if you like this fight or the movie it's from.]


My Favorite Movies

Posted by JAG18 , Apr 03 2017 · 35 views
Very recently, Voltex posted in his blog about making a list of every one of your favorite movies from every year you've been alive and I decided to do the same thing. Echoing some of the things he said, I too need something to blog about and I also need to watch more movies especially from the year I was born. I will also add that I need an excuse not to start writing a short story that's a sequel to that "Twilight Zone" episode "To Serve Man".

Now on to the movies!

96: "That Thing You Do"
97: "The Lost World: Jurassic Park"
98: "Mulan"
99: "The Sixth Sense"
00: "Gladiator" (sorry "Unbreakable" and "Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust")
01: "The Fellowship of the Ring"
02: "Signs" (sorry "Spider-Man")
03: "The Return of the King" (sorry "Master and Commander", but I guess that's the story of your life)
04: "Hotel Rwanda" (sorry "Spider-Man 2")
05: "Batman Begins"
06: "Facing the Giants" (I'm not sorry "Spider-Man 3")
07: "Ratatouille"
08: "The Dark Knight"
09: "Star Trek"
10: "Robin Hood"
11: "Super 8"
12: "October Baby"
13: "Captain Phillips"
14: "Edge of Tommorow" (sorry five or six other movies that I also really like and everyone else would agree is better than this one)
15: "Mad Max: Fury Road"
16: "10 Cloverfield Lane" (sorry "The Neon Demon" for not getting around to watching you yet)
17: I've only seen 8 films this year so far and "Dunkirk", "The Last Jedi", "Guardians Vol.2", and "Valerian" are still on the way, but at this point I'd probably pick "Life" or "Kong: Skull Island" as my favorite movie of the year with "The Lego Batman Movie" as a strong runner up.


The Legend Reborn (in G&T)

Posted by JAG18 , Mar 15 2017 · 55 views
Games and Trivia
This has nothing to do with the movie I've been meaning to watch again for the millionth time. No, this is about the return of The Bionicle Caption Contest to G&T!

Like most things I do, the decision to bring back this classic BZP game was completely spontaneous. I have fond memories of reading through the original topic as a guest and I've always felt that G&T was missing something without it; so since I'm trying to be more active around I thought it was time to bring it back the game this time with some of Gen 2's funniest images. Arguably, this would have been a much better idea to this a year or two ago when G&T was much more active...but oh well.

Come in and play today!


Three Years

Posted by JAG18 , Feb 20 2017 · 69 views

Today is my three year anniversary on BZPower; feels more like two. I wonder if I should try and be more active around here or something...

That is all, now continue with whatever you were doing.


Best Movie, Album, and Songs of 2016

Posted by JAG18 , Jan 25 2017 · 107 views

OK, I know I'm getting this up a little later than I wanted to, but regardless here are the rest of my year-end lists for the year of 2016 for your reading pleasure and because I really like making top lists. So, let's start with...

Best Movie of 2016: "10 Cloverfield Lane"
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You know, I don’t know I make these best movies lists when I do. And the reason I say this is because I watched some of my favorite movies of 2015 (“Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Krampus”) for the first time in 2016 and more than likely I’ll discover my favorite movies of 2016 this year.
OK setting all that aside, I did really like this movie. Put simply, it’s almost like a two hour episode of one of my favorite TV shows “The Twilight Zone” heck it’s even got a classic Twilight Zone ending. Yeah, I really liked this one.

Honorable Mentions: “I’m Not Ashamed”, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”

Best Album of 2016: “Royal Blues” – Dragonette
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You know what, I could start this by complaining for the millionth time that not one, or two or three, but five albums that I was really looking forward to coming out in 2016 and I thought would be the top half of a decent top 10 list, all got delay until this year, but I'm not going to.
So, I’ve known who electropop act Dragonette is since early 2015, but this is when I really became a fan after hearing their amazing song “Lonely Heart” a couple of months before they dropped this album. Anyway, this is a really cool album, that I did like a lot (especially songs like "Body 2 Body", "Darth Vader", and "Your Love Can't Touch Me Now") even if at the end of the day there was no competition this year.

Honorable Mentions: “Britt Nicole” – Britt Nicole, “You Can’t Kill Us” – Icon For Hire

Top 10 Songs of 2016:

First things first, the criteria were that the song need to be released between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016 or needed to become popular in that same time period (without having appeared on a previous year-end before). Anyway, this was by far the list I spent the most time on and poured the most effort into. Since last January I’ve kept a list in a word document of every song I might want to put on this list resulting in almost 125 nominees. Now, I could list all 50 songs that I ranked and even add my short list to create a Top 75, but I’ll just stick to a top ten. And the winner is…

I really like this song (obviously), although it was really, really hard deciding this one over “Chewing Gum” and I’m not entirely sure what puts this song slightly above that one, but whatever this is a great song.

2. “Chewing Gum” – Nina Nesbitt
3. “Real Love” – Florrie
4. “Hotter than [karzahni]” – Dua Lipa
5. “Rockabye” – Clean Bandit; Anne-Marie, Sean Paul
6. “My Heartache” – Olivia Lane
7. “The Magic” – Lola Blanc
8. “Blow Your Mind” (Mwah)” – Dua Lipa
9. “Play House” – Colette Carr
10. “That’s So Us” – Allie X

Best Music Video of 2016: “False Alarm” – The Weeknd
Ok, first off I know that this director has made two music videos and even a full length movie around this concept and I don’t really care, because this music video is really cool and made me not only like "False Alarm" more than I probably would have, but also convinced me that there's a better song to play during an action scene than the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" (well, almost better).
Of course, now is a good time to mention that I realized something last year and that is the fact that I really don’t watch music video anymore. Not sure why.

And that completes all my "best of" lists for 2016, it was a fine year I guess aside from a lot of album delays, but hey that at least means that I have a lot to look forward to this year, right? Actually in point of fact, this week I discovered The Katherines' debut album, "To Bring You My Heart" that would have given Dragonette a run for their money if had come out this year, so hey that's a good start.


Top 10 EPs of 2016

Posted by JAG18 , Jan 03 2017 · 97 views

The Rules:
EP needs to have been released between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2016
EP must have at least 3, but no more than 9 songs to be considered for this list.

Honorable Mention: "From the Grave" - Juliet Simms

10. “Ultraviolet EP” – Dagny
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Favorite Tracks: "Fight Sleep", “Too Young”

9. “Libelle” – Annabel Jones
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Favorite Tracks: “IOU”, “Money, Love, Success”

8. “EMOTION SIDE B” – Carly Rae Jepsen
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Favorite Tracks: “Higher”, “Cry”

7. “Ammunition” – Krewella
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Favorite Tracks: “Marching On”, “Ammunition”

6. “Criminals + Dreamers” – Willa
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Favorite Tracks: “Criminal”, “Hey”, “Stare”

5. “The Magic” – Lola Blanc
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Favorite Tracks: “Don’t Say You Do”, “The Magic”

4. “Bubblebath” – That Poppy
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Favorite Tracks: “Lowlife”, “Money”

3. “Bella Goldwin” - Bella Goldwin
A "little" too big for BZP

JAG's Thoughts: 2016's most promising new artist
Favorite Tracks: “Higher than Life”, “Save Me From Myself”

2. “Vroom Vroom EP” – Charli XCX
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Favorite Tracks: “Vroom Vroom”, “Paradise”

1. “Olivia Lane EP” – Olivia Lane
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JAG's Thoughts: The artist and EP who's come closest to filling country music's Taylor Swift hole.
Favorite Tracks: “Quarter Life Crisis”, “She Fits”, “My Heartache”


Spotify Year in Music 2016

Posted by JAG18 , Dec 17 2016 · 121 views

With another year almost come and gone Spotify has sent all its users their year in music, which means it’s time to talk about how I listened to music in 2016. This time around, Spotify was a lot less revealing having replaced a dedicated site with a simple email with regrettably less detailed statistics, but whatever it’s still interesting (to me) so let’s go with it.

In numbers:
This year I listened to 35,330 minutes of music (580 hours, 24 days), which is way up from last year’s 22,000 minutes. And also 1,309 different artists (double last’s year number of 648). However one place I lagged behind is in the number of unique tracks I listened to: 1,720 as opposed to 1,943 last year.

Top Tracks:
“Pray to God” – Calvin Harris feat. Haim: you know, while writing this I just realized that this was also my second most played song of 2015.
“Red Eye” – Kid Cudi feat. Haim: this is the year I went from being a passive fan of Haim to them being my third or fourth favorite bands ever, which is my guess as to why they’re featured on both of my top two tracks.
“Oh No!” – Marina and the Diamonds: probably still favorite Marina and the Diamonds song so I’m not surprised.

Top Artists:
Marina and the Diamonds
The Veronicas
Charli XCX

As I mentioned already, I was so happy when I saw that I’m in the top one percent of Marina fans and CHVRCHES is still one of my favorite bands ever. The Veronicas I discovered this year just in time to see their great new tracks drop “In My Blood” and “On Your Side”. Charli XCX is an old favorite of mine who released a pretty great EP earlier this year and Halsey is a more recent favorite. I’m more than a little surprised not to see Dua Lipa here or even Kyla La Grange, but whatever.

Top Genres: Pop, Post-Teen Pop, Dance Pop, Indietronica, Metropopolis
The only change from last year is that I’ve apparently stated listening to less synthpop and replaced it with Post-Teen Pop.

Favorite Day to Listen (more like the day I have the most time to listen): Monday

Your Top Songs 2016 Wrapped:
Finally, Spotify also takes your one-hundred and one most streamed songs and puts them in a single playlist for you, and these are the first ten tracks on that playlist.

“Hummingbird” – Kyla La Grange
“Hotter Than [Karzahni]” – Dua Lipa
“Higher Than Life” – Bella Goldwin
“Chewing Gum” – Nina Nesbitt
“Lush Life” – Zara Larsson
“Love Is the Name” – Sofia Carson
“Blow Your Mind (Mwah)” – Dua Lipa
“Real Love” – Florrie
“Pray to God” – Calvin Harris feat. Haim

Unsurprisingly, many of my favorite songs of this year as well as an obvious old favorite; the other eighty-one songs are about the same.

And that’s all I have to share from this year in music; as I said not as detailed as last year, but then I guess it’s kind of a moot point seeing as I do have a Last.fm account (although unfortunately one I didn't get 'til this past July) so I have some pretty elaborate statistics of my listening habits over there. Either way, I hope you some enjoyment out of this and look out in the coming weeks for all of my music related year-end lists.


I found what I was looking for...

Posted by JAG18 , Dec 14 2016 · 105 views

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In my inbox.

I consider this an achievement.

(Also, expect my Spotify Year in Music 2016 very soon)


I tried it at home!

Posted by JAG18 , Nov 28 2016 · 150 views

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I just discovered this existed yesterday and now I want to pin it to my wall or something.


Movies I've Seen Recently

Posted by JAG18 , Nov 08 2016 · 112 views

In the last couple of months I've seen a few new movies both in theaters and on DVD; a couple of which are several decades old, so their only new to me, but whatever here are my thoughts on all of them along with some pointless number ratings.

"Krampus" 8/10
This is a movie I wanted to watch as soon as I saw Red Letter Media's review of it last December, and I finally did see it last month and I was not disappointed. It was a silly over-the-top horror comedy and it worked perfectly as that with a good cast, great dark humor, and stellar creature and monster effects. Of course, that last one shouldn’t surprise anyone because the same people who did all the wonderful effects for “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy also worked on “Krampus”, I’m talking, of course, about Richard Taylor and his crew at the Weta Workshop and I can’t stress how much they hit it out of the park on this movie.
If there's one thing I regret doing is seeing this film when I did, because this movie got me in the mood for Christmas, oddly enough, and I'm one of those people who hates any mention of Christmas until mid-November-ish so that was a bit of a mistake on my part. I wouldn't be too surprised if this ends up like “It’s a Wonderful Life” as a movie I screen every Christmas; I now it would be really strange, but I don't care.

"I'm Not Ashamed" 6/10
From the studio who brought audiences “God’s Not Dead” and “God’s Not Dead 2" comes a film about one of the first victims of the tragic Columbine Shooting, a girl named Rachel Joy Scott whose inspiring life and writings have led to several books and talks made by her family in the decade-and-a-half since. I did enjoy this movie a lot more than I thought I would; it’s a fun, inspiring, teen Christian drama, and if you’re in either of this film’s target demographics, people of faith and teens (although preferably both) then I do recommend it. Of course, having done some research into Columbine before hand, just because, I knew going in that everything involving the Columbine shooters in this movie was going to be awful and wrong and it was. But, this isn’t a Columbine movie (or at least it shouldn’t be) it’s a story about Rachel Scott and I’d definitely say that this movie’s subject matter and lead Masey McLain (who needs to be in more things right now) allows it to rise above its genre to being pretty good.
One last thing, I do hope that after this comes out on DVD that someone will make an edit of this movie without any mention of Columbine expect for the very last scene, but just like the “Mockingjay” one film edit that’s probably just a wild dream of mine.

"The Thing (1982)" 10/10
I’ve known about this movie for the longest time and I actually saw a good half of it on Sci-Fi a year-ish ago, but last week was the first time I sat down and watched the entire thing and I was absolutely amazed. I loved everything about from the overall tone and feeling of the movie, to the music, the through the roof practical effects (literally in one scene), the great performances all around (especially from Kurt Russell) everything was just incredible. Yeah, this might be one of my favorite horror movies of all time if not one of my all time favorite movies; if there’s one thing I don’t like it’s that I don’t understand why a group of scientists has flamethrowers at their base, but who cares because the movie's ten times better with flamethrowers.

"The Thing (2011)" 4/10
After watching the original, I was excited to see the prequel, which I never knew starred Mary Elizabeth Winstead (who btw was great in this year’s “10 Cloverfield Lane”) and it was alright, but obviously it wasn’t going to be anywhere near as good as John Carpenter’s film. I thought Winstead was good, although she wasn’t Kurt Russell and I liked some other minor things, but overall this movie was very middle of the road and forgettable for me. I could go on about all the ways this movie failed where the original, but I’d rather not; overall another forgettable late 2000’s prequel/remake/soft reboot.

"Hacksaw Ridge" 6/10
Mel Gibson’s first movie as a director in almost a decade is about Desmond Doss a World War 2 soldier who refused to carry a gun because of his religiously beliefs, but still won the Medal of Honor for his actions as a combat medic. Overall, I liked this movie, in the first half it’s mostly just alright, but then it almost shifts into another movie when the fighting begins. I know this sounds like an exaggeration, but I think the action in this movie comes the closer to toping the opening in “Saving Private Ryan” than any other film since. Putting some big questions aside like whether this is an anti or pro war movie I would recommend this as a good war movie with the caveat that if you have any problems with extreme violence than this might not be the film for you.

"Breakfast at Tiffany's" 5/10
I liked Audrey Hepburn in “My Fair Lady”, and so when I heard that “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” was what most people recognized her for, I was on board for seeing it even if I’ve never liked romantic comedies and can’t name one I’ve seen from beginning to end. So, what did I think of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”? Well, it was fine, yeah Hepburn’s good in it and so is George Peppard and I didn’t find anything I really hated in it except maybe the generally boring plot even if did have some nice moments and hints of more interesting plot points, but still the plot was fine, just like most of the movie. Again it’s not bad and having looked into the film a bit I can see why other people would like it, but at the end of the day it’s not my cup of tea. I'll admit the whole time I was watching it I felt like I’d rather be watching “The Thing” because I want to see grotesque things set on fire with flame throwers in my movies. Either way, I’ll still probably give “Roman Holiday” a chance though.

Welcome to The Stronghold

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Name: JAG18
Joined: February 20, 2014
Premier Since: July 3, 2016
Location: Texas
Gender: Male
Interests: Music, Bionicle, Movies,
Star Wars, History, Board Games

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