Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Play on State.

Work has been long but good, although this week flew by like crazy as it only seems like the Oscars were yesterday rather than five days ago. Speaking of the Oscars. I don't know how many of you heard about U.S. Senators Dianne Fienstein, Carl Levin, and John McCain and the ruckus they caused over the controversial methods of torture in Zero Dark Thirty. Well apparently Senator Feinstein (who is chairman of the Senate intelligence committee) was investigating the collaboration that went on between the filmmakers and the CIA, and the resources they had access to. As you may not also be aware of, Zero Dark Thirty was a critical success along with being a relative box office hit, yet it wasn't nominated for many Oscars and only won one, which it tied with along with Skyfall for. I believe, as well as many others, that the callous uproar caused by the Senators is what led to the Academy virtually snubbing the film. Interestingly enough, a day after the Oscars, Ms. Feinstein dropped her investigation and released some sort of statement. Apparently, the left liberals bully the left liberals when they see something they don't like and want something done about it. I suppose it's true on the right as well, but you would expect that kind of behavior, but the Democrats are supposed to be for the disenfranchised and the poor; I don't see where rich, wealthy, powerful Hollywood fits into all of that. Food for thought. Apparently newly minted U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is off to a very shaky start with his new job after he misnamed an Eastern European country, had a poor meeting with his Russian equivalent, and thinks that he can get Bashar al Assad to recuse himself from power. I'm not that impressed, especially for a man who was apparently born for this job what with all of his years of experience in politics and geopolitical affairs. The U.S. government though is talking of giving the Syrian rebels direct aid, although it would be non-military aid: food supplies, first aid and such stuff like that, which I am sure will help them defeat Assad. I can see it now; rebels pelting Assad's forces with cotton balls because they have no bullets, but plenty of stuff to clean up the pools of blood. Hopefully you can see my rather obvious sarcasm. President Obama and his cabinet made a colossally dreadful decision by not assisting the rebels right at the outset of the civil war, and all American politicians are also guilty for not being more vocal about how important American intervention is for removing and eliminating Assad and his regime. The decision of doing nothing will haunt Americans for generations into the future, I guarantee you. I watched a film tonight called State of Play starring Russell Crowe, Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck, Helen Mirren, Jeff Daniels, Robin Wright, Jason Bateman and Viola Davis. It's essentially a political thriller about a reporter that uncovers, slowly, a massive conspiracy involving lots of money, a private security firm, and the death of three people which slowly balloons to more. It was an "Admirable Ability" like performance; nothing bad per se, but nothing really that good either honestly. The characters weren't that compelling and neither was the story, although the plot was quite good. They assembled a mega cast, but didn't use it to it's fullest potential which is disappointing. Ben Affleck did a fine job, as did Ms. McAdams and Mr. Crowe; yet no performance really stood out to me. It was a film that was entertaining and interesting, but not compelling or any really interesting or compelling characters so it's up to you if you want to use your time to watch such a film. The weekend is almost here thank God. Good luck everyone, and good night.

State of Play trailer

Josh Groban "Remember" from Troy

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Face that Launched a 1000 Ships.

And it wasn't my face just to clarify. Bad joke I suppose, sorry. Anyways. Work has been keeping me busy, and it continues to go well. There was a huge snowstorm today; wind was blowing, snow was blowing and people were sliding around. I happened to be one of them on occasion, and when going outside I looked like a snowman as I was covered in snow. It was a rather hilarious sight, and I would have laughed too if I wasn't freezing. I was toying with the idea of writing a couple screenplays tonight, but I didn't really structure my time well enough to accommodate those activities. Hopefully I can motivate myself to write tomorrow because this inordinate amount of time that I spend doing nothing after work is beginning to annoy me. It is similar to when I would work at the psychiatric hospital; all I did was work and watch television and play computer games. I would like to accomplish more than nothing. Anyways. I'm watching Troy with my sister and brother in-law, which of course stars Orlando Bloom, Brad Pitt, Brendan Gleeson, Brian Cox, Peter O'Toole, Eric Bana, Rose Byrne, and Sean Bean (who incidentally does not die). A fantastic cast for a good film, not a great film by Wolfgang Peterson, but good. I don't know how historically accurate the film is as this period of history isn't what I specialize in, but then there is also the story of Troy and Achilles which I know little of. It seems like it works well with what might have been, aside from the obvious British, Scottish, and American accents. I remember when I first saw this film that I didn't like it, but after a few times of viewing it I like it more now. Sometimes first impressions with me where film is concerned aren't always accurate, which is kind of irritating, because that means that my critiquing of films may not fully reflect my true point of view. I apologize for my monotonous yacking; it was a slow day. So have a good week, and watch the Oscars again if you want to. There it is.

Hector vs. Achilles

Troy trailer

Sunday, February 24, 2013

And The Oscar Goes To......

Seth McFarlane! No not really. That man can sing and be remarkably humorous most of the time aside from a few awkward comments and statements, but honestly he did a fairly great job hosting the Academy Awards. I think he may get another stab at it in the future, and who knew that he could sing and dance so well, I certainly didn't; what is a man with such talent stuck in adult cartoons for. Oh well. The awards quickly at a glance yielded a lot of surprises and I was personally shocked on several occasions. As for my predictions, I did horrible. I got 6 out of 24 categories correct, which is absolutely pitiful. Life of Pi won big as did Argo both of which surprised me, but they were pleasant surprises. Good speeches were made by Daniel Day-Lewis, Mychael Danna, Ben Affleck, Ang Lee, and Adele. It was a lovely show with a lot of musical numbers which was awesome, and the celebration of 50 years of James Bond was pretty cool. My sister and I made a bunch of food which was so delicious, and I tried my first martini. It was okay, but alcohol I think just isn't my thing; I will have to stick with sparkling grape juice and do shots of whiskey every now and then. I would love to chat more in depth about everything Oscar, but I have to work tomorrow bright and early in the morning so I am going to can it now. The Oscar show this year was pretty good, even if there was a lace of politics going through it, particularly at the end. One thing is for certain, I really need to see about watching all of these films that get nominated for Best Picture for next year. Good night everyone and have a lovely evening. Oh one last thing, at the beginning with Channing Tatum dancing with whoever he was dancing with, and then Seth McFarlane, Daniel Radcliffe, and Joseph Gordon Levitt dancing and singing, that was a really amazing thing. That should happen more at the Oscars.

Adele's performance of "Skyfall"

Saturday, February 23, 2013

No Mystery.

It was a lovely day off, although not nearly long enough considering that the day after tomorrow I will be returning to a full work week. I'm not so certain how I feel about this five days a week thing like all of the "normal" people in America at least. I do have a job in my field and I am making money, so I will not complain, nor do I really have any reason to. Started looking at places to get so I can once again move out on my own, which I am so excited about! I should do some writing tomorrow, but with the Oscars and some cooking for our little "party" I don't think that I'll get around to it. Our perception of time is annoying. Speaking of the Oscars, our last nomination is tonight and it is Best Original Screenplay: Amour, Django Unchained, Flight, Moonrise Kingdom, and Zero Dark Thirty. Considering that I did not see any of these films, it's very hard to a make a choice one way or the other. I'm going to vote for Zero Dark Thirty because I've been told the writing, character and plot development are amazing, but considering the flak that the film has been receiving (unusually I have to say) from the political liberal wing of the government, I don't know if it will win it. Therefore I will pick Moonrise Kingdom to snatch the Oscar, although that is more of an educated guess than anything. So tonight I watched this one Indie drama called Mysterious Skin starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Brady Corbet. Umm...it's a really intense film just to let you know. It starts out with two young boys that you think have two separate problems, but one boy in particular gets molested by his little league coach and ends up growing up to be a hustler with a whole lot of problems (the story is set in Kansas). This character eventually is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Another boy believes that he was abducted by aliens and presents a lot of fantastic evidence to support this conclusion. Anyways, the film works its way through the boys' lives until it ends with a climax, and as disturbing as it is, I have to admit that it was done quite well. The film is based on a book written by Scott Heim bearing the same title. I don't know if there is any truth to the fictional story or if it is purely just that, but usually stories like that just don't come out of nowhere. It's a hard film to watch, because it deals with some difficult problems people in general in America have difficulty seeing portrayed on film (some with good reason, some without): homosexuality and how it pertains to prostitution and pedophilia. However, with the rise and popularity of Game of Thrones and considering how much incest is in it, perhaps American audiences are warming up to the things once considered deathly taboo for films. Well, despite the fantastic performances of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Brady Corbet, I didn't care much for the film. Granted it was interesting, but not at all what I was expecting. I'm giving it a "Yearning Ability" and if they had gone a few different ways then it could have turned out so much better, but whatever. I wouldn't encourage anyone to see this film unless you have a high tolerance for seeing homosexual acts and...well hints of staged pedophilia (not that I can imagine anyone having a tolerance for that, but I didn't know how else to frame that. Obviously they don't show anything, but quite a bit is eluded to and spoken of.) Well have a goodnight and watch the Oscars if you can, and I shall see how close my predictions are.

Mysterious Skin trailer

Game of Thrones Season 3 Trailer

Friday, February 22, 2013

There Once Was a Man Name Worrell....

I'm not certain how any of you feel about Ernest films, which star Jim Varney, or if you even know who or what it is, but I grew up with these films and this man and I love him and his work. Some of them aren't so good, but my all time favorite is Ernest Rides Again. I think I acquired approximately 15% of my vocabulary and film quotes from that film. I think, aside from Ernest Saves Christmas, this is some of his most hilarious work. Love the film and do recommend it, although it is rather dated as it is from 1993, but it is still quite good. As we wind down and prepare for the Oscars in about a day (Sunday) we move onto one of the last two categories Best Adapted Screenplay: Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Life of Pi, Lincoln, and Silver Linings Playbook. Well, now that we are in my territory you would think that I have more of an opinion, which I would have if I had seen all of the films nominated, but alas it wasn't meant to be so here I am. However, I will say that Lincoln should get the nomination as that was some of the finest dialog I have heard in a very long time on a film, and everything was structured quite well. However, I think that Silver Linings Playbook will snatch the Oscar, which wouldn't necessarily be a horrendous turn of events, but I still think that Tony Kushner's work on Lincoln deserves the Oscar. I have finished my first work week at my new job! So far so good. My co-workers are very nice and helpful and a whole lot of fun, so I think I lucked out with where I got put. Some areas of the job will prove highly challenging, but I have overcome much, so a little bit of......dynamic paperwork won't hurt me. Anyways. There it is. Have an excellent weekend, and I shall enjoy my days off.

Ernest Rides Again Intro

Ernest Rides Again scene/preview

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Almost Done.

It was another lovely day at work, although I was very, very sleepy. Tomorrow though will mark the end of the first work week of the new job, so I've almost made it! I continue to learn a lot from all of my co-workers and other experiences I encounter at work. So I got back from work, did a few things, and then took a nap. So, one of my favorite Oscar nominations is tonight and that is Best Visual Effects: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Life of Pi, The Avengers, Prometheus, and Snow White and the Huntsman. Now unlike the rest of the Oscar categories I have seen all of these films with the exception of Life of Pi. Now Prometheus has excellent cinematography (for which it should have been nominated for) and although The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has some really good visual effects along with The Avengers, but there's something so visually spectacular about Prometheus that I am voting for that one. As for what the Academy will choose, I'm going for Life of Pi because that seems to be the type of film the Academy will pick. Anyways, that's about the whole and size of it. So goodnight everyone.

Libera "Lullaby" (found this music video today and I love it.)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"Having Nothing Builds Character."

....Or at least that is what one of the characters from the film would want you to think. Anyways. Work went well as I got to learn more of the ropes today and get to know my co-workers better; I think I'm beginning to see th: e silver lining in all of the dreadful crap that occurred over the past year. So I watched the film Hairspray with my sister and brother in-law this evening. It was entertaining with some good musical numbers. James Marsden has a surprisingly good voice which I was quite shocked to hear. John Travolta did a fantastic job as Mrs. Turnblad; whoever knew that he could play a woman so well, while also singing and dancing too. Allison Janney had a small, but priceless humorous role. Zac Efron annoyed me, but that's only because the man can only play nauseating roles. Michelle Pfeiffer was a lovely touch as was Christopher Walken. Amanda Bynes could have had a larger role along with Queen Latifah, but life goes on I suppose. Nikki Blonsky who was the star of the show playing Tracy, did a fantastic job with her role with dancing singing and acting. I didn't really care for the film that much, but I'm not a huge fan of modern musicals, but I do like Chicago and Sweeney Todd, but not Hairspray and RENT. Not many of the songs were catchy, the story line needed some help (there was so much potential there), and there was just a gluttonous amount of dancing and romantic triteness. I suppose I will give it an "Admirable Ability" because it was good; I simply didn't like it that much. Modern musicals do not compare to The Music Man, Singing in the Rain, The Sound of Music, or Fiddler on the Roof. With essentially 3 days left before the Oscars we are coming down to the wire with the Oscar nominations, of which tonight we have Best Sound Mixing: Argo, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, and Skyfall. I'm voting for Life of Pi but I believe that the Academy is going to choose Skyfall. In other news, I saw a headline on MSN that stated a large percentage (over 50%) of Americans favor deportation rather than legalizing the approximately 11 million illegal immigrants. American stupidity is perhaps the most fascinating stupidity of all other nations in the world. Why elect individuals who want make illegal immigrants legal, and not elect individuals who want to deport illegal immigrants if that is what you want? So either Americans are really clueless when it comes to politics, or there was some major voting fraud going on during this past election. Just some food for thought, although I am more concerned with what is happening in Northern Africa, Syria and especially North Korea. Nuclear destruction does seem like it would take precedence over petty domestic issues, maybe. Pleasant dreams everyone.

"The Nicest Kids in Town" from Hairspray

Hairspray Trailer

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"Power is Power."

It was another successful day at work, and things are coming quite lovely as I get to know people and get used to the job that I will be doing, although I am still doing training currently. The weather was terrible today though. Ice, snow, slush, and strong winds. My car was frozen shut with ice and snow covering it, and the wind was blowing like an inferno. It has been so long I had forgotten about such things when starting your vehicle, but fortunately I was not the only person at work running behind. Apparently North Korea has threatened to wipe South Korea off the face of the Earth because it feels "threatened" even though they are the ones testing nuclear bombs underground and what not. Hopefully that doesn't happen, but it would be something to have an isolated nuclear war, and the reason it would be isolated it because North Korea doesn't have long range capability thank goodness. Other than that the news is mildly depressing as usual, although I found it interesting that apparently the Chinese military hacked some companies in the United States, yet no action is being taken against that country and the United States continues to borrow money from them to pay American debt. Kind of ironic, isn't it. Game of Thrones Season 2 came out on Blu-ray and DVD today and I watched some if it this evening. It looks much better than how I watched it before on the internet, although many of the story lines are just plain boring; Daenerys Targaryen, Rob Stark and Tyrion Lannister are my favorite and essentially the only story lines I enjoy, although Arya Stark can be quite good, especially when she's around Tywin Lannister. I still think that George R.R. Martin is a bit twisted for as much incest that appears on the show, yet people still love the show. I'm sure I'll get around to finishing season 2, because season 3 begins next month, and that is certain to have more a lot more sex, a lot more gruesome violence, and of course more incest. I don't know why I watch this crap. I hope they finish the show in a few seasons so I can be done with it and move on. Anyways. The Oscar nominations for Best Sound Editing are: Argo, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Skyfall, and Zero Dark Thirty. I would like to see Zero Dark Thirty win it and I'm pretty certain that the Academy will choose that one as it makes the most sense, although Skyfall could upset it all and snag it since the Academy will be celebrating 50 years of James Bond. I can't wait until all of the snow has melted, but for now I suppose I will just freeze. Goodnight and good luck

Preview for Game of Thrones Season 3 (not certain why a full length trailer hasn't come out yet).

Monday, February 18, 2013

Another First Day at Work.

Well I survived. I was exhausted when I got back home, but that might have been because I didn't as much sleep as I would have preferred, and I was a little a stressed out. There was a lot of information to take in, but I'm certain that over the next few days and weeks that I will become a master of my new job. Lots of nice and helpful people, so that will really help make the transition easier. I'm going to do two Oscar nominations tonight beginning with Best Animated Short Film: Adam and Dog, Fresh Guacamole, Head Over Heels, Maggie Simpson in "The Longest Daycare," and Paperman. I honestly do not care about this category or the following one Best Short Film: Asad, Buzkashi Boys, Curfew, Death of a Shadow, and Henry. I'm not going to even suggest which ones I would choose to win and which ones I believe the Academy will choose. I'm really tired and very shortly I will be falling asleep. Now that I'm returning to full time work again, I have a feeling many of my blog entries will be shorter, and I honestly do not know how this new job of mine is going to impact my writing career, or what is even going to happen to my writing once I begin graduate school. There is just so much to do. Have a good week everyone.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The New Job Eve.

"Twas the night before the new job. The stomach was churning, the nerves on fire, and all of the butterflies were wearing rolling skates with rocket packs attached to them.." Not really, but that would have been me five years ago or so; how far I've come since then. Yeah there's still some anxiety and nervousness because it's a new job, but I feel quite confidant, and fortunately I know the gist of what I'm going to do, so I'm not scared or terrified...at least so far. After all, if I allow myself to get so anxious about this experience, all that I'm going to find out by the end of the week was that I stressed out for nothing. This is a really great learning opportunity for me, and I will be able to help some people at the same time; I think it's all going to turn out quite well, so wish me luck and send prayers and positive energy my way. It was a pretty chill day; I thought that I would keep it low key before I begin my new job, just in case my nerves had a change of rhythm. For the Oscars tonight there are the nominations for Best Production Design: Anna Karenina, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, and Lincoln. I've seen two of the films nominated but from what I've seen of the entire group overall I think that Les Miserables is going to win, although I would like to see Anna Karenina sag the Oscar. There's something about all of that sheer elegance that is enticing, versus the grittier, yet lovely design of Les Miserables. I think all of the nominations are deserved, although Lincoln I'm not so certain about. Anyways. Have a great week everyone, and for the first time in my life I will be joining the masses that work from Monday to Friday having the weekends off, if what I understand about my schedule is correct. Ciao!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

When was the Last Time You had Sex?

Can you imagine a total stranger asking you that question? I personally for one cannot put myself in that position for several reasons. However, in Hope Springs starring Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep that is precisely what happens. Steve Carell plays a therapist trying to help the married couple of 31 years rekindle their romance, passion and emotional connection. Tommy Lee Jones' character is none all too thrilled, and Meryl Streep's character as timid and shy as she is (which was odd for me to see her play that kind of character as she tends to be more dominant and strong) really wants to make their marriage what it used to be. And Steve Carell as the therapist does what any therapist in his case would do; nothing more, nothing less, which kind of makes me wonder why they chose him for that role in the first place. Well, the film was boring and slow to say the least. The idea was interesting, but there wasn't anything very appealing for the characters, and the writing wasn't that great either. It was essentially a mediocre film with a great ending, and that's about the whole and small of it. I give a "Yearning Ability" and do not recommend anyone to see it, unless perhaps you're 50-60 years old and you and your spouse would get into that sort of thing. I'm sure most of you heard the rumor that Harrison Ford is going to return to the Star Wars universe to reprise his role of Han Solo, and that Ewan McGregor would also like to reprise his role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in some capacity. I do not know how much validity these rumors have, but I do find it quite interesting that actors and actresses that did not think very highly of the Star Wars films suddenly want to come back and do more. It's amazing what money can do; it's like politics. Politicians are motivated by money, tragedy, and catastrophe. In other news. Best Original Song nominations for the 2013 Academy Awards are: "Before My Time" from Chasing Ice, "Everybody Needs a Best Friend" from Ted, "Pi's Lullaby" from Life of Pi, "Skyfall" from Skyfall, and "Suddenly" from Les Miserables. I personally think that this is a slam dunk for Adele. Skyfall will win it all the way and I will be very surprised if it doesn't; I choose it to win and for the Academy to choose it as well. I went grocery shopping for the first time since the beginning of June of last year, and I don't mean to pick up a few items to get me through the week or a few days, I bought enough food to comfortably last me a while. It's quite a relief to have a full stomach and to not worry about how long I have to stretch food out. I'm one of those people that enjoy grocery shopping because I love cooking and baking so much, it helps me relax and I love cooking for people. It'll be nice to get back to that. Getting closer to the job starting date on Monday, and I'm beginning to get very excited. Knock on wood, my life seems to be turning around for the better once more. Lord Almighty, I hope it continues to go that way for the next decade. I've dealt with enough crap last year to last me quite long enough. Good night and good luck everyone.

Hope Springs trailer

"Skyfall"

"Pi's Lullaby"

"Suddenly"

Friday, February 15, 2013

Asteroids Ahead.

Well if you didn't hear it on the news or see it yourself then here you are. A rather large asteroid passed the Earth within the last 24 hours or so, but separately apparently a small celestial object entered the atmosphere  in Russia causing great damage and wounding many people and causing much damage. From what I understand, the apocalypse is not at hand yet, but I read in a Wall Street Journal report that the chances of Earth being struck by an asteroid in the next hundred years are 30% if I recall correctly, so who knows. I personally am more concerned about solar flares from the sun than asteroids striking the earth; both would be equally devastating but statistically the chances of being hit by an intense solar flare are far more likely, but don't quote me on that. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory would have more accurate information on all of that. It was just another cold day in the Midwestern U.S. with nothing of note really happening. Cemented more travel plans and am bracing myself for Monday when I begin my new job, which I will not spoil this time by writing of it on this blog site or Facebook for that matter. I will not be that person who doesn't learn from past mistakes. For the Oscars we have Best Foreign Language Film: Amour, Kon-Tiki, No, A Royal Affair, and War Witch. The selection this year is very good. I just watched all of the trailers and based on that I would like to see A Royal Affair win the Oscar although I have a feeling that No will win it. The trailers are below so I won't go into much detail but No, A Royal Affair and War Witch I would encourage you to watch, especially War Witch, its not quite what you'd immediately think and looks as if it has the potential to be very good. The three I mentioned will definitely be put on my list of films to watch. Have an excellent weekend everyone and remember your umbrellas, though I don't know of how much use they'd be against asteroids.

Amour trailer

Kon-Tiki trailer

No trailer

A Royal Affair trailer

War Witch trailer

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Preparations for a Vacation.

Since I essentially finalized my plans for my California trip in March a couple days ago, I began to work on the finer details of the trip today. With only so many days and so many people to see, careful planning is a must. I'm hoping that I get to see everyone that I want to, and so far it's looking that way. I just hope that the merger between U.S. Airways and American Airlines doesn't interfere with my flight plans; that would suck. I cannot wait to return to San Diego, I think in so many ways it is truly beginning to become my new home. I'm not sure entirely, but I think that it is the weather, but then again I have so many wonderful friends there as well and two families in which I feel an enduring part of. I do miss it all. By God's good grace, hopefully I shall return, except this time it will be relatively permanent I hope, at least for a decade or so if not more. That is the future though, and I have yet to entirely correct my present situation, although everything seems to finally be heading in the right direction. In other news, I read an article about the new U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talking about the Syrian Civil War and I have to say that I was not impressed with his point of view. He has criticized the Syrian resistance fighters in their resolve to remove Bashar al Assad from power through force, as they rightfully believe that is the only way that he will completely vacate the seat of power, as he believes there are more effectively ways to persuade Assad to recuse himself from the presidency and move to a more democratic form of governance. I believe even Hillary Clinton supported the idea of arming the rebels and having Assad removed from office. I tell you, that woman has probably more balls than any male politician in Washington D.C. A shame she didn't remain as U.S. Secretary of State, but then again perhaps she wanted some rest before running for the U.S. Presidency. In the Oscars day we have Best Original Score: Life of Pi, Lincoln, Argo, Anna Karenina, and Skyfall. All of you know my opinion on this matter thoroughly by now I am certain, however I will summarize. I want Dario Marianelli to win for Anna Karenina and I believe that the Academy will choose Thomas Newman for Skyfall, even though it is a musical travesty that score was even nominated. Howard Shore should have been nominated for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey instead. Oh well. Tonight I watched a film called Jesus Henry Christ. It's a story about a boy who at ten years of age exhibits incredible and uncanny intellectual talents far beyond his age. As for the rest of it....well it's kind of hard to explain. Michael Sheen and Toni Collette star in the film while the young boy, Henry, is played by Jason Spevack. Mr. Sheen and Ms. Collette did fine job, but Jason Spevack made the film endearing and dynamic. In the end I didn't really like the film, although it wasn't bad, it wasn't really that good either which earns it a "Yearning Ability" because there was so much potential for it to be a good film, but it was honestly very weird and kind of nonsensical at times. I don't know if I'd recommend it, but I wouldn't discourage it either; I guess that means I'm on the fence about the film. Hmm...Well then I guess watch the trailer and make up your own mind. Have a good night. Oh and happy valentines day!

Jesus Henry Christ trailer

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Errands.

I can't say that it was rather interesting day. I did get a new cell phone and a new suit for my friend's wedding in March. The cell phone shopping was fine, but the person I got when I was getting my suit acted like he hated life, and he was very lucky that I found a suit that I liked for the right price because I was just about to walk out the door. You would think that if your career and livelihood depended on how customers perceive you, that you would in fact attempt to act and look pleasant instead of appearing quite miserable. Perhaps it comes from living in the middle of nowhere in the U.S. Midwest. I was thinking of writing but then I...umm...I can't even remember what I ended up doing instead. Oh well. For the Oscar nominations tonight we have Best Achievement in Makeup & Hairstyling: Hitchcock, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Adventure, and Les Miserables. Well, I do not really understand why there are only three nominations for this category as I am certain there were more than enough films that adequately fit the description. Obviously I am going to go for The Hobbit for all of the obvious reasons, although I have a feeling that Les Miserables will win it. That's the end of a boorish day, but as the week dies down and Monday of next week approaches the tension begins to mount as I grow closer to when I begin my new job. I'm actually starting to get rather excited about the whole thing. We shall see how quickly I take to it. Have an excellent night.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The State of America.

According to President Barrack Hussein Obama the United States is doing just fine. Depending on the information you possess or the viewpoint you may have this could be right, wrong, or mean absolutely nothing. I watched the entire 1 hour address to the nation and to Congress, and then I also watched Senator Marco Rubio's response to the speech. Both men spoke relatively well, both men are not purely Caucasian White (although the President is more than the Junior Senator from Florida who is ethnically Cuban as both of his parents were immigrants from that country). President Obama is seen as quite liberal, and Senator Rubio as quite conservative. Both have non-traditional American names. The two men are relatively young and well educated, although the Senator is bilingual being fluent in Spanish. The differences and similarities between the two men represent something new and different in the United States, yet also consistent with modern politics. I'm not going to go into their speeches or their points made, but I will make this statement: each economic strata has a certain political party that is loyal to it, save for the middle class that all of the politicians keep yacking about. These individuals make up the largest percentage of the electorate and therefore wield the greatest political power, not the poor and not the wealthy. If somehow the working middle class could galvanize together then they would find themselves in a better position to dictate to Washington what they want. Imagine that; a new political party that completely empathizes with the largest percentage of the country's population, now that's power. Anyways. Both speeches were mildly interesting and although the President's was more illuminating than the Senator's response, I have to admit that there wasn't anything really new about the President's agenda. That's American politics though, and it should be interesting to see what all he can accomplish for the end of his final term. I didn't have too busy of a day, although looking back it kind of felt that way. I went to the doctor's office to get my pre-employment exam which wasn't too bad aside from getting stuck with needles a couple of times, and then coughing and looking the other direction when the doctor....inspected the goods. God bless the people who work in the medical field; I don't think that I could do it, but then people say the same thing to me about the mental health field. I suppose each of us have particular talents for particular fields. For the Oscars tonight there is Best Documentary Short: Inocente, Kings Point, Mondays At Racine, Open Heart, and Redemption. Having just watched the trailers for all of these short documentaries the last three stand out to me. Mondays At Racine is about cancer patients being given dignity by a hair salon which gives free services to cancer patients every third Monday of the month. Open Heart is a little a more touching and enormously more tragic. In Sudan, only a select few, the ones deemed most at risk are given special treatment for heart problems they have. One of the doctors quote a number that about 300,000 people die a year (in either just the Sudan or Africa) alone of just something as simple to fix as strep throat. Watch this trailer if you watch nothing else. Even though Americans endure and have pain and tragedy, what happen over in Africa to well over half of the population is truly more tragic than anything the United States will ever bear. Lastly, is Redemption and this struck me because it's about people in New York City that try to make a living by redeeming cans and bottles for 5 cents each. It's definitely a little trippy to see desperate people argue and fight over garbage. It is perhaps the truest depiction of innate human nature. I think the Academy is going to choose Open Heart and I would choose that as well, and honestly more needs to be done to help those people over there. Well, have an excellent night everyone.

Mondays At Racine trailer

Open Heart trailer

Monday, February 11, 2013

News & Editing.

In other news, Pope Benedict XVI; leader of the Catholic church and head of Vatican City State is going to resign at the end of the month, and a new Pope will be elected. From what I keep reading, there doesn't seem to be any indication why the man is resigning after being Pope for only almost 8 years. I'm sure there is some grand plan going on inside the church leaders' minds, but I highly doubt that they will be sharing it with the world. He's the 265 Pope and he's the first Pope to resign in approximately 500 years. I did just read though that the official word is that he is getting tired and too old to lead anymore, although I wonder why John Paul II didn't do the same thing then when he became so frail. Anyways, Roman Catholic church matters aren't near as....interesting or necessary as they used to be back as they were hundreds of years ago. For the Oscars tonight we have Best Film Editing: Argo, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty. In order to judge accurately one has to see the films, but as that didn't happen for me I'm going to take a stab in the dark. I'm going to go with Argo on this one, but I'm pretty certain that the Academy is going to choose Zero Dark Thirty...it just seems to fir that way. Watched The Descendants tonight, and I have to admit that it is even better the second time around. If you enjoy good performances, good writing, excellent cinematography and George Clooney then you will love this film. So go watch it. I think there were a few other things that I wanted to mention from the news, but I can't recall any of them. I begin my new job next week bright and early in the morning; well, it certainly is going to be a great adventure.

The Descendants scene

The Descendants scene 2

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Once Upon a Midnight Dreary.....

It's a bloody shame I didn't care more about literature back in high school, especially American literature. As I've gotten older, I've grown to enjoy American literature, politics, and even history. Edgar Allen Poe being one of the foremost American writers that I favor. I was about 8 years old when I read stories like The Tell Tale Heart, the Cask of the Amontillado (which was one of my favorites) and The Fall of the House of Usher which always seemed to creep me out, and still does on occasion when I think about it. I was flipping around on Netflix when I saw that the film The Raven starring John Cusack as Edgar Allen Poe. Now, it isn't this amazingly incredible story, but it was done very well. James McTeigue directed it (V For Vendetta) and I enjoy his skill as a director, and although I'm not a huge fan of John Cusack, his portrayal of the American author was quite brilliant I thought, but alas I have no knowledge of Edgar Allen Poe as a man other than this film and his writings, so I haven't a clue how accurate the representation is. Luke Evans, Alice Eve, Brendan Gleeson and Kevin McNally also are in the film and do quite well, even though their characters are rather static. It's essentially a murder mystery of sorts as a psychopath is reenacting some of Poe's works of fiction in a gruesomely, bloody fashion. Poe teams up with the police to try and stop the madman before he goes on killing. It's entertaining and enjoyable, although quite gory at times, and I think I also jumped out of my chair twice so it can get a little creepy. Hence it receives an "Admirable Ability" and I think people would enjoy it for it's pure entertaining value, but I will say that I found John Cusack's performance utterly astounding; I almost forgot that it was him. Watched a little bit of the Grammy's tonight, but found it quite boring. I hadn't really much of a clue who any of the performers were or who were being nominated. Popular music, or past popular music isn't really my thing. Best Documentary Feature is what's up for the Oscars tonight, and yes I haven't an utter clue what any of these are, or I could care less honestly (I do apologize to those who focus on this category though; I would care more if documentaries were more accessible like feature films are). The nominees are: 5 Broken Cameras, The Gatekeepers, How to Survive a Plague, The Invisible War, and Searching for Sugar Man. Well, I just watched all of the trailers and I have to admit that except for the last one all of the documentaries nominated are kind of controversial. I personally want 5 Broken Cameras to win. It's about a Palestinian man who films every day life in the West Bank (I think) using 5 cameras, each of which get broken over the course of filming. I believe the Academy will choose this one as well because of the very nature of its controversy. The Gatekeepers is about an Israeli super secret anti-terrorist organization being interviewed, How to Survive a Plague is about how people fought for AIDs treatment, The Invisible War about rape and abuse to women inside the U.S. military, and Searching for Sugar Man is about discovering who a virtually unknown music artist was before he killed himself. You can Youtube the trailers; very interesting I have to admit. Life is beginning to pick up again; this should be a good week, but next week will certainly be adventurous.

The Raven trailer

The Raven read by Basil Rathbone (skip to 3:00 minute mark to bypass annoying music)

5 Broken Cameras trailer

The Gatekeepers trailer

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Hungry? Why Wait.

So I'm feeling much better now, thank God. I've been busy planning my life for the next few months now that I essentially in all but writing have a job. It does feel great to know that I am getting back on track, and I know that I've said that, but obtaining a job gives me purpose and drive once more, or rather it helps me get back to my purpose and on with the drive....does that make sense? Any who. It was a fairly chill day. I did a lot of reading and finished reading the first book of the Hunger Games trilogy after it taking me far too long. Susanne Collins, the author, did a fantastic job of writing the character of Katniss and the story overall. When I first heard about the series I mistakenly thought that it was similar to the Twilight saga, and I am so far pleasantly delighted that it is not. Katniss isn't a whiny, vacillating, awkward teenager. She's a strong willed, courageous no nonsense kind of girl. Interestingly enough it is her male counterpart that is more sappy than she. When comparing the film and the book, I believe that the film was an excellent adaptation of the book, but both of them are still good in their own right for the various reasons that they are. The film visualizes everything and shows the audience things that the book can't, whereas the book is written in first person present so the reader gets to know what's happening to main character, what she's thinking as the story unfolds (which is very, very tricky to write well). I'm going to wait to read the other books until after I've seen the films, or at least I'm going to try as it always seems to work out better for me that way, that way I go in with no expectations and all anticipation. Definitely recommend the series so far, and I have drastically changed my mind about the film as well then when I originally saw and reviewed it to something far more positive. For the Oscars today we have Best Director: Amour, Beast of the Southern Wild, Life of Pi, Licoln, and Silver Linings Playbook. I think that the Academy is going to choose Silver Linings Playbook because I also believe that particular film is going to win big in most of the categories it is in. I would like to see Steven Spielberg win for Lincoln though, but I don't think that the Academy is going to give him another Oscar, although I could be very mistaken. I've noticed the days are getting a little longer once again, and that February is half over, which means winter will be leaving soon...at least I hope.

Okay, I know this has been out for a while, but I recently discovered it while watching the 
Wii game "Just Dance." It's weird and strange, and mildly disturbing, but very catchy.
Not to mention its a song about the only really famous person born the same day as me;
I don't know if that's a plus or a minus yet though.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Good News At Last!!!


So of course this morning I woke up and my throat sounded like Dracula and felt like the Mummy's. I phone rang and it was the place I interviewed at offering me the position that I interviewed for. I accepted of course and she told me a few more details like pay and health benefits, starting date and so forth and so on. I am relived I guess would be the best way to put it. Come Monday, I will no longer be unemployed, which has lasted since June of last year. Yuck. Hopefully this is the start of things getting back on track with my life, and of the new beginnings really shaping how my future will be really like, which better be for the positive. All of this bad and negative news and crap has been grating on my nerves long enough. For example in the news I read today that President Obama chose to ignore the CIA Director, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State (Hillary Clinton, who I swear would have been a better president), and Chairman of the Joint Chief's-of-Staff not to arm the rebels in Syria. So what is the problem now and with that; the wrong rebels are rising to power, the ones that hate and despise America. I wonder how they came to that realization;? Perhaps, it happened when America helped Libya, but adamantly refused to help them because the White House didn't want to offend Russia, China, or Iran. As obvious by the intense civil war, that logic has not helped the Syrian people. Syria and freedom have been on my talking agenda ever since the Arab Spring occurred, and I have watched both events unfold when they began. If NATO or even the United States had intervened right at the beginning, there would be a different conversation going on right now. Another interesting tidbit of news is how President Obama and his administration have authorized the use of unmanned drone attacks on terrorists in countries around the world, how they justify killing Americans whom they believe are associated with terrorists, and or are an imminent threat. I don't know who makes those decisions, but it kind of makes me a little nervous that some uber spy organization can press a button and kill a number of people. I understand their point of view, but I personally care more about my freedom than my security; I on most occasions can take care of myself and those around me if necessary. If you think about it, most tyrants in history seized ultimate power in the name of national security and several U.S. Presidents have done this from G.W. Bush, Abraham Lincoln, F.D. Roosevelt, and Barrack Obama seems to be increasing his executive powers constantly. Just something to think about. Now, time for something lighter. The Music Man starring Shirley Jones, Robert Preston, Buddy Hacket, and Ronny Howard is a tremendously delightful classic. The music by Meredith Wilson is timeless and the performances are amazing. Some of the things are clearly dated and rather....well, silly looking at times, but I still laugh when I watch it after all of these years, and that is something I desperately need these days. Best Costume Design: Anna Karenina, Les Miserables, Lincoln, Mirror Mirror, and Snow White and the Huntsman. The Oscar for this one is rather difficult as the costumes for most of the films were done quite well. I would like Anna Karenina to win the Oscar, but I think that Les Miserables will win it instead. Either way would be fine with me. Les Miserables has grittier and....well down to earth costumes. Anna Karenina has more elegant, stylish, and beautiful costumes; I have to say that I do prefer the latter more often, although this is once again an area where The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey should have been nominated. Just a quick little something to add. House of Cards is a fantastic show, and I believe it has a bright future with awards and so forth and so on, as does Netflix. Does this herald the end of network television or cable/satellite for that matter? I think so. Imagine what the future of broadcasting is going to look like in just five years; I have a feeling it will shock and surprise all of us. So watch the show. Have a fantastic weekend everyone, and hopefully the influenza virus doesn't get you

"Ya Got Trouble!" from The Music Man

House of Cards scene with Rep. Francis Underwood
(season finale was awesome)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

When Sick, Revenge is Best.

It's been a while since I wrote about being sick or anything like that, but no longer. My immune system finally caved and I am fighting off what is presumably a cold or the flu. Sore throat and some coughing, and a mild temperature, but nothing else as of yet. We shall see what tomorrow holds. I drank a lot, a lot of water, and I watched this show called Revenge which my sister and I watched an episode back in December I believe because we were bored, and then we didn't watch it all again for a long time. I picked it up some time after that because I think that I was bored, and although it is a guilty pleasure with quite a bit of soap opera like fluff, it is a riveting show. I have never seen such hideously evil characters depicted with such precision and horror as this show. It is perhaps the best revenge story I have ever seen to date. Emily VanCamp who plays the title role is spectacular. She had the charm and wit of any socialite, yet possesses the maniacal calculating of a serial killer. Don't dismiss the show simply because it looks like rival rich housewives trying to ruin each other's dinner parties; there is a level of depth to it. Watch it or not, it was very distracting while I was...laying in bed feeling like a wet, sopping met had struck me in the face. Season 2 should be really something when I get around to watching that. We are moving on to the more technical elements of the Oscars now beginning with Best Cinematography: Anna Karenina, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Lincoln, and Skyfall. Now I have seen only Skyfall & Lincoln, although The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey should have been nominated for this category; insipid Academy. Oh well. I would like Life of Pi to win because it is truly visually spectacular from what I've seen in previews and heard of as well. I do however think that the Academy will choose Skyfall merely because it will be celebrated if I understand correctly for some sort of milestone, and it will be given the award because people will believe that James Bond deserves some Oscars after all of these years of being "overlooked" or whatever you want to call it; a political film apology of sorts. The Academy loves to do those. We shall if I am correct, although I would love it if I truly was. Keep waiting and trying for good news on the employment front, but I continue to lose hope and faith. Life just really sucks some time, or most of the time.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Another Hotel Getaway.

"Things always get better in the end, and if they haven't then the end has not yet come."
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a fine film. With a stunning British cast, and a well written screenplay with fascinating stories and characters, it was quite an enjoyable viewing experience. Starring we have...Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, and of course Maggie Smith. As I have said in the past, British actresses and actors are some of the most brilliant quality in the industry. Anyways. The film is about a group of British elderly individuals who go to India (Jaipur) to retire at this supposed golden getaway for the elderly. All of them come from different walks of life, yet when they arrive all of them are in the same boat as they discover that the hotel isn't exactly what they were led to believe it was, yet the adventure continues. There are many interesting and passionate stories that occur, and it goes to show you that even though you are no longer in your prime, doesn't mean that you are useless and ugly, or anything like that. Dev Patel did an amazing job with his character, and I wish I had as much optimism as the character he plays. Tom Wilkinson was great, and of course so was Judi Dench and Bill Nighy. I suppose I don't really have to say how well they did. but it was quite lovely. Maggie Smith had the most dynamic character; you begin hating her and then you change your mind after you find out why. I give the film a "Strong Ability" and I would watch it again, and I also recommend it as well. At times it can be slow going, but it is a drama not an action film. I also love the locales they shot (assuming that it was India where they filmed); I think one day I shall have to travel there. Some interesting news I forgot to mention is that Boba Fett and a young Han Solo are going to get their own stand alone films thanks to Disney's...input. I have no idea where Star Wars will end, but I believe the risk of overdoing and exhausting is potentially quite high. I would rather however like to hear about the live action series that they were developing, that would be something I would like to hear about Disney creating. Moving on from actors and actresses, we have Best Animated Feature: Brave, Frankenweenie, ParaNorman, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, and Wreck-It-Ralph. Now, I have seen most of these films and I would like Brave to win, but I think that ParaNorman is going to snag the award. Why do I think this way? Well, it is simple; if you've seen the film then you know as there is a slight....political statement in it, although its very subtle. It was also quite humorous and funny most of the time when it wasn't being weird or disgusting.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel trailer

Brave

Frankenweenie

ParaNorman

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Wreck-It-Ralph

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

An Echo.


I had a very long day. Unfortunately, I stayed up too late watching House of Cards last night, and didn't sleep that well before I had to go in for part two of my interview, which went quite well. All of my potential co-workers appeared lovely, and the job seems like it could be quite great. Now I just wait and see if they call to employ me or not. After I got back from that I was feeling quite lethargic so I did nothing for a while, and then took a nap or two, and then I posted my political drama Greed & Freedom. Yes it is completed, and hopefully everyone enjoys it. Seven Psychopaths a film starring Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, and Christopher Walken; a little funny, very boring, and honestly I can't think of another word to describe it other than stupid. I found it very similar to a film called In Bruges, which also Colin Farrell stars in. I don't suggest seeing it. Josh Groban's latest album "All That Echoes" was released today. I have heard that it is one of his best ones. I have listened to all of the tracks and it would seem that my most favorite is "Brave" so far, but I'll give it a closer listen tomorrow or sometime this week. For Oscar buzz tonight we have Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams (The Master), Sally Field (Lincoln), Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables), Helen Hunt (The Sessions), Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook). Once again I have only seen Lincoln, but I really believe that Anne Hathaway should receive the Oscar and I really think that the Academy is going to choose her as well. I read somewhere that several critics have claimed that her performance of "I Dreamed a Dream" as being one of the most heartfelt, brilliant performances in a musical film. From what clips I've seen of her in the film, she looks quite brilliant, so I am very confident she will get the Oscar. On the news front, The U.S. Justice Department justifies their stance on killing Americans abroad who have ties to terrorist organizations; very interesting, especially for a very liberal Presidential administration. Richard III of Great Britain, his bones were found and identified after missing for over 500 years; not certain why that is headline news, because who really cares after that long honestly. Well I'm going to get some sleep after I finish another episode of House of Cards; once again, if you have Netflix, you need to watch this series, if you don't then you need to get it.

Amy Adams interview

Sally Field interview

Anne Hathaway interview

Helen Hunt interview

Jacki Weaver interview

Josh Groban "All that Echoes"