To go where no one has gone before is now the politically correct term for the famous Star Trek saying. Now, Chris Pine is of course no William Shatner, but he does one hell of a Captain Kirk, and the same goes for Zachary Quinto as Spock (as Leonard Nimoy goes too). The rest of the familiar characters for the saga get played by equally suited and well talented individuals which I don't have to go into. In this film, Star Trek: Into Darkness we have a few new introductions like the Klingons, Dr. Carol Marcus, and John Harrison last but not least. There are a few interesting notes about these characters, but I won't spoil it for anyone, but I do have to say that I really like how he did the Klingons, which I hope he goes more into with the future, or brings in some cool enemy or something. Star Trek: Into Darkness was awesome. The 3-D was immersive, the special effects were mind boggling, and for the most part the action sequences were tastefully done and not too over the top, except for a few occasions maybe. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg remain the definitive masters of awesome, dynamic actions sequences that I have seen so far that aren't dull and always seem to be fresh. The story is somewhat complex so I am not going to boil it down, or give away any secrets, other than it delves further into character development and growth for Spock and Kirk. The screenplay was well written and the film kept pace very effectively, was interesting, and kept you on edge until the very end. The music by Michael Giacchino was good, but I am still leery of him composing music for the new Star Wars films if it comes to that, although he would probably be a good second choice, I think, although truth be told they should hunt for the best and right composer to fill those perfect shoes, because no one can compose Star Wars music except John Williams, and no one can create Star Wars except George Lucas, although we shall see how Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams do. I digress, talking about Star Wars when I should be talking about Star Trek. Anyways. I'm giving it a "Strong Ability" because it really does kick your socks off and brings it to the next epic cinematic level. Benedict Cumberbatch was supremely awesome as John Harrison the terrorist, and I think everyone will agree that he was the....perfect fit for his character. I would encourage you to see it if you enjoy good action films, or ones that are even science fiction. I would certainly watch it again, and I would watch in the theatre again if I saw it with some people. So it's been an interesting news week for particularly the United States of America, but also for the Middle East as it appears that Russia is flexing its antiquated naval muscle because they don't want any Western involvement with Syria, and of course China & Iran along with Russia disapproved of a U.N. measure against Assad's regime. The Syrian Civil war is getting out of control and is beginning to destabilize the entire region, which if intervention would have been early as it had been in Libya, than this wouldn't be happening. Once again, it is the Syrian people who are suffering as they are stuck in between a rock and a hard place. I don't know what is going to happen, but it would be nice to have clear and direct leadership from the President and his cabinet concerning this issue. God bless and protect those people. Right now there doesn't seem to be a lot of hope and light in the world as things grow more grim. Even at job my as I work with the mentally ill, things are beginning to seem more untenable at the current rate at which humanity is becoming more and more evil and debauched. Not a fantastic note to end on, but life is what it is unfortunately; we all just get to decide how we're going to react. Good luck with that.
I cannot even recall when the last day I blogged was; I think it was possibly Saturday? Anyways, works has kept me quite busy that I am exhausted when I get home, that I have just enough time to read the newspaper, check my email and make myself dinner before I have to go to bed. Not quite the life I envisioned, but it's a job and helps me get to where I want to go. So last night I finally was able to begin watching season 2 of The Borgias which is just as lovely as I remember it being. Jeremy Irons as Pope Alexander VI was remarkable as always, but the other real standout is his son Cesare Borgia played by Francois Arnaud. These two men are the driving force behind the show, but the other members of the cast do a fine job as well. The show was shot beautifully, the music is great, the screenplay well written, and likable and interesting characters as well. That is the mark of an excellently well made series. I have been going through the edits that my editor made and I have also been in contact with my publisher concerning Book II. It's going slow and I really need to work on it faster, but I will get there eventually, sooner rather than later hopefully. My other writing is essentially non-existent at the moment, which is annoying, but it is what it is right now until I can figure out how to deal with work and writing, and figure out how to work the latter in without exhausting myself. I am close to finding my own apartment finally after so long, which will be amazing! Oh by the way, always keep a tennis racket handy if you live in an old basement. Why do I write this, because I encountered a bat soaring about last night as I was watching the television. Not the most comfortable thing in the world; the possibility of a bat dive-bombing towards your head. The world continues to get messier, and I could go on and on and on, but I'm not going to. I will write this though, of all of the mistakes that President Obama and his administration have been making lately, his choice to do nothing in Syria but do nothing is the worst of them all, and something he and his administration should truly be ashamed of. Good night everyone and good luck.
The Borgias Season 2
Riddick Trailer (it actually looks really bad, but we shall see)
I can't say that I did much in the way of productivity today. I figured after a long work week, and especially a long day on Friday that I was entitled to a little bit of laziness, which is precisely what I mostly was today. I did however begin going through the edits for Book II of a Warrior's Tale, and I do have to say that I am pretty excited about its prospects and how it's shaping up. Towards the end of doing nothing all day I watched Django Unchained with my sister and brother in-law starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Samuel L. Jackson. I have to say that I was very dubious about the film since it was directed by Quentin Tarantino, and also it just didn't look that appealing to me. I couldn't have been farther from the truth. Granted that there was the gratuitous gore an violence that there is in every Quentin Tarantino film, but this film I actually thought was good, and the 2 Oscars that it won in 2013 were certainly well deserved. Jamie Foxx as Django was well played, and the growth in the character from beginning to end was pretty sweet I do have to say. Christoph Waltz, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, certainly deserved it. His character, Dr. King Schultz, was the best, most humorous and most interesting of all the characters on-screen I personally thought. Then there was Leonardo DiCaprio who played the slave and plantation owner Calvin Candie and wow did he play him well, vicious and charming in all. It was a different role for him since he usually plays the distressed hero, but this time he was the vicious villain, and boy can he pull that off well. Then there was Sam Jackson as Stephen (Calvin Candie's chief servant) and boy was he a mixture of humor and grief, but he pulled it off strongly and well. You know it would be nice to see him have a leading role in a film that isn't related to action that is actually good, but he seems to be contented to play supporting roles in films. The screenplay written by Quentin Tarantino was good, it also won an Academy Award, but there were boring lulls every now and then, but it kept pace relatively well and kept you interested more to the point. The cinematography was excellent, but I also mostly liked how the music was done for the film, which was a combination of original score and songs that were adapted for the film (aside from the few raps songs that were included). The film had a flair of fantasy to it like the old western films used to have which was really cool. It is definitely something that I would watch again, and if you can stomach the violence and gore (blood flying and spattering everywhere; people getting shot in...uncomfortable places), not to mention the very, very, highly foul language then I think you will enjoy this film. Fair warning though, it is rough and brutally dramatic at times so don't go thinking it is a plain action film. This is actually the first Tarantino film I've seen that I've liked; perhaps he'll surprise me again. I give the film an "Admirable Ability;" it was good, but not great. It could have been cut 15 minutes shorter give or take, and I didn't like all of the gratuitous violence and flagrant usage of certain words which I shall not repeat, but it did have a good ending I do have to say. Well I hope that most of you are having a relatively good weekend. The world is still spinning, yet seems to continue to grow darker; it sucks. Auf Wiedersehen!
I had an incredibly long day at work. Three hours of meetings in the morning followed by about four hours worth of crisis assessments, followed lastly by about three hours of office paperwork. I think I finally got home around almost 8pm after getting to work around 8am. I don't think that is a wise idea after working a full week already. Oh well, at least I can state that it was a very productive day. So after making myself some dinner I decided to watch Silver Linings Playbook which stars Jennifer Lawrence (she definitely deserved that Best Actress Oscar) and Bradley Cooper. All I have to say is wow. I was overwhelmed, stunned and bored. Perhaps it wasn't such a good idea to watch a movie about people with mental health problems after working all week (and having a long day) with people who have severe mental health issues. It was like I was bringing work home and trying to make it entertainment; I almost stopped the film several times because of that, because both Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence were spot on with their depictions of people who struggle with mental illness. Granted Robert De Niro as the father was well played and Jacki Weaver as the mother, who grated on my nerves so much. I loved seeing Julia Stiles in the film, even though she had such a small role. The screenplay was incredibly well written, and the directing was spot on, but the performances of the two leading actors was what sold the film; the two of them made it all so incredibly believable, and yes that is my professional opinion as a mental health professional. I was bored though at times, and honestly it was at times a little too intense for even me, but I don't know if it is because I am used to that same level of intensity so much at work that seeing at home just grated on me the wrong way. In any regards, it was a good film, not great but certainly good. If you enjoy excellent dramas then you'll want to see this one. Giving it an "Admirable Ability" I think works because....well, there were really only 2 qualities about the film that really stood out: the two leading performances and the screenplay, nothing else was really notable. I could see myself watching it again, but not for a while. I don't know about the rest of the world, but I am completely exhausted so I am going to get some sleep. Goodnight and good luck.
It's odd to think that this week is already half-way over. I find it quite remarkable that time continues to soar by the older and busier that I become; I wonder if that means that time is relative to a human's perception of time itself, or our perception of reality? Another question for another time perhaps. Anywho. So Game of Thrones Season 3 continues to show itself to be the better season (save for the severe lack of Tyrion Lannister's presence) so far. Work this week has been lovely; I do have to say that yesterday was the perfect work day. I was busy, but not too busy. Everyone was rather delightful, and I was rather productive as well. The weather continues to get warmer and warmer here in the Midwestern state of Illinois; apparently Spring will be mostly skipped over, although I do love the scent of freshly cut grass. So tonight I finally sat down and watched the film Hitchcock starring Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock and Helen Mirren as Alma Hitchcock. Scarlet Johanson and Jessica Biel also had small appearances, as did Danny Huston. The film is about Alfred Hitchcock, and the part of his life where he made his ultimate hit Psycho. I have to admit that the film was quite good, and yes I would see it again. I'm giving it a "Strong Ability." Both Helen Mirren and Anthony Hopkins are positively remarkable in this film and give stunning performances that are remarkably believable; he should have been nominated for an Oscar, but apparently the Academy has little taste and intelligence when it comes to nominations that actually deserve to win an award. Good screenplay, excellent directing, and Danny Elfman even did the music which wasn't great, but it was a lovely film score. On a great note for my writing career, my editor has finally delivered my manuscript all edited to me, and now I get to go through it! That is what I am going to try and do this weekend and the weeknights, and hopefully it will not take me too long to sift through all of the changes. Well I have much to do, and I am ridiculously tired, so I am going to catch some shut eye. And as the conflict in the Middle East escalates and widens, let us remember those who are in harms ways that get labeled as "collateral damage."
Amongst the many thing that I didn't do today, I did watch Iron Man 3 thus beginning and entering the summer blockbuster season for 2013. Expectations for this film were high, and I think that it was able to pack in quite a lovely punch. So the film picks up after the events of The Avengers where Stark is trying to figure out what's going on in life amidst several terrorist attacks by the Mandarin. That of course is a very broad overview. I really enjoyed this film, although I really enjoyed every one of the 3 films thus far, although I think that the 3rd one may be the best of them all so far, but I need to see the third one again just to verify that. It's strange to think that about five years ago the first film came out; I remember thinking that it was going to flop so miserably, but it turned out to be quite the opposite and ushered in the comic book film era. Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man/Tony Stark no questions and no doubts, and he does it wonderfully. I love seeing him portray this character (as well as Sherlock Holmes), that it is going to be a travesty one day to see it played by someone else as I am certain it will eventually happen. Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts was also fantastic as usual, Don Cheadle was much better as War Machine this time around, and Paul Bettany as Jarvis was great. The two breakthroughs were Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin and Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian. Both men are fantastic, but I won't go into details about their characters, but these two gentlemen certainly did prove their mettle as actors. Relatively newcomer director Shane Black did a fantastic job, which I think is because he is primarily a screenwriter, and I think they tend to be better directors because they understand the depth of the story and characters better. The action was pretty good, and they kept it new and fresh. One of the last actions sequences towards the end of the film was a little too fantastic, but I mean there were wormholes and aliens in The Avengers, so why not anything else. The 3-D wasn't too bad, but it could have been better. Brian Tyler did the music, and I was surprised that it was actually relatively good. The story/screenplay was well done, but I do have to admit that all 3 of the films were well written and had excellent stories. I'm giving the film a "Strong Ability" and I would watch it again and suggest others to watch it as well, that is if you enjoy comic book action films. So my sister and I made kabobs tonight and grilled them. How delicious they turned out, so much so that I am going to make them myself one day; heck maybe I'll do that for when I have my own housewarming party when I move out.
May the "Fourth" be with all of you!!! I was thinking of watching a Star Wars film last night, but instead I watched the 1st part of The Deathly Hallows which was lovely, and I still prefer it to the 2nd part. Anywho. It was a long work week, but it ended, although I was sad to see one of my co-workers leave for another job; she will be missed. I made dark chocolate cheesecake for her going away, and it turned out fantastically. Well, today was international Star Wars day, and I didn't do anything productive; I played Star Wars themed games and then I watched Revenge of the Sith. It was awesome of course like always; great music, great visuals, sweet action, and a timeless story which can cross all cultures and ages. It is the new myth. Man, right now I am struggling to think of stuff to type. I guess that means that my life is pretty boring, which is true, although with how busy I am during the week, it's nice just to chill on the weekends. My editor is supposed to be done with book two of my fantasy trilogy this weekend, but I am not holding my breath. I have gotten to the point where it will get done when it's done, and until then I will just have to be patient. In the meanwhile though, I should do some other writing, but my motivation is gone for some odd reason. It seems that I have gotten to the point where I see very little...profit (for lack of a better term) in writing just for the hay of it, like for my website for example. I suppose the other part of it is, that I'm just too tired to be always writing all of the time during my two days off, and lord knows how that's going to change when I begin graduate school. Even in my blog things are slower and less than they used to be. Maybe I'm just in a rut or a less interesting part of my life and will soon, or rather eventually be getting out of it. Well as Master Yoda says, "train yourself to let go, of everything you fear to lose." Not quite certain why I wrote that, but have an excellent night everyone and a good rest of the week.
Wow! What a heatwave! Apparently everything is done in extremes here in the Midwestern United States concerning the weather at least. It's gone from frigid weather, to weather you wouldn't typically see until June, and it's only May 1st. It has been quite warm the past two days, although I hear it will be cooling back down later on this week thank goodness. I really don't want summer to come that fast, some spring would be lovely for a while. Work has been....difficult and busy. Yesterday I had a client who...has a lot of problems shall we say. My heart bled for him, and yet there was very little I could do except offer my support and wisdom, which are so little compared to what he really needs. Those are the times when as a therapist, you feel highly inadequate; when people who truly need help and want it, seem just out of the grasp of your ability to really help. It is quite frustrating. At any rate, President Obama and his cabinet seem to be changing the beat of their drum concerning the Syrian civil war, yet again. I have no idea what they're thinking, but hopefully someone will come up with the brilliant idea for military intervention and help those people, as it should have been done right from the beginning of the Arab Spring. President Obama made some good decisions, but in my opinion made a lot critical errors concerning places like Syria, Iran, Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the Arab Emirates. To lighter matters. This weekend, or rather Saturday is International Star Wars Day!! May the 4th (May the Force be with You)! I don't know how all of you plan to celebrate this pop culture and mythological phenomenon, but I plan to watch Star Wars (a film) and do something else celebratory, although I'm not certain as to what quite yet. If you don't like Star Wars or don't know about it....Well, I have to say about that is, what a shame. I watched Lincoln tonight, and seeing it again certainly did reaffirm my believe that Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the finest actors in the world; such a brilliant performance and capture of one of America's greatest statesmen and U.S. Presidents. Steven Spielberg certainly has a talent for directing intimate dramas, and yes I know that he can do the big action budget stuff extremely well, I think he excels at the drama far more. Schindler's List, Munich, and The Color Purple to name a few. Lincoln is a spectacular film, with an excellent screenplay, excellent cinematography, and an excellent supporting cast. Watch this film, and if you have any good taste at all in film, then you are bound to fall in love with it, as I have along with many others.
What a lovely weekend it has been. I decided to finally begin acquiring a new wardrobe and went shopping at the local mall, and finally was able to get something that I liked at Macy's, and I wore it to work today and it was awesome. Went to Chicago yesterday and that was pretty sweet, although I forgot that I wanted to go to Armani Exchange so I will have to do that next time around. Then today at lunch, me and group of my colleagues went out to eat to the Olive Garden. So we ordered our drinks, which consisted of me getting raspberry lemonade, and everyone else getting water. See where this is going yet? Well, here come the drinks, and despite my lemonade reaching the table intact, most of the glasses of water fell from the tray onto my lap and the table. Fortunately I wasn't entirely drenched, but sufficiently enough to get the point across. Apparently it was the waitresses' first day on the floor, and she felt absolutely terrible. But the response from the staff was amazing. I had people left and right apologizing to me, our order was sped up, we got two appetizers free, and then my meal was also covered by the restaurant, so all in all I got a lot of food for just getting wet. I was lucky though that nothing with more permanent damage fell on my pants. Murphy's law, I swear it is nearly always true with me. Work in general today was very, very long. Once again, I won't go into details, but shall we say that I was very, very, very busy all morning and all afternoon. My desk keeps getting more and more cluttered, which is very unusual for me, since I tend to be such an organized individual. So I am looking forward to episode six of season 3 for Game of Thrones and I am so impressed and delighted with how this season has been going. Once again I dislike how less screen time Tyrion is receiving, but Daenerys Targaryen's story line just keeps getting better and better with each passing episode. I really, really dislike Tywin Lannister though; wow, what a perfect villain. Charles Dance is amazing as the family patriarch; cunning, calculating, and authoritatively assertive, Tywin Lannister is probably the most villainous individual on the show, even more so than Joffery. Well, the world remains in one piece still. I won't harp on about Syria and other places; I will say that I continue to be terribly disappointed with how President Obama and his cabinet are handling the situation, and I don't think that will change anytime in the near future. God continue to watch over, help and protect those people. Good night and good luck everyone.
What a week it has been. Yesterday I was dreadfully sick and watched a ton of Hemlock Grove, which isn't good whatsoever, but I am two episodes away from finishing the season. I don't know if Netflix will renew it for another season or not, but at the moment I'm hoping for a negatory. The day befor that (Wednesday) was oh so long at work. Obviously I won't go into details, but let's just say that I was kept on my toes from 9am until about 5:30pm, which might have had something to do with me getting sick. Today was also long since I began work around 7am so that I could catch up from missing yesterday. I was able to squeeze a lot in with a limited amount of time. Dinner and a show was up for tonight. I watched Life of Pi and boy should I have seen that film in the theatre. I encourage everyone to see this film (it is only rated PG) because it is truly astounding, and also quite thought provoking as well. First and foremost I do have to say that the visuals and cinematography was breathtaking, and the special effects looked so real; I guess they really deserved that Oscar, although it would have been nice for Prometheus to win it. Mychael Danna's score for the film was good and I suppose did deserve an Oscar, but I still in my heart of hearts believe that Dario Marianelli's score for Anna Karenina should have grabbed the Oscar. Umm....this film is about a boy who survives a ship wreck after leaving India with his parents and the remnants of a zoo that they used to run back in India. Ang Lee certainly deserved that Oscar he won for Best Director, because the picture is brilliant, and he is a remarkable artist (although he needs to stay away from comic book films and stories). The film had humor, intense drama, and my most favorite part; philosophy and religion. Nowhere else are you going to find a Catholic-Hindu who also practices Islam. Irrfan Khan plays the adult Pi, and is masterful at storytelling (he was in The Amazing Spider-Man & In Treatment season 3). There is something quite calming about his tone of voice, and something deeply resonant about his eyes. If that makes any logical sense. Suraj Sharma played the Pi Patel that had the most screen time and there has to be something said for a man who can interact with tiger that isn't even there and make it believable; so believable that the audience believes not only that the tiger is real, but that what they are seeing is also real. I don't know how close the film is to the true story, or the book from which was created from the story by Pi Patel. It is light and comical at times, moments of great visual beauty and spectacular grandiosity, and then moments of great darkness and depth of character. This film is definitely getting a "Strong Ability" and yes I loved it, and would watch again, and several more times as well. It is difficult to find new and fresh stories that work well on film, especially these days since Hollywood can't think of anything original, but when one does, it is quite something usually. I hate to leave on a political note, or rather a negative one, but the situation in Syria has deteriorated greatly. Bashar al Assad has crossed the "red line" that President Obama warned about, and now of course he and his cabinet are choosing to do nothing until further examination is done. In the meanwhile over 80,000 people have died and that number will continue to grow until something is done, but unfortunately America lost its green light when it could have helped the Syrian people right at the beginning of this crisis. Now, they are getting help from Islamist extremists who dislike Asssad, but hate the United States and western civilization. The worst thing an individual in leadership can do is nothing; inaction is paralyzing. President Obama and his cabinet made a grave mistake with their inaction concerning Syria. I have a feeling the repercussions of that inaction will haunt America for who knows how long. May God help the Syrian people, since no one else really seems to want to.
Life of Pi Clip
Thor: The Dark World Trailer (looks really good!!!)
"This is the best bad idea we have." It was a lovely and relaxing day, despite being rather chilly unfortunately. I don't know what is up with the weather here in the Midwestern U.S. We go from cold, to really warm, to wet, rainy, and cold, to snow and cold, to just plain cold all in a matter of a couple of weeks. So I watched Argo today at last, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. I remember first thinking when I heard about Argo that it was going to be dreadful and a terrible film, apparently I was very wrong. That seems to happen a couple of times a year for me when I watch a trailer and deduce something is bad, and then it turns out not being too bad after I watch it. I need to work on that. Ben Affleck should have been nominated for Best Director in the Academy Awards this past year, but at least they won Best Picture and Best Editing and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film had incredible and very witty dialog, but it was also very suspenseful as well; if I didn't know the ending, I would have been biting my nails the whole time, but especially near the ending. I suppose I won't go into much detail about what the story is, but suffice to say that it is about an American CIA operation to free 6 people from the Canadian Ambassador's residence in Iran after the revolution in 1980. Alan Arkin and John Goodman were some of the best parts of the entire film, but Ben Affleck was also quite good, which hopefully this film marks a positive professional turnaround for his career. There were a bunch of other people in the cast that were great: Victor Garber, Bryan Cranston, Tate Donovan, Kyle Chandler, Chris Messina, and Zeljko Ivanek. Fantastic writing, excellent directing, and relatively good cinematography, although the music was dreadful or just not memorable by Alexandre Desplat. I am going to give the film a "Strong Ability." I would definitely watch it again and would recommend other people to see it as well. I really should read up on the history of the Shahs and apparently the fiddling that the British and American governments partook in supplanting the Shah that was elected by the Iranian people with one of their own puppet leaders that was corrupt and decadent. If all of that is true, well then....I suppose all of the trouble that Iran is causing the world is due the meddling that the U.S. and Britain caused, so you reap what you sow I guess. It is kind of funny thinking though that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard was fooled by a film production cover that was responsible for freeing Americans from the country. I wonder whatever happened to those guards? Anyways. The work week begins again tomorrow, and this week marks the last full week of April. Time continues to speed by. Well have a good week everyone.
So this long work week finally ended late last night after doing two family therapy sessions, and a mental health assessment. With all of that shortly said, it has so far been a relatively relaxing weekend. Last night I began watching the new Netflix original series called Hemlock Grove and well...it is interesting, although I didn't know what to expect, and wasn't aware that it was going to be supernatural but as soon as one of the main characters transformed into a wolf I figured it was going to be that way. Famke Jensen is the only good part of the show so far, but it has potential to be something good, but who knows. It certainly doesn't hold a candle to House of Cards but it does come across as slightly interesting. Also interestingly enough, many of the main characters are teenagers, yet the show is rated as mature, so I don't know who they're marketing to; it does have a "Vampire Diaries" feel to it. Well I did get some writing done, but it is going as slow as ever. You'd think that after a week I'd have more to say, but either I've forgotten or it was a rather slow week. From what I understand in the news, the individuals who were responsible for the Boston bombing have been captured and/or killed, but who knows how deep the rabbit hole goes. Organized terrorism rarely is simple, although sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Speaking of news, the Assad regime apparently used small amounts of chemical weapons against civilians and/or the resistance. There is the red line that Assad crossed that President Obama laid out, now it should be interesting to see what happens, and how many people he will allow to die without any intervention, or if he will finally green light America's involvement in Syria. North Korea is still belligerent as ever, and dangerous as well; I'm kind of wondering why no one is taking Kim Jong Eun seriously. There I go, yacking on about news and politics, when I am clearly supposed to be writing about writing and other such....stuff. In time I am hoping that my writing picks up more once I get more settled and organized into a day to day routine. That's it for now. Everyone take care, and have a rest of an excellent weekend.
Hemlock Grove Wolf Transformation (definitely the most unique I've ever seen)
What a ridiculously long and busy day I had. I started going at about 10:30am working with clients at work, and didn't really stop until about 5:30pm. It was long, but productive at work. Not to mention it rained, and rained, and rained harder; I nearly drowned a couple of times when going outside. There wasn't a lot of thunder, but there was plenty of lightning. At the end of a long day, it was great to get home and relax. I cooked myself up a ham and cheese omlette with sausage and rolls and then sat down to watched Zero Dark Thirty. Umm....where to begin. Well I do understand why U.S. Senators made such a fuss about the film, but I do not understand why people thought it was so incredibly good. Within the first 10 minutes of the film the first descriptor that came to my mind was "boring." Eventually it became a little more interesting, and that's how I would describe it; it was a very interesting film. I will have to see more of the Oscar nominated films, but this film definitely didn't deserve many Oscar awards; it just wasn't that good. The Hurt Locker was far better, with better characters and a better story. The hunt for Osama bin Laden is a fascinating piece of American history, but for me it comes off more anecdotal than emotionally compelling. He was a terrorist recluse in the end, and died surrounded by walls, and women and children; not a great way to go for such a presumed man of much myth. Anyways. Jessica Chastain as the main character was compelling and good, but there was no connection there for me. The rest of the characters were all static and relatively boring. I did find it interesting when they weaved in historical events into the film; like when the CIA lost over 7 of their agents in a bombing, I remember that. Or when the top U.S. CIA agent was ousted from Pakistan, I remember that too. Like I mentioned it was a very interesting film, but not necessarily very compelling, it also didn't help that you knew the ending already, because it would have been more suspenseful if you didn't know if Bin Laden was in that compound or not until she looked down at his dead face, which they should have showed it in the film. Whatever, I'm giving the film an "Admirable Ability." The music was unremarkable, the dialog relatively forgetful, the cinematography was linear and didn't come off as dynamic or fresh, and the characters were honestly kind of blah like. I guess I'll see it again in the future maybe, but there are several other films that I would rather spend my time watching instead. I'm suddenly feeling rather sleepy, so I'm going to go meet up with the san man, or whatever he's called. Ciao!
I was so busy at work today dealing with crises, that it wasn't until I got home that my brother in-law informed me of the tragic bombing in Boston. It's not something you hear of in typical developed Western civilization; several bombs going off in a busy street, at least 3 dead and hundreds injured. Who would have thought, and of all places in Boston at a marathon. God bless and take care of those who experienced the horror and agony of that painful event, those that witnessed it, and those who lost someone in it, or was affected by it. How pitiful and pointless everything seems in comparison to that tragic incident. Life however must go on, just like it did after 9/11. Who knows if terrorists were behind this attack, who knows if there will be more of them; hopefully that is all untrue. So it was a very, very busy day at work. I got a lot done, but nothing that I had originally planned to complete, but life goes on. I have a feeling that will be how the entire work week will go, but I really do hope that I am wrong. So I just finished watching the next Game of ThronesSeason 3 episode, and I have to admit that so far, this seems like the better season of the 3 so far, although there is still less of Tyrion than I would prefer. There is a fantastic scene with the Small Council led by Tywin Lannister, and also present of course is Tyrion; it's interesting and humorous moment without any dialog. Aside from a few boring pointless stories, this could turn out to be an excellent season, or rather a better one than the previous two. So it was a lovely weekend, which was of course semi-productive. I attempted to revamp my website, but that didn't go over very well, and it took a whole lot longer than I anticipated it would. It's going to take a lot more time I have a feeling to get a new look down, but it will come in due time, although I don't know when due to the unlikelihood of possessing enough energy after work to fiddle with such an irritating site designing program. Anyways. Here comes the week, and yes I cannot wait to see what happens.
Catching Fire teaser trailer (looks so awesome!!!)
Josh Groban Music Video When I Fall In Love it Will be Forever
It has been a rather busy week, hence the very minimal amount of writing on the blog. Work has been going quite well, and it is an immeasurable comfort having employment once again. There were some.....challenging moments, and especially with being sick but I got through it and am now able to enjoy the weekend. Today I changed the oil and oil filter in my car, cleaned the rear brakes, and changed the air filter. Aside from burning myself ever so slightly and giving myself a very long scratch when removing the oil filter (of which oil got all over my hands, rather nasty business) it went well, and my car engine should be very happy. All of the maintenance was well overdue. I did some baking and made some rather delicious cranberry bread which I cannot wait to taste after it cools down a little bit more. It's great to get back into baking; I don't know why I find it so relaxing, but, I do. The world still stands surprisingly enough. I feel like that is one cat I've beat to death enough, so I shall leave it at that until there is something actually to chat about. I just finished watching Anna Karenina which was a good film. I'm giving it an "Admirable Ability." Jude Law as Karenin, was quite lovely, and of course Keira Knightley as Anna Karenina was astounding. A good surprise was Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Vronsky; he and Keira Knightley had such excellent chemistry on screen it was profound. Mathew McFayden also had a small but significant role as Oblonsky (don't ask me to explain who he is or purpose; it was a little confusing on that end). There were also quite a few other cameos, and other well talented actors and actresses that popped up like Alicia Vikander, Emily Watson, and Domhnall Gleeson (Brendan Gleeson's son, who was also Bill Weasley in Harry Potter). It was an excellent cast, and also had an excellent director Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement) which was based on Leo Tolstoy's monstrosity of a novel which is over 1500 pages. I intend on reading it somehow, because the story is compelling as are the characters, it's just really, really long. I also now have a new profound interest in Imperial Russia, and the aristocracy as well. It's a shame the Red Revolution annihilated everyone in that strata; Stalin and communism sent that country so far backwards, especially politically and philosophically. The story is about a woman who has a torrid love affair with a beguiling young man, and then all of the difficulties that therefore ensue because she is married, and life in Russian high society is dictated by a stringent set of rules. At times the film dragged, and oftentimes didn't make sense. How they transitioned within the film was quite unique; as if the film were a play and all of the different sets were actually sets on a stage, which are then moved around depending on the scene. That was very fascinating but also a little confusing. The music by Dario Marianelli was to die for; that is the one thing that I will carry away from this film for a long time. Definitely a fantastic score that film score enthusiasts should own. He really should have won that Oscar for Best Original Scorebut that's alright. he'll get it next time. The costume design by Jacqueline Durran was beautiful and breathtaking; everyone was gorgeous. There is nothing like watching a romantic drama, that has beautiful people dressed beautifully, with dramatically, and beautifully stirring music. Did I like this film, yes. Is it for everyone, absolutely not. This isn't an action film; pure romantic drama with some character development, so if you're not into that, then don't watch this because you will pull your hair out. I wouldn't want to watch this all of the time, but it was good, and I do recommend it, but keep in mind that the story is a bit of tragedy. Well, here comes another new week as we inch closer and closer into Spring, although with the weather as cold as it has been lately, one would never know.
Anna Karenina trailer
Costume Documentary for Anna Karenina
Elysium Trailer (looked good, and then it looked predictable and therefore boring. Who knows, but Jodie Foster looks great.)
A great stalwart of freedom and strength left the world today. Margaret Thatcher, the first and only ever Female British Prime Minister died. Dubbed the Iron Lady by the Soviet Union, she certainly proved her metal as one of the longest running Prime Ministers of Great Britain. People like her and Reagan were bastions of freedom and against tyranny and oppressive regimes. She wasn't perfect and made mistakes like any great leader, but she has fashioned herself a powerful name in history that will not be soon forgotten. She will be missed, yet I believe that more like her will rise as time requires such people, especially now more than ever as world continues to spin more dangerously out of control. I hate being sick. I have been battling something like a cold or flu since Thursday of last week, and today I just gave in. I got to work after feeling relatively fine in the morning, but then not so much. After a few hours I returned home and basically rested while watching some Netflix. Then I slept from like 1:30pm-6:30pm and I actually could have slept longer, but I wanted to make certain that I could sleep tonight so I kind of forced myself up and awake, and I was feeling much better. Although right now I am very, very tired; I would have never guessed that I had slept earlier in the day. Hopefully this sickness is gone though; I really don't need to be sick this week, especially with what is going on at work. Speaking of work, but not my paying job, I discovered something over the weekend that I forgot to blog about yesterday. I came across what I think will eventually become my next published series of books. I won't write too many details, but I will say that it isn't fantasy and is based within the realm of reality (takes place on Earth). I have begun fleshing out the history and environment and a little bit of the plot, but the characters and story will come after I have set everything up. I will do it the right way this time around and not just jump into it like I did with my fantasy trilogy, which hopefully will be completed within the year. Published.....well who knows, but my editor should be getting back to me this Friday I hope, but I have a feeling it will take a miracle. I saw the next episode of Game of Thrones Season 3 and so far I have to admit that I rather enjoy this season, although it does seem to have less of Tyrion in it, which is rather disappointing. They have so many characters and story lines going on that it is beginning to get really ridiculous. I don't know what George R.R. Martin was thinking when he wrote his books; apparently he didn't want to edit or cut anything out, and believed that he needed to tell the story, or a story from everyone's perspective. Kind of wasteful and tiresome in my opinion, but he wrote it the way that he wanted, and apparently people love it, so he must have done something right. Although, I wouldn't have paid it any heed unless it had been turned into a successful show. More sleep is needed, so I am going to do that. Goodnight world; I hope that you are still there tomorrow when I wake up.
News Report on former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Well I don't know if I've gone that long without blogging before since I've begun doing this. Aside from being ridiculously tired from work during the weekdays, I often have nothing really of remote interest to write about, which is usually my fault. Oh well. The world still stands as North Korea gets ready to fire a missile, although I think they're just "testing" it, and I don't know if it is actually carrying a nuclear payload. In response of course, South Korea wants to begin arming itself with nuclear weapons, which makes perfect sense. If I lived adjacent to a tyrannical maniac, then I would probably want a few extra precautions myself. One thing is becoming certain; the world is becoming more chaotic and less safe the more people abandon the cause of freedom for all, of which the United States used to champion across the globe. Now it seems like no one cares, but all would rather retreat into themselves and look out only for themselves. I don't agree with that strategy nor do I think it is very wise, but fearful people tend to be selfish people so cause and effect. Anyways. I finally got around to watching A Royal Affair which was nominated for Best Foreign Film for the 2013 Academy awards. It stars Mads Mikkelsen as a brilliant doctor who becomes the Danish King's court physician, Mikkel Boe Folsgaard as King Christian VII, and Alicia Vikander as Queen Caroline Mathilde. There is also a well put together supporting cast, but these three are the main attraction, aside from the cinematography which I will get more into later. It is the late 1700's and Europe is in a malaise being ruled by the nobility as enlightenment attempts to seep into the social fabric and annihilate the old aristocratic ways. A young princess from Great Britain marries a young Danish king and she has great visions of what it will be, but the king turns out to be a little...well, crazy, or rather very child like and she doesn't cope that well with it. The king then gets a new court physician who begins to attend to his medical problems, but then begins to offer the king advice since he himself is an agent of the enlightenment. During his attention to the king, the queen and he also begin to garner each other's attention and soon a passionate love affair ensues. As the court physician's power and influence grows he unleashes a tidal wave of enlightened rules which threaten some of the nobility, who then of course begin to plot to get rid of the king, queen, and his new adviser who they find so threatening. It was a good film, and yes it was all in...Flemish I believe is the language they speak in Denmark, or if not that then Danish. It was really a lovely language to hear; it has that ancient aristocratic flair to it. The cinematography was breathtakingly beautiful, and it was shot so well. The screenplay was well written, although the plot was rather predictable. I don't know how many times I've seen this same outcome before whenever there is a royal love affair between a queen and someone else. I was hoping for something else based on the preview, but still it didn't dampen the excellence of the film. Granted it isn't something that I will constantly watch but it certainly acquires an "Admirable Ability" for what's there. I do recommend if you enjoy period pieces then you'll enjoy this film. I don't know much about Danish history, but I intend to catch up; from what I saw of this film it will be quite fascinating. Well work again for another whole week tomorrow. It has been going quite well, and I have been slowly getting more and more busier as I accrue clients. People keep asking me if I enjoy or like my job, but I still haven't gotten to the point yet where I would really know yet. Spring seems like it is finally here in the Midwestern U.S. thank God! I don't know how most of you feel about cold and snow, but I could really live without them, perhaps permanently. Well take care everyone and have an excellent week.