This past weekend was the first flight with an Autel Robotics X-Star Premium. After a couple of hard landings that turned it into a weed whacker, a successful flight and photos along with a safe landing ended the learning for the day.

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I finally watched the documentary film “Meru” about a first ascent of the Meru Peak via the Shark’s Fin route up the central peak.  For anyone interested in mountain climbing, overcoming obstacles, and the human spirit, this is an excellent film with gorgeous cinematography.

One last look before bed. Renan Ozturk checking out the stars above basecamp the night before the approach to the base of the route.  Copyright Jimmy Chin.
One last look before bed. Renan Ozturk checking out the stars above basecamp the night before the approach to the base of the route. Copyright Jimmy Chin.

This is somewhat of a belated review of the movie “Oblivion” starring Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, and Andrea Riseborough that was released in 2013.

I first watched this movie 3 or 4 months ago and while it was “good”, it did not make much of an impression or stick with me. I wrote nothing about it at the time and did not delve further into the soundtrack. If somebody would have asked have you seen any good movies lately, I would have responded with a flat “no” and disregarded this movie completely.

Until now.

Recently, I have had random images of lost and abandoned ships in the desert or the sky empty except for “them”. As everything happens for a reason, I worked to figure out where these images and thoughts came from, and determined it was from “Oblivion”.

This is why it has become my favorite movie and the reason I am listening to the soundtrack while trying to find the right words.  It seeped into my thoughts and subconcious.

For me the synopsis of the movie is clutching to memories, no matter how distant or esoteric, and knowing they are part of you from somewhere.  To have the determination to find your roots and follow what consumes you, be it your dreams, a face, something unknown.  Through the isolation, the desolation, and rawness we live within, we are born within, we are forced into simplicity, into ourselves to find the answers and the path.  The dream from each evening bleeds into each day and we begin to see faces, moments, and fragments that over time we start piecing together.  We think maybe this is a part of myself, this is who I was and now who I am.

This landscape is my empty field.

The aliens in his movie are never shown, but are implied based on the events and the narrative.  They are in control, they have covered eyes with a veil, and wiped clean the mind, the memories, the spirit.  But that spirit can only be suppressed, not deleted forever, and over time, it will come back, it will return home.

 

Oblivion Movie
Oblivion Movie

Some of the recent music I downloaded.  The latest Deadmau5 is quite the departure from previous in your face electronic with fast, changing, heavy beats. This one is more relaxed and smooth with deep textures.

Startle the Heavens, aka Ben Leopard, continues to make sweeping music that immerses the listener in vibrant landscapes.  He is also providing the soundtrack for the upcoming film “Around Here“.

 

 

Season 4 started two-weeks ago and the second episode is on the website.

Episode 1: Sarah Jessica Parker

Episode 2: George Wallace

News and events from artists and friends of Stone Path Review. Newsletter can be read here.

Here is a link to all previous newsletters.

Stone Path Review Artistic Journal
Stone Path Review Artistic Journal

One of my favorite alternative/ambient artists has a new album coming out soon.  The video below is a preview. Ben Leopard is the mastermind behind this wonderful project.

The latest Stone Path Review newsletter was just published. Highlights include an upcoming poetry collection by Daniel Flanagan and updates on a new film we are supporting – Hybrid Vigor.  Newsletter can be read here.

Stone Path Review Artistic Journal
Stone Path Review Artistic Journal

Hybrid Vigor is a film about life, death, violence, morality, immortality, love, and loss in the USSR during Soviet times and in present day Latvia.More information on Indiegogo and IMDB.

A mysterious girl is found living in a forest in Latvia. After being captured by the police she is taken to a mental institution in Riga. She doesn’t speak, but seems to understand everything. She doesn’t sleep, but never acts tired. Who is she and where is she from? Could she be connected to the disappearance of a little girl in the same area 20 years earlier?



Hybrid Vigor, a film
Hybrid Vigor, a film

I saw this movie over the weekend and overall thought it was good, 7 to 8 out of 10 stars. Definitely a mishmash of many movies, but the plot is somewhat unique.  There is also an edge of humor, especially around the fact that Tom Cruises’ character keeps getting killed in different ways, and the day resets, but he is well aware of what happened.  It does provide a nice mix of emotions, and I could easily feel the frustration he was experiencing.

I’ve been on an alien invading and occupying the earth kick lately and have become addicted to Falling Skies, which is the main reason I wanted to see this – what other ways can we be invaded and how can we fight back.  I think this is where the movie could have added another 15 minutes or so to dive more into the alpha and the omega, how it came to be, and the challenge to destroy it.  It was really glossed over, and I think more here would have helped to understand and appreciate the aliens.

I think the aliens were the weakest part of the movie. Not really physical, more metaphysical, but all destruction. Although I could get behind them being on the edge of the universe, between dimensions, a wavering presence of physical light, their presentation came across as amateurish.   They were fierce from a speed perspective as they raced across the landscape, hid in the sand, and emerged quickly to shoot the people.  I still had a hard time getting past their look and their blob of spaghetti with a distorted face spewing some kind of light.  These did not give me any nightmares (yet).

As far as the ending, I feel we were given too much information, and it should have been 5 minutes shorter to leave us with the thought or inclination that everything was in his mind.  Now that I could get behind.

More information on IMDB.

Edge of Tomorrow
Edge of Tomorrow