Category Archives: Movies & TV

Valley of Darkness..(and other random things)

Continuing the trend of borrowing my blog entry titles from episodes of Battlestar Galactica, I give you “Valley of Darkness”. I’ve always wondered when I’ll be able to use this. It’s one of my favourite episodes from the show. Now the opportunity has presented itself, although I cannot say I am entirely happy that it has. Now I’m wondering when I’ll be able to use “Daybreak”.

Blerg!  (just so you know I just added “Blerg” to my standard dictionary) I sound like some speechifying fool. Maybe I am. *talking to self* I need to finish this blog entry before I sleep.

I didn’t want to mention this phrase, but indeed, the only thing constant in this world is change. It’s a bit of a cliche, but true nonetheless.

So, this is a month of changes. And not  just in my “professional” life.  I’m being transferred to another department. They practically told me I should be thankful I’m not being shipped to the Spice Mines of Kessel or something. The powers that be must have figured I sort of liked my job and decided to give me a little something called “stress”. Seriously. I believe I’ve done enough griping about this issue and so I’m just going to stop here.

On a more personal level, I started cleaning up my social networking  account, as I do not for the moment wish to be reminded of  certain things and people. If you did not get what that means then you are rather thick. Might actually be good though.

I plan to stay at my current job probably until the end of the year (really I can’t wait for this year to be over, might have to start crossing-out the days of the calendar) and then rest for a week or two. Blessed rest!

I’ll catch up with all the new books sitting here on my table. I swear to finish “A Song of Fire and Ice” series for good. I’m still stuck somewhere on Game of Thrones. Although I recently purchased “Clash of Kings”. There’s also “It” by one of my old time favourites Stephen King. I managed to go more than halfway, but got sidetracked. Other titles include Jane Eyre (a re-read), Battle Royale (Koshun Takami) – this is pretty good, way better than the actual movie and I liked the movie immensely. I’m talking about the first one with Beat Takeshi. Don’t get me started on BR part 2. It’s one of those bizarre films that manage to make you laugh (at the sheer cheesiness of it all) and at the same time cry because it’s just so hard not to care about the characters. Or maybe I’ve been reading too many books and watching a lot of anime when I was a kid); let’s see I also have Naked Lunch by  William Burroughs (which I just bought yesterday),  something by Clive Barker,  whole load of Star Wars novels (some of which I bought because I never had the chance to read them as a kid due to financial constraints at that time). What else? I still have all three books of the Lord of the Rings in line. I hope to finish them before this century ends. Just kidding.

And by the Lords of Kobol, I seriously need to finish all the drawings I’ve started. And now I believe it is time to sleep.

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…and never let me go.

Just finished watching the film adaptation of “Never Let Me Go”.
The writings of Kazuo Ishiguro never fails to make me weep, seriously.
He had me feeling somewhat depressed right after reading “The Remains of the Day”, then he did it again in “When We Were Orphans” (that one had me crying a LOT, as much as it is embarrassing to admit). And yes this one too “Never Let Me Go”. The movie captured the essence of the book just right. And yes, the fundamental question “What makes us human?” hangs in the air like a very sharp dagger. I also have another question to ask, and that is “If our feelings, our very souls tell us that we are human, then who has the right to object?”

I can’t think straight yet. I’ll post a better review probably this weekend. For now please pass me that box of tissues.

Ramblings of a Sleepyhead..

There. The title says it all. I haven’t slept properly today.  Wait, I haven’t been sleeping properly for almost a year now.  Let’s see how long this would last.  The truth is, I think I should really congratulate myself (applause, applause) for even managing to hang on for this long.  With my previous jobs I usually stay 6 months and “disappear”. Anyway, don’t expect anything coherent at all from this post (but of course I shall try my very best to make it so – *bow*). I’m writing this so as not to suddenly find myself being issued another paper for “sleeping” (which is yes, a terminable offense in this job, the normal body clock be damned).

And here we go..

I’ve been thinking of  doing this end of the year review. Probably will, probably won’t; as it is quite possible that I might just forget to do so. In any case, I’m glad my year isn’t as chaotic as the last. What with all the shenanigans concerning our old house. That one is over now (hopefully).

Let’s make a list.

Stuff I’d like to do & some random thoughts:

  1. I’d like to draw again. What I meant was to actually finish something, as opposed to starting some preliminary sketch and consigning it to oblivion. I have to give myself a mental poke to get my niece’s portrait finished this weekend. And start another one. The main ingredient for a successful drawing for me is “peace & quiet”. I must be completely relaxed when I’m sketching or else the results would embarrass Pollock.
  2. Been reading a couple of books. I’m into “Schindler’s Ark” (I miss that old graffiti-ed copy of mine back in high school) and “Buffy” (Book 2)  . I’d like to get the first book (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) of the millenium Trilogy by Steig Larsson, been hearing a lot of positive reviews about it. And the heroine looks positively kick-ass.
  3. Observation: just realized something. Don’t know if it’s good or bad. Who cares anyway, maybe I do. Must look into this.
  4. I managed to finally visit Fully Booked Bonifacio Branch sometime ago (around the end of November I think). Made me happy (it’s like a giant library except everything is for sale – you can read in a corner and no one will bother you) and quite sad at the same time. The comic book/art section suddenly reminded me of how far from my calling I am. Gave me a “glimpse” of what I should be doing instead of being stuck someplace else. Anyway, knock on wood, I’m not complaining about my current profession at all (no sir), what I’m saying is that it’s not a place where I can utilize my own talents.

…and the shadows keep on changing

Reading: “Pride & Prejudice” by Jane Austen

First heard around 1995, played during the ending credits of  “Blair Witch Project: Book of Shadows”. Song “clicked” the first time I heard it.  Like much of everything in my relatively short existence, I have this “once I really like something, I’ll most likely than not like it so long as I lived” mentality. Did you know how long I’ve been a Star Wars fan? No amount of dissing could dissuade me into turning away (my brother even went as far as calling the whole thing a childish drivel, as if he didn’t memorise the entire dialogue of  The Empire Strikes Back at one point, but I’ll shut up now).

Come here
Pretty please
Can you tell me where I am
You won’t you say something
I need to get my bearings
I’m lost
And the shadows keep on changing

And I’m haunted
By the lives that I have loved
And actions I have hated
I’m haunted
By the lives that wove the web
Inside my haunted head

I’m haunted
By the promises I’ve made
And others I have broken

Don’t cry,
There’s always a way
Here in November in this house of leaves
We’ll pray
Please, I know it’s hard to believe
To see a perfect forest
Through so many splintered trees
You and me
And these shadows keep on changing

Hallways… always

I’ll always want you
I’ll always need you
I’ll always love you

And I will always miss you

Come here
No I won’t say please
One more look at the ghost
Before I’m gonna make it leave
Come here
I’ve got the pieces here
Time to gather up the splinters
Build a casket for my tears
I’m haunted
By the hallways in this tiny room
The echos there of me and you
The voices that are carrying this tune

 

Buses and Movies..

Just a very quick post, before I resume my X-Files marathon. I just remembered an “incident” which occurred sometime last May 15, 2010. The memory was triggered by an article I found on The Agony Booth about a movie called “Shark Attack”, I’m not even sure if it’s the same movie I’ve seen on the bus that Saturday.

But here’s the story. I left early for the bus stop that day (the aforementioned mentioned May, 15 ) because it’s the day after payday, and I have to get home (meaning my house in the province) on time (bills to pay). I arrived at the bus stop at around 7:45, and my gods, there’s a long line! And no Lucena-bound buses to be found. I’m fairly used to long lines, so I tried to fight my natural irritation (must be good citizen and all that) and the urge to kick everyone in front of me (or else bawl uncontrollably). There’s nothing to be done but wait. Finally after an hour(!) or so, (Yey!) a bus bearing the sign “Lucena” made it to the terminal. So off I go.

Here’s the “good” stuff. I’m a bit too sleepy to mind the fact that I’m practically squashed in the middle of the bus’ back portion (the seat where you get “balisawsaw” because you are sitting right on top of the engine). Bus left the terminal finally, and the “torture” began. Following some incomprehensible reasoning, the bus driver decided to take Coastal Road Route, instead of the usual. I have no idea what made him think  he can avoid traffic this way! In the Philippines you cannot avoid traffic (unless you happen to be descendants of Son Gokou and can fly). Needless to say it took even longer than usual, around three hours. I fell asleep during this time, and woke up to the sight of the manila bay (although I must admit the sight was not entirely unwelcome) brushing by.

I ‘blacked out’ again and thankfully woke up to find the bus in the expressway. Maybe I should have stayed asleep! Because then, the conductor decided that it’s movie time! I have nothing against buses playing movie, as it alleviates  boredom. In fact, I’ve seen some pretty good stuff, such as Avatar, which I didn’t have time to see in the theater. There were several instances of “bus theater” that I found amusing through the years. For example, JAC Liner tends to show ‘now’ movies (I would not be surprised if they have Iron Man 2 on their playlist). Other bus lines play old Tagalog action stuff like “Bala at Rosario” (*giggles*), “Philip Salvador”, “FPJ” and even “Ian Veneracion” collections.  There was a time when I was “forced” to seat through a “Steven Seagal” (gags!), a “Jean-Claude Van Damme” (I’ve had a crush on the guy since I saw him play “Universal Soldier” during the 6th grade, so I don’t mind if his movies are a bit cheesy, what do you expect?) and a “Dolph Lundgren” (ditto! love this guy as well) compilation.

Anyway, going back to the May 15 fiasco. I was actually a bit relieved to know that it’s “traveling movie time”, because by then the expressway was so congested it would be nice to focus on something else (I’ve exhausted my MP3 playlist by this time). I really SHOULD have opted for sleep, because the movie they decided to play was something called Shark Attack. I thought it was in the B-Movie planet at that time, but turns out that it’s both in the G (as in “grrrr!) and Z (as in “zzzzzz..zzz”) category. ;p Shark Attack was extremely insulting to the human intelligence on multiple levels, I feel it’s a crime to show it to anyone! There’s the “non-plot”, “non-acting” (I have absolutely nothing against B-list actors, but these guys are nowhere near that, they’re somewhere in the black hole of acting classification), very obvious continuity errors  and the stupid effects!

Where to start? Well there’s the “plot”. Movie starts with several shots of people on the beach (the usual “pretty-babes-sun bathing”, I guess to establish that the beach was SUCH a fun place  to be..ho-hum.) Then enter 2 of the main “characters”, they are talking about er..nothing important (guy proposed or something, then they proceed to make out in the lifeguard station(!). Then there’s character number 3 (the alpha female lifeguard), and annoying characters 4 and 5 (4’s a whiny bitch and 5’s a boring stud who’s supposed to be in-lurve with whiny bitch). And let’s not forget the main antagonists..dududuuun! the big bad-CGI-goblin sharks!

So yeah, more talk about nothing and then suddenly there’s tsunami warning, a bewildering jet-ski chase (and one character, I forgot who, actually shot one of the sharks point blank range on the beach! Gosh! The shark managed to get on the sand -opening and closing it’s jaws – like a marooned whale. I’m no shark expert, but I can tell that it flies in the face of all we should know about the behavior of sharks! Next thing, the tsunami was upon the characters (they’re so busy outrunning the sharks, they forgot to heed the tsunami warning – and then there’s “make-out-girl” blabbing about the goblin sharks being extinct and that it would be the greatest discovery etc..etc.. – but I think the greatest discovery would be to find that she had a brain inside that skull of hers. So instead of RUNNING like HELL for their lives, they talk on the beach while a 50-FOOT CGI TSUNAMI approaches! And one of them was supposed to be a lifeguard, my gods!

By the time they noticed the tsunami, it’s too late, of course. So they proceed to barricade themselves inside the lifeguard station, a few meters from the beach! Now this is the movie’s greatest crime, the station get’s HIT by THE TSUNAMI AND REMAINS STANDING (with all the people warm and snug inside, sure they get a little water-logged, but…)! Now, I’ve seen tsunamis obliterate entire beachfront hotels, and unless the lifeguard station is made of ADAMANTIUM I cannot see how it could have survived the force of a 50 foot wall of water! And they had the gal to tell us (via a reporter), that this is worse than the tsunami that happened in Indonesia?? This part was when I started getting headaches!

So, er, they (the 5 annoying people) get stranded in uh, waist-deep(!!!) water, and as expected the sharks show up and I wish all the characters were all gobbled up in one attack. I did not have the power to finish the movie after the stupidity of the first act, so I slipped back to blessed oblivion, despite the uncomfortable surroundings, ignorance is bliss indeed! 😀

I don’t care how you do it…

just save me! More music please!

Listening to: “Save Me” (what else?)  by Remy Zero

What a way to productively spend my rest day! I spent the last 3 hours (maybe more) watching Smallville; and managed to finish (again) Season One in it’s entirety. Even crossed over to Season 2 (first couple of episodes). I find the whole show very enjoyable, if a little episodic in the beginning.

I feel rather sorry for Lex Luthor (played very well by Michael Rosenbaum), he is really trying hard to go against his darker leanings (can you say walking the very fine line between good and evil?) Clark is extremely likable, a little bit obtuse from time to time, but essentially a good person. I like the fact that he is very loyal and loving to his friends (and some of the credit goes to Jonathan and Martha Kent for raising him so well). Lana’s ok, but I think she is more suited to Lex Luthor (I know! My personal bias is showing! hehe I’ve always been a Lex-Lana fan ) than Clark Kent (Chloe is better-suited to Clark, they just don’t know it). Speaking of Chloe Sullivan. She’s my favourite character, don’t even ask why. I’ll tell anyway, she’s the one I can relate to the most. You  know, newspaper staff in high school? Brainy girl? Well, not just that, but a myriad of other things (I like her fashion sense as well. Brainy-chic.) I’ll say this, I’ve always been glad to be appreciated for my supposed “intelligence” (academic and other-wise) and visual talents, but sometimes, a person wants to be noticed for other things as well (not just because your name is plastered in the honors list or you’ve happened to finish a good drawing). But at the end of the day, I think a person should have been happy to have been appreciated in any way at all. And it may sound totally unrelated, but in my lif e experience,  it’s important for people to build a “strong backbone” (lest you get trampled upon) . Apart from maintaining good friendships.

I’ll finish Season 2 today probably. I just kept pressing the “Next” button on the DVD player and then I noticed it’s already 8:30 in the morning.

I did not totally laze-around the house all day though, I spent some time “cooking” (although I’m not much of a cook), washing some dishes, and doing the laundry (the usual domestic stuff). Not to mention wiping off dog poo.

I’ve also finished reading “Dead to the World” by Charlaine Harris (book 4 of the Sookie Stackhouse novels). It’s an immensely good read. Not like the tripe that is  Twilight (sorry, can’t resist the comparison). It’s more of an adventure than actual romance, and the plot is fast moving and quite concise. Most of all, Sookie is a much better narrator and character than Bella Swan. She has a sharp, witty, if sometimes ironic sense of humor. She knows who she is and is very much comfy in her own skin. And insists that she be treated as an equal by both Bill (and Eric).Although I think Eric is the one who really knows how to treat her well. Another very nice quality of hers is that she doesn’t wallow in despair like Bella. So Bill went to Peru, life goes on. You can’t suddenly become incapacitated just because your boyfriend left you. Most of all, Sookie has the backbone I’m talking about earlier, possibly borne out of her “talent”/”disability”.

Back to real life. Things are looking better at work, but not peachy (we’re expected to be on ultra-formal tomorrow).  Although I always try to keep my work and my “Life” in separate boxes. I have this tendency to compartmentalize. Hard habit to break.

I was cleaning up and then there were zombies…

Watching: “Resident Evil: Degeneration” (wasn’t able to finish it the first time)

Reading: “Cold Mountain” by Charles Frazier

(on a related note, aside from this book, I’m also able to get something by E. Annie Proulx all for 50php each-and hardbound to boot – at   Makati Cinema Square. I’ll go back there probably by next payout to check out some more books.  I have Percy Jackson and the Olympians on my next reading list – the protagonist has the same name as my younger brother, Perseus – but I’ll need to go to Fully Booked for those).

In our apartment, things tend to pile up (dishes, clothes, footware, books). No matter what sort of clean up you try to do. That can’t be helped since all 6 of us work in the night shift. And like vampires, we are asleep during the day (except maybe on weekends). I’ve just finished washing last night’s dishes (left in the sink until someone gets in the mood to wash them) and believe me, I’ll see another pile tomorrow. I’m not complaining though. I like the people I’m living with. Just an observation. 😉

Not a bad week, I guess. Somehow,  I can see that things are progressing for the better. Update on RE: Degeneration, so why was Leon Scott Kennedy the only one not wearing any protective gear?? I understand he’s the big, bad-ass agent sent by the White House – due to his experience in handling zombified citizens – but I’m quite sure he’s not bite-resistant, is he? I guess the helmet would mess-up his hair! Don’t get me wrong, I love the Resident Evil games (the movies are another story); but don’t tell me you didn’t notice some “impracticalities” from time to time. Just look at Jill Valentine’s attire on RE: Nemesis (which they have unwisely adopted in the movie). Would you fight zombies on a skirt and a tank top?? On top of that, the T-Virus is highly infectious. What if she gets bitten by infected mosquitoes?? But that’s just me being nitpicky.

>on RE: Degeneration : They are now being herded together in a military camp (Leon, Claire and the rest) just outside the airport. Trust me, the military is always almost useless on RE games; their only purpose is to propagate the number of the infected-undead. Oh and the vaccine just happened to be destroyed. And before the movie is over, I’m sure the long-haired guy (who happens to be the older brother of  one of the SRT members – the Japanese really love this theme) shown earlier will make an appearance. Will he be the customary “boss”? I’m getting ahead of myself. Really? Or will that be the Brit-guy?

>on RE: Degeneration : And Brit-guy with the sexy accent just invited Claire to “a late afternoon tea”. Naturally, she said yes. This movie is getting better all the time.

Tomorrow is laundry day. Yay! If I can manage to finish with HealthLab early.

>on RE: Degeneration : Ok, so big-brother (named Curtis) is the “Birkin” stand-in (he didn’t manage to keep his full consciousness either). He’s now fully transformed (after many explosions), and looks far uglier than Nemesis. Movie is almost over. From what I’ve seen, it’s a conglomeration of plots from the previous RE games. Wait! Brit-guy just disappeared.

I’m quite excited to see the re-make of  “Clash of the Titans” (I’ve seen the 1981 version when I was in the 5th grade, shown alongside “Sakay”, if you can believe it). It has to be exciting, with Liam Neeson as Zeus, and Ralph Fiennes as Hades. Sam Worthington as Perseus? well I guess he’s ok (I can see an action-fantasy actor in the making).