Tag Archives: movies

Odds and Ends (the month of November to December)

I decided to change the theme yet again. This one, called “Girl in Green” is one of my “go-to” themes. The last one featuring the characters from The Hunger Games, looks far too dark and gloomy. It’s the end of the year, well almost, and enough of the gloom and doom. It’s time to look forward to some hopefully good things to come. Leave all the bad shit (excuse my French) behind for a change.

Indeed there are some really bad memories I definitely need to leave behind. In fact I am now “seething with rage” (bit of an exaggeration, but in essence true) as to why one person would fail to keep his promise nor fail to inform me as to when he actually intends to compensate me.  It makes me think that he has no intention of doing so, which would have been to both our convenience if he had just been direct about it. Therefore, I would no longer expect him to and consequently move on.

The whole situation makes me think of this “old adage” I frequently see hanging near jeepney dashboards (and some buses too). It never fails to make me smile a bit. If you don’t know what it is, then you must have been pretty unobservant or totally idiotic or both. As always, I still give him the benefit of the doubt (for the one hundredth thousandth time I think.) I must remember to have myself lobotomized in the near future. My supposed intelligence seems to fail me when it comes to these things. I’m usually torn between wanting to kiss him and murder him (the balance shifts frequently). Right now I definitely have cold-blooded murder in mind. 😛 Just trying to lighten things up. I’m giving him an entire week to explain himself. A rather generous offer I’d say, considering.

With that bit of ranting out of the way, I will move on to other things.

Watched a few movies on the big screen. That means seeing a few duds once in a while.

Dud #1 is Apollo 18 aka “Blair-Witch-Project-In-Space-with-Crabs”. As one critic put it, “It’s 80 minutes of dead air.” Nothing could be more descriptive. I thought the poster looked visually intriguing so I dragged one of my friends to see what the film was all about. Well, to save you the headache and a bit of cash (in case you want to buy the DVD), the film is all about a bunch of American (and Russian) astronauts encountering deadly space crabs, all in Blair Witch style. I really wanted to sleep through the whole thing but I just have to get my 170 pesos back (too late for that though) so I forced myself to see the entire cinematic blackhole through. Needless to say, I would have been better off asleep. I’m sure any dreams I’m prone to have will be a hundred times more interesting (if it so happens that crabs will make an appearance, they will be cooked and ready to eat). 😀 One of my favourite lines from the film Ghost World comes to mind, “..after seeing this one, you’d wish you had 10 beers.”

Dud #2 is The Immortals aka “The Cheerleaders, circa 12 BC”. They say curiosity killed the cat. In this case, curiosity made me sleepy (slightly comatose even). Another film I thought  would be interesting (in a good way) based on the poster. It’s on the same vein as “Frank Miller’s 300” (and I didn’t like that one very much either). If there is any lesson to be gleaned from this film, it is this: no amount of “cool” special effects will cover for the lack of character depth and crappy storytelling. The hero (Theseus if I recall correctly) is played so inertly by the actor that I can foresee him playing trees or possibly boulders in the near future. True, he seems to shout a lot but it’s “all sound and fury signifying nothing”. There’s even an almost scene for scene reproduction of the 300 “rally”. But instead of feeling inspired and ready for battle I keep expecting the “warriors” to do a cheerleader dance routine (complete with someone doing a high split). Which I’m sure  was NOT what the filmmakers intended. I would say the Gods were pretty bad ass though. If only the costumes were a little less ridiculous.

I did see “Ghost Protocol” during the weekend though. I’d say it more than made up for the duds I had the misfortune to see. A few good films were in line the following months. There’s the American remake of “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – showing this weekend; “Snow White and the Huntsman” – Charlize Theron will eat Kirsten Stewart alive. What were they thinking? But it has Chris Helmsworth. So there. 😛 What else? “The Hunger Games” of course. Quite excited to see this one. Plus some film entries to the Manila Film Festival. Should be enough to keep me entertained.

Still continuing with my drawings, I’m mostly working on quick sketches these days. Hopefully, I can produce at least a painting (canvas) in time for the local Mardi Gras. Crossing my fingers. I’m buying an Easel later in the day. One of the reasons I can’t draw for long periods is the lack of proper working space. The easel should solve that problem for a bit.

Sleepy and a bit hungry….

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The Weekend Report (09-10/10) and Other Random Thoughts

Who knows, I might do this regularly. Can’t think of a suitable title a few minutes ago and this one sort of “popped-up” quite suddenly. I’m not really in the mood to write, but I need to purge a few thoughts out of my mind.

October 09, 2010 – Did nothing most of the day. Slept and visited a few websites. Quite annoyed at the recent developments in our shared abode.

October 10, 2010 – My Better Half visited around 3:00am (bought some food *sweet*). We talked for a bit. Saw him again later in the day (say 4:00 pm-ish). We watched Resident Evil Afterlife (2 times) at the mall. Decent popcorn entertainment. Just don’t read too much into it. 🙂 Home at 12:00 PM. He stayed and we talked (and argued) some more.

I don’t know. A lot of things have been out-of-control lately, and I’m always on the defensive. My temper’s been on the surface most of the time (which is certainly not a good thing, I’ve taken to snapping at people here and there. Apologies to the Better Half especially).

I would have liked to draw, but can’t seem to find the energy. What could be wrong?

In addition to that, I’ve been feeling ill lately. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) I suspect. It takes all kinds, as they say.

Will go home next weekend and relax, hopefully.

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).

Random Insanity and Bad Movies

Forgive this post for occasional lack of coherence, it’s 11:28 pm here and I haven’t taken a bath yet. How’s that for an excuse?

Ok, I’m back at the boarding house (I just went and submitted my requirements for a company I will not mention here. Top secret stuff) here in Manila. Neil Gaiman was at Rockwell today apparently. Too bad I wasn’t able to make it for a number of reasons (including lack of funds).

I curse the person who typed my NBI Clearance. How could he/she make the mistake of misspelling my name? Well, not entirely, more like a single letter typo. Which is more infuriating, considering it’s the reason I’m stuck in here;  I’m also pissed with myself for not checking! Another thing, is my lack of success at procuring funds from a relative, whom I know has money (but refuses to help because of blah, blah, blah, excuses, excuses). I  may sound childish,  but I’m shot of him. Ok, moving on.

I’m currently watching something called “Dinocroc”. No kidding. I like watching B-Movies from time to time.  As the title implies, it’s about a dinosaur-crocodile hybrid running amok and killing a bunch of people. Opens with some guy (who looks suspiciously like Crocodile Dundee) sitting on a boat, trying to shoot something in the murky waters of a place called Ngukurr, Northern Australia. Oh, wait I missed something, he sort of slit his arm open to draw blood (to attract whatever creature he is hunting I presume. Although I miss the point of injuring yourself on purpose while on the hunt. He could have drawn the blood earlier or something). Well, cue in some exposition (in the form of power-pointy letters) and supposedly-scary-but-really-annoying music. And now we cut to  scientists making genetic experiments on some lab. For the purposes of what? I forgot. Anyway, one of the specimens went postal and destroys the cameras on the holding cell. Of course the first thing a sensible person would do is to ENTER the cage, when you don’t KNOW WHERE the creature is. How this person ever became a scientist boggles the mind.

So, naturally, the girl gets killed and the creature escapes. Let’s see what happens. I’m sure “Crocodile Dundee” will appear later. And there’s a kid with a missing dog. I think I know where this is going. Hm. And the guy who plays the sheriff of sorts looks awfully familiar (I’m sure I’ve seen him as a minor character on another movie).

It’s the Russians…again.

Another bunch of updates.

Listening to: “Sacrament of Wilderness” by Nightwish (whatever they say, only Tarja Turunen can sing this song, Anette Olzon’s rendition -while not downright horrible- pales in comparison to Tarja’s operatic voice – which is what the song requires, I believe).

Quite sick at the moment. Glad to have the trusty laptop back..

Currently watching a movie called “Transsiberian” (Emily Mortimer, Woody Harrelson, Ben Kingsley), a gritty thriller of sorts. An American missionary couple aboard the what else, Transsiberian Rail express (from Beijing to Moscow – I love the scenery, vast, desolate, snow-covered lands, no wonder the gulags were built in Siberia, it’s a “place to disappear” into) run into another couple -who may or may not be drug dealers- and that’s where the “fun” begins. I’m halfway through the movie at this point, nothing much is happening (for example, the Russian investigator at the very beginning hasn’t shown up yet), but the atmosphere is decidedly tense. Jessie’s husband seems to have disappeared and Carlos, the creepy, smooth-talking guy with a Spanish accent seems to be the one responsible. When traveling across Siberia, you can’t exactly just yell, “Hey! Stop the train, my husband is missing!”, so Jessie has several problems. I might finish it sometime. The lesson remains, “Don’t get too comfy with people you’ve just met.” or “Don’t go to Russia, if you’re American and gullible.” 🙂

At least it seems to be better than the last “shocker”, meaning “The Midnight Meat Train” (caused me to avoid steak and meat in general for a bit). It’s a decent piece of storytelling but it’s really not my kind of thing. Except for hefty amounts of blood and gore, it’s pointless really (along the lines of “Cannibal Holocaust”).

I’ve finally seen “The Other Boleyn Girl”, there were a number of deviations from the source material. But I can’t exactly say which was better. The movie feels rushed while the book seems to be a little long-winded at times.

Currently reading: “Good Omens” by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (a bunch of laughs).

“who is really unfair?”

Background Music: “Theme of Laura” (Silent Hill OST)

Reading: “The Subtle Knife” by Philip Pullman

On the J-Dorama Scene

Second day at home (it’s my day-off). So far, what I’ve done is technically “laze around” (ala Ahomiya) the house. I’ve finished another J-Dorama, something called “Unfair” (11 Episodes – Shinohara Ryoko; Eita). A detective thriller of sorts, the story is not without plot-holes (and the occasional fan-service), but the suspense was sufficient enough to keep me interested. It doesn’t hurt that there’s a little bit of social commentary introduced (ala Se7en). The ending was quite sad (as I really liked the main antagonist), but then, as they say, life is unfair. Great performance by all actors, especially by Shinohara Ryoko (her intelligent, no-nonsense, tough-as-nails detective was, for me, a very sympathetic character. We need more women like her). Although the repeated inserts of “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child became quite a nuisance after a while.

I was originally watching “Koshonin” (The Negotiator – Yonekura Ryoko, Yu Shirota ), but was turned-off by the “non-acting” I noticed from the titular character (Usagi Reiko has only three sets of facial expressions: the “bug-eyed-look”, the “squinty-eyed-gaze” and the “I-am-so-bored-look”). There’s also that weird “Hannibal Lecter/Clarice Starling-esque” relationship between her and a death row inmate (played by Yu Shirota, he seemed sufficiently creepy for a while, but I’d prefer Sir Anthony Hopkins any day – the conversations between them are not too interesting either). And there’s also the fact that she spends more time “trying to look sexy” than actually working (Who wears three-inch heels and a short skirt when negotiating with dangerous criminals? Wouldn’t pants be more sensible?). And this show is supposed to be serious and “realistic”??! But maybe that’s also the director’s and the script-writer’s fault. Aarrgh! But still, I’ll try to finish it for curiosity’s sake (and because I like Yu Shirota).

EDIT: 7:02 PM

Currently viewing, Great Teacher Onizuka (the j drama). Been meaning to watch this, but somehow, I always get sidetracked, it’s hilarious. Just finished the first episode and looking forward to the conclusion.

Morning Rituals

When I wake up in the morning, I tend to stare at the ceiling for a couple of minutes before I actually move or get up (this is because I’m trying to imagine/asses how the day would turn out, although most days are just the same; and to leave my mind “blank” for a while, as there are times when I feel as though all my thoughts are trying break out of my head – that probably doesn’t make sense, but what the hell).

After which, I grab the nearest book and read for around 30 minutes or more (I keep a stack of books near the head of my “mat” – as I prefer sleeping on the floor – for this purpose). This helps put my mind in order.

Then I work on the Laptop for a designated amount of time (these days I don’t turn it off at night, just in case I happen to wake up at 3:00 am for no discernible reason, something which frequently occurs).

Lastly, I check out what’s for breakfast and take a bath.

My job isn’t exactly hard, but the repeatition (something I detest) is somewhat taking it’s toll on me. At the end of the day, what I really want to do is sleep (or else imagine myself being swallowed alive by the bedroom floor, never to be seen again).

I am certain I’m not supposed to be somewhere else, but I don’t know where.

I know I’m supposed to be doing something else, but I don’t know what exactly (it’s just hovering at the back of my head).

Movies to Watch Out for

WANTED (June 27, 2008) – James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie, Sean Bean and Morgan Freeman

Synopsis (from movieweb)

Based upon Mark Millar’s explosive graphic novel series and helmed by stunning visualist director Timur Bekmambetov — creator of the most successful Russian film franchise in history, the Night Watch series — Wanted tells the tale of one apathetic nobody’s transformation into an unparalleled enforcer of justice. In 2008, the world will be introduced to a hero for a new generation: Wesley Gibson.

25-year-old Wes (James McAvoy) was the most disaffected, cube-dwelling drone the planet had ever known. His boss chewed him out hourly, his girlfriend ignored him routinely and his life plodded on interminably (oh, that certainly describes 3/4s of the population). Everyone was certain this disengaged slacker would amount to nothing. There was little else for Wes to do but wile away the days and die in his slow, clock-punching rut.

Until he met a woman named Fox (Angelina Jolie).

After his estranged father is murdered, the deadly sexy Fox recrui ts Wes into the Fraternity, a secret society that trains Wes to avenge his dad’s death by unlocking his dormant powers. As she teaches him how to develop lightning-quick reflexes and phenomenal agility, Wes discovers this team lives by an ancient, unbreakable code: carry out the death orders given by fate itself.

With wickedly brilliant tutors — including the Fraternity’s enigmatic leader, Sloan (Morgan Freeman) — Wes grows to enjoy all the strength he ever wanted. But, slowly, he begins to realize there is more to his dangerous associates than meets the eye. And as he wavers between newfound heroism and vengeance, Wes will come to learn what no one could ever teach him: he alone controls his destiny.

I first saw the trailer on the screening of Atonement. I thought it looked “slick”. I watch movies like these from time to time, especially when I’m stressed. While it is highly unlikely that I will be trading the cubicle for a gun, to be an “enforcer of justice”, it’s good to imagine myself in the characters’ shoes for two hours. Just reminded me, this is definitely the kind of film my friends from back home (“Envy” and “Skater Girl”) would certainly appreciate.

DEFIANCE (no release date yet, 2008) – Alexa Davalos, Daniel Craig, Jamie Bell and Liev Schreiber

The film revolves around Jewish brothers (Craig, Schreiber and Bell) living in Nazi-occupied Poland who escape into the Belarussian forest where they join Russian resistance fighters in battling the Nazis. Throughout the war, they build a village inside the forest and save the lives of more than 1,200 Jews. Zwick’s screenplay is based on Nechama Tec’s book “Defiance: The Bielski Partisans.” (from movieweb)

I just have a good feeling with this one (a compelling story + three of today’s most capable actors lead the cast). View trailer.

On the Book Scene

Finally I was able to move on to the second book of “His Dark Materials”, I miss Iorek Byrnison (the great armored bear), he has become one of my most favourite characters. Too bad he won’t make an appearance until the third book. Still stuck with “Atonement”.

It’s time for “Wangst!”

(Gaagh!) Another day gone, tomorrow I have to go to work again – or the world would end. Just thinking about it makes me ill, no..that’s not right..sitting in a cubicle all day, taking calls – and sometimes verbal abuse from people you’ve never met – is supposed to excite me!? Sorry, I’m not masochistic. Egad! Here I go again, complaining. This is the only thing I’m capable of as of now, pathetic really. (one more time – gaagh!)

I just want to say, my experiences have actually resulted in me building very a “thick wall against reality”(some might say, I’m quite selfish), it’s not that I daydream all the time (I look grounded, pragmatic and serious, and in fact I AM), but more than one half of myself is in the clouds, it’s a survival mechanism. I’m always on “auto-pilot” when I’m outside. It’s only a sense of propriety that is preventing me from running for the hills (or around the city) screaming: YAAAAAAAAAAH!!!

Lastly, (really) my internet connection is “acting-up” again.