Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Years!?????



Well for us here in the United States I'm not quite so certain if it's going to be off to a "happy" new year what with our government plunging our country over the "fiscal cliff" because no one seems to know how to make politics work that is currently in control, regardless of party. It seems from where I sit all frozen in the midwest, that President Obama and the Democrats believe that they can demand anything because he won reelection and they maintained control in the Senate. The Republicans and John Boehner believe that a fair majority of Americans don't want tax increases and want the budget cut (which they are to a degree correct). Neither side seems very willing to budge, and so the country remains in a general malaise with less faith in our government than before the election...if that is possible. Who knows what will happen, but such is life. Some of my family suggest to moving to Ireland, which sounds pretty good right about now. Anyways. So my brother in-law and myself made New Year's Eve dinner which included stuffed mushrooms, bruschetta, ahi tuna, and I made a lemon chiffon cake with lemon icing. It was all made from scratch, and it tasted so delicious. I also decorated a little bit as well, and I have to admit that it all turned out fairly well. So we watched Kung Fu Panda 2 and it was quite hilarious, and I loved the Peacock that Gary Oldman voiced, but I liked the first film more. Granted it is only an animated film, and a film at that, but there you have it. Moving on. Yesterday I Skyped for the first time with a friend in Albania, who was visiting another one of my friends. I must admit that it was pretty amazing even though the video quality wasn't that great, but even still it was fairly awesome. Well, I hope that everyone has a great New Year, and I really hope that this coming year, 2013, is better than 2012. This past year was one of the worst years of my entire life, so it could be worse, but it is more likely to get better....that is me crossing my fingers. Take care and God bless all of you.

Kung Fu Panda 3 Trailer

May It Be by Enya. Not very celebratory, but I think it gets the point across for what I hope for myself and everyone else in the world, especially those tormented by an oppressive and dictatorial government.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

More Blood Again!

It wasn't much of a day. I drove my father to Chicago so he can fly out tomorrow for Columbia, which between driving there and back took a great chunk of time. It was my first time driving in the area, and honestly it wasn't as bad or intimidating as I thought that it would be. It was similar to driving in San Diego, except colder and with snow. One bloody thing that annoys me to no end is all of the tolls that you have to pay to and from Chicago; I mean for Pete's sake, you pay a fortune just to drive on a road (for which you pay taxes for) and then you repeat the process over and over again each time you go there, and tolls are everywhere in that city from what I could see. Illinois is one of the only states I've driven in that really has any significant tolls. Granted, it's not we're dolling out fortunes here in cash, but it adds up very quickly, especially when you don't have that much money to begin with. Anyways. So I am finally getting back to Dexter and am just beginning season 6, which looks very promising so far. I've heard a lot about season 7, so we'll see what lies ahead for our dark hero. Yes I know I am behind, but hey, these DVD's take forever to become available on Netflix, and I don't have Showtime so...I have to make do. Anywho. Have a fantastic weekend everyone, and I hope that all Americans are ready to go over the so called fiscal cliff, because it looks like it is going to happen. Should be interesting to see what happens when we "crash" according to the popular lingo.

Dexter Season 6 trailer

Friday, December 28, 2012

He's Back!

It was just another one of those normal days where not much happens. I did some more writing for my expanded universe for A Warrior's Tale. I actually sat down and wrote out the entire ruling lineage for the entire Kingdom of Caroth-Nor going all the way back to Kael at the beginning to King Ubisar II who is the current ruler in my trilogy. I think I totaled about 135 rulers, each reigning an average of about 70 years, which worked out perfectly for my time scale. Now I just have to come up with little story vignettes for all of them, along with some details pertaining to each of their rule. Then I have to do the same thing for Kargon, the Omites, Kestria, and then Kuran (the latter two become more important in books 2 and 3). Then I have to do something similar for the Watcher Order, the Mystic Order, both armies, the Elite Guard, and other little tidbits here and there. It's going to take a long time, but I will get there. And along the way I will be finishing up book 2 and working on book 3....which seems like it will be taking quite a bit of time. Anyways. Didn't get an opportunity (or rather didn't remember) to check the news, so hopefully nothing terribly catastrophic happened today or yesterday. I watched The Expendables 2 with my sister and brother in-law this evening, and boy was that a lot of fun. I personally think that weaponry of any kind is cool; whether it be melee, ranged, automatic, futuristic, fictional, or explosive. I can't honestly explain it, but using weapons is something I find to be rather enjoyable. It is such a fantastic way to release stress and anger while also learning about control, respect, responsibility, and measuring it all with intelligence. The film was lovely. Pure action with the same cast as before, yet with more cameos and surprises along the way. I enjoyed it more than the previous film, and thought that it was crafted with finer skill. Granted it was pure action, with rather wooden dialog, except for Liam Hemsworth who was a breath of fresh air as a character. The action was the main attraction though, and it doesn't disappoint. I'm giving the film an "Admirable Ability", because although it was a ton of fun, it also didn't have much else to offer aside from all of that. By the way, if you hate guns and support gun control I would suggest not watching the film. Have an excellent weekend everyone.

Expendables 2 Trailer

Expendables 2 Clip

Thursday, December 27, 2012

One Apocalypse for Another.

If we aren't having one apocalypse,we're having another...that is if you live in the United States. With the fiscal cliff in sight, the government is hurrying somewhat to get something in place so that there is not another recession or God knows what else could happen. I did however finish editing and posting my own apocalyptic piece of work Twilight of Night, which is not related whatsoever in any form or shape to the popular, teenage vampire saga. It's about a man surviving after an event of sorts occurs thereby leaving him the only person in a city, and after fifteen years and living that way be begins to want to know more about existence outside of his area of protection. I really enjoyed this short story; there is a lot of potential here for something else. A word of caution though, it isn't for children at all. When I wrote it, I tried to imagine a certain type of person, and what that person would do if he were alone for fifteen years in a metropolis. I think I did fairly were in capturing what that would look like, at least for one type of person. It was a lot of fun to write, once I sat down and got going. No I need to try something else, and I'm thinking...political thriller, which will fit most excellently considering the current climate in the United States. I'm having Samsung try to fix my surround system, so hopefully they can inform me what in the world is wrong with my unit, and if not they better replace it. As it stands, televisions are the only Samsung product besides cellphones that I would recommend purchasing; stay away from everything else, and only purchase major electronics from actual electronic stores (at least that has been my experience). Well there it is. Have an excellent night and day tomorrow everyone, and please keep the people of Egypt, Syria, and Iraq in your thoughts.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

4 Days of 2012.

Well Christmas season is now over. There are essentially four more days remaining of 2012, and then it will be a new year. I personally hope that it will be a better year than this past year, even though I will be freezing and drowning in snow. I did quite a bit of work today on my Warrior's Tale expanded universe, but I have a long ways to go before I reach the immensity that I am aiming for. Kind of like on a Tolkien/Lord of the Rings scale, except bigger and....um....well more detailed, if that is possible. I do not think though that I will be able to create my own language; that I am leaving for a different story and series of books one day in the distant future. I love writing all of this additional information for my overall story. Granted, much of it might never be used, but just constructing that background can make the overall content so much richer, and if it becomes popular, well I have all of this extra stuff...just like George Lucas and J.R.R. Tolkien. I have to dream big, otherwise I'd never get anywhere. Once again, I put off editing that short story that I finished days ago; I just wasn't in the mood and I didn't have the motivation to force myself to edit it. I suppose I will try again tomorrow. Us writers; we are a rather ridiculous bunch....or at least I am; got to be careful not to insult any party/individuals online again. Other than that, it was a fairly typical day; nothing exciting, and all too much boring. I think I can live with that for now. The world seems to yet still remain a mess as political problems in Iraq and Egypt continue to mount, and as the civil war in Syria continues. Best of luck to all of those people fighting for equal freedom and rights. God be with them and all of us as we begin to wind down this year.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas To All!

Christmas Day!!!!!




So to start the day off, my family and I went and saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in IMAX 3-D, which looked incredible. Aside from Avatar this is the finest film I've ever seen 3-D and utilize it effectively, and to its finest artistic effect. I enjoyed the film more even the second time around, and still highly recommend people to continue or to watch it even if you haven't seen Lord of the Rings. The really cool thing about seeing the film in this format was that there was a lovely preview of the new Star Trek film  Into the Darkness attached, and wow does that film look incredibly amazing! May of 2013! Can't wait. As you can imagine that activity took up a bit of time, and then I did a bit of relaxing and then sat down to watch my latest Netflix arrival Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The film still remains amazing and awesome, which is also something that I encourage people to watch, even those that do not like science fiction should be able to enjoy this film. After putting some laundry away I began to do some background and historical writing for my Warrior's Tale trilogy. I should have done all of this before I wrote the books, but I was young, foolish and inexperienced so naturally I just skipped that whole process over. I am doing it now though and it has become one of my top side priorities, the top priority is of course still a secret project that continues to go slow. Now that Christmas is over and my focus seems to be back somewhat, I think things will begin to pick up. I also saw Die Hard for the first time tonight. Alan Rickman was an amazing villain, and Bruce Willis' character became better as the series progressed. It was....a typical 1980's action film; and that's all that needs be said, that and it was a shame the "bad guys" didn't win. I hope that everyone had a splendid Christmas, and if you have family and had the opportunity to enjoy their company then lucky you, that and I hope it was truly enjoyable. It was nice to not have to work on Christmas for the first time in a couple years, but I do kind of kiss hanging out with the kids I used to work with; that was one of the few days where the majority of them were alright. Of the three films I watched today, all of them were escapist like...fanciful if you'd like. This world is not perfect, it is on average unpleasant most of the time, and people are always attempting to find a way to cope or find meaning. A little over 2,000 years ago Jesus came down to earth to give people a way out, and to have a perfect eternity where you won't need to cope or escape from anymore. His birth, is what Christmas is all about and His sacrifice as for what He gave up, so that we of the human race could live peacefully forevermore. Let us never forget that. So once again I say, Merry Christmas.

"God Bless Every One!" Andrea Bocelli

Die Hard trailer

Monday, December 24, 2012

One With the Yuletide!

Christmas Eve.




Throwing tradition to the wind, my family and I celebrated Christmas today. So yes early this morning we were opening and sharing presents. It was a lot of fun, especially to watch my nephew as he ripped the wrapping paper off his presents with such an intense passion. The rest of the day was filled with preparations for the evening meal, and lots and lots of napping. I lost count how many times I took pseudo naps here and there; I sprawled out in front of the fireplace--it was nice and warm, although the hardwood floor felt mildly uncomfortable for my rather bony frame. I didn't get around to editing that blasted short story, but I was able to write the film review for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey thankfully and get quite a bit of laundry done as well. I found this one website which has a bunch of the original fairy tales and other such stories-- StoryNory.com. There's all kinds of fictional fun to be found there, and it's "kid friendly" as well from the looks of it. I read up on The Sleeping Beauty, and The Wicked Prince--which is quite a fascinating story, something worth adapting; I believe it was written by Hans Christian Anderson. Dinner was fantastic (I cooked the ham which was delicious) and then afterwards when everything was cleaned up we watched Ernest Saves Christmas while we played "Ireland-Opoly" which is a board game like the traditional Monopoly, except it was Irish themed, which was cool. I had really terrible luck, and I even had to dance an Irish jig to amuse all of the players...it was rather a rather pathetic jig too I might add. It was a lot of fun, and now we all will turn in soon and sleep, sleep, and sleep some more. The final Christmas filmed I already mentioned as being Ernest Saves Christmas. Traditionally we have always watched it on Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember. I love this film, and it is perhaps my most favorite Christmas themed film of all time. Despite the fact that it is severely date, I love this film and recommend it to all people. Jim Varney as Ernest is at his greatest and best in this film, although in Ernest Rides Again he delivers my own personal favorite performance. Well Merry Christmas everyone; good and pleasant tiding to all...the people of our world really need them.

Ernest Saves Christmas clip 1

Ernest Saves Christmas clip 2

Sunday, December 23, 2012

An Unexpected Journey.

Two Days Until Christmas!!




The day began with going with the family to church and then we had lunch at this rather charming Irish pub, and after that my sister kindly gave me a haircut and then my father and I were off to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Clearly I won't get to writing a review of it today, but I will attempt to sum up everything for the moment. In essence, I thought it was fantastic. I can't really remember much from the book, or rather particular details, but I do recall most of the important chunks. I loved all of the details that they inserted which weren't in the book, although some of the bits pertaining to Radagast the Brown were a little....odd, eccentric and....well not really mainstream, but it didn't take away from the film. There was some over the top action, but nothing too ridiculous considering the world all of this is taking place in. The dwarves, particularly Thorin and Balin were really amazing. Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins was perfect; that's the only way to describe it. All of the returning characters of Saruman (Christopher Lee), Elrond (Hugo Weaving), Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Frodo (Elijah Woods), Older Bilbo (Ian Holm), and Gollum (Andy Serkis) were fantastic of course, and amazing to see back in action despite their somewhat diminished roles. I still think that Guillermo del Toro would have done a better job of shooting the film, in a way that wouldn't have appeared completely similar to Lord of the Rings as Peter Jackson did, which gives it rather the same old same old instead of something fresh. This however, doesn't diminish the film at all though; just a small complaint that is easily overlooked. I personally believe that this Hobbit trilogy has the potential to be far better than the Lord of the Rings trilogy, if not necessarily artistically than definitely much more enjoyable. It seems like it will be like The Fellowship of the Ring for three films, which I think will be fantastic. I could go on and on for a bit about the film, but I think that will suffice for now. I encourage you to see it; it's definitely an excellent flick. For tonight's Christmas film we have Elf. Now I haven't seen this film in it's entirety all at once, but rather most of it here and there. Despite the fact that Will Ferrell is absolutely hysterically humorous, and that James Caan is present, I don't really care or like this terribly trite film. Well a few days until the BIG DAY. God bless and goodnight.

Elf Trailer

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Council scene

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Trailer

Saturday, December 22, 2012

There's Always Time for a Bow.

3 Days Until Christmas!



So I hung out with my nephew for most of the day. I watched as he made snow angels and snow mountains while I stayed huddled in my coat on the concrete in the sun. While I froze for about an hour, my nephew had a blast in the snow. My goodness. I remember that I used to be that energetic when I was young, before I became wise and discovered that snow isn't as fun as warm weather all year round without any ice, snow, slush, or sleet. We then came inside, drank up a healthy amount of hot chocolate and eventually watched the original Walt Disney Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs. You know for an animated film that was released back in 1937 it still looks rather well after all of these years. Didn't get around to editing that short story, but we'll see what happens tomorrow. My father came over and did Christmas presents with us which was awesome! I got a really cool James Dean shirt, and some laffy taffy to name some of the highlights. Then all of us sat down to eat pizza and watch Arthur Christmas, which is not the Christmas film for today. The film for today is actually The Preacher's Wife which stars Whitney Houston, Denzel Washington, and Courtney B. Vance. It's a new take on the old classic The Bishop's Wife, and it's actually well done and very enjoyable. Definitely something that I recommend for the family, or just if you are watching it with your significant other or parents and even friends. Christmas weekend is here, so everyone enjoy yourself, and let's all hope for...world peace. Just kidding.

The Preacher's Wife Trailer

Friday, December 21, 2012

I'm Still Here, What About You?

4 Days Until Christmas!



Well the apocalyptic day has come and gone with no ill effects thus far that I know of. Granted, the United States government seems like it's heading towards an apocalyptic battle, and I'm certain the people of Syria would have a different perspective on this whole Mayan prediction thing, but as an average whole I believe our planet is no worse for wear than we were the other day. I hope that not too many people were disappointed that we didn't all go BANG! Personally I would like to achieve a few more things before I perish. Well the day as a whole wasn't particularly productive, but rather the last part of it was. I just finished writing my own science fiction/apocalyptic story that I have been working on for well over a month now I think, maybe longer. Anyways, I just began writing and kept going and once I got to a certain spot, I just couldn't stop and just kept going and going until I was done. I think I spend the past five hours or so writing, and this time I have something to show for it. I have to go through and edit it before I upload it to my website, and hopefully I will get to it tomorrow, but who knows. Unexpected plans tend to muddy the waters. Getting that short story done is such a relief. Now I can focus my energy and attention on that other project that I am working on, and then I think I may write another fairy tale. Today's Christmas film is Jingle All the Way. I tried to avoid posting this film, but apparently I haven't seen a lot of Christmas films that I can post although I just thought of another one. Anyways. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Rita Wilson, and Jake Lloyd star in this film about a father who forgets his family over the holidays as he is consumed with work, and then has to scramble the day before Christmas to obtain for his son the toy of his dreams. It's......funny I guess, but also really, really stupid. It can at times be great to watch, but then moments when it is really, really painful to watch. I wouldn't recommend it, but I'm sure kids would love it, and it is somewhat tolerable for adults to view as well. Have an excellent Holiday weekend everyone.

Jingle All the Way Trailer

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Let it Snow!

5 More Days Until Christmas!




It was around the early afternoon when it began to snow, and snow, and snow. The wind was blowing, and it was that really wet stuff too; the electricity even flickered once. I had forgotten that this dreadful weather existed. Perhaps I was spoiled and shielded back in San Diego, but it was amazing.....and now I have to live with this for a couple of years. How exciting. I got a bit of writing done today, but the annoying thing is the two things that I am writing about, I am losing interest in them, which isn't good because I've put several hours into them already. There comes a time where a writer has to sit down and write whether he or she wants to or not; I personally don't like doing that, but that is after all how I wrote my first two books. Anyways. Oh yeah, I hope everyone is ready for the end of the world tomorrow. Apparently some sort of cataclysmic catastrophe is supposed to occur, so good luck. Me, I plan on sleeping in and getting some serious writing done...hopefully, and hopefully it doesn't snow anymore. The Christmas film for today is Prancer. Now I haven't seen this film in perhaps over 15 years, but from what I remember it was dramatic and humorous, but also heartwarming in the nauseating kind of way. I can't really say whether or not I recommend it because I recall so very little of it, but from what the poster says it's a fantastic family film, or something like that. Have a great night, and remember to try and not get snowed in...that is if you are near any precipitation.

Prancer trailer

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Closer to Christmas!

6 Days Until Christmas.




I can't say very much about today other then I had irritating, sporadic headaches throughout the entire day. Such a minor plight I know, but it essentially means that I had a very, very, very slow day. The title for the blog I know is lame as well, but hey on a slow day it's hard to come up with something original that is good. Anyways. I did a lot of sitting around and thinking, and watching news clips...not very exciting I suppose. Anyways. My sister and I just finished watching this one show called Strange Addictions. One person was addicted to sleeping with a running hair dryer, eating toilet paper, consuming house cleaning products, and tanning (she looked like a crispy critter). There are a lot of odd people in the world, with a lot of weird habits and severe problems. So today's Christmas film is very trite, dated, and short Benji's Very Own Christmas. From what I can recall, this is the only Benji film I've ever seen. We used to watched it when we visited my grandparents around Christmas time, and it was quite enjoyable. I'm actually watching it now on Hulu as I write this post. It's short, family friendly, and has a unique (albeit dated) take on Santa Claus. So, there you have it.






Benji's Christmas trailer (lame and short, but there you have it. Go to Hulu if you want to see the whole thing).

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

TRACK!!!!

7 Days Until Christmas.




Well today was one of those days. I got a whole lot of nothing done, yet I did get some writing done at least. I've been finding it difficult to focus in writing lately for whatever reason; I think it might have something to do with my lack of consistent schedule. Anyways. My nephew had his Christmas program this past evening and did quite well. The entire children's choir did actually very well, and several of the children really, really got into it. It was surprisingly delightful...minus the screaming, and irritating child that was sitting in front of me and the rest of my family. So today's Christmas film isn't a true Christmas film in that it talks about the topic of the season, but it does have snow and a lot skiing, and it's a Disney film....so I put it up. My family when I was growing up used to watch Snowball Express. It's about a family that moves to Silver Hills, Colorado from the city to run a ski lodge that is apparently supposed to make a lot of money. However, when they arrive there it resembles more of a run down shack than anything else. I certainly give it a thumbs up to watch this season with your family, or just yourself. There you have it. Everyone have a good week.

Star Trek: Into the Darkness latest trailer

Snowball Express clip

Monday, December 17, 2012

800th Post!

8 Days until Christmas.




Yes, another 200 and I get to a thousand. I can't believe I have been doing this for about three years; all of those entries, all of that information. I wonder what will ever happen to all of that after I'm dead? Hmm... A bit morbid to think about I guess, especially around Christmas, but it was just one of those random thoughts. Anyways. My sister, brother in-law and I are currently watching the film Shooter starring Mark Wahlberg, Danny Glover, and Rhona Mitra to name a few. So far it surprisingly seems good, and wouldn't you know it; the hero is using military class weaponry and even hunting guns to protect himself and others. Well, the Christmas film for today is Arthur Christmas, and I have to admit that I really enjoyed that film and highly recommend it despite it being an animated children's film. But it has an excellent cast, and the animation was done fairly well, not to mention the story was pretty good as well. I did my last minute Christmas shopping and did the wrapping as well. Fortunately there weren't any crazy people, or if there were I completely missed them all. It will be a fun Christmas I have a feeling. It's interesting how the topic of gun control seems to be coming up again in the news as there is a civil war going on in Syria, an oppressive regime in Iran out to destroy all of western civilization and Israel, and an aggressive Chinese government that is also ruled in a totalitarian. I figure there are so many more things to be concerned about, but we Americans have to find a way to rationalize horrible events and try to bring order from chaos in a "meaningful" way. There it is. Have a good night everyone.

Shooter Trailer

Sunday, December 16, 2012

May The Odds Be In Your Favor.

9 Days Until Christmas.




Happy Hunger Games! Yeah I know it's Christmas, but tonight I watched The Hunger Games just to see if I still had the same opinion of it as when I first saw it. Surprisingly, I liked it much, much better the second time around. I don't know what it is, but some films don't initially stick on me, and then I see them again and I find that I enjoy them so much more. I liked the characters more, the story, and even the plot. Not sure what made the difference. Anyways. I may have to watch it again before I modify the rating I gave it, but it looks like I may just upgrade it a level. My sister is very excited about the next book being transformed into a film, so we shall see if it remains up to scratch like its predecessor. Today was very unproductive, but I decided that would be the outlay of the day. My watched Home Alone 3 with my nephew, which I found surprisingly humorous and delightful all things considering, and Scarlett Johansson was in it as a very young kid...that was weird and it took me a while to figure out that it was her. Then I just finished watching The Polar Express with my sister and family. Although I only saw about half of the rather trite film, it was enough to get the point across. Visually it was quite stunning, and the music by Alan Silvestri was amazing; one of his better scores in a while. This is my Christmas film for today. Tomorrow, I have writing to do, and hopefully some last minute shopping. Yes I know, I'm cutting it close and will be out there with the rest of the crazy procrastinators as well. Okay, have a great week and very soon it will be Christmas.

"Tracker Jacker" Scene from The Hunger Games

"When Christmas Comes to Town" from The Polar Express

Saturday, December 15, 2012

We're Off to See the Wizard.

10 Days Until Christmas!




So today I actually got a lot done, even though my eyes seemed to be consistently directed at a screen most of the time. I got a lot of writing done, awesomely enough since it is actually a Saturday and I normally don't get much accomplished during the weekend. I also watched The Wizard of Oz and am currently watching The Amazing Spider-Man with my sister and brother in-law, and it's still delightful and also much better than the Tobey Maguire films....aside from James Franco but the new Harry Osborne will be even more awesome.  Anyways. Today's Christmas film is a few short cartoons: Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and Twas' The Night Before Christmas. Now many of these short films still appear on the television every Christmas, and all of them I grew up watching, although Frosty the Snowman was perhaps my favorite of the three. Well I think that's it for tonight. Hope all of you have a lovely weekend, and remember to be nice to those quiet, odd, and withdrawn individuals at work, in the classroom, and in your church group.

Twas' The Night Before Christmas Cartoon

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Red Balloon.

11 Days Until Christmas.



A tragedy occurred today in the state of Connecticut. May God be with those children who survived, and the families of those whose loved ones were stolen from them. After today their lives will never be the same; may all involved grieve and make peace. Now let's put that incident in perspective against the backdrop of the Syrian Civil War, where over 40,000 people have died (mostly civilians, including women and children)....so where is the anger and tears over the murder from the Assad regime, and why isn't President Obama putting all available resources together to remove that man from power? Americans have a tendency to get worked up over little tragedies that happen in their backyard, but when atrocities are committed across the globe, the average American doesn't give a second glance. If it is true that many people in the world hate Americans, or think very little of us, I wonder if there is a connection here between how we view American life versus life elsewhere in the world? Food for thought. So today's Christmas film is Mrs. Santa Claus which stars Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Claus. It's a very trite film, with some lovely musical numbers, and an interesting story set in the early 1900's. It's been a long time since I've seen it, but it was amusing and Christmas like enough to be memorable, particularly one of the songs has stuck with me over the many years. I tried to find film posters for two other films, but I was unable which was quite vexing. Oh well. I actually achieved some writing today thank goodness after such a long dry spell. I'm going to try and get some more done tomorrow, but who knows. Well goodnight everyone, and remember how truly important each family member is; one day they may be right next to you yelling, screaming, or laughing, and the next day you could be looking down at them in a coffin.

It's Only Has to Last Til Christmas song from "Mrs. Claus" (this is the one that's stuck with me over the years).

Blu-ray trailer for Willow (I love this film!)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What Was the First Gift of Christmas...?

12 Days Until Christmas.



....A tie?
So today has been a little bit more productive than usual thank goodness. I finally wrote my review for Lincoln and I of course raved about it, and it is my Oscar favorite to win next year for many categories, but who knows if the Academy will see it similarly. Aside from baking bread (I cheated with a bread machine; it was very delicious) tinkering on the computer for a span, I chatted with my family and hung out with my nephew. There's this show on Netflix called oddities, and tonight there was this person trying to see if her book was bound in human skin, and then this one guy ate a real light bulb. It was so disgusting; who knows if any of this is truly real or is just staged, but one thing is for certain.....there are a lot of odd people out there in the world. Today's Christmas film is The Christmas Box. It's a delightful old mid 90's film about a young family that lives with this old woman whom the wife acts as an assistant to. Maureen O'Hara, Annette O'Toole, and Richard Thomas star in it. It's a neat little Christmas film; very family oriented, and perhaps a little trite, but I grew up watching it when I was in grade school. My mother likes films like this; ones that belonged on the Hallmark Channel. This one wasn't so bad. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it, but honestly it's a far better Christmas flick than many of the ones out there currently. Ciao!

Pacific Rim Trailer (don't know if it will be any good, but Guillermo del Toro directed).

Oblivion Trailer (not sure about this one either; I don't have any expectations at all).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12.12.12

13 Days Until Christmas.



I'm not much for numbers and trying to figure out any significant or mystical meaning behind various combinations and algorithms, but every now and then something with numbers that is cool occurs. As I titled this post, today was the twelfth day, of the twelfth month, in the twelfth year of the 21st century (which if you switch would also be twelve; very fascinating don't you think). Apparently there is all of this talk of doomsday and that all hell is going to be unleashed in about nine days or so. The funny thing about that is, last year I went to work on the very day that something apocalyptic was supposed to happen and I didn't even realize it until someone at work told me; I guess I didn't miss out on much. Well the Christmas film for today is Home Alone. Now I didn't grow up watching this movie, and I didn't see it until maybe a few years or so ago. It was humorous, and of course John Williams' music was the highlight of the entire cinematic experience for me. I think like several Christmas films they tend to be part of growing up experiences for many, and if you didn't see it at a specific age then you are less likely to watch it more than once...if that makes any sense. Like me for example, I love Ernest Saves Christmas which is something straight out of the mid 1990's, and my family for many years made a tradition out of watching it every Christmas Eve. There are many people though that would watch that today and either not get it, nor want to watch because it is so dated. What a tangent that was. Anyways. The week seems to be going well, now let's hope for a good finish. Good luck to you last minute Christmas shoppers.

Home Alone Trailer

"Somewhere in my Memory" by John Williams

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fill In the Clause.

14 Days Until Christmas!



Have you ever noticed how easily time gets away from you? One moment you're prepared to do a day's worth of work, and the next thing you know it's 6pm and you've got nothing accomplished really. It's rather ridiculous. So today's Christmas film is The Santa Clause which stars Tim Allen, and this is certainly the best of the 3 films that Disney made...actually I wouldn't even put the other two on the same level as this film. It's witty, humorous, heart warming, and cool in a nineties way. I love this movie and hopefully I get around to seeing it this Christmas, but I highly recommend it for all ages young and old. So in preparing for The Hobbit films, my sister, brother in-law, and myself watched Fellowship of the Ring. I have to say that when all is said and done, it will be awesome to see how everything, characters, places and all are connected. You know what they will have to adapt into a film one day, is The Children of Hurin which Christopher Tolkien wrote and put together using his uncle's notes and what not. I really like that book, and the characters are powerful, as are the stories in it. J.R.R. Tolkien really knew how to write excellent fantasy in regards to characters, stories, cultures, histories, languages, and music....not so much when it came for dialog, pace, or plot. Oh well, you can't have everything. Speaking of which, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens this week on Friday I think. Wow! I can remember when I saw The Fellowship of the Ring back on December 24th, 2001....a lot has changed since then. Here's to making new and better memories with the newer films.

Latest Man of Steel trailer (it looks....different that's for certain).

The Lone Ranger latest trailer (wow this looks amazing, and very odd at the same time. Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp are amazing.)

Monday, December 10, 2012

In One Month.....!

15 Days Until Christmas.



So one month from today I will reach the big 27! Yep I will be another year older come January 10th. Personally I could care less about aging, but one of the things that annoys me is the fact that I need to wear corrective lenses almost all of the time, either that or squint and give myself a headache. So today was relatively blah, which was kind of like the weather, but far better than yesterday. I didn't get as much accomplished as I wanted to, but I am beginning to accept that as part of my....daily routine for now? Anyways. The Christmas film for today is It's a Wonderful Life. When I was a young kid I actually despised this film because I thought that it was boring, and I really haven't seen it since then, aside from a few snippets here and there. James Stewart is one of the finest American actors ever to grace the screen, especially in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and his performance in this film is no less amazing. Another reason why I like this film/story so much is that in high school I performed in this play as the villain Mr. Potter (of course). That was so much fun, especially since I got to be pushed around in a wheelchair and bark at people, like I was also able to do as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol (that was even more fun). It's a great Christmas classic, and an excellent family film whether it be younger or older individuals. It's a shame good Christmas films aren't made anymore; it's all about romance and stupid humor. Someone needs to make another good drama that revolves around a plot during Christmas....or is that not politically correct anymore here in America? Well, regardless have a lovely weekend. Didn't see anything weighty in the news that was fresh, but Syria is still a mess, and so far no chemical weapons have been unleashed, so keep praying and hoping.

It's A Wonderful Life Trailer


After Earth Trailer (looks...mildly entertaining, but we'll see; not sure about the premise).

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Do Not Contend.


16 More Days Until Christmas!


So I was reading the Tao Te Ching, The Art of War, and The Prince this evening because I was attempting to make meaning out of something and...cope (for lack of a more precise term) when I came across Laozi's little bits of wisdom about not contending. I haven't a clue honestly what the man is really talking about, but from what I can understand of the book's words and from what I can remember from my World Religions' class in college I believe I get a part of the meaning. The more one contends against anything, the more stress  one creates and the more anxiety one possesses. At least I think that is what it at least hints at. That idea, that word stuck out to me because how many of us actually create more problems by fighting against something when we should let it go and let it alone and let time flow as it may. I guess that sounds very "New Age" like, but the basic principle if I understand it correctly is just to go with the flow and don't let much ruffle your feathers, so to speak. Anyways. It was a rather dull day on my part. I think it was the rainy, cold, and cloudy weather that was getting me in the downs, which is odd because it usually has the opposite effect on me. I watched this film starring Freddie Highmore called The Art of Getting By, which is a short Indie film about a young man near high school graduation that has a....well blah perspective on life I guess you could say. The idea is that he just does enough to get by, but even then he isn't very good at it. There's also a love story that is..mildly interesting, but then again that's how I would describe the film in general. It had a great idea for a story, reasonably good characters, and some excellent talent. Yet it didn't come together as well as it could have. Freddie Highmore did very well, but it was obvious that he is an inexperienced actor, but he is getting better. In a few years he should be quite good, just like Daniel Radcliffe. So today's Christmas film is The Nightmare Before Christmas. It was last year I think that I saw this film for the first time, and I have to admit that I loved it aside from a few songs and the fact that it is stop motion animation, which I do not typically prefer, but whenever Tim Burton is involved in a film like that it seems to come out good. Hope that makes sense, not sure if it does to me. Well I hope everyone had a reasonably pleasant weekend, and will have a lovely week, and keep the people of Syria in your thoughts.

The Art of Getting By Trailer

Nightmare Before Christmas Intro

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A More Perfect Union.

17 Days Until Christmas!



I have just been inside the mind of a great political genius, and great man for the past couple hours. At least that is what it seemed like. I saw Lincoln tonight, and all I have to say is WOW. Daniel Day Lewis' performance as President Abraham Lincoln was astounding perfection. Steven Spielberg and his crew crafted another phenomenal film with an amazing cast ranging from Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jared Harris, and James Spader. The Academy would be a bunch of cluesless dunderheads if they did not award Lewis the Oscar for best Actor in a leading role; it was such a fantastic performance. I remember watching the film and listening intently as the actor spoke the words of Lincoln, expressed mannerisms, and other such things and I never once tired of watching and hearing it. I actually wanted more and more; it was that good. The film takes place in 1865, and comes at the tail end of the American Civil War. It primarily focuses on the amendment which bans slavery and what it takes to get that bill through congress. Americans have no royalty, kings or queens, but we have great statesmen of the past like Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and George Washington. These men are national treasures and heroes; most were men I would like to emulate, some were not but rather strove towards a path of greatness nonetheless. Americans should watch more films like this, and study and learn about men morel like Abraham Lincoln, rather than what the Kardashians are up to. So today's Christmas film is White Christmas starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen. Talk about a classic Christmas film, it almost doesn't get better than this one. Between the performances and the music, and also the witty humor what an incredible film this is. Not only for the season, but also year around. I highly suggest watching it if you haven't seen it, and although there are a few musical numbers that I wasn't fond of, overall I thoroughly enjoyed this film. Suggestion of the day....go read a long biography on President Abraham Lincoln. Have an excellent weekend.

Documentary on the real President Lincoln

Star Trek: Into the Darkness Trailer (Looks amazing!)

Hyde Park on Hudson Trailer (looks quite fantastic, with a great cast).

Friday, December 7, 2012

2 Sizes Too Small.

18 Days Until Christmas.


What would Christmas be like without How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and I am referring to the animated version where Boris Karloff provides the voice of the Grinch. Such an amazing story, and of course  Dr. Seuss was a genius unlike any other. He wrote such fantastic books, which many (if not most) were not turned into decent full length features, but at least we will always have the books. So that is my Christmas film for today, but while my sister, brother in-law, nephew and I decorated the Christmas tree we also watched Charlie Brown's Christmas, Small One, and Mickey's Christmas Carol. All excellent classics, and definite childhood favorites of mine. I told my nephew that when I was his age I remember watching Small One; my word how time flies! Well the day wasn't....very interesting, and the news of course is mostly negative so I guess I will leave it at that. I can't get on my soapbox all the time. Well, there it is for now. Have a good weekend everyone.





Small One the short film

Charlie Brown's Christmas "The Meaning Of Christmas"

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Circle of Life.

19 Days Until Christmas.


Well it wasn't much of an interesting day. I made some pumpkin bread and did a whole lot of nothing, so that was fun. And as small as it may seem, not to mention ridiculous, I watched The Lion King  for the first time ever tonight. It wasn't too bad either. Several of the songs were annoying, but then there were those few ones that were awesome! The story was okay, and the voices of Jeremy Irons, Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, and Rowan Atkinson were great. Hans Zimmer did wonderfully on the music, although Alan Menken and Howard Ashman would have done better with the music and lyrics I think. So for today's Christmas film we have The Nativity Story, which stars Keisha Castle-Hughes, Oscar Isaac, and Ciarin Hinds. It wasn't super popular, but I really enjoyed it along with the performances and especially the music by Mychael Danna. It's a fantastic portrayal and adaptation of the real story of what happened back over two thousand years ago. I highly recommend the film on several levels, but rather then go into that, let me just say that it was a remarkable and you should watch it. The situation in Syria continues to escalate, and the West seems to only think that spitting spiteful words at Assad will deter him. Somehow, I do not believe such a man will bow to the wishes of other nations, nations that is that he and the extremist Islamist world fervently hate. Republicans have said that if chemical weapons are unleashed upon the Syrian populace then there will be an armed response, whereas the President and his cabinet along with the rest of the world say that there will be "consequences." China meanwhile believes that only words and negotiation will prevail in Syria, but that's a response to NATO deploying patriot missiles in Turkey, and the fact that they are a totalitarian regime like Syria...so they can't see another like minded fellow go down as what happened in Libya. It should be interesting to see how all of this continues to unfold. Goodnight.


The Nativity Story Trailer

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tree Chopping.

20 Days Until Christmas!



So my sister, brother in-law, nephew and I went to cut down a Christmas tree today. I got to play family photographer, which was fun even though my fingers got quite chilly. We got a lovely tree and it simply beams standing in the living room, but it will glow even more when it is completely decorated. My sister and I also did a little shopping which considering the time of the month, wasn't too bad with people and all. We also watched two things of interesting note. The first thing was a 2 hour special on food, weight loss, and how food in America is engineered for people to become addicted, or rather dependent on it by the manufacturers. It was filled with some fascinating statistics and ideas, and some information that wasn't as good....some of the people on the show were a little too "green" and homeopathic for me. Basically what people should carry away is don't over eat, exercise, and eat plenty of vegetables as close to the original source as you can (juicing is apparently a good thing). The next thing we watching was an episode of the show "Revenge" which stars Emily VanCamp and I have to admit that although it's kind of fluffy, it is positively delicious to watch. Cold, calculating, and well played; so far Miss VanCamp plays her character like a fine violin. We shall what the rest of the season is like. Now I am going to jump topics 360 degrees. I turned to the MSN homepage and the first thing that caught my eye was that Syria is loading chemical weapons in preparation to fire them on their own people. Assad's military is basically waiting for their president to give the word to attack. President Bashar al Assad's regime has the largest stockpile of chemical weapons in the world apparently, which the bulk is made up of cyanide, sarin, and mustard gas; all highly lethal, and a little goes along way. The U.S. President and his cabinet are all words, but so is the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, and the rest of the world doesn't seem to care. I don't know about all of you, but the more I think about the Syrian people being massacred in such a horrible way, the angrier it gets me when the American government is doing nothing about it nor the rest of the world. Oh by the way, not to get partisan here, but Nancy Pelosi (U.S. Congressional Minority Leader) and I believe John Kerry (U.S. Senator & ran for U.S. President) all said that Bashar al Assad was a "reformer." If Assad uses those weapons on the Syrian people and nothing is done to stop him, I have to admit that I will become quite furious. I cannot control or speak for any government in the world but my own, and I am distressed and disgusted by the lack of action by the U.S. government, and I am not pleased with how President Obama has handled the situation, or any other member of his cabinet for that matter. America stands for everyone's freedom and human rights, not just our own. How far we have fallen if we just watch as thousands of people get massacred while we stand with our backs turned and pretend that there was nothing we could do to help. I wonder how that excuse will echo throughout eternity? Alright, I am climbing off of my soapbox, but the people in Syria really need our thoughts and prayers so I urge everyone to pray or whatever that such killing will not occur. Now I am going to try and transition to a happier topic. Christmas films! So for today I am choosing Mickey's Christmas Carol. Of all the versions of this story, the Disney version is what I grew up watching as a kid. Every time that my family would go to my grandparent's house around the holidays, we would watch it. Very delightful memories. I still love that film, and I still will recommend it for forever for everyone to watch. Humor, music, and excellent themes to remember for all seasons and times I love this film and this story and it will forever remain a classic.

Mickey's Christmas Carol Trailer

Revenge Trailer