Sunday, December 18, 2011

Clearing Things Up.

I thought that it would be wise to get better before I get worse, so I called out sick today at work and did nothing pretty much all day but get rest and relaxation. I cleaned the apartment up a little bit since quite a mess had gathered over the past two days from not possessing any energy or willpower to clean. I recently got this computer game in the mail a couple days ago and thought that I'd reward myself after a hard week's work by playing it for a while. Empire Total War is a fun strategy game that takes place during the 18th century, but unlike several other Total War games, you can truly take over nigh the entire known world and one can possess quite an empire to do it. It's fun, can be educational, works my mind while I have fun, and there's a lot of good music and good ideas for stories for me to write up. During dinner I watched this one film called Ironclad that appeared recently on Netflix. It is a historical action drama that takes place during the 13th century after the signing of the Magna Carta. King John now wants his power back and he's willing to do everything he can to get it. According to my historical knowledge and sources, the general outline of the plot is correct, and some of the characters as well. James Purefoy is the main character Marshal and he does a fair job, although his character wasn't written as.....well....they could have given him a whole lot more to work with than just a former Templar Knight. He had a huge sword though; I believe the technical term is "bastard sword." Paul Giamatti as King John was at first a rather ridiculous notion until I saw him in action and get his hands dirty and then I knew he was the character, and I wish that they could have given him more to work with. Brian Cox played the Baron of Albany, and of course I don't even have to go into how well he did. Kate Mara played the love interest, Isabel, for Marshal but she annoyed me most of the time. She potentially had something good, but they didn't do anything with it. Derek Jacobi, Charles Dance, and Jason Flemyng were also in the film and did good jobs with their characters. It was probably the cast that saved this film from being a complete disappointment. The music by Lorne Balfe surprised me; he actually did a rather good job with the score. The director, Jonathan English, really liked his bloody and gory actions scenes I have admit. A number of times I looked away from the screen because it was just so raw and graphic. What I really liked about this film was that it depicted most likely (as well as a film can) how difficult it actually can be to take a castle despite the numerous forces one has. It was an action film driven by action and the historical drama that was unfolding. The story was good, but the screenplay needed a lot of help. I'm giving it a "Admirable Ability" for it did relatively well for what it was, but it could have been far better if they had taken the time to improve the screenplay, but I am also a sucker for the historical genre. After that I made a chocolate cake for my writing group Christmas party for tomorrow and some ginger cookie dough which I will make tomorrow morning. Now as for my Christmas present memory I actually spoke with my mother to get a few ideas for what to write, and she was a goldmine of sorts. She didn't actually give me any particular ideas, but she reminded me of some. I don't if you all remember "Tonka Trucks" but I got two big heavy duty yellow metal trucks for Christmas when I was....6 or so I think, perhaps seven. One was a bulldozer and the other was a dump truck. They were awesome and took quite a beating over the many years I had them. Somehow two bullet holes ended up in my dump truck; can't remember how or why that happened. That was when they actually made good toys that lasted; now everything is made of crap for the most part. Oh well. Hopefully by tomorrow my nose will have cleared up for the most part since I can breathe through it now, although I have been taking anti-histamines all day long.

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