Archive for the ‘TV & Movies’ Category

Birth Of The Dragon

Posted: January 12, 2020 in Cool stuff, TV & Movies

Bought “Birth Of The Dragon” a few weeks ago and finally got around to seeing it tonight. I have to say that it was way more entertaining than I expected and it actually felt like it belongs at the very top of all the Martial Arts movies that has been produced over the years. Released in 2016, it failed at the box office but I think it may have a shot at the DVD market over time. Philip Ng does a good Bruce Lee and the entire cast is pretty good in this one. The legend will certainly only grow stronger as a result of this movie. If you grew up with this stuff, this is for you. You will be entertained.

(My shot of the DVD)

I have been going through my collection of newspapers and magazines and I had to stop and read this one, Swedish newspaper Expressen (May 7 1945). The bloody WWII was over in Europe and the Third Reich had just capitulated. An estimated 70,000 German troops assembled across the Norwegian border for demobilization in Swedish camps. Fighting was still going on in Copenhagen between patriots and traitors. Pravda is quoted in a report that estimates that 4,000,000 has been killed in Auschwitz alone. The Swedish fishing fleet has been ordered to stay in the harbors since the situation is highly unstable. The Japanese are very upset that their Axis partner has failed them in a time of crisis. The American flag has been raised over Hitler´s Eagles Nest, then lowered to half-mast in honor of President Roosevelt, whom had just passed away. It goes on and on.

The thirst for entertainment was as big as ever and at the cinemas people could watch a Soviet War film, an Adventure film (“China Girl” starring Gene Tierney and George Montgomery) and a Western Musical (“Can´t Help Singing” with Deanna Durbin and Robert Paige).

Glad that Sweden managed to largely stay out of this mess. My grandfather John Johansson spent years as a soldier on the Norwegian border. Had war broken out, who knows how our family would have fared? I was born in 1961, only 16 years after the war. Sweden in the 1960s was not that different from the 1940s. The industrialization was going on and huge changes was in the works but we still had a living countryside. In my lifetime I have seen this country change in so many ways. Inside, I feel both like an old man, and as the guy that is still the same as back in the day. But time is slipping away for sure and I am very aware that I will retire in the 2020s. It will be a good day too and I hope I am still around to blog about it then.

(My shots of said newspaper)

I thought I should title this post Boner Stuff, but decided not to. First items to be added into the old collection in 2020 then, the 2015 Western “Bone Tomahawk” with Kurt Russell, and a rather wonderful Picture Disc version of the classic 1957 “Elvis´Christmas Album”. Of course we all know that Kurt and Elvis go way back (at 10 years old Kurt kicked Elvis on the leg in the 1963 film “It Happened At The World´s Fair” and he later portrayed The King in John Carpenter´s “Elvis The Movie” back in 1979). “Bone Tomahawk” then, well I have always loved a good Western and I have had my eye on this one for a while (knowing that Kurt is pretty much a guarantee that it will be a good one). Saw it yesterday in good company (Hello Kalle) and it started off slow (as many good films do) and then the action started and Russell (as Sheriff Franklin Hunt) soon has a small posse going to save some townspeople from kidnappers of the worst kind (we are talking about real animals here). The posse is undermanned, wounded and in bad shape, and they all know that once they make contact, odds are bad. But they still go, because they have to. It is about being men. Hell on earth awaits.

After having seen “Bone Tomahawk” you need something like the “Elvis´Christmas Album” to relax.

(My shot of these releases)

Well we all know that Tarantino is one of the all time greats, but this is just pure gold. I finally got around to see “Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood” and I had done everything I could to avoid spoilers. Therefore, the meaning behind the title of the movie only dawned on me as I saw the last few scenes. I will not blow it here if you have not seen it but this is one of the best films that I have ever seen. The pure nostalgia alone is glorious, and the soundtrack (that I have mentioned before on this blog) is carefully picked in scenes that takes you back to Tinseltown in the late 1960s. Hell, there is enough art references (real and imagined) in this movie to send me to heaven. The movie posters alone… But back to the story. When you have Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate you just know that things are going to turn ugly. If you know anything about that dark twisted night (and you need to know what happened there back in the day to be able to fully appreciate this) you will certainly have this sense of unease throughout the movie. Add the characters of Brad Pitt (suspected wife murderer) and Leonardo DiCaprio (waning TV star living next door to Tate) and you find yourself in a wirlwind that takes you ever closer to you know what…

Nice to hear some early Deep Purple in this too.

(My shot of said DVD)

The Aquaman Legacy

Posted: January 2, 2020 in Books, Comics, Cool stuff, TV & Movies

I bought the 2018 “Aquaman” film on DVD a while back and yesterday I finally got around to seeing it. I was pleasantly surprised too, I think they have managed to create one of the best films in DC history, and that says something. The cast is brilliant (Nicole Kidman alone takes it up a notch or two, but Jason Momoa, Amber Herd, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson and Dolph Lundgren are all good in this). It is a stunningly beautiful film too, and we have to give a shoutout to director James Wan here for succeeding in creating such a wonderful world beneath the waves. He had a legacy to pick from as Aquaman the comic goes back to the late 1950s. These were the comics that I read as a boy around 1969-1971 in Sweden. He had a sidekick back then in Aqualad, kind of the same deal as Batman and Robin, but that is gone now. As is Robin in the modern Batman films. I checked out my collection and was happy to find an Aquaman book in the Showcase Series (DC Comics, 2007) in the house, so I can go back to the origins now and compare the old with the new. They have obviously taken it up a notch or two now but I like my nostalgia (in small doses) too.

(My shot of the book and the DVD)

We not only have a new year coming up, but the birth of a brand new decade. Here is some predictions of what is to come in the year ahead, good or bad. And in some cases I hope I am right, and in others I pray I am wrong.


Babymetal has a busy year ahead of them but they also have the 10th Anniversary coming up and knowing them I have to assume that they are going to celebrate this as only they can. This is obviously another golden opportunity to have some fun on a grand scale, parhaps another Tokyo Dome moment? Having said that, perhaps a smaller show for The One (the Fan Club) only, could also be a good idea? As long as we get a DVD out of it I will be a happy man. They have a lot to gain to make people understand that they have been at it for a full decade now, and that this journey has been very special indeed (going all the way back to Sakura Gakuin). Maybe a 10th Anniversary documentary will pop up? By the Fox God, would I love that!


Not hard to predict since it is recorded and ready, but I do feel good about this being the third album in a row that is produced by Bob Ezrin, and that the other two were just brilliant. I think ending it all with such a string of great albums will cement the legend once and for all. But it also has to stop at some point and only the touring in the next few years will say when. In any case, Deep Purple will come to a halt in the 2020s.


I do not want this to happen but by the looks of it James Bond may have been emasculated. Good luck with that. If I had been in charge, I would have had more Bond girls, more sexism, more gadgets and less PC nonsense. Way way less. And Pussy Galore would have been in charge of operations. Give the people (not the journalists) what they want. But hey, what do I know?


Wonder Woman “1984” will be a huge hit. May one hope for a little Van Halen or Deep Purple in the soundtrack? Handled correctly, this is a female hero that could have a 100 year legacy if they just ignore the PC stuff and trust what is already there. With Gal Gadot they have the perfect Wonder Woman and I hope they do not blow this now.


Somebody will decide to revamp Vampirella for the movies and they will go all out like we have never seen before. There will be blood.


Deep deep in a vault, somebody will discover a Deep Purple show from 1976 in decent quality and this will see full on release in all formats. People will cry of joy as this finally appears.


For petty cash, everybody will be able to travel through time and see whatever they want as if they are a fly on the wall. No, wait. That is just creepy…


It has to happen eventually. They know deep down that they blew it, that they failed their sacred duty as writers. My guess is that it will only happen when some Ninjas crash down that door. Then we will get the cover story we should have had in 2014.


Hard Rock & Heavy Metal will experience a huge resurgence. The trend was there in 2019, now it will be like 1980 all over again. New bands will be discovered. Fans that has been around since the 1970s will be revered and get free drinks everywhere. Yes, our time has come.


There will be a huge royal flush sounding splash across the globe as everybody finally rejects PC culture. Had to happen some day.

Ah, the 2020s will be great!

(Top image of Babymetal is official)

Might as well scribble down some highlights from the 2010s as we now say goodbye to this decade. So here we go.


November 23 2013. I throw a Deep Purple/Tommy Bolin Party at Jane Doe in Östersund (Jämtland County). Five DJs, all of them well known in these parts, Lars Ericsson, Micke Mojo Nilsson, Jonas Öhlund, Staffan Eriksson and Björn Höglund. 70 CDs, 40 books, 30 DVDs and plenty of magazines were handed out for free during the night. Several record companies helped out, Johnnie Bolin included, and author Martin Popoff had pre-signed his books. Story about this night came out later in my RETROFUTURE 7 magazine. The time had come to wind things down, but it would not reach the end until RETROFUTURE 8 in 2015.


March 9 2017. I finally discover Babymetal after having had my system shocked by “Gimme Chocolate!!” and straight after seeing that video, the 2016 Alternative Press collaboration with Rob Halford. I blogged about them for the first time that day and then I went deep into the Foxhole (as they say). I never looked back, as you all well know…


May 2012. I went out on a limb with the RETROFUTURE project as I highlighted the Storsie mystery, and in 2012 I finally published a 60 page special titled “Storsjöodjuret”. This all led to TV appearances (as far away as Canada), loads of media attention (like a thumbs up in Dagens Nyheter, a major newspaper) and it eventually landed in an Award from Föreningen Storsjöodjuret (that hangs in my guest toilet, not big on such things). I handed out nearly all of them (1,000 copies) for free.


June 16 2018. I finally find my dream house (after a 10 year hunt) in Stugun (Jämtland County) and in less than a week I own it. Then I spend months moving stuff and taking care of business and on April 1 2019 I finally moved in full time (having sold the old apartment in Östersund). Since then I have created a wonderful place and I am very happy to live here now. Many friends helped out, but I have to give Kalle a shoutout. Thanks man.


July 2010. I catch Over The Rainbow, Tarja Turunen and Cougars (featuring Martina Edoff), Twisted Sister etc in good company (Hi Seth!) at the Rockweekend Festival in Gävleborg County before heading home. I dissed Deep Purple on that festival and I do not regret it (people were disappointed). For me it was one of the last great moments of my musical journey to witness Over The Rainbow at their peak and Blackmore Jr was very good, making this the Rainbow reunion that never was (in my opinion). Too bad that they never issued a live DVD, they deserved a legacy. I saw other bands later on but Over The Rainbow was the best of the decade (of course I never had a chance to see Babymetal, that is still to come).


February 22 2015. The final issue of my publication RETROFUTURE (#8) arrives. Low key release party at Jane Doe in Östersund on March 4 with Thomas Drevin (220 Volt) and Björn Höglund (Hoven Droven) as DJs. The lovely Nina on the cover as Montana Blue. I think I ended this journey with a bang, a very strong issue. Once this was published and handed out, I had given away 15,000 copies of RETROFUTURE magazines and 5,000 flyers in Jämtland County since 2010. It was my Last Hurrah and I enjoyed it. It was a well publicized period and nobody will ever repeat what I did. I can just say that.


I have to include this blog on this list. I started it in August 2012 and quickly added some Classic Rock interviews from my past and there are quite a lot of them now (and more coming). The traffic has varied, but there has been some amazing spikes. On June 6 2017 I posted the Enter The Twighlight Zone – Babymetal Tokyo Dome (2016) DVD Review and it just exploded. Within days that text had been published in Japanese and Spanish elsewhere, which is very humbling. I know that hardcore fans of Babymetal has been here ever since. But I have had feedback that has generated traffic from Ian Gillan, Deep Purple, Steve Lukather and many others over the years. I do enjoy this little corner of mine, and I will carry on as long as I can.


I have to give my Western Novel projects a nod here and the models I had the pleasure of working with – Lina (Dakota Jane), Nina (Montana Blue) and Ellinor (Tornado Blaze). This wild idea turned into some of the best stuff that I ever produced in RETROFUTURE and I think it will be remembered by a lot of people. I mean, this stood out a mile in this day and age and I got very nice feedback for it (including from James Reasoner, the famous author). This stuff has its own tag on this blog, My Western Gals, so you have interviews and all sorts of stuff to check out should you want to.


I think I do have a legacy. Quotes from interviews (that are up on this blog) appears all the time in books – literally every year – and every now and then good things comes out of it. I have helped out with scans from my Deep Purple archive that has ended up on several albums, and in 2013 I helped VH1 out for a Deep Purple documentary that was later aired. Even now, as we move into 2020, the old archive is about to be revisited again (but more on that later). It has been a long journey but even now, five years after the final issue of RETROFUTURE, I feel that what I have done is still appreciated. And I guess Trinkelbonker kind of keeps it all rolling, in a small way. And who knows, maybe I will print just one more issue of RETROFUTURE some day? I thought I was done but then Babymetal came around and I am not so sure anymore.

10. SURVIVING 2019

I was so ill that I was jackpot lucky to get out of it alive this summer, but I made it. I look at life a little bit differently now. And then we are suddenly moving into the 2020s, how about that?

(My images)