Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Time for a Vacation Getaway.

What a busy, yet somehow ridiculously unproductive day...at least in a way. It snowed a lot today, or rather at least for me. Gone is the warm weather and thunderstorms, and now comes the snow storms. Yuck! Oh well. I picked my father up from the airport in Chicago yesterday as he had returned from his most recent trip from Columbia; that was...fun? We then hung out with my uncle and aunt after that for the rest of the day. And you know what, aside from a bunch of silly tolls which rob you of money, driving around Chicago wasn't too bad. In many regards it was like San Diego, although not as nice, and colder of course. So that was yesterday and quite boring, although I suppose today wasn't any better. I do have a job interview tomorrow, so I am hoping that everything works out, but at this point in time I have become such a pessimist, especially at this particular moment. I think a part of my consciousness is attempting to reconfigure my personal and religious philosophy of life. God only knows what will happen with all of that. Anyways. My nephew and sister were watching Hotel Transylvania so I thought I would sit in and watch as I read my newspaper. It was actually quite an ingenious take on all of the classic monster villains in a humorous way that is, which was good surprisingly. For an animated kids film, it was unusually pleasant and not as obnoxious as many kids films are these days sadly enough. I discovered the other night that Lucasfilm, or Disney, or whoever is in charge over there is postponing releasing the remainder of the Star Wars films in
3-D so that they can focus all of their resources on creating Episode VII, and they're uncertain of the 2015 release date as well. I also heard a rumor that the Clone Wars could be discontinued after season 5. After all of these negative...stories, I really hope they have some good news on the horizon aside from another Star Wars film being released. As I get back into reading the news again every day, the more I see that the world is becoming darker and more uncertain, especially as freedoms slip from countries around the world and as central governments grow stronger. Some optimism and actual pleasant news around the world would be a fantastic thing; now all we need is someone, an individual to usher in an era of hop, much like President Ronald Reagan did with the United States. Well, you take care world and I hope this globe of ours becomes a better place for us all.

Hotel Transylvania Trailer


Monday, January 28, 2013

A "Not" For Beginners.

I'm just going to start out with this. Within the past ten minutes I just finished watching the film Beginners. Wow was that one extremely boring, and highly disjointed film. Here I thought it was about an elderly man (Christopher Plummer) who finally embraces being gay in his old age and then as he lives out his repressed dreams he begins to die, and his son is trying to rectify all of this. It turns out that the film is entirely about the son (Ewan McGregor) and how he struggles with romantic relationships, and even personal relationships after his father dies. Christopher Plummer did a fantastic job, although  I wish that there would have been more of him in the film. He deserved the Oscar that he received for his role, but honestly from the film overall I was expecting so much more, and it was just plain boring. I also couldn't figure out most of what was happening in the film as the timeline kept getting switched back and forth, and there would be these odd monologues with a bunch of pictures and what not....and, it just didn't appeal to me at all. So I'm definitely giving this film a "Poor Ability," because yes fellow readers and film goers it was that bad, and that miserably boring; I don't know how many times I was tempted to shut if off and put something more interesting and entertaining on. Anyways, my advice is simple; don't waste your time watching this film. You know the oddest thing is happening right now outside; a thunderstorm in the middle of winter in Illinois. This is complete with torrential rain, thunder, lighting, and lots of wind. Now I may be recently new to the U.S. Midwest, but I think this kind of weather is more suited for San Diego for this time of year. Very weird. I finally concluded my review of all of the film scores nominated for this 2013 Academy Awards. Alexandre Desplat's score for Argo I reviewed today, and it sucked, and I'm being bluntly forward. I don't know why the man received a nomination for this score, because it was just bad. But whatever; Hans Zimmer and Howard Shore got ignored for God knows why, but it's their mistake to make. For the Oscars I hope Dario Marianelli wins for Anna Karenina, although I think Thomas Newman will get it for Skyfall. The rest of the week looks like it should be a promising adventure, so stay tuned to see what happens next!....Or not.

Beginners trailer

"Cleared Iranian Airspace"
by
Alexandre Desplat

Darth Maul vs. Pre Vizsla (Clone Wars latest episode, great fight scene)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Star Wars Episode VII.


It is official now after a few days, or one or whatever it was after the early story was released. J.J. Abrams is going to direct Star Wars Episode VII which is slated for a 2015 release. I honestly do not know how that is possible considering they just got a director and haven't even begun casting yet most likely, but whatever. Before when there wasn't a director I could have cared more or less that there was going to be another Star Wars films, but now that there is a director attached to it at last, I have to admit that I am getting pumped at the notion! I think J.J. Abrams is an excellent choice amidst most of the other possibilities, although I think a relatively unknown director would have worked as well too. Like Joss Whedon as an example; no one really knew who he was until The Avengers came out. know he's much more popular. I'm not suggesting that he should direct the new film though; I think he works better with more...comic book and whimsical things, not that Star Wars isn't whimsical a little. Anyways. They have their director, producers, writer, and apparently a story of sorts hashed out by George Lucas himself, so we shall see how all of the pieces begin to come together, and how helpful or poisonous an association with Walt Disney will make the whole thing, not to mention the absence of the maker (George Lucas) himself; that is perhaps what I am doubtful of the most. I'm also wondering if John Williams will score the music, or if they'll pick Michael Giacchino since he's worked a lot with J.J. Abrams, which wouldn't be a bad thing. I think the two composers' music is very similar, stylistically of course, not per se the sound itself. Hopefully by the time this film comes out I will have a Masters degree in Psychology, hopefully it will be focused on the Industrial-Organizational concentration. Over 2 years to go; I bet it's going to go by really fast. Oh yes, I would like to wish my nephew a very, very happy birthday. He's an awesome kid with an immense amount of energy, and quite a dynamic personality, like a comedian. Hope he has many more to go. Did some writing today on my political drama and it continues to grow ever longer. It's getting better, but still I would really like to end it so I can move on to something else. There's a screenplay that I need to get back to working on, and then a few other things as well with my Warrior's Tale Trilogy, so there's much to do, not as much motivation, yet plenty of time...at the time being of course. Job hunting yielded a potentially good lead, so hopefully it goes in the direction I want it to; being employed. Have an excellent rest of the weekend everyone.

jOBS clip (looks interesting, but I wonder how close it is to the real man?)


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Do You Like Peach?

So as American politics shift and change as President Obama reforms his cabinet, the politics of the world continue to change as well. Britain may leave the EU, Israel's Prime Minister faces a difficult challenge of forming a new government, Iraq's sectarian violence continues to escalate between Shiites and Sunni's, China's economy is showing signs of beginning to slow (although that varies depending on who you speak to), and Africa continues to have violent difficulties aka. Mali, Sudan, Egypt and Uganda. Yet, the average person of the world goes about their business, so the good news is that we all as an average world population will get through all of this. It's great to have the Wall Street Journal back! The cold trend continued her in the U.S. Midwest; most of the day I had a blanket wrapped around me. On the bright side I did get a bit of writing done and did some job hunting, which yielded some potential prospects hopefully, of which I will not write anymore specifics. In my personal opinion, companies have become a little too hyper vigilant about what their employees say about their lives and their work on various social networking sites. There is a fine line between prudence and blazing stupidity which can deserve punitive action, but also people do need a place to release their emotions and thoughts without fear of reciprocity. Not everyone can afford therapy, and not everyone has good friends to talk to so naturally the internet is the perfect place. I suppose the key is to write, or communicate in such a way that nobody knows that it is you. To close up the evening, we watched Monster In-Law which stars Jennifer Lopez, Jane Fonda, and Michael Vartan. It is a romantic comedy which is quite hysterical. Of purely romantic films, I will only typical watch those that are funny; I can't really watch any trite romantic films as they make me year for a of claws to rip my eyes out of my head. It is a funny film and has a relatively good ending; an excellent date film, or just for another night at home. Well I hope that everyone has a good night and a good rest of the week. 

Monster In-Law scene (very funny)

Monster In-Law Trailer

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

That's No Moon, That's Your Mother!!!

I stole that headline from Star Wars Robot Chicken, it was more relevant on Sunday when I watched both of those of things, but I like the title so I kept it despite it's basic irrelevance for today. It has been ridiculously cold here in the Midwest, so much it has been making national headlines, which I could truly do without. Oh well. I finished season 6 of Dexter last night.Wow! Such a fantastic season, and just like season 4, it ended with a cliffhanger, although I do have to say that no other season has ever ended like this before, and from the looks of season 7, things are going to get very dicey for the main character. Do not watch the trailer if you plan on watching the series at all otherwise it will spoil it for you. Michael C. Hall is a fantastic actor, and he is actually has a Master of Fine Arts in Acting I believe; so he actually knows what he is doing. So I've been writing lately, although yesterday was not a peachy day but life goes on, I poured all of that crap into my writing and came up with some pretty good stuff. I'm writing this one fantastical story for a friend about rabbits and unicorns and so far the basis of it is actually quite good. My political drama continues to go well despite how long it is taking me to complete it, but it is getting rather long too, so I'm not quite certain where I'm going to end the story as of yet. As I write and things come to a close organically is when I guess I'll end it; hopefully it doesn't take over a hundred pages to get there. Job hunting sucks, especially when you live in an area that doesn't quite fit your skill set per se. Hopefully though I will find something that resembles something to do with my degree, although I'm not very bright on the certainty of that. Anyways. Tonight we watched this film called The Losers which about these U.S. special forces military guys that get double crossed and are now trying to get revenge on the guy who set them up. Apparently it's based off of a Vertigo comics book series. I'm giving it an "Admirable Ability" rating as it was entertaining, but very little else. Zoe Saldana was in it and did quite well, and I was also quite impressed with Chris Evan's role too. Idris Elba and Jeffery Dean Morgan were also in the film and did quite well, but nothing overly impressive; I guess they're just a nice addition to have in every film. Well here's to progress for tomorrow. Oh and I just read an article in The Wall Street Journal where in stated that in Syria over 60,000 people have died as of yet and there's no sign that the civil war is going to stop, and that the Syrian people, or rather the rebels are slowly beginning to become anti-American since the U.S. government is taking a backseat to the suffering going on in that country. Such a shame. I really hope those people get the freedom they deserve soon, and that the fighting is over quickly as well.

Star Wars Robot Chicken

The Losers Trailer

Dexter season 7 Trailer 
(don't watch unless you want it spoiled, that is if you haven't seen season 6)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hail to the Chief!


So today President Barack Obama was inaugurated today as President of the United States of America for another 4 years. Congratulations to him and his family; I certainly hope that they can make it through another four years, because those first four years were a roller coaster ride. I'm sure it was freezing in Washington D.C. where the ceremony was publicly held, but you couldn't tell from the President, Vice-President, nor any one else present. For the most part, aside from maybe Republicans I suppose, everyone looked and acted rather happy. So here we go another 4 more years of the same president. I'm wondering if he is going to follow most presidents and have an awful second term. That's one of the things that The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents from the History Channel stated about most American presidents concerning their second term of office. Personally, I'm looking forward to the mid-term election, and then the next presidential race; who I wonder will run? Will Biden run for president? That could be fun, not to mention how much more fun the Republicans will have finding a candidate. My money is on Chris Christie or Senator Marco Rubio. Aside from all of the politics, this process of electing a president and then instating him peacefully and with celebration, even with opponents partaking is what American politics is all about (aside from those outliers that want to kill everyone). We respect and admire the democratic process, and hey remember that Congress essentially can do anything (within lawful reason) if the elected majority that is present is strong and  unified enough. Things American Presidents do can always be overturned and changed; nothing but the basic tenets of the U.S. Constitution are set in stone. I may have gone out on a limb there talking about constitutional law, but there it goes. It was bitterly cold today, and apparently it is supposed to feel like NEGATIVE fifteen degrees below zero tomorrow. Ouch! How I miss San Diego. Came back home and put all of my stuff away and got caught up with what is new with me brother in-law and sister. Then we watched Columbiana starring Zoe Saldana, which is an amazing action film. If you like James Bond and aren't a racist or chauvinist then you will find this film highly entertaining. With that said, I hope many nations and their people will one day have the same feeling and ability to elect their leaders as freely as America does.

President Obama getting sworn in for term 2

Columbiana Scene

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Puny god.

What an evening it was. At first I thought that someone was trying to break into the house, and after patrolling the house, I decided that wasn't a possibility and that my imagination and ears were playing tricks on me, not to mention it is a very old house. After I finished watching The Avengers I went into the kitchen to get something, and then the power turned off briefly, and then it turned back on. I thought that it was weird, and then it turned off again and then back on. Just when I was about to go back to the living room, the power went off again and remained off. So there I was in the dark of night, in the dead of winter with no power in the middle of the Wisconsin country. It could have been worse; there could have actually been someone trying to get in the house, so thankfully that was not the case. I fumbled my way to a flashlight, and then I began to round up candles, matches, other flashlights, blankets and plopped myself in the living room and began working on my fantasy trilogy. I had been through this before and figured I had to wait it out; I was only hoping that the electricity was turned back on before the heat inside the house dropped to an uncomfortable level. I was working on names for a while and then that was getting boring, and then I began designing and designating prefixes and suffixes for some Kargonian names, and that was soon boring. I decided to try and find a puzzle or something, and in the process of looking for one the power was restored and now I am writing this. I am so very thankful that life is not constantly like that. God bless those people who braved the blustery, frigid weather to repair the damaged electrical poles. Now. I would like to wish my dearest mother a fantastic happy birthday! She is by far one of the most important women in my life, although I don't always acknowledge it enough. Thank you God for her and everything she has taught me. If you have a mother, and she isn't terribly horrible, you should let her know her thankful you are for her. If she isn't very pleasant, or you don't have one...well...I don't know what else to say except that sucks. I noticed while watching The Avengers that Alan Silvestri's The Avengers Score works better while watching the film than it does standing alone if you were simply to listen to it without the film. Such a shame; so much potential for that film, if he does any future films I hope that he does a far better job, and uses the grand scope bestowed upon him by the Marvel universe. I wrote a review for John Williams' Lincoln Film Score, and honestly Lincoln the film was far more superior than the music. It wasn't bad, but it really came across to me as being quite flat and boring for lack of a better term. John Williams is getting kind of rusty in his age. I wonder if he's going to compose the music for the new Star Wars films?

The Avengers clip with Tony Stark & Loki

Thanos introduced in The Avengers

"The People's House" composed by John Williams

Friday, January 18, 2013

"...Good is a Point of View..."


It was another incredibly cold day, and there was actually a dusting of snow last night. Did I mention that I hate snow? Well it bears worth repeating. Got another good bit of my political drama written. It's actually beginning to shape up really, really well, especially the characters. Complex and gritty so far, the story continues to grow and change on its own. I have a general idea of where I am taking it, but honestly I write and the story just goes where it goes. The advantage with how I am writing this short story is that I came up with some background and did some minor plot and character development before I began writing, and it's amazing how much easier that has made the entire writing process. Aside from watching the Food Network and learning some new cooking methodologies, there was this Josh Groban concert on the Home Shopping Network (HSN) tonight during which he sang live several songs from his new album All That Echoes, which is due out for retail in early February. The song "Brave" was by far my favorite of all that he performed, then there was a song he sang in Spanish "Un Alma Mas" which was incredible, and then "Hollow Talk" were the other ones that he sang that I enjoyed. The other songs that he performed: False Alarms, Falling Slowly, Below the Line, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and I Believe were kind of boring honestly. I can't say that there was anything impressive about these songs. Perhaps they need to grow on me, perhaps they'll sound a lot better on the album versus live (not that he sounded dreadful live, he actually sounded very awesome; it's nice to have people perform who do not lip sync). Who knows, but we'll when it comes out in early February. Earlier in the day, I also finished up the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy with Revenge of the Sith on blu-ray, and it was really something. Now I'm going to try and plow through the Original Trilogy over the next couple of days and see how they look on the new format, not to mention see how all of the additional goodies either enhance or detract from the film watching experience. Influenza has reached epidemic proportions in the United States at last. Over 20 children at least have died from the virus, and many more have been hospitalized with sever symptoms. Perhaps the U.S. Federal government, and executive branch, should be putting more effort into combating illnesses and psychological disease. And by the way, flu season is just getting warmed up. Get plenty of sleep and rest, and please wash, wash, and wash your hands again and again!

Josh Groban sings "Brave"

"The Emperor Get's a Job" (Star Wars classic spoof from a few years back, very funny.)

Red 2 Trailer (looks fantastic).

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Cold Walk.

In the early afternoon I decided to take a walk outside in the frigid Wisconsin country. So I bundled myself up with boots, gloves, coat, scarf, ear protection, and my i-pod and went forth! Well I was doing pretty well; the sun was shining, and the sky was pretty clear. However, there was this increasingly biting wind blowing right into my face, which after a few minutes of walking directly into it, I decided to turn around and walk the other direction. This worked very well until I had decided that I had gone far enough and decided to turn back and return to base. I pulled my scarf up over my face, and just as I did that my i-pod died. The boots I had chosen apparently were too small and a blister of sorts began to form right up against the toes on my right foot. So I with purpose hurried back to the warm interior of the house and relaxed. While I wrote my political drama, I watched Star Wars: Attack of the Clones on blu-ray, and even if you dislike George's approach to the film, I cannot argue with how incredible everything looks and sounds. Granted, I am only a layman when it comes to such cinematic science, but I have seen all of the Star Wars films several times, and I can certainly see the positive differences. I also found a few things here and there that were inserted for the blu-ray edition; one of which was Anakin's mother screaming for him while he was having a nightmare, and other other one that I noticed was how differently the film was cut when Count Dooku escaped. I then looked at some of the blu-ray bonus stuff, and nothing really stuck out, except the menus were done very, very well. Keep in mind that Episode II will come out in 3-D in September of this year and then Episode III in October; should be fun to relive some old memories. Eventually I continued my road through American Presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Franklin Roosevelt (they were cousins I believe). My goodness both of those men were quite the power hungry fiends at times that really took Presidential power to new levels and extremes, although I think it was F.D.R. who took it to it's lowest with Japanese internment camps during WWII, and T.R. to it's highest with the incredible amount of land conservation he enacted. Next up is Truman to Obama. One of the things that I am learning as I discover more about past American Presidents is that although a single President can be powerful and influential, he or she is passing while Congress remains. Interestingly enough, the Presidents who are remembered the most: (up to 1945) Jackson, Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, and F.R. Roosevelt were the ones that really utilized unilateral, centralized executive Presidential, and at times sweeping power completely sidestepping congress. For the record Lincoln and T. Roosevelt were Republicans, while Jackson and F.D. Roosevelt were Democrats, so both parties do it, which is something I find interesting when they both accuse each other of overstepping the bounds of the Presidential office. Today's Washington D.C. politics are no different than they were a hundred years ago, or even further back than that. Those things will never change probably, and that might be for the best ironically. So far, the United States of America has maintained this experiment in democracy for 236 years, so I think we're all doing something right.

Emperor trailer (looks like it could be good)

A brief history of former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Death Comes Unexpectedly!!!


So today I decided to take a small walk in the frigid land of country Wisconsin, and it wasn't as cold, or rather I didn't freeze like I believed I would. I think I shall take a longer walk tomorrow. Growing up as a child my options for film watching or television (when even a possibility) were extremely limited; old Disney films, and old films of any kind were usually what I watched. In my father's vast film collection he had the old Disney film Pollyanna, which I hadn't seen in it's entirety in decades. I actually remember disliking it for the most part as a young boy, but there was always something endearing about the story. Now having seen it as my taste in film, story crafting and life has matured and grown in so many different ways I found the film highly enjoyable. I think it is the only "trite" like film that I have ever seen and liked. Part of the reason why this sappy glad game that the title character, Pollyanna, plays works is because everyone else is either miserable or near hopeless all around her and cast shadows of scrooginess around her beams of abundant joy. I'm not going to go over the plot of the film, but I will say this; one person, no matter age, sex, or social context can change any number of people. I then invest about 4 hours on the History Channel about the Presidents of the United States of America. They went through every president from Washington to McKinley; the next part will being with T. Roosevelt and how he challenges the tycoons from the gilded era. It was so fascinating, mainly because I really want to read a biography on every U.S. President, so this kind of gave me a head start, and a little insight into each one up to about 1900 C.E. One of the fascinating things that I discovered was that even before the year 1900, America had encountered I believe at least 5 great economic slumps or depressions which ruined the country's economy. Yet here we stand today; quite strong. I also didn't know that several of the Presidents after Jackson, and then after Lincoln were essentially quite useless, and merely place mats in politics. Also, for a much beloved American President, Lincoln did a lot of shrewd and dictatorial things with his presidential powers; and people frown about what the current U.S. President has done. Even Jackson and Johnson bucked Congress more than once in huge ways. What an experiment in democracy the United States has been; we are still here though, which is quite a testament to something that lies deep within the core of this country, and I'm not quite certain what it is. Thank God for it though.

Pollyanna Trailer

Scene from Pollyanna (I love this scene; it was a great inside joke with my sisters and I growing up)

All that Echoes Trailer for Josh Groban's latest album

Latest Clone Wars episode preview (looks pretty good).

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Mind if I Cut In.....?

I actually had a fairly productive day, which is something of a moderate surprise I suppose considering the circumstances. First and foremost I did a review of Dario Marianelli's score for Anna Karenina, which I have to say is absolutely astounding and beautiful. I liked it much more than Mychael Danna's Life of Pi, although both are really good and certainly deserve that Oscar nomination. 3 down 2 left to review. During that I was also doing some technical work on my website, during which I created a page for Mychael Danna on my website as well. Then I did some more writing for a couple of hours on my political drama which was nice, and it continues to shape up well, although it isn't really for children or anyone under seventeen I would venture. Definitely shows a darker side to politics and exposes the grittiness of reality. What can I say. I'm not much of a trite writer anymore, or rather my aim is not to be. I then finally got to the main event of the day; "Chopped." For those of you unaware, "Chopped" is a cable show on the Food Network about chefs that come in from across the nation to compete in a kitchen to try and make a superior dish with mystery ingredients and a limited amount of time. The goal is to be the last chef standing to claim the prize of $10,000 and the notoriety that goes with it. Not only do you get to learn how to cook (because the judges are experienced professional chefs that really know what they are doing) but you also get hear and see about different ingredients that don't always appear in your average grocery store. It's a very fascinating and engaging show, although 3 hours of it was enough for me. I decided to test my father's home theater system with The Dark Knight Rises, and I have to say that it didn't disappoint. Although towards the end, the sound seemed a little muffled, which I had noticed would happen on my set and surround sound as well. Kind of weird. The film is still amazing though, and the music by Hans Zimmer remained amazing. I still think he deserved an Oscar nomination for his work, more so than Thomas Newman for Skyfall. Anyways. The end of the day, and the middle of the week; so far so good, but let's see if I can make it better.

"Overture" by Dario Marianelli

"Mind if I Cut In" by Hans Zimmer

Monday, January 14, 2013

Every King has his Reign, and then Dies....

I can't really say too much for the day. I drove up to my father's house, who is living it up in Columbia on vacation for a lengthy period of time, and was checking up on some things and to do some relaxing and writing. I cannot believe that I ever used to drive in the Wisconsin country all of the time; no wonder my mother told me I drove like a grandpa. Aside from it being rather chilly, it isn't too bad, and it's nice and quiet out here in the country. Another wonderful thing about my father's residence is that he has a rather large and lovely television set with an extraordinary surround sound, so I decided to watch something that was equally up to the challenge with such a setup; Prometheus. Between the visuals and the sound, it was an amazing film going experience. That's the thing with epic science fiction and fantasy films; unless you see them on a rather large screen with great surround sound, you will never experience the fully range of...fun I guess, then if you simply watched it on a tiny set with basic sound. I enjoy an immersive experience.I still love the film; but it's beauty truly lies in its cinematography, which really should have gotten an Academy Award nomination; bunch of fatheaded prigs. The music for the film composed by Marc Streitenfeld (Prometheus Film Score Review) works a whole better with the film than it does if you were to simply listen to it separately, but I suppose you can't have everything. I can't wait for Ridley Scott to make the sequel! I actually now want to really see the original Alien film and see how well the two films connect. Tomorrow we'll see if the countryside affords me more likelihood to write more, of if that is just an uncommon myth for writers, or rather just for me.

Ridley Scott on Prometheus

"Life" composed by Marc Streitenfeld

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Golden Night.


It was a fairly lovely and somewhat productive day. I wanted to get some more of my political drama written, but I was only able to manage a film score review of Life of Pi by Mychael Danna, who incidentally won the Golden Globe for best Original Score tonight. This music is literally beautiful; enchanting might be the correct word for it. It has an Indian flair which gives it such a richness and depth of quality and sound; I definitely recommend this score for film score enthusiasts and also for individuals who simply enjoy fine music. I'm going to attempt to review all of the scores that received an Oscar nomination before the Awards show takes place; we'll see how far I get. As I mentioned above the Golden Globes were this evening and it was actually a relatively good show. The hosts included Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who mostly did a fantastic job of making people laugh and keeping the air light when it needed to be. Daniel Day-Lewis won Best Actor for Lincoln, which was a slight surprise since I am anticipating him on winning the Oscar for the same category. Ben Affleck won big with Argo, which also acquired a few awards as well. Hugh Jackman won Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for Les Miserables which was awesome. Adele won for Best Song in Skyfall. And Anne Hathaway won Best Supporting Actress in a Musical or Comedy for Les Miserables. Those were some of the highlights of the evening, but I hope that the Oscars go more in my favor of who I would like to see win. So a day of film and music; not too bad. Usually I cannot stand the Golden Globes because they tend to be more obnoxious and openly political with their biases, but this year wasn't too bad.

"Pi's Lullaby" from Life of Pi composed by Mychael Danna

70th Golden Globes Opening Monologue (quite hilarious)

Ben Affleck accepting for Best Director

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Too Slow.

Happy birthday to my good friend Marcos! Great friend, very funny, and has a....unique perspective on politics and religion. He's awesome, and I wish him all of the best. It was another slow day in the world of writing. The weather continues to get colder here in the Midwest, and I keep thinking of how much I miss San Diego, and then I hear that it is getting quite cold over there as well. I still miss it though. Oh, I'm not into football much, but from what I understand the San Francisco 49ers are to congratulated over their victory against the Green Bay Packers. I could care less about American football, but I really dislike the Packers; it comes from growing up around people who worship the ground that sports institution walks on constantly. Anyways. I watched this film tonight called Young Adult starring mainly Charlize Theron, which is essentially the only reason why I watched it. Patrick Wilson and Patton Oswalt are also in the film, and have excellent performances in their own right, but Ms. Theron is who you want to see. She plays an older woman going through a psychological crisis after receiving a picture of her ex-boyfriend's (from high school) newborn baby. She then returns to her old hometown with the mission to break up this man from his happy marriage, to leave his family and come live with her in the city. Wow. She plays such a cold, reckless, mean husband stealing whore, and she does it very well and efficiently. There are a few humorous moments scattered throughout the film which can get good laughs, but not more often. Umm.....I wouldn't recommend this film, because it is kind of boring, and I really don't care for watching that kind of thing unless there are really good acting performances going on, and there really weren't. Playing a drunken whore with some finesse does take work, but not that much. Therefore, "Yearning Ability," but it isn't all bad, otherwise it would have gotten the lowest mark. On that note. Everyone enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Young Adult trailer

Friday, January 11, 2013

Marginal.

It was a lovely day aside from the gloomy and cool weather. I'm watching bits of the news right now and I just found out that there is a influenza epidemic of sorts in the United States, as it arrived early. According to the CDC (Centers of Disease Control) 7.3% of all deaths last week were caused by the flu. Interesting and a bit ridiculous isn't it; to die of something as common as a mere cold. If you know anything about Indian and Pakistani current events and history then you will know that the hotly contested region of Kashmir has been a matter that the two countries have been fighting about for decades. The action just heated up over the past few days, and I also just learned that China also claims the territory, much like does with the islands in the South China Sea that Japan also claims. Kind of crazy isn't it, what people will do for land, or rather their egos. The Syrian Rebels seem to continue to make ground slowly, as the world begins to creepingly galvanize behind them at long last. Who knows though at this point what will really happen, but I'm still cheering for the rebels and all of those that long for equal freedom and liberties. Yeah I know that's a lot of news, but what can I say....it was a very slow day for me. So I finally got around to watching a film called Margin Call. It has been high on my list of films to watch for a long time, mainly because of the stellar cast that is in it. Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Stanley Tucci, Paul Bettany, Zachary Quinto, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, and Penn Badgley. It is a performance based film, so don't think that you're going to watch it and get an epic plot and story that has you weeping or biting your nails. Basically it is about a company that manages its looming disaster financially in conjunction with the 2008 financial crisis, and how all of that goes down. It isn't pretty, and the ending is weak, but I have to say that the performances by Jeremy Irons, Paul Bettany, and Kevin Spacey make it all worth it. Those three men made the film, while the rest of the people I named increased the awesome factor of those three men. It's a little slow, but yeah, I would definitely watch it again. And if you are the type of person that enjoys excellent character driven films then you will certainly like this as well. I'm giving it an "Admirable Ability." It could have been a whole lot better with a much more satisfying ending. Have an excellent weekend everyone.

Margin Call Trailer

Margin Call Scene with Jeremy Irons & Kevin Spacey

Thursday, January 10, 2013

27 Years Ago.....


About twenty-seven years ago at 11pm another human being joined the fight for life. In a nutshell, it's my birthday today, or rather in the next eight minutes (when I am currently writing this). I celebrated with cheesecake, tacos, coke, family, and The Big Bang Theory. I don't feel any older per se, but I did experience a moment when I thought, "whoa, I can't believe that I am 27 today," but other than that there was no difference. So yeah, happy birthday to me. I actually just did a little bit of searching, and the only really famous person born today was Grigori Rasputin; yes he was the villainous adviser to Tsar Nicholas II who was castrated and dragged through the streets by horses or something like that. Nice little birthday anecdote. In other news. The Academy of Motions Pictures and Sciences (or something like that) released the Oscar nominations today. The film Lincoln leads with 12 nominations, Life of Pi with 11, Les Miserables and Silver Lining Playbook each received 8, Argo received 7, and Zero Dark Thirty, Amour, Skyfall, and Django Unchained each received 5 nominations. Those were the lead films, although there are others scattered here and there in different categories. I was actually surprised to see that The Hobbit only acquire two nominations, one of which was not a Best Original Score for Howard Shore's work which shocked me. Ironically, Skyfall, which I gave a scathing review for Thomas Newman's work, received a nomination. God know's why. The people who nominate for that category clearly haven't a clue what well constructed film scores should sound like. Oh well. I was also shocked that Prometheus didn't get a nomination for Best Cinematography, which it clearly should have. Daniel Day Lewis should get the Oscar for Best Actor for his work in Lincoln, but I'm not so certain about John Williams work for the music. Who knows. Last year, my predictions were mostly off and so were the ones that I wanted to win unfortunately. Moving on. Got some writing done today, which was awesome; my political drama is moving along quite well, and I think I can see my writing continuing to improve the more I continue to write and challenge myself. Well I am going to finish the night off with more of Dexter season 6 and then get some shut-eye. Ciao!

ABC News Oscar Preview

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Something to Dredd?

It's been a slow couple of days. I would like to wish my good friend, David, a happy birthday and all the best wishes in the world. I have a lot of family and close friends who have birthdays in January. I used to love how cold it got in January back when I was a kid, and then I moved to San Diego, and then I moved back to Illinois and I found out that I dislike how cold it gets in January. All of the great occasions to celebrate though make the cold factor moot, since I cannot come up with a better word/descriptor at the moment. So anyways. I didn't do much today aside from a bit of writing and hang out with my family, which is quite priceless. I actually just finished watching the film Dredd starring Karl Urban as Judge Dredd and Lena Headey as the villain Ma-Ma. I never saw the original film made years ago, but this one has to be better. The action was intense; there was a lot of gore and death. Karl Urban was remarkable as he is in fact a remarkably talented actor. Lena Headey (who also plays Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones) was brutally effective as the villain, although I was expecting more especially towards the end of the film. It was entertaining and well done, although my sister and brother in-law said that it was pretty cool in 3-D back when they saw it in the theatre. It was actually rather short for the type of film (futuristic science fiction) it was, but it worked out. I'm giving it an "Admirable Ability," because it was good, but not great. Entertaining sure, but that's about it. They had some opportunity to add depth to the storyline at multiple occasions, but chose the vein of pure action, which is fine, but it just lacked that extra dimension. If you watch this film be prepared for quite a bit of blood and gore, although not as much gore just lots of blood; think Dexter unhinged in the future. On that note, have a pleasant night.

Dredd Trailer

Karl Urban on Judge Dredd's uniform/equipment

Sunday, January 6, 2013

It Ain't San Diego!

It was just one of those days. I didn't get any writing done, which honestly after going pretty intense with it the past few days or so I think I needed a sort of mental break. I started reading The Hunger Games book by Suzanne Collins, and so far it isn't really that bad, or as bad as I thought it could be. I was rather surprised when I noticed she was writing in the first person, which isn't something you see in books very often. This is for good reason as it can be rather tricky to write, and can come dreadful if not done well, at least that is my experience in writing and reading such kinds of stories. My sister told me that the second book Catching Fire is amazing, so we shall see. Feeling like I needed some fresh air, I grabbed my brand new winter coat, my scarf, gloves, and that headband thing for my ears put my shoes on and took a walk. Granted it was about 8:30pm, so I knew it was cold but I felt I was bundled up enough to weather anything. However, I did not take into account my feet, specifically my toes. After going a short distance I felt them distinctly begin to become....stiff, and also rather cold. Apparently my shoes were not designed for near subzero temperatures. I finished my walk as quickly as I could (tried to keep the blood flowing well), which meant I was unable to enjoy the frigid, icy air, and got back into the warm house and drank some hot tea. I definitely do not think that snow and me will ever get along again as weather companions. So I was about to turn in for the night when my sister and brother in-law flipped on this film called Bernie starring Jack Black as this gentleman from the eastern Texas who is kind of like a good, free spirited Samaritan that is also an assistant funeral director, and a very good one at that. He seems like the most perfect and good natured person ever, so what is this film about you may just be wondering. I have absolutely no clue how to sum it up. Most of the time is spent where you as the audience watching people get interviewed about the character Bernie, all of whom live in this small Texan town. Honestly, you have to watch this film to see what it's all about. I as of right now am not entirely certain what to think of it, but I wouldn't mind watching it again that's for certain. It's dramatic and dryly humorous, but I do have to say that Jack Black's performance of Bernie, this real life character (because this film is based on a recent true life story) was magnificent. I usually detest the films that this man does, but this wasn't too bad. It's certainly makes for an interesting way to pass the time, especially if you used to be a Baptist....if you were one and watch the film, then you will exactly what I am referring to. Have a great week everyone.

Bernie Trailer

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Clone Mile Marker.


I would like to first and foremost wish my good friend Jeremy a very happy and fantastic birthday! He's a great guy, and I only wish that we lived closer so I could celebrate with him. Many happy returns my friend! Well today was actually quite productive despite me literally sitting around and doing nothing but gazing at the ceiling and listening to music. I began writing my political drama short story, and got fairly far with it which was a pleasant surprise. The awesome thing was that it was really easy to write, especially when I got into the swing of things. I have a feeling that it is going to be a lot of fun, though it may take me some time to get it finished, but that may depend on how distracted I allow myself to become. Even though I haven't seen it, today marks the release of the 100th episode of The Clone Wars animated television show. It's something to imagine that the show has been around since 2008, when I graduated from college, and the show has really come a long way since it's inception and big screen debut. It's a fantastic kid's show that adults can enjoy as well. I've continued my trek into Dexter season 6 and so far I like what I've seen thus far, some very...pleasant surprises. He's really growing to become quite a complex character, especially since he's a psychotic serial killer. Wow what a transition; from a kids animated show, to a show which the main character/hero is a serial killer; what an interesting society we are becoming. Oh, here's another quote from The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli:

"I conclude, therefore that, fortune being changeful and mankind steadfast in their ways, so long as  the two are in agreement men are successful, but unsuccessful when they fall out. For my part I consider that it is better to be adventurous than cautious, because fortune is a woman, and if you wish to keep her under it is necessary to beat and ill-use her; and it is seen that she allows herself to be mastered by the adventurous rather than by those who go to work more coldly. She is, therefore, always, woman-like, a lover of young men, because they are less cautious, more violent, and with more audacity command her."

Now, obviously it doesn't portray women in the most positive of light by any means, and I disagree with his usage, however I cannot argue with the result. The man wasn't one for moral arguments, but rather those arguments and positions that allowed one to maintain control over whatever they wished. I personally like his statement about adventure versus caution, and in most cases agree with him. There you have it though. I leave you with that little bite of "wisdom" and hope that a lovely weekend does not entirely elude you.

A highlight reel celebrating 100 episodes from The Clone Wars

Friday, January 4, 2013

Busy Once More.

It's been a long while since I spent hours and hours doing nothing but writing, and it's actually kind of nice getting back into that....routine or habit. I am now at the point where I can begin writing my political drama after all of the pre-writing that I was doing today. I actually wanted to get on to something else, but that didn't end up happening. You see, before I began writing my political drama I needed to assemble my cast of characters which included a U.S. President and his cabinet, the leadership of all parties in the House and the Senate, and I also created my very own new political party. That of course came with creating philosophy and so forth and so on, and I also mapped out where all of the U.S. Senators came from. I thought about doing the same for the House, but 430 individuals to place seemed a little too intense for as little as I would be using them for a short story. I even got the idea nailed down, so if I play my cards correctly I should have a pretty compelling yet interesting story. I felt like watching something new today, so I finally popped in Earthsea so I could find out how the two part series compared to the books. Truth be told, I think the books are better than the first part so far, and I don't even know if I could stomach watching the second part of the series. How horribly adapted, how terribly brought to film, and how miserably acted and written it was. It was just plain wasteful of time, money, effort....but at least the source material wasn't near and dear to me so that's a plus if there could be found one. I do not recommend this series for anyone, nor do I recommend the books still; boring, confusing, and too short is some of what comes to mind when I recall the pages of Ursula le Guin's so called beloved fantasy masterpiece. Anyways. Hopefully I'll pen a huge chunk of that political drama tomorrow. Have a pleasant weekend everyone.

Earthsea Trailer

Thursday, January 3, 2013

113.


If I understood everything that transpired correctly, today marks the day that the 113th U.S. Congress was sworn in along with all of the other people who are in charge and so on and so forth. We'll see if this congress can do less pointless debating, and focus on attempting to reach more common ground, or more stable compromise. I kept myself busy by doing a lot of writing actually, although no actual story words were actually penned, but I did an enormous amount of pre-writing and background for my new short story, which will be a political thriller/drama. I'm going to focus in on a particular function and moment in U.S. politics (that I fictitiously create) and then explore how the characters use that moment to further their own ambitions, and destroy their opponents. It should be quite fun as I am adding a new dimension to it, in a way. I also wrote a film score review for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which was composed by Howard Shore. I have to admit that when it comes time to composing grand, dynamic, and beautiful music this man always seems to deliver the goods...at least when it comes to The Lord of the Rings universe. Outside of that he's really hit and miss. Tolkien's work though keeps him solid, which apparently it is his 121st birthday today. He was born January 3rd, 1892. I hope he's enjoying his afterlife, because after writing such a grand opus (as one of the many great things he did) he deserves it. That sucked up most of my day, writing that is. Perhaps I'll get around to penning something tomorrow, but I might be preoccupied with job hunting. Yes it is time to get back to a full time paying job and moving on with life. Well the new year is so far so good for me on my end, as I hope it is for most of everyone in the world. For those of you which life sucks, I can give no consolation but hang in there and hope that it gets better and then trust that it will, and then if you can do what Yoda suggests; "let go of everything, you fear to lose."

Song of the Lonely Mountain

Howard Shore on composing music for The Hobbit

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

"He's Ridiculous!"

It was a fairly productive and busy day, although I didn't get as much writing done as I would have liked to. I ran quite a few errands and finally purchased a winter coat. I went to The Burlington Coat Factory and I have to admit that there were quite a few coats. I spent probably almost an hour looking for one, by which point I had zapped myself via static electricity several times; very annoying in cold and dry weather. Forgot how much of a health hazard it was. I spent almost 2 hours developing names for my expanded history for my fantasy trilogy, which you'd think wouldn't be terribly difficult but when you have to come up with all essentially new and different names numbering about oh....well over 500, it becomes rather taxing. I think though I am going to find some way to cheat and make it easier on my imagination, either that or I am going to have some really, really weird names. I watched Pride and Prejudice this evening. Such a fantastic film starring Keira Knightley, Donald Sutherland, Mathew Macfayden, Rosamund Pike, Simon Woods, Tom Hollander, Judi Dench, Tamzin Merchant, and Rupert Friend. A truly remarkable British cast. I haven't seen the many different versions, but I have to say that this film is delightful beyond words. It makes such great use and theatrical practicality of the English language that it sounds more....rhythmic versus simple speaking. I was thinking that I would post another quote from The Prince, but perhaps another night; don't want to overdo a classic, if that is possible. Here is some very terrible and tragic news, which no one seems to be really making a big deal about oddly. The United Nations reports that over 60,000 people have died in the Syrian Civil War as of late, and there is no sign that the conflict is nearing an end. I actually just finished watching a news report where a local suburb was attacked killing over 30 people. There was quite a bit of blood and severely bloodied people. The western powers still haven't done anything, so I wouldn't be surprised that when the dust settles in Syria that its occupants will despise Europe and the United States more than ever because we sat on our hands and did nothing while thousands were slaughtered mercilessly. Not a very pleasant reality, but a true one nonetheless. Keep those people in your thoughts still, and hope that the conflict will end soon, and true peace and freedom restored.

Pride & Prejudice Clip 1

Pride & Prejudice Clip 2