It/s amazing how one doesn't blog for a short amount of time, and during that time so much happens. Well, I'll just say it, although it was almost a week ago; the Academy Awards were a splendid delight, and there were very few bad surprises (if any). Gravity dominated, which surprised me, but Dallas Buyer's Club was another film that acquired a number of Oscars, which I predicted. Ellen was a blast and once again an excellent host that had a lot of fun, and that was what struck me; how much fun everyone seemed to be having. Good show, although John Williams should have won the Oscar for Best Original Score, but that's life. President Vladimir Putin has all but annexed Crimea, and I can't help but make a comparison to what Adolf Hitler did back in the 1930's when he annexed Austria and Czechoslovakia because they were a part of the "Fatherland" originally, and he was also reuniting the German people back with each other. No one thought that he would go any further than that, no one dreamed that he would invade Poland, France, and Eastern Europe and then eventually Russia. Appeasement was how Western Europe and the US dealt with Herr Hitler, and that is most likely what will end up happening with Putin. God only knows what the man is really up to, but if you give a mouse a cookie, he's gonna want a glass of milk. There's a lot going on in the Ukraine right now to write it all down, but ya'll better look into it. American should not isolate itself from world politics like it tried after WWI and believe that what happens in other hemispheres of the world stays there without affecting Americans. Terrorists and absolute dictators are seeing that weakness in America right now, and I guarantee all of you that they will not think twice about striking a blow, no matter on what level. We should keep the people of Ukraine in our thoughts and prayers, and also encourage our governments to take action against Russia, whether it be non-lethal or military action. So, now floating away from reality before one becomes too depressed or upset some good stuff came out in the past few days. Netflix aired the Lost Missions for the Clone Wars, and I have watched quite a few of the episodes thus far, and it still amazes me that they cancelled the show because the episodes were still continuing to get better and better.Granted the best of season 6 will be the last few episodes, but it was interesting watching the development of what "protocol 66" is and where it came from. It's a pity that this means that the show will have officially come to an end, but how ironic that there were 6 seasons, as there are currently 6 films; I like the irony. I have very little hope for Rebels as I have seen previews and had sneak peeks of the characters, and as for Episode VII....well, I am not holding out at all since George Lucas is not behind the writing and creative wheel as he was in all previous 6 films. That's what made it work, and I just don't think that it is going to work without him. So I watched this film Elysium this evening after I thought that it was going to be a lousy film, and I wasn't half wrong. It was entertaining enough to the point where I wasn't miserably bored, and Matt Damon did a fine job along with the rest of the cast, although my favorite character was played by Jodi Foster. I didn't like the premise of the film, which was class warfare; of the super rich vs. pretty much everyone else, which in this case apparently were the super poor (about 95% of the human population in the film). It was essentially a bland film that had fantastic potential, but it will be forgotten in another year or so, and definitely in 10 years. That's about as much as I want to even waste my time writing about the film; not something I would recommend. Don't forget to set your clock forward one hour, although I suppose that would depend on what time zone you're in throughout the world. Just so long as it doesn't snow again in the Midwestern U.S., I will be happy. Good luck to us all, and May the Force be with you all.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For trailer (looks intense, just like the first one was)
So I finally was able to watch one of the Oscar films; 12 Years A Slave. If the film win any Academy Awards it will be mainly because of two singular reasons, of which Sigmund Freud would only nod his head. The two reasons are; Sex & Violence. The cinematography was excellent, and Hans Zimmer did a fine job with the music, but the writing wasn't that great, the performances were genuine, but all it seemed to be most of the time were pure raw emotions like hate, passion, anguish, and desire. The film was very brutal in its portrayal of slavery and left the audience feeling similar to it's protagonist; hopeless, even at the end of the film I felt like "blah." Michael Fassbender played quite the villain; I think that Magneto looks like an angel in comparison to this character. Even Benedict Cumberbatch's character was somewhat villainous, but an excellent performance nonetheless. Chiwetel Ejiofor (the main character Solomon Northup) did well for his character, but I really wish the writers had come up with far superior dialogue for him to work with than what was there; didn't seem to do his talent much justice. Lupita Nyong'o (Patsey) has been nominated for an Oscar for her role, which seemed rather small to me, but whatever. She cried a lot, begged a lot, screamed a lot, and was also naked a lot, so she'll probably get the award. Her character didn't really get that much closure at the end of the film. In all, the film has been nominated for 9 Academy awards, and I have a feeling that it might just dominate unfortunately; if it isn't obvious yet, I didn't like the film, nor do I think that I could ever watch it again. There was an epilogue of sorts at the end of the film, and I think based off what happened after the real life story of Solomon Northup would have made for a better film than what they actually adapted from the book. Very depressing, dramatically dark, disturbing, and downright unpleasurable to watch. I wouldn't recommend it, even to see, unless you go for that type of thing. There was all sorts of bad news going on over the past few days and today. It snowed once again; yuck! I hate winter. Then of course President Obama made another "red line" and Putin crossed it and sent troops into Ukraine to "help" the ousted president regain control; big surprise. And now Ukraine is so destabilized that who knows how that will affect the rest of Europe; and who was it that said Russia isn't the US's biggest geopolitical foe? It wasn't Mitt Romney. The current Ukraine situation I could yack about for a while, but that is for another type of blog. It's interesting to note how many countries have been destabilizing over the past couple of years and how that seems likely to be the continuing trend. Regardless, the people of Ukraine are the ones caught in the middle of a power play, and so I think some prayers and positive thoughts would he helpful for them at the moment. Finished the 2nd season of Homeland this evening and I was actually impressed this time with how the season ended this time around; there was actually some good writing that was put into the show finally, and the two main characters suddenly became much more likable. We'll see if they can keep it up for the 3rd season. Academy Awards tomorrow night, unless they get drowned out by rain, which would be oh so funny.
As most of you know my taste in music lies in classical and film score predominantly; several people know rock and popular artists, I know film composers and classical music composers. For classical, Beethoven, Mozart and Copland are amongst my favorites, for film scores (and even video & PC games) John Williams, James Horner, Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, Jerry Goldsmith, Howard Shore, and Dario Marianelli. There are some rising stars though like Marc Streitenfeld (Robin Hood, Prometheus), Steve Jablonsky (Transformers), Mychael Danna (Life of Pi), Micahel Giacchino (Star Trek), and Nicholas Hooper (The Half-Blood Prince). There are several others who have created some excellent scores here and there, or some bits of a score that were really good, but it's been difficult for me to spot another great like John Williams or Hans Zimmer; both men have completely different styles of composing music, but they both have created some of the most memorable music (or rather John Williams has more often than not). Anyways, all of this talk of music, film scores and composers is because I am focusing on the Oscar for Best Original Score. The nominees are: John Williams (The Book Thief), Steven Price (Gravity), William Butler & Owen Pallett (Her), Alexandre Desplat (Philomena), and Thomas Newman (Saving Mr. Banks). Last year I had it narrowed down pretty good, and there were a good many scores to choose from, and I have listened to most of the scores from this year and I'm not really that impressed. Most of the scores were tinkly sounding, or just strange sounding with no melodious harmony to it. I would prefer John Williams to win it as his score stood out the most and was quite good, but I have a feeling that Alexandre Desplat will win it, which is odd considering most of his music sounds very, very similar (a part of me is bitter for his lackluster performance on his film compositions for the last 2 Harry Potter films). With less than a week of February left it is amazing how quickly time has gone by. Apparently tis the season for revolutions and overthrowing governments. Ukraine booted out their conniving president and issued an arrest warrant for killing civilians (he had snipers killing protesters), which I'm certain was a huge irritating disappointment for Russian president Vladimir Putin. Bummer for him. Hopefully that will be the beginning of the Russian's president's waning geopolitical influence in all of Europe. Now if only the Syrian people could successfully boot Assad out of power than the circle would be complete. It's a shame that they're a forgotten news story with over 150,000 people dead so far with no sign of the civil war ending. I wonder how many of those people would still be alive if the West had intervened right from the start? I wonder if those people and others in the Middle East and the rest of the world are thinking the same exact thing, except with more of a bitter aftertaste left in their mouths?
So I got back into the spirit of adventure with season 3 of Sherlock, which of course is produced by the talented folks at the BBC. There are many elements that I continue to enjoy about this series, one of which being the cast. Benedict Cumberbatch is the perfect, modern, whimsical, yet dramatic Sherlock Holmes; a little more ego driven, rude, and ridiculous than Jeremy Brett or Robert Downey Jr., but his performance compensates for those faults. Martin Freeman is a fantastic actor to watch perform, but I have to say that his Watson isn't that good. It always seems to come across that Watson is ineffective, wimpy, unintelligent, and rather dim witted than Arthur Conan wrote him, but it isn't horrible to watch. Mark Gatiss as Mycroft is wonderful balance to the cast, and has continued to do well since he appeared at the beginning of the 1st season. Him and Sherlock go at it on-screen with each other fantastically. There are some good secondary characters and cameos, but that's the main reason people watch. Plots aren't exactly as intricate and interesting as the originals, or even the recent films, but they are amusing enough and written relatively well to keep one's attention. Truthfully though, I would have written it in a different way. Oh well. Yes I have slackened in my review of the Oscar nominations, but life is what it is. So I have Best Hairstyling and Makeup tonight: Dallas Buyer's Club, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, and The Lone Ranger. Okay only the first nominee should be on this list and I will not comment on the other two; plain and simple Dallas Buyers Club should win it, and that's it. Watched the closing ceremony yesterday for the Sochi Olympics, and it was nice (aside from the irritating commentary from the obnoxious hosts). The Russians put on an excellent opening and a good close, even though President Putin was hard pressed to smile or even look interested during the closing ceremonies. I'm certain the President's mind was elsewhere, perhaps thinking of Russia's setbacks in the Ukraine, or the fact that they lost to the US in hockey. The Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro in 2016, and then South Korea in 2018 for Winter Olympics, and then Tokyo for Summer Olympics in 2020. That seems like such a long time away; six years from now. Hope everyone has a lovely week, and the Oscars are in less than a week; don't forget to inscribe March 2nd on the calendar.
Sherlock season 3trailer
The Clone Wars: Lost Missions trailer
(The show should have never been cancelled; big mistake by Disney & Lucasfilm)
So this weekend was filled with homework and watching House of Cards, of which I finished season 2 Sunday night while foolishly attempting to complete my assignments for school; not my most brilliant of ideas, but it was difficult to stop once I got started with the show. One of the things that I really enjoy about that show are all of the quotable lines from it, especially with Kevin Spacey's character. The 2nd season ended very strongly, so I am curious to see where the 3rd season goes, and for how long they're going to string this show along. It was an excellent season, and maybe I have to watch it again, but I think that the 1st season was better, possibly, although there were more characters that I didn't like in that season, but the storyline and writing were slightly better. Anyways. I continued on with season 2 of Homeland and....well....it was good, and then really frustrating and annoying. I just do not care for the 2 main characters whatsoever; I only want to find out what happens next since I got hooked into the show, and I also want to know how they're going to pull one of their main characters back into the central plot. I could say more on it, but I just don't care enough. Work and school, those two things dominate my life currently, so its hard to find more time for the superfluous, and even still the things that matter like the news. News stories such as what's going on in the Ukraine, or in Vietnam, or how thousands of people are being starved to death by the Syrian government and no one is doing anything about it. I feel like countries used to come to each other's aid in the name of humanity, but now it's all about being politically correct; what a wussy world it has become. One of my friends from college was teaching in Norther Iraq for a few years, and during his time he came across a Jesuit priest who told him that members of his order had been forced out of Syria on pain of death (if memory serves correctly). Apparently the priest went back to help those against Assad, he was captured and executed by Al-Qaeda. I also just discovered that there is an American POW being held by the Taliban in Afghanistan, of which US government officials are "negotiating" for; he has been held captive for 5 years. How does that work? Yeah, and I'll leave it at that. Well, work continues tomorrow as does school, and all I have to do is survive it. Good night all!
Guardians of the Galaxy trailer (not sure what to make of it)
Well I hope that everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day. Mine was....alright I suppose, considering all I did primarily was work, which wasn't too bad, although there are other things that I would have rather been doing. My red velvet cupcakes were a smashing success at the employee Valentine gathering; someone even told me that I could make a good deal of money cooking and baking for people privately; I might just consider that. Aside from doing some homework for grad school, I began watching the long awaited season 2 of House of Cards starring Keven Spacey and Robin Wright, both of whom deliver powerful performances that go beyond the believable; they are the characters. Wow did this show start off with a bang! I love it, and I love this show. If there is anything I've seen that embodies the teachings of Niccolo Machiavelli then it would be the main character, Frank Underwood (FU) in this show, and boy does he do it flawlessly. It's difficult for me to describe why I enjoy this show so much, but it is one of the best shows around. I won't spoil any of the show by summarizing the 1st season, but suffice to say that Frank's power and influence are continuing to exponentially grow, but so are the risks and his enemies as well. Tasteful, well written, good characters that are interesting and changing constantly as you discover more about them. Definitely two thumbs up and then some. If you like political dramas and thrillers, then this is for you. Just remember that Frank is always looking ahead ten steps in case you're like me and try to figure out what's happening before it even happens. For the Oscars tonight we have Best Film Editing: American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, and 12 Years a Slave. It is difficult to predict this Oscar without having seen the film since it is more of a visual and thus technical aspect of the film, but editing is huge in order for a film to be successful. Given the technical glory I've heard about Gravity, I'm going to go with that winning the Oscar but American Hustle is also a possibility.
Season 2 House of Cards trailer
Star Wars: Rebels (New character voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr.; hope he doesn't kill it).
Sometimes too many things going on is not a good thing, because then you forget things and then start to eliminate the unnecessary things in order to survive. This is how I have been finding myself lately, and I think I can blame it all on graduate school since that is the one variable that I have never had on top of everything else that I am currently doing. I have to give it up to people who are married with children that work full time and then do school full time; I could not do that as I can barely stay on top of what I am doing. Anyways. I haven't been watching much of the Olympics lately, but I hear good things for the USA, the Netherlands, and Norway. I finished watching season 1 of Homeland, and even though it was interesting and at times good, I do have to say that at the end of the season I was quite disappointed with the characters and the writing; oh so predictable, oh so boring, and all so annoying as well. I didn't really like any of them major characters, and now that I think about it, I didn't really care for any of the secondary characters either. Claire Danes plays a crazy, manic, bipolar CIA agent very well, but it gets old and hence boring after a while. And the plot honestly was not written very well, although they did have the long game in mind when they wrote it, so I suppose that was alright. Yeah, not a lot of good things to say about the show at this point, but I am proceeding to season 2 and perhaps it will improve. Resuming the Oscar countdown tonight we have Best Director: David O'Russell, Alfonso Cuaron, Alexander Payne, Steve McQueen, and Martin Scorsese. I think Steven McQueen will get it for 12 Years a Slave, but then again, he might not. I would like to see Alfonso Cuaron get it for Gravity, but then again David O'Russell might nab it for American Hustle. I think it is down to those three, but more the first two than the 3rd. It's hard to believe that February is almost half-way over. Well I hope that everyone has a lovely Valentines Day; enjoy all of the chocolate, flowers, and kisses that you receive.
Can't say that too much happened today, although Homeland is beginning to pick up some more as the final episodes of the first season draw near. I'm actually surprised with all of the plot layers that there are to the series and the characters, not bad writing, although I will reserve my judgement until the end. It didn't snow today, but it was ridiculously cold, even though Siberia was colder; something like -55 degrees below zero. So for the Oscars tonight (continuing on with the technical aspect) are the nominees for Best Costume Design: American Hustle, The Grandmaster, The Great Gatsby, The Invisible Woman, and 12 Years a Slave. I have actually seen The Great Gatsby so I have that going for me as a first for these Oscars so far, and the costume design was exquisite so much so that I believe it should win, and honestly I really believe that it will, but I wouldn't be surprised if American Hustle pulled it off either and won the award. I unfortunately don't have much to post about Game of Thrones, but the sneak peek below prove very interesting, and in a couple of months we'll get to see who dies next, and how much more depressing the series can become. Time to get some sleep, and I hope all of you do as well. Didn't get a chance to watch any of the Olympics, so I hope that I didn't miss anything. Apparently Bob Costas pink eye is getting worse; you'd think that being sick would warrant him some time away from his hosting duties.
Aside from completing a rather negligible amount of homework for school, I watched a lot of the Olympics today. There was alpine skiing which was quite a rush. At some points those guys were going over 80 mph; fortunately no one took a tumble down the mountain. There was also snowboarding slope style, which USA Jamie Anderson took home the gold for after an impressive last run. Congrats to her! The individual who was favored to place ended up crashing severely during a run and cracking her helmet, but she was alright and finished her run. Cross country skiing was intense at the finish (18 km) and those men just crashed to the ground when they crossed the finish line. Then there was also the women's biathlon which was also fairly intense. The best part for me though was the figure skating, and tonight they finished up the team event with Russia winning the gold, Canada the Silver, and USA with the Bronze; now they move onto individual events. Even though I do not care for Evgeny Plushenko that much, he did very well, as did his compatriots in the ice dancing, but the best was Julia Lipnitskaia who just owned. Even the Americans fared very well, but their salvation as a team was the ice dancing couple Meryl Davis and Charlie White who were stunning on the ice, so much fun to watch. I cannot wait for the individual events to take place! Now we start moving on to the more technical elements in the Oscars, and starting if off are the nominations for Best Cinematography: The Grandmaster, Gravity, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska, and Prisoners. Now I have, surprise-surprise, seen none of these films, but I am going to go with what I assume is the Oscar favorite of Gravity to win the Oscar, because all I've heard is how breathtaking and groundbreaking it is, and not to mention the nominees don't really sound that much up to scratch against it. Oh well. Here comes another week of work and grad school; yuck, and guess what, it is supposedly going to snow 5 days of the week. Fortunately there are the Olympics to drown my sorrows, and the upcoming second season of House of Cards on Netflix this Friday! Super excited about that. Have a great week everyone, and get in as much of the Olympics as you can, they're quite awesome.
It's a good thing that I didn't have anything planned for today because all it did was snow all day long, and it was that big fluffy stuff. I hate snow. It's strange to think that a year ago today I was still technically unemployed and living with my sister and brother in-law in their basement, whereas today I have been at the same job for almost a year and now have my own place. Just when you think all is going to hell, things turn out pretty good. So there was skiing, snowboarding, and skating on today that I watched for the Olympics. Granted I am about a day plus behind on who is winning or losing what, but I am going to go according to what gets broadcast on NBC as it comes that way there are no surprises before I see the competition. The US made an impressive show with the snowboard freestyle slope (or something like that) and Sage Kotsenburg won a gold medal for the event. For figure skating in the team event, the United States is currently at 3rd thanks to the great talent of ice dancing couple Charlie White and Meryl Davis who gave a fantastic performance. It should get more interesting as the events move along, and I try to remain aloof to what has happened until after I have seen it. For on the Oscars for tonight we have Best Animated Feature Film: The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Ernest & Celestine, Frozen, and The Wind Rises. Okay, I have seen none of these films but have heard a lot about them. Now most of these studios/creators have won Oscars before, and then there's the success/money point of view to take into account, but after all of that I'm going with Frozen, although there is a good chance that Ernest & Celestine will win instead. The Oscars frequently like the underdog. Oh I can't wait for summer, although I'd settle for spring right about now. Have a good night everyone.
Though technically the opening ceremony was yesterday, it was broadcast this evening in the USA. I don't really remember the opening ceremony to Vancouver in 2010, or for Turin in 2006, but I recall a good deal in Utah in 2002 and Nagano in 1998. I do have to say that I did enjoy the opening ceremony and display that the Russians put on; I have to admit that it was very cool, especially with what they were able to do with all of the projectors making it seem like holography at times. They had a good choice with music ranging from Igor Stravinksy, Peter Tchaikovsky, John Philip Sousa, and Daft Punk even. One of my favorite sequences during the opening was during the telling of Imperial Russia which was done with ballet and dance, very lovely. Then came the dark times; communism, Lenin, Stalin and eventually the Soviet Union of Socialist Republic. That was a very interesting retelling of history. I did like the dream like aspect of the overall performance. The lighting of the torch was very anti-climactic, although of every opening ceremony I've seen, nothing has matched or topped the Utah Olympics in that regard. I really wish that I could have seen Beijing in 2008; I just keep hearing about that constantly about how great it was. The entire opening would have also been better without the announcers interrupting and commenting on everything that was happening on screen, one of them even insulted the Russians, and I think he realized it because they were much quieter after that. Well over the next couple days it should be nice to see how things go for all of the athletes participating, and hopefully nothing bad happens. Go team USA! Even though it's small pickings compared to the Olympics, tonight, for the Oscars, I am featuring the nominees for Best Supporting Actress: Sally Hawkins, Jennifer Lawrence, Lupita Nyong'o, Julia Roberts, June Squibb. As the trend continues I have seen none of the films which these performances are attached to, however I am going to roll the dice yet again and stated that Sally Hawkins will win for Blue Jasmine. It is mostly gut, but I wouldn't be surprised if Julia Roberts snagged the Oscar as well. The weekend is here, so time for some fun, and of course what would it be like without some homework to stress me out with. Have a good night everyone, and don't forget to tune in to watch the Olympics.
So aside from it being very busy at work today, there have been a number of people calling out sick over the past few days, so I can only imagine what has been going around. All I have to say once again is thank God tomorrow is Friday, and this weekend I shall have all to myself! Despite having to do some homework. Nothing good really going on that I can share currently, so I shall proceed to the main event. Featured tonight for the Oscars is Best Male Supporting Actor: Barkhad Abdi, Bradley Cooper, Michael Fassbender, Jonah Hill, and Jared Leto. Once again I have never seen any of these films, but I have seen performances by several of the actors in question, and all of them are quite talented. I'm going to go with my gut instinct again and say that Jared Leto is most likely going to snag the Oscar, but I wouldn't be surprised if Michael Fassbender gets it. Though I would be quite surprised if anyone else got the Oscar. Edgy and gritty reality I think will be the general theme for Oscar winning fare this year, but we shall see in a couple weeks. In the meantime though, the opening ceremony for the Olympics airs tomorrow if I am correct and then I shall have a little more to chat about once that happens and the games begin. Have an excellent night everyone.
So I continued my marathon of Stars Wars this evening with Revenge of the Sith, and even though it isn't as visually stunning as Attack of the Clones, it's still pretty great, and yes it remains my 2nd favorite of the saga, with The Empire Strikes Back being my favorite. Getting back into the groove at work went better than I had anticipated, although I felt like Westley from The Princess Bride when he gets so many years of life sucked out of him. Hopefully there will be no relapses. In regards to my trilogy, I am working on finalizing the textblock of the book and working on the back cover. Next up will be the cover art, which I am very excited to work with the artist on. Slowly but surely everything continues to move along. So tonight at the Oscars we have Best Actress in a Leading Role: Amy Adams, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Judi Dench, and Meryl Streep.Well right off the bat Cate, Sandra and Meryl aren't going to get it because they already have Oscars, although my gut is telling me that Cate might get it. My money is on Amy Adams though; very talented, and always delivers a great performance, although I would be fine with Judi Dench winning as well. Now we'll see what comes of my predictions. Hopefully I will get to blog on that, unless I end up buried in a snow bank created by snow falling and the wind drifting it as well. There it is.
Usually I get really, really sick once a year and it lasts for a while, but it seems this year that I have been getting short bursts of being sick every now and then; not certain why, or if there is a connection to my stress level at work and graduate school workload as well. Anyways. Life must go on I suppose; I could be experiencing far worse things. So I suppose aside from staying in bed for a greater portion of the day, and drinking far too much tea, I did some homework and watched Star Wars: Attack of the Clones at some point. The rest of the day went by.....well, slowly I think. My brain is still "mush" from being sick. I don't know if any of you have seen the Star Wars films on Blu-ray, but they look pretty impressive visually and crystal clear. I cannot believe that J.J. Abrams is going to roll back the clock on George Lucas' cinematic advances and revert to using regular film to shoot with rather than going all digital, that is if the rumors or what I heard is true. At any rate, you can tell it was an off day for me so I apologize if my thoughts are a little incoherent. So for the Oscars tonight we have Best Actor in a Leading Role and the nominees are: Christian Bale, Bruce Dern, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Mathew McConaughey. Now who is going to win? I don't have a clue who will, but I have a pretty good guess. Leo hasn't won an Oscar, but has been nominated 5 times. He will get one, but it won't be this year. He should have gotten one for Gastby. Mr. Ejiofor probably deserves it, but most likely won't get it, and Bruce Dern is too unknown for the Academy. No, my money is on Mathew McConaughey and his very edgy role, which is why I am also picking Christian Bale as a backup (also has an edgy role) and lord knows he deserves an Oscar for his great talent. Well there you have it. Here's to getting sick no more this year! Oh and did I mention that I'm sick of winter and sick of snow; it snowed again today. Can't wait to return to San Diego, even though California is having a gut wrenching drought.
I don't know how close Hollywood shows and films are close at depicting reality when it comes time for the CIA, or other U.S. intelligence services, but I really hope to a degree that they aren't like what I have been seeing in the show Homeland. I started watching season one today, and I have to agree that it is highly engaging and interesting, especially to a writer and aspiring psychologist. Torture, brainwashing, and PTSD are fascinating subjects to try and understand and explore in regards as to what drives and motivates people to do horrible things to others, or the processes involved in reshaping someone's entire identity and belief system. For those of you who haven't seen the show, it is about an American soldier who returns from Iraq after being held for 8 years. He is hailed as a hero, but a single CIA agent believes him to be more than he appears. Slowly she begins to build a case around this man and the labyrinth of deception that the former soldier is hiding. Good writing and excellent characters so far, and I like how the antagonists are always seemingly 5 steps ahead of everyone, makes for some believable danger for the heroes and those on the sidelines. Hopefully the characters remain up to scratch and the gratuitous sex decreases as the series continues. So tonight on for the Oscar countdown, we begin with Best Picture: American Hustle, Captain Philips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, 12 Years a Slave, and The Wolf of Wall Street. Now I (as usual) have seen none of these films, although I almost watched a few. So American Hustle is too....well it doesn't have the gravitas to win, Captain Philips sounds too boring, Dallas Buyers Club sounds like a card game for senior citizens, Gravity is too successful and cutting edge, Her is too weird, Nebraska....well that just says it all right there, Philomena....well no one knows what that even means, The Wolf of Wall Street can't win because Martin Scorsese recently won an Oscar (at least in Oscar years), so that leaves 12 Years a Slave which sounds inspirational, an underdog story, controversial topic, and lots of emotions. That is my pick to win and that film that I want to win as well, and yes I say all of that even after I haven't seen a single film, but hey all of them have to be good because they were nominated, right? Of course. Good night and Good luck everyone, and stay away from heroin; it's bad for your heart and wreaks havoc on the human central nervous system.
If any of you are thinking about doing graduate school, or have already started, let me tell you something not to do. Never wait until 6 hours before the due date to turn in 5 assignments. I just marathoned what should have been 10 hours of writing and reading assignments in about 5 hours, and somehow I got it all done with my sanity intact amazingly, although there were a few moments when I wanted to hurl a glass against the wall and throw my computer at the wall too. To say the least I am completely over graduate school, and would quit if my fear and long term goals didn't outweigh my current stress. I don't know how people work full time, do school full time and have a family or a relationship; I can barely keep up and I have just me currently to think about. Well somehow January is over (thank God) and February is here, and I actually just found out that the Superbowl is over with the Seahawks beating the Broncos (creaming them more accurately) and also that Philip Seymour Hoffman died; major bummer. I wonder how that will effect The Hunger Games? So far Da Vinci's Demons is an excellent show, which is a little fantastical than realistic, but it is a whole lot of fun, and yes I do have a bias and fatal flaw for historical fiction. Hopefully it will turn out better than The Borgias did towards the end. So I have been struggling to survive work and graduate school which leaves very little room for anything else. That means I suck at managing my time, or....well, I guess I'm not certain what else that would mean. It keeps snowing out here in the midwest, which is supremely vexing and irritating, and it is so doggone cold. I long for the warm sunshine of San Diego, the palm trees and beaches, and sand. Lovely. Basically where I was going with all of that is my writing has gone the way of the dinosaur currently, although I wish it wasn't so; I am discovering more than ever how much I wish I could just be a writer full time and have that be my career, job, and make money; that would be perfect. I do want to be an I-O psychologist, but at the same time writing is what I am most passionate about, along with film and politics, which I will endeavor to say minimum at the moment. Hopefully this month I will have something significant to post concerning Book II, but who knows. The Oscars are coming up, March 2nd I believe, and the Olympics begin this Friday in Sochi, Russia. Hopefully it will not be a Munich style Olympics, but apparently security is up to scratch. I will begin my Oscar countdown tomorrow, but I have a feeling people will care very little for films when the Olympics will be featured on prime time. Well I need to get some shut eye, but take care of everyone and have a lovely beginning of the week!
Perhaps my play on words for the title wasn't per se quite accurate, but it popped into my head and I couldn't really think of anything else. So yes it has been approximately 15 days since my last entry, but I have to tell you that January...well...it hasn't quite been like the month from Hell (September 2013) but it is coming quite close. Several extraordinary events have happened at work making life oh so much more stressful and ridiculous, I turned 28 a little over a week ago (not that it was traumatic, but it is a life event that adds an amount of stress), and of course I resumed classes for graduate school (lots and lots of stress) and essentially the stress that came with all of this was something that I was not anticipating. I was just stating to my sister the other day that I hadn't gotten sick, and low and behold what happened.......my words caught up with me. Despite being sick though (my head felt like I was carrying around a cannon ball and my sinuses felt like straw had been stuffed down them) I was able to do a bit of homework, and then towards the end of the evening I flipped on the television and watched this show called Da Vinci's Demons starring Tom Riley as the namesake character, but it is filled mostly with an unknown cast, albeit quite excellent cast. Da Vinci is a young man of about 25 years of age and he is finding out who he is and what he is capable of doing. Living in the free thinking city of Florence he flourishes, but with Rome ever trying to increase its stranglehold on civilization, its agents seek to eradicate those who threaten that reach. There it is in a nutshell; Da Vinci versus the Pope and his chief underlings. I do not know much about the man, which I should change considering his impact on the world, but Tom Riley's interpretation of the character is well done. He makes him eccentric, humorous, serious yet light and comical, passionate and intense, but also very likable as a character. The chief villain so far is quite impressive, which of course he would have to be due to Da Vinci's remarkable intellect. It is relatively fantastical more than realistic, but it is very, very intriguing with some very fascinating theories and questions about time and spirituality. Granted it is just entertainment, but some measure of truth may always be found in such things. Even though The Newsroom turned out to be a great disappointment, which I attribute to poor writing and bad character development, which is surprising for Aaron Sorkin, but perhaps it had more to do with who directed the shows more than writing it, but he was also a producer, so he would have gotten some say in the matter so I don't think one of the finest writers in Hollywood has an excuse. This show may not have per se the same level of writing, but the intricate plot and covert characters and agendas does have me hooked, and I like the era and the whole technology exaggeration as well. I just need to survive January and get on top of my life; writing, social life, and religious matters have all slipped away leaving graduate school and work remaining and in between I am merely trying to survive it all; not a truly great form of existence. Balance is the key, and now I am beginning to sound like a philosopher rather than a writer. There it is. Have a goodnight everyone and may the Force be with you.
Da Vinci's Demons trailer
Game of Thrones season 4 trailer (A couple more months!!)