Sunday, September 30, 2012

One Singular Vision.

I didn't sleep well and felt like crap in the morning, which was very irritating because I went to church and it made for a rather...unpleasant awakening to my alarm. Oh well, at least I will sleep well tonight, hopefully. I used my air conditioning without it breaking down today since it got up to the roaring 90's. This weather in Southern California is driving me crazy. It gets really hot, and then it cools off. Very ridiculous. So I didn't read anything very interesting in the newspaper, although the Wall Street Journal did seem to indicate that the Free Syrian Army, or rather the Syrian rebels, were making some progress taking Aleppo or something to that extent, so that was good to hear. It's almost like the Rebel Alliance fighting the Galactic Empire, except real and not as cool to watch or read about since it isn't fantasy of science fiction. Still, heart and fervent willpower always triumph over brute strength and tyranny. Had very long chats with my sister and mother, which was lovely, and it is really cooling off over there in the Midwestern United States. I watched some boring documentaries today, but I was able to see episode 1 of the Clone Wars season 5 which I believe is titled "Ambush." You can watch it on the official site, Cartoon Network, or as I did, YouTube. Darth Maul and Savage Oppress waste zero time with their taste and penchant for destruction and get right to work. Obi-Wan and Adi-Gallia are hot on their trail and hunt them all the way to Florum of course, where Hondo Ohnaka makes his usual humorous appearance. I actually can't wait to see that pirate rue the day; he really gets on my nerves, but there are times that I do like his character, but on;y occasionally. Overall it was a pretty good way to begin the season, although I would have maneuvered a little differently throughout the story. brain is suddenly blank so I will leave it at that. September will be finished in a matter of hours and October will arrive. I'm really looking forward to this coming month; it should be quite....challenging, yet very enjoyable.

"Ambush" episode (don't know how long the link will remain viable)

Damages Season 5 trailer (don't watch if you haven't seen the series. WOW! Is what I have to say)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Close of September.

What a week it has been! But the coming month should prove to have more challenges and surprises, especially over the next couple of weeks. The job interview I had yesterday went relatively well I suppose, but I'm not counting on getting it before Monday so I am in the early stages of enacting my contingency plan which I am surprisingly excited about. However, I will not declare anything until the fat lady sings, which will be Monday night. Today I was busy doing nothing and then in the evening I was rummaging through a lot of my stuff and trying to figure out what I need and don't need anymore, or want for that matter. I should have done that a long time ago, but eh I guess I'm doing it now and that's all that matters. I watched A Separation which won the Oscar for best Foreign Film, which was entered by Iran. Naturally of course the film takes place in Iran, and is about a married couple that is in the process of getting a divorce because the husband won't leave his father (who has Alzheimer's disease) and leave the country to raise their daughter elsewhere. With his wife gone the man has to hire outside help to take care of his father while he is at work, but a scuffle of sorts ensues and the woman (who was pregnant) has a miscarriage. Murder charges are brought against the husband and a battle of wills soon begins about who's fault it was that the baby died. Wow this was a very powerfully dramatic film, with extraordinary acting. I know nothing of modern day Iranians, or how accurate this is in its description, but it looks pretty darn realistic to me. I think that was what interested me the most, was being able to see inside another culture and how they function and deal the same things that every person in every culture deals with. The legal system is certainly a lot different, but the characters came across as very genuine and interesting. The story line was a little confusing at times, but all in all it was shot well, good dialog, and it was awesome to hear people speak....Arabic, or whatever language they were speaking in the film. I love hearing Middle Eastern dialects and languages. I really do love English, but for me there is something so magnificent about hear languages from that part of the world; Iran and Iraq are essentially the location where all civilization came from. You know what else is amazing, how fast people who speak that language can talk, and it seems to be a lot of languages, or English is just a very slowly spoken language. It made watching the subtitles and the action on screen a bit difficult at times, but nothing too strenuous. I'm going to give it a "Strong Ability" and yes I would watch it again and encourage other people as well, but approach it with an open mind. Season 5 of The Clone Wars launched today, which I will catch up on next week, but it promises to be a really sweet season. I finished watching the 4th season of Damages and it was astounding, with a very, very juicy ending; it was amazing! The 5th season should be something impressive. Well take care everyone and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

A Separation Trailer

Clone Wars Season 5 clip (I think this is part of the opening series story arc)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Return to Something Damaged.

Have you ever thought of time travel? Have you ever sat back and thought about how many time travel oriented television shows and films you've watched, or how many comic books and fiction books are about the subject? There are several, and all of them have their own fictitious theories on how to produce the phenomenon; none of them really have any really good consistency. Being the writer I am, I decided to come up with my own method and theories for time travel. You know what I discovered based on my eleven principles of space, time and matter; time travel is impossible for a human being to do. We are made up of matter and exist in linear, finite time which can only exist in space, not outside of it which is how one could go back in time. I stumped myself for a while and I thought machines could do it, and then I realized that they are made of matter. Only something not bound by time and matter could time travel, and I think I finally discovered how it would work. My secret though shall remain with me until I am ready to publish it of course along with the story I am stewing in my head. I swear there are so many ideas for stories circling around my consciousness that it overwhelming for me to think about it, but it doesn't somehow. I was working on all of that for the better part of the afternoon, and I found out that Tungsten carbide is the strongest and heaviest metal (according to the source I found). Such a cool word isn't it; Tungsten, kind of like ladle. My publisher sent me a paperback copy of the second edition of my book The Curse of a Warrior which was very cool to see. So if you want the second edition it's in softcover if you don't want to shell out the cash for the hardcover, but it doesn't feel as nice personally. There's something really cool about hardback, and especially seeing your own work in hardback. Don't know if I mentioned this yesterday, but my air conditioning was finally fixed after a month and a half of being off-line. It's all very cruelly ironic since the weather is finally cooling off, and the dude to fix it showed up at 10am in the morning pounding on my door without an appointment; really classy way to run an apartment complex. Anyways what's done is done. I have a job interview tomorrow morning so cross your fingers, pray and I am certain a miracle will soon follow. So the night before last I began watching Damages season 4, and wow! Glenn Close and Rose Byrne are back with a vengeance, and so is the case that they are working on together. John Goodman and Chris Messina also star along with some other great talent. So far the story line is 100% engrossing; from the very first episode of the season I was hooked. It is intense though, since it is essentially a premium cable show now, the rules have slackened since it is no longer par of FX, but it still remains incredible. If you like excellent drama, excellent stories, and excellent acting while not being wimpy about content then you will get just as easily hooked as I was. I took a break to blog and then I'm going to watch a few more episodes. Dexter and Damages are the only shows I have watched multiple episodes in a row just so I could find out what was going to happen next. I'm not exaggerating either. I think I've done enough promotion for the show though. I cam across an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal today; the Brazilian government has either arrested or brought in a Google station chief over in that part of the world for questioning. Apparently the government demanded that a video mocking a politician be taken down from Youtube, and Google of course refused along with the video that is being blamed for the apparent unrest in the Islamic world. I try not to discuss politics on this blog, but at times it does seep through my words. I have no qualms about talking about freedom and the liberty to express one's opinion without fear of reciprocity. This idea is now being openly assaulted in places like Brazil and Russia, which are considered "developed" and leading nations in the world. I find that quite scary, but what's even scarier is that it is happening and bastions of freedom like the United States and Great Britain are doing nothing, and I'm not mainly referring to the governments; the people are doing nothing. So ask yourselves why then there isn't any good news. People make good news or bad, but oftentimes people rather hear the bad news. You know, the celebrity scandals, political scandals, and just scandal in general. Murderers, rapists, serial killers, mass murderers all get top press; I wonder what that says about the general state of "developed" society. My soap box for the month of September. Have an excellent weekend everyone.

Damages Season 4 Promo

"Once in Every Lifetime" by Jem. Was listening to it and thought it was quite inspirational for my current situation. Thought I would share it with everyone.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Devilish Farce.

Shakespeare is perhaps one of the most famous and brilliant English literary figures ever, yet the film Anonymous would have us believe that he was a complete fake. Instead the Earl of Oxford (Edward De Vere) was supposedly the one who penned the poetic masterpieces; a British nobleman who couldn't help himself and lived in an era where people of his stature weren't allowed to write such pieces of literature. I know very little about the man, and much of his work is unknown to me (although I am partial to Macbeth) so I cannot debate that. The rest of the plot that is purported as history however is very, very dubious. I don't know why this film was conceived; why would anyone really want to subvert Shakespeare as the real author of the works he wrote. The history in the film was wrong, but I leave the conjecture of Shakespeare to people who study British literature. Rhys Ifans' performance as the Earl of Oxford was quite delicious, yet his character had very little room to grow due to an overcrowding of secondary characters. Sebastian Armesto as Ben Jonson played a man who was heavily conflicted about being the man pawned off the genius' work to the idiot who took all of the credit. Enter William Shakespeare played by Rafe Spall who portrayed him as a drunken, illiterate and greedy individual; to say that I found his character repulsive was putting it mildly. You definitely do not come away liking Shakespeare in this film. One of the problems of the film was that it would go back and forth between the present time in the film and the past. I don't want to spoil the story so I will not elaborate, but I shall say that the villains in this film are quite....villainous. William Cecil (David Thewlis) and his son Robert Cecil (Edward Hogg) come off very cold, calculating and quite despicable. Excellent villains to be certain; wanted both of them to burn. So while the Earl of Oxford is watching his plays performed in another man's name, Queen Elizabeth (Vanessa Redgrave is dying and an heir must be chosen. The Earl of Essex (Sam Reid) is a favorite of hers and wants the throne which his friend the Earl of Southampton (Xavier Samuel) is willing to help him get. Never before have so many intrigues and plots promised to spoil royal precedence. Joely Richardson plays a young Queen Elizabeth, Jamie Campbell Bower plays a young Earl of Oxford, and even Derek Jacobi makes an appearance as the narrator at the beginning and the end of the story. Roland Emmerich directed the film and did a good job, and even the screenplay written by John Orloff was relatively well done. I suppose the fact that there were so many historical inaccuracies that it bothered me throughout the entire film; make no mistake this film is a true Shakespearean tragedy. The cinematography by Anna Foerster was really astounding; I loved the shots, the grit of London, and how the interior shots were maneuvered as well. The entire film was shot exquisitely well. The music by Harald Kloser and Thomas Wander was forgetful; there are two pieces of music I remember from the film and they were both composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It was a good film, one that earns an "Admirable Ability." There was something severely lacking from the story, screenplay, and depth of characters. I don't like conspiracy stories or theories at all, but this could have come off more than just that if they had worked a little harder on the screenplay. Oh well; it was enjoyable, but you wont cry if you miss it. Spoke to my father today and he just bought himself a 30 foot boat; should be fun to play with come next summer depending on where I am in the world. News is remain dreadfully depressing, but I am still looking for something in the news that is uplifting. I'll find it. September is almost gone. Halloween is just around the corner. I love candy.

Anonymous Trailer

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Reichenbach Fall.

There were two things of note in the newspapers I read today, and the first one is that in Vietnam some bloggers (4 I believe) were sentenced to prison, or something harsher, for blogging concerning political opposition to the very stringent and oppressive communist government that is in control of that country. I believe this is the same government the U.S. by the way was fighting during the Vietnam War. The U.S. State Department said that it was "very concerned" and suggested that the prisoners be released. If you've been keeping an eye on how the current U.S. Presidential Cabinet responds to international problems and difficulties those words "very (or greatly) concerned" have been the usual chorus of objection. I personally would have said that the United States is disgusted with this flagrant disregard for human rights and stated that the U.S. would be seeking harsh measures against the Vietnamese government until the prisoners were released and the country shows signs of easing human rights violations. Sadly however, who knows what the current U.S. administration's actual foreign policy is, because it certainly isn't clear if anything. Human rights and freedom should be every American's top foreign policy, as that is what this country stands for. The other noteworthy news item (although I feel like there was a third) is that there may be a birth control pill for men. Apparently there weren't any adverse side effects in the mice the drug was tested on, and the male mice went right back to producing sperm after being taken off the drug. I found this very fascinating because I suppose the mere thought that men would be taking birth control seemed....odd I guess. I would be curious to read the long term studies and short term studies when they begin human testing (sounds like one of those creepy science experiments doesn't it). Still no good news, but I finally after many, many long days of getting no writing done was able to finish another Modern War Story The Sword and the Shield: Liberty's Long Struggle. The plot really begins to thicken and go forward in this episode as we get closer to the end of it all. I think writing this helped zap me back to the writing spirit. It has been rather difficult lately as I have been distracted by the heat and other difficulties, but it has been gently cooling off and today it was significantly cooler. I finished the second season of Sherlock this evening and well....the title of the blog says it all. I had a lot of hope for this episode, but it kind of was disappointing unfortunately. There were many enjoyable parts, but honestly I don't like their interpretation of the Sherlock Holmes character (which has nothing to do with the actor's great performance). He comes off as way too flawed, way to arrogant, and oftentimes cruel which he never was. I always found him more purposely aloof and merely gently unconcerned with people's emotions. It was diverting enough anyways though. Next up: season 4 of Damages. Been waiting for this one for a while.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Thrill of the Game.

Sherlock Holmes is one of my most favorite fictitious characters, and probably for many others as well which is why he has survived so many popular manifestations. The two most popular are the films re-done by Guy Ritchie starring Jude Law as Dr. Watson and Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes; the films are very successful, and I have to admit are a lot of fun to watch. They retain a good deal of what I consider the original Holmes created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but there is also an immense amount of fantastic originality to the two films so far released. The next popular re-imagining of the famous detective is the British television show Sherlock which takes place in the current London with all of the technology a detective could ever want. Martin Freeman plays Dr. Watson (who will also be starring as Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy with the first part being released this December) and Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock. I began watching the second season of the show Sunday and I watched the second episode which was a different angle on the Hound of the Baskervilles. Umm.....this series I continue to go back and forth with, because sometimes it comes off really wonderfully, and then there are times when they go over the top and try to make Sherlock Holmes more of a.....well....genuine human being honestly, which he isn't at all. He doesn't show fear (unless it's in private) he comes off as omniscient; he doesn't make mistakes, he only can solve things too slowly at times. I don't know, I suppose that I am not that impressed with their interpretation of the character, although I do like Martin Freeman as Watson. He adds brevity, and he does a fantastic job with his role, but so does Benedict Cumberbatch. That man plays Holmes so well that he almost makes it appear effortlessly; he's an admirable man of his craft. If you like Sherlock Holmes then you'll probably like this show as long as you keep an open mind, and if not then I'm sure that average person would like it more if they know less about the world's greatest detective.

Sherlock Season 2 Preview

Q&A with the Stars and Creators of Sherlock

Sunday, September 23, 2012

"Do I Kill Everything that I Love?"

I am certain the frequent readers of this blog are getting tired of reading me writing about how indignant the heat is out here in Southern California, but I must admit that I am in a similar boat. This blasted weather cannot seem to make up its mind for whatever reason, and for Pete's sake it's almost October and the heat remains ungodly. The news hasn't gotten any better either, although I am hoping for a set of miracles this week. Let's all hope that my faith is rewarded, otherwise I am most likely going to be in for some much cooler weather for the winters months. Oh a brief word of advice to men who grow hair equivalent to what is on Wookies; be very careful when trimming or shaving the hair in your armpits. I watched the film J. Edgar tonight and boy was that a boring film. There's no beating around the bush on this one. It was a poorly written, or rather put together screenplay by Dustin Lance Black, which surprised me since the man usually does well with his talents. Clint Eastwood did a fine job of directing and shooting the film and everything looked great, and even Leonardo DiCaprio (as J. Edgar Hoover) and Armie Hammer (Clyde Tolson) worked very well as their characters (although I know nothing of the real people). The real enemy of the film was pace and how the screenplay was set up; flashbacks and flashforwards and then with so much going back and forth no story was every clearly defined. There was some drama, but it was mostly all information presented in a film fashion, and I didn't like that. Eastwood had a chance to really illuminate a pioneer of crime fighting, and it pretty much sucked on that account; very disappointing. Slow is the key word, which I can usually handle if all of the other elements are present that make it worth while, for example Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is slow but did really well everywhere else mostly. I'm giving the film a "Yearning Ability" as there are few redeeming qualities about it, and I don't know if I'd ever want to use my time watching it again. Hoover's story is very fascinating, interesting and compelling so I hope some great justice is done to his life as the man very much deserves, despite many faults.

"When morals decline and good men do nothing, evil flourishes. A society unwilling to learn from its past is doomed. We must never forget our history. We must never lower our guard."
                                                                                                         -J. Edgar Hoover

J. Edgar Trailer

Documentary on the real J. Edgar Hoover

Friday, September 21, 2012

"Good Night and Good Luck."

If I remember correctly, July and August were the hottest months in Wisconsin and Illinois, but apparently in California they are August and September. When you think it's cooling off then it heats back up again, and when you think you will melt like a bar of chocolate in the hot sun it cools back down again. This same cycle goes on and on until you are about ready to pull your hair out, or unless you have air conditioning then probably not. I was reading the Wall Street Journal today and there was pretty much nothing but bad news, and suddenly I began thinking; wouldn't it be great to hear some actually good news? Wouldn't it be great to lift people's spirits with some genuine, pleasant news? Alas, there's no news like bad news, as Elliot Carver said from James Bond Tomorrow Never Dies. This has been a somewhat bad week for writing because my life is in...limbo for lack of a better term, although the more I think about it the more it is quite accurate. I'm really hoping that over the weekend I'll be able to pool my concentration and put something down in many words at least. A writer who doesn't write is no writer at all, and write now it's beginning to feel that way, despite writing this blog. Good Night and Good Luck was the film for tonight. I was looking for something short, simple, good, and interesting and of course it met the criteria. George Clooney directed (and wrote) the film, which he also starred in as well alongside of David Strathairn, Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Daniels, Frank Langella, Patricia Clarkson and Tate Donovan. It was a fantastic cast which worked immensely well together. The cinematography I have to say was quite stunning, for which it was nominated for an Academy Award along with the film securing 5 other nominations but sadly no wins that year. It takes place during the 1950's when the communism scar was going on and U.S. Senator McCarthy was on his witch hunt eliminating all who opposed and stood in his away on his personal crusade against the Soviet Union. Television still in it's infancy was learning to walk and beginning to define itself. CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System) had a news program to "60 Minutes" which begins to tackle the U.S. Senator and his methods, but it quickly becomes a difficult fight, and a fight for the truth which can often be obscured by fear. I give it a "Strong Ability" because honestly I really enjoyed it, although some would say it is slow and boring, I find it fascinating and interesting. It is a high caliber film, which George Clooney tends to be associated with on the average, and I believe the Oscar nominations put it best. It isn't a flashy film, but it is compelling with great acting so I think it would be worth seeing, and it's only an hour and a half long, you won't die from that.

Good Night and Good Luck Trailer

Thursday, September 20, 2012

"Surreal, But Nice."

What does one blog about when one doesn't write, which is what the aforementioned blog is about? Well I can't think of a bloody interesting thing, or reason to come up with. I could write about politics, but that's just a disappointing topic across boards, and people need to decide with their own reasoning how they swing and flow politically. What about international affairs? That's an unfortunate topic as well. It seems as if America is despised in the Middle East and a fading power in the rest of the world which has seen freedoms decrease and wealth become tighter. In perspective (mine that is) the world is a very grey place at the moment. People are dying and losing freedoms with each passing moment; some on a small, barely noticeable scale, some on a rather large scale. There is no sense of hope in the world, or even optimism; people are sensibly pessimistic, and rightfully so. What has led to this severe disappointment? Governments doing nothing but bickering, fighting, raising taxes and not solving any problems but rather creating news ones which will destroy nations down the road. Employers, who have to cut back, fail out right because of the economic downturn, or are just a rather despicable lot that fire you for all of the wrong reasons. Can you blame the banking institutions? Sure why not, after all there's plenty of blame to go around and they have their fair share it, but their business is to make money like Mrs. Deagle said in Gremlins and not to support a lot of "deadbeats." The list of who to blame could go on and on almost indefinitely. This is all stream of thought by the way, I don't know why I am writing this other than the fact that I am somewhat depressed, which is most likely effecting the content of what I am currently writing. It is also unfortunate that when I am feeling this way, I cannot write at all, which really sucks. Notting Hill with its fantastic humor helped get me through the night. Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts together were amazing, and still after so many years since its release I find the most sincere pleasure watching this film. I really hope that as the world continues to turn that hope once again flourishes (not to sound trite), because as it stands right now from my perspective at least, things are only going to get worse.

Notting Hill Trailer

Notting Hill Film Clip

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Feeling Artistic?

I stepped into Target tonight and was getting myself a bit of sustenance when I found myself in the candy aisle and then glancing to my right noticed that a part of the back wall was all candy. I looked up and then realized that it was in preparation for Halloween. My mind has been stuck in June for so long, that I completely forgot about Halloween, and then Thanksgiving will be after that, but not before my sister gets married! That's going to be a lot of fun as I am walking her down the aisle and am going to be a groomsman for my new brother-in-law. I don't know how many of you love candy, but it is certainly a weakness of mine; I try to remain in moderation though since it isn't very good for one's teeth. I watched The Artist this past evening and found it to be quite delightful, although at times boring due to the fact that there isn't any spoken dialogue, which annoyed me at times, but most of the time I never noticed. It was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won 5 including: Best Costume Design, Best Directing, Best Original Score, Best Picture, and Best Actor. All of these awards were well earned. As you can imagine, in a silent picture the music carries so much weight since it is the only sound and Ludovic Bource wowed me for certain. His music reminded me of Erich Wolfgang Korngold who scored many of Errol Flynn's high adventure films like The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Seahawk and Captain Blood. Jean Dujardin was amazing; for not hearing a single morsel of dialogue, he poured his heart into this role, and his supporting friend the little dog was a frequent nice touch to what was happening on the screen. Michael Hazanavicius who directed and wrote the film earned his Oscars definitely. Berenice Bejo earned a nomination for her role, but didn't win (the Oscar went to The Help star Octavia Spencer). She also performed incredibly. All in all it was a beautifully acted, exquisite looking film that was a lot of fun, and had a lot of hard earned heart. I'm giving it a "Strong Ability" and recommend it to people to watch, and I will certainly see it again. And if the whole silent film bothers you, think about how hard it must be to truly craft a good film without dialogue. It's also a great film to watch with groups of people or with family. Well Russia may or may not be America's number one geopolitical enemy, but one thing is for certain is that they continue their scaling back of freedom and voices of pro-democracy. It's a shame that America's "reset" with Russia seems to be buck in the proverbial Russian winter. Hopefully the people of Syria will have more luck ousting their dictator, which seems stuck in a gritty malaise at the moment. And as for Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya, they've just got to hang in there and work hard to keep that democracy they just earned. It ain't to automatically convert after years of oppression. Back when the United States was first a country, everyone though it was going to go under. Were those pundits wrong.

The Artist Trailer

The Artist Behind the Scenes

Monday, September 17, 2012


One of the great feelings and experiences for a writer is finishing a product, whether it be a book or in my case tonight a screenplay! Yes at around 86 pages my first draft screenplay is complete! Now to take a few steps back and let everything sit before going back to it. I feel like it was rushed in a few places, but I'm having a few people read it to give me their perspective so we'll see what comes of that. I'm hoping that once I'm done with it that when I submit it that someone will see it and love it enough to want to but it. Hey when you don't have a job and certain talents you're willing to try and make it however; besides I am told that's where all of the money in writing is. Fortunately the weather remained cool as well, which makes writing and day to day life so much easier. I began reading this book the other day called The Phony Marine written by Jim Lehrer, who yes was on the PBS Newshour and is an acclaimed news reporter. He is actually going to be moderating the first U.S. Presidential candidate debate coming up between President Obama and Mr. Romney. So far it is interesting, although his style is a bit rigid sounding, but it isn't boring that much is certain. I picked it up in the library when I was looking for something that could captivate my interest, and I saw this book and thought why not. Well, even though it seems like the world is going to collapse on itself, since that what it seems with all of the economic uncertainty and political chaos spreading like a wildfire across the globe; good pizza will always remain a comfort...that and good chocolate.

Humor also helps survive the trials of life: see below.

Star Wars: Robot Chicken Yarael Poof on the Council

Star Wars: Robot Chicken Yarael Poof Surviving the Council

Star Wars: Robot Chicken Yarael Poof in Disguise

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The March of Politics.

It cooled off today! It's amazing how much a difference ten degrees can make. Apparently from what I keep hearing this is supposed to be the trend, but I don't believe anything the weather people say anymore. Never do people get paid so much for being wrong most of the time. I wonder what the criteria are for being a bad meteorologist? I have arrived at the climax for my screenplay! I believe now I can see how it will end, and I believe it will come off rather well. Hopefully the people who I try to sell it to will see it likewise after I fine tune it a bit. I like finishing something from beginning to end, which if you have a series, trilogy, sequels, back story then there's all of this stuff that makes it all complicated. Uncomplicated screenplays are a lot easier to write, at least for me, although I have yet to write a fantasy screenplay, which I will have to attempt one day in the near future. The Ides of March is a very fascinating look at American politics at their finest, which I do not mean in the moral sense but rather how they are played out. Ryan Gosling as the main character (Stephen) is idealistic about the candidate he is working for and truly believes in what he is doing; he plays that young, energetic believer very well. His opposite number, Paul played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, is the jaded, experienced s.o.b. that will seemingly do whatever to win. Both are running the election campaign for Governor Morris played by George Clooney; his character performance is so genuine that you love him and then you want to tear his eyes out. Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, and Jeffrey Wright all had minor roles, but their presence really helped enhance the quality of the overwhelmingly stunning cast. Political intrigue and escapades have always held my interest, and this film fits right into that. Now it is a small intimate film with a similar lens into American politics, but a pretty good one. It was directed by George Clooney and written by him as well; I can say one thing for this political activist actor, he can really assemble a great casting ensemble for a film. Good Night and Good Luck for example was similar, although much more enjoyable in my opinion. The Ides of March was good and interesting, but at the very end it seemed to lack momentum and ended too soon. It would have been nice to see the story carried further, so it gets an "Admirable Ability". It's good and relatively entertaining, although it could be construed as slow. So if action is your thing, then you might want to avoid this. The weekend is over and another week has come. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

The Ides of March Trailer

Mama Trailer (I don't usually watch these kinds of films, but I like Guillermo del Toro's work).

Saturday, September 15, 2012

"The Emperor Is Not As Forgiving As I Am."

It was another boiler today in lovely San Diego. It's like stepping into an oven, but a very large one that is. Actually for a good portion of the day all I did was talk and listen; from about 11:30am-4:30pm. I met with a few good friends and we chatted about all kinds of fun and interesting things, and of course the added benefit of all of that was that I got to be in air conditioning! That pleased me greatly, although it would be nice to have a cooler home so that I could get stuff done instead of going elsewhere just so that I can survive without boiling to death. Of course then I didn't get any writing done today, although I thought about the latter part of the evening, but it didn't start really cooling off until almost 8pm, but which time I was watching Return of the Jedi. It is my least favorite of all six films, but I figured that I might as well end my marathon properly. I dislike watching the Empire lose and the Emperor die, but I guess "evil" has to lose and good win; it just isn't any fun, unless you're watching Revenge of the Sith that is, or The Empire Strikes Back. Do you know that if you remain ignorant then life is really easy to live, but become enlightened about the truth and pretty soon life begins to really suck, and is enormously difficult; much like the matrix vs. the real world. My friend I was chatting with, we talked about philosophy and theology and he helped clarify many thing for me, but there will always remain mysteries in life that we as corporeal finite beings will never be able to comprehend. Before I go off on a tangent and not make any sense, I'll stop. Enjoy your weekend everyone, and stay cool...unless you live in Antarctica then stay warm.

The Final Star Wars Duel

An early documentary on Return of the Jedi with Leonard Nimoy

Friday, September 14, 2012

"I Am Your Father."

Have any of you wondered what Hell will be like? Some think it has levels of torment, some thinks it's all fire and brimstone, some thinks it's eternal darkness, some think it's very frigid; me personally it feels right now like I am in Hell. The remarkable cool streak San Diego had going just went way south; it got up to 106 degrees F. today (although some places were hotter than that, and inside of my apartment it got up to 95 degrees F. I didn't have any air conditioning still, although I believe I've finally had enough of roasting alive and come this Monday I'm going to find out what is going on. When I saw that there was a strong breeze outside, I thought that was a good thing, but boy was that breeze hot; very, very bad. Right now at almost 10pm it's 89 degrees inside; I'm perspiring just sitting. God bless people who live out in the hot dessert without any technological amenities, or anywhere else where it's ridiculously hot. When I was watching The Empire Strikes Back today, and they were on the planet Hoth with all of the snow blowing all over the place I found myself wishing I was in snow at the moment, whether or not it was a blizzard. I was able to get some my screenplay written, but I had to stop because I couldn't concentrate as I was so miserably uncomfortable. Surviving this unbearable heat is pretty much how the rest of the day went, and most likely how the rest of the weekend is going to go lucky me. I don't know about the rest of all of you, but the intense heat takes all of my patience away as it is right now because my apartment isn't cooling down fast enough! Well I hope everyone else has a cooler weekend than I will end up having, and that everyone had a much better week as well.

Darth Vader vs. Luke Skywalker

Lincoln Trailer (this looks amazing!)

Clip from the film Emperor (this also looks amazing).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

"Where Did You Dig Up That Old Fossil?"

And the cool trend continues! If this weather system continues I will not need air conditioning for the remainder of the year, which will be great not only because I don't have it, but also for my electric bill which will have remained low through the entire summer! I suppose some suffering was okay if I saved money that I didn't have, or would rather spend on something else. I've also been getting up earlier as well, which gives me much more time to get stuff accomplished, that is if I put myself to being productive, although there are times when I get quite lazy, but I'm being redundant talking about all of this again. I'm up to page 71 of my screenplay, so as you can imagine it is coming along quite well, and I'm still thinking another 30 pages and I'll be wrapping everything up; I can't imagine it being longer than that. That's pretty much consuming my time as of late, although I have been picking at my website a little here and there, and attempting to continue writing my Sword and the Shield series, but for some reason motivation for that has been rather short as of late, irritatingly enough. I continued my Star Wars journey tonight with A New Hope and even after all of these years and having seen it too numerous times to count, it still makes me laugh and gets thrills out of me. It's incredible to think that film which was released in May of 1977 gets watched more often than any other film of that era, or maybe even the nineties. It has spawned sequels, television shows, television specials, computer games, books, amusement park rides, and provided countless inspiration for people to chase and attain their dreams. Yeah, I'm a Star Wars fan.

George Lucas Talking about A New Hope

Original Star Wars Trailer

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dangerously Methodical.

Where did the day go? I seem to remember getting up early and doing a few things before it was afternoon, which flew by even quicker and then I was at some family friends' house celebrating a birthday (happy birthday Jennifer! Congrats), and then doing a lot of chatting. I had a very lovely time, as per usual, and came back to my roasting apartment as the A/C remains offline. I watched though A Dangerous Method which stars Michael Fassbender (Carl Jung), Viggo Mortensen (Sigmund Freud), and Keira Knightley (Sabina Spielrein). It was certainly a very fascinating story and perspective on the early development of psychoanalytic and psycho-dynamic theories, and how the relationship of Freud and Jung grew and then split apart. All three of the main performances were delivered flawlessly; Viggo Mortensen as Freud was perfect, I didn't even see the actor but rather the man. Carl Jung and Michael Fassbender looked very much alike, although I confess to know less about him in real life. And as for Keira Knightley's character, I know very little, although her performance was top notch. The film in general was good, but might have only been because I found the psychological content and historical reality of the individuals interesting and thought provoking as I was analyzing stuff left and right. I would be able to understand if people construed the film as being boring, as there were parts to it that were, but the acting was well done as was the screenplay by Christopher Hampton, and the film was directed by David Cronenberg. I giving it an "Admirable Ability" as I'm not sure I'd like to watch it again, and there was the boring factor as well along with some other things peppered throughout the film. I'd say the general public wouldn't care for it much; it appeals I think mainly to those in the field of psychology, or those that find the field fascinating. I am very sleepy right now so I'm going to chill a little bit before bed. I was so vexed that the cloudy weather vanished and was replaced by a hot sun and a humid atmosphere. There's always hope for tomorrow.

A Dangerous Method Trailer

Director David Cronenberg discuses A Dangerous Method

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"The Dark Side of the Force is a Pathway to Many Abilities."

The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy is complete, and now for the original trilogy! However, before I get into all of that, let us stop and think what we were doing eleven years ago. At about 9am or so U.S. central time, I was woken by one of my sisters who ushered me to come down the stairs in order to better understand a message that a family friend left on the answering machine from that morning. The person on the phone wanted to know if we were alright and also to tell us that the United States was under attack and some other things that I can't really remember. The two of us turned the news on and saw everything after that; I believe we saw both towers fall as it actually happened, although I cannot really recall any emotions, thoughts, or ideas that were running through my mind. That's pretty much all I remember from that day, at least right now.  I remember watching subsequent news reports about what happened in the following days; it was quite an interesting time. Eleven years later the United States hasn't been attacked again on such a scale, and dictators and terrorists alike have been eliminated who threatened America's and our allies' security on all levels. So many years later who can say what the point of all this reckless and inhumane violence is, or why people really engage in it aside from hate and other basic forms of emotional disturbance. As human beings we must weather the storm, and as Americans we must push forward and look to the future while making the present the best it can possibly for those who cannot and for those who are yet to come. God bless the United States of America, it's protectors, and all of its friends and allies. So Revenge of the Sith was today, and then we'll ironically (if you think of the two titles) get to A New Hope next. I have to say story and dialog wise, it is the best of the prequel trilogy, and remains my second favorite of all the films, but The Empire Strikes Back remains unbeatable. I got up early in the morning did some writing, computer playing, then did quite a bit of apartment cleaning, and then did some more writing. Today was one of those productive days, although a lengthy phone call with one of my sisters kept me from getting as much writing done as I had originally intended. For some reason this week I seem to be brimming with hope and confidence unlike the previous weeks, so perhaps I will finally get what I have been seeking for, for the past 3 months as of today. Thank the maker it was cool and cloudy all day long! I was joyously delighted, and I am really hoping it is like that for days and then remains cool the rest of the year. I think all of America is sick of the heat, especially the farmers and those without air conditioning.

Darth Vader vs. Obi-Wan Kenobi

A Hero Falls Music Video

Monday, September 10, 2012

"This Weapon Is Your Life."

In perhaps the longest time I can remember since I have been in Southern California, it was a very hot and humid day, or rather more humid than hot. Therefore not having air conditioning tried my patience a little bit more today, but fortunately I managed somehow, although I am getting tired of not having A/C especially when I was told that it was supposed to have been fixed ages ago. So despite having a fair amount of time to write I didn't because I couldn't really sit still and focus my attention due to how uncomfortably hot and humid it was. I swear this heat is really beginning to annoy me; it better be one frigid winter coming this year. Well, I watched Attack of the Clones to continue my escapist theme for this week, and despite what is said I did enjoy the film. It is true that there is quite a bit of dialog that makes you want to rip out your ears, but you can either power through it, or listen to it in French. It actually is quite good that way, and if I understood French I would probably watch it that way. I've been wanting to make cookies for a while, but once again the heat was interfering with that (a hot kitchen with an oven on is not pleasant), so I had to wait for nightfall and the temperature to drop before I made my delicious molasses cookies, which turned out fantastic. I think I have indeed mastered them, even working with a temperamental oven. I'm going to continue to cool my apartment down and watch some Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. So far, it is the best Star Trek series I have seen so far; best characters, best plots, best action, and most compelling stories. I don't know what people saw in The Next Generation. Oh well to teach their own.

Attack of the Clones Lightsaber Battle

Attack of the Clones Behind the Scenes

Sunday, September 9, 2012

"Only Two There Are."

I have to admit that it was a lovely and productive Sunday, which is unusual for me. Often I find that they have become a more relaxed and laid back day where I don't usually get anything done, but not today. I did get at screenplay really good and am almost up to 60 pages so far. I try to pace myself with it so I don't write crap, because in a film script if you have bad dialog....well there's nothing else, unless its a visual, or action film, or possesses some other form of gimmick. I think I've finally figured out what I am going to do with the story, which hopefully gels alright with what I have already. The 2nd Edition of The Curse of a Warrior is available now at these websites: Author/ Publisher WebsiteAmazon.comBarnes & Noble. Now you should be able to find it wherever as long as you have the ISBN number/bar code which is on the author/publisher website. Why did I make a second edition? Honestly, because the first one sucked and I could have people read that and then read the second book so I went back and made some drastic changes and improvements and thus the book! This will be the last time that I ever personally go out of my way to come up with another edition of this book, because I will be focusing on the last two of the trilogy. I've been in a bit of a Star Wars mood and so I decided to watch The Phantom Menace, which was a spectacular distraction from the wretched and ordinary existence of the life I find myself in. That is what is so incredible about those six films, the books, the Clone Wars, the electronic games; it's so easy to immerse oneself in those worlds and escape. I guess writing is that way for me too, but Star Wars does it the way that....alcohol I guess or drugs does it for some people. I trust that everyone mostly had a great weekend; mine wasn't too bad, but here's to hope, confidence, and faith that I'll find a job this week.

The Duel of Fates Music Video (I remember the first time I saw this back in 1999. Thank you to my awesome sisters for taping it off of MTV!)

The Epic Lightsaber Battle! (and perhaps the best of all 6 films).

Saturday, September 8, 2012

"Never Compromise."

"Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become...habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny! What we think, we become."
                                                                                                     -Margaret Thatcher
                                                                                                       "The Iron Lady" 2012

So it was much cooler today thank goodness, and that seems to be the ongoing trend. Apparently there are even supposed to be scattered thunderstorms around midnight, but I highly doubt that will happen. Haven't been in a good thunderstorm in four years or so. Wow! I can almost remember the last one; I think the thunder was so loud that it woke me from my sleep at about 3am in the morning. Good times. My cake turned out well, although interestingly enough, the topmost part of the cake, along with the very edge, were only parts a little too done. When the cake is really cold though, you don't even notice, so I would say this was a success, although next time less heat might be warranted due to my oven's wretchedness. I watched The Iron Lady this past evening and found it a little more boring then I did before, but I can't argue with Meryl Streep's Oscar winning performance as Margaret Thatcher, which was impressive beyond words. I never knew the former British Prime Minister, but she definitely looks and acts like her body, mind and soul from what I've seen. Definitely recommend this film. Screenplay is booming, but I've almost come to a crossroads in where I'm going to have to make a decision about the characters and the timeline I have. Keep it slow or fast forward through time? It's a tough one. Oh some good news. I spoke with one of my excellent friends, and old college roommate and buddy who recently got engaged and I am going to be one of his groomsmen! So by the time I get to his wedding, it will have been the fourth one I've been in. I suppose I should really have my own eventually; I'll have enough experience with weddings by that point and time. The weather is cooling down, I'm going be in a very good friend's wedding; perhaps things are beginning to look up for me. I could only hope.

The Iron Lady Behind the Scenes

A Documentary on the real Margaret Thatcher and her rise to Notoriety and Power.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

2 More Months!

At this point and time two more months from now, hopefully one of the candidates for President of the United States will be declared the winner and we don't have any of that crap that happened in 2000. I finished watching the Democratic National Convention and although it was equally illuminating at the Republicans, I didn't find it as humorous, although it did have some good moments. It certainly had more Hollywood power though than the Republicans; Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives), Scarlet Johnannson (The Avengers), and Eric McCormick were present to name a few (only the first two gave a speech). I personally cannot wait for November 6th for a number of reasons: 1, it will be nice to have this political drama over, although it's a real nail biter though; a good suspenseful story with plot and enough drama to make an Oscar award winning film. The second reason is that the conclusion of my Sword and the Shield series will be posted that night, and you'll understand the significance of that after you read the episode. Today was warm, but it did cool off pretty well and the cooling down trend continues, although I still would prefer the high to be in the mid 70s F. I decided to make myself a cake since I wanted something sweet to eat, and since I had all of the ingredients it was a cinch. It was a white cake with vanilla cream frosting; both made completely from scratch! I haven't tasted the cake yet, the frosting was divine, despite needing some more vanilla flavoring. I finished The Farthest Shore and now only have one last book left in the cycle "Tehanu." Even after finishing the book my opinion of it hasn't changed at all and has perhaps even become more solidified in that the series is "blah" and poorly written, or I'm blind as to what constitutes a good fantasy book. Even if it isn't "blah" no one can argue that it isn't boring, because it really is. A small 223 page book should be easy to read, but this one wasn't. I advise to skip these books. My screenplay is finally catching on fire and the story is really flying along now! So far I have 41 pages written, and I think it will be wrapped up around 100 pages or so give or take. I haven't quite figured out yet what direction I will take the story, or rather how far I will go with it. Creative decisions can be really tricky frequently. Well the first full week of September is almost over. So far so good, although it could always be a little better.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"There's Water in the Tap."

The heat struck again today, but it was a tad cooler, and cooled off a whole lot more quickly then it had done last night thankfully. I hope and pray that this will be a continuous trend, although I think I'm going to ask my landlord about air conditioning tomorrow. So I did some writing today. Continued my work on my screenplay which continues to shock me how well I am doing with it so far, but that works to my long as it comes out good. The heat kept me from writing more, not to mention I was....distracted as well which essentially made it impossible to focus. I watched Green Lantern tonight, and although it was disappointing, I do have to say that it was entertaining despite lack of a good screenplay, a decent plot, likable characters, interesting villains, and a relatively confusing backstory. You won't miss much if you ignore its existence completely. It being September 5th I wish I had good news, but alas things remain as they are. There's too much bad news at home and more than that going on around the world. It all sucks, but I guess each of us makes it through the day by hoping, praying, thinking, believing, and wishing that better days lie ahead.

Green Lantern Trailer

Harry Potter Retrospective film (I found this and thought it was a rather lovely summation of all of the films and the journey Harry made. Might not want to watch it if you don't want anything spoiled.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ready for Summer to be Over!

I seem to remember, growing up in Wisconsin as I did, that in September things began to cool off not heat up! Apparently it must be the opposite in Southern California because as the year goes on it seems to be getting warmer not cooler, which I have to admit without air conditioning is beginning to tax my nerves to the enth degree. Another gross thing that I've noticed happening is my skin is getting really dry in some places and molting, despite many applications of lotion. Luckily though, my apartment complex finally fixed the pool, so perhaps I'll go for a dip tomorrow sometime, although considering I don't know how to swim I'm not certain what I'd do besides wade, which sounds pretty boring. Oh some advice I have for people; always, always, always wash your lettuce no matter what. I suppose you should always wash all of your fresh produce, but especially your lettuce. Why am I harping on this? Well while I was enjoying a deliciously sumptuous taco that I had made, I noticed a dead fly/insect on a lettuce leaf on my taco absently staring at me. Fortunately I didn't vomit on the spot (not at all luckily) I spat what was in my mouth out. So there's the life lesson for today. My screenplay continues to come along very well, but I suppose I should do some of my other writing as well. What I really need to do is finish reading The Farthest Shore (3rd Earthsea book) so that I can read something else. I swear that book may only have 223 pages, but it seems like a thousand boring, nonsensical pages of crap. I guess I just don't see the delight that many others sea. Watched a good portion of the Democratic National Convention. It was very informative, and the speakers were very....loud? Hope everyone continues to have a good week.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters Trailer (looks really, really bad; Jeremy Renner hasn't been picking a lot of winners lately poor guy. Whatever pays the bills I guess.)

Dorothy of Oz Trailer (not sure about this one).