Saturday, June 29, 2013

"I See Blood....."

I don't know about the rest of you, but I had a ridiculously busy week. It wasn't all work, but between that and other personal things going on, the week zoomed by like crazy. This week has also been a busy week for the American judicial system, and political system as well. The world has remained pretty much the same as it has been going so far in the past couple of weeks. I had a very.....thrilling/interesting experience at work that I wish I could share, but the past has taught me to say very little, if nothing at all about what I do at my job. Which is a real shame because this story is something that happens only in movies and television, yet there I was right in the middle of something quite surreal. I have been going through the edits of Book II like a madman, although it was difficult oftentimes this week to sit down and go through the pages and look things over with a fine tooth comb, but it will be worth it in the end when I am completed. Interestingly enough, I moved from watching The Bible series to watching season 7 of Dexter. I just finished watching the second disc and all I have to say is wow! The individuals who write for this show are highly talented, and this show has some of the finest writing I have seen for a television show. This show has some of the best twists and plot turns I have ever seen, with the exception perhaps of 24 (which my brother in-law would be delighted to hear). I love how the characters are continuing to develop,change and grow. The new characters and story lines remain fresh, dynamic and compelling. Obviously there is, of course, the fact that the hero of the story is a serial killer, and a lot of bad things (lots, and lots of people die, but they do tend to be evil)  happen in this series (but not like Game of Thrones), but I really, really do enjoy it and find it very escapist like for me. If you enjoy excellent drama and can manage death, blood, heavy violence, foul language, nudity and sex then you will find this show inescapably engaging as I have found it. I will soon finish season 7 and then I will wait for season 8. So far I have remained blissfully ignorant of what has happened, or what will, so I'm hoping that I can keep it that way. As I sit here typing, I'm suddenly struck by the fact that Saturday is almost over which means that the weekend will soon be coming to an end. I do only though have a four day work week next week, which I am very excited about. I have to begin planning my vacation soon. Well have a lovely weekend everyone.

Dexter Season 7 Trailer


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Some Shock.

I just came across the most fascinating article just on my way to write this post; women in Syria joining the rebel forces against the Assad regime, because "they can't succeed without us" and the woman is holding onto a big old gun, so I believe her, and she apparently also used to work at beauty salon. Well that's something that didn't really happen during the American Revolutionary War. In other news. Edward Snowden has left Hong Kong for Ecuador via Moscow; apparently the Hong Kong government stated that the U.S. criteria didn't match up for extradition. There's a lot of criticism for what this man did (who's around my age interestingly enough), but then there's also a good bit of positive talk about what he did. Perhaps he's not a hero, which I don't believe was his intention, and he's certainly a very shrewd man, but I don't believe that he's a traitor. He said something to say and share with his fellow Americans and it cost him everything, and now is life is changed forever. I think it took a lot of courage for him to do what he did, and I wish more Americans would become angry that their own government is spying on them so calculatingly. There it is. Well, this is the last full week of June; a week from tomorrow is July 1st. 2013 is essentially half over. It's seems like it's been a long while, but at the same time it has gone by so fast. Before all of us know it, 2014 will have come and gone. I was feeling adventurous, so I decided to watch a film called Bottle Shock, which has a very good cast. From Chris Pine, Alan Rickman, Bill Pullman, Rachael Taylor, Dennis Farina, and a surprisingly fantastic performance by Freddy Rodriguez. It's a lovely little, intimate film about how Napa Valley in California joined the ranks of some of the world's finest wines, if not the best. I don't know how else to put it besides that. It's kind of a comedy and drama at the same time....so dramedy I suppose, right? Good acting, good screenplay, likable and enjoyable characters. I also have to say there was something so relaxing and beautiful about the wine country in California. I can't believe I lived in that state for so many years, and never once visited that area. I will have to do that in the future some time. I would have to say that  it earned an "Admirable Ability" and I would certainly watch it again, and if you like good, fun, and interesting films than this is your cup of tea. Hey, and if you love or like wine, then you will love this film I'm pretty confidant to say. Powered through a good bit of editing for Book II today, so let's hope that I can keep it up for the rest of the week. Lord knows how I am going to do that with how many other things I have to do. If I just think about work right now, my mind goes on overload. Good luck to all of us busy, working and struggling people this week.

Bottle Shock trailer

jOBS trailer 
(I'm not too sure about this, but I'm always up for good film surprises).

Saturday, June 22, 2013

It's Been a While.

There's no business like work business I guess. I'm not quite certain what happened to this week. Between work, writing, and graduate school stuff (and some minor social events) I have been busy non-stop, that all I have time for is to merely relax. God knows how I am going to manage when graduate school actually begins. A week in review really quick? Nah. Read the newspapers, and watch the news for that; it's actually getting so depressing to read about how non-functional governments are, how you're own government is spying on you, and how the whole bloody world is slowly tearing itself apart. I would prefer joyful and positive news, and its no wonder that people are flocking more and more to entertainment; the world is getting darker. I finished watching The Bible series today from the History Channel. Well, Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe did an excellent job with the music. The visuals most of the time looked great; from the Jewish temple, to creation, to the parting of the Red Sea I was impressed, although at times some of their sets had much to be desired. Their scripts for the most part sucked, as did a good portion of their acting talent, but I think the fault was more in the writers and the directors than the acting talent. I could spend a long time on how inaccurately the creators portrayed the events in the Biblical texts, but sufficed to say that they did remain true to the "spirit" of what is recorded within the Bible if not the details and precise facts. In the end, the idea was really great and the visuals also rather good, but it really fell kind of flat; I don't see it really standing the test of time whatsoever. It will be a nice television anecdote that will pop on every now and then around religious holidays, but I don't think anything more. I have a few ideas about taking the recorded facts in the Bible and crafting something powerful, enticing, good, and of course most importantly of all...well done, which is something more Christian driven productions tend to lack more often than not. I also just finished watching this documentary about the history of Arabia, and the two golden ages of Islam. I don't know how many of you have studied Arabic culture and history, but it one of the most interesting and fascinating, much like Chinese and Korean history are to me as well. An interesting note I learned was where frankincense came from, and how it got shipped to the Roman Empire and throughout. Apparently it comes from a tree, and was transported from (geographically) the bottom of Saudi Arabia to the Mediterranean Sea. Since the Romans worshiped so many gods, a great deal of frankincense was required, but after the Roman Empire converted to Christianity there wasn't as much demand for the precious commodity, and thus came the end to the first Islamic Golden Age. As I mentioned above, I have been busy writing, which translated means that I have been editing Book II, which is coming along, but very slowly. It's a much larger book than the first one was, meaning more chapters, more things going on, and therefore more work to look over. I would like to get it over quickly, but I don't want to rush the process and make mistakes. I would like the need for this book to only get a second edition because the first one sold out, not because it needs help. I hate to close on a sad note, but I heard a couple days ago that the numbers of deaths in Syria has risen to approximately 100,000. Yet the response from President Obama and his cabinet remains tepid and unenthusiastic, and there has yet to be an outcry from the American people concerning this reaction, and to what is happening over there in Syria. Perhaps I am hoping for something that isn't there. I spoke to someone a few weeks ago that stated he spent an average of about 6 hours a day on his smartphone. First comes complacency, then comes laziness followed by willful ignorance, next comes decadence, after which comes decline, lastly comes implosion. How long each phase lasts, I'm not sure, but it remains a fairly concrete historical cycle of every great empire, kingdom or government. Perhaps it would be best if the American people focused more on what matters, than merely themselves. There you have my soap box for the night. Good night everyone, and good luck.

The Bible "Abraham Sacrifices Isaiah"

Interview with Diogo Morgado (played Jesus)

Frozen Trailer (this preview made me laugh so hard, and yes it is from Disney)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

An Ideal to Look Up To....

I was shocked that a number of people wanted to get up really early to see Man of Steel in IMAX-3-D, but there I was around 9am in a crowded theatre to see what Zack Snyder did to the classic do gooder super hero. The director's choice of Henry Cavill to play Clark Kent/Kal-El was perfect, as the actor projects boyish, good natured charm, but also possesses a dark and mysterious element. He is also incredibly good looking, and has a muscled body that every man would kill for. Obviously he is also a talented actor, but I think he was chosen more for what he visually brings to the film rather his talent as an actor. Zack Snyder is more of a visual filmmaker, but he also is able to usually deliver solid dialog and a fantastic story, with awesome characters that are fresh and new (so far from what I can remember). If it isn't obvious that I really think highly of this director, well there you have it. Sucker Punch, Watchmen, and 300 were visual feasts with awesome locales and characters. Man of Steel keeps with his stunning visual spectacularness that he is known for, but he subscribed to a more Hollywood traditional approach when constructing this film, but that's okay. Anyways. With this version of "Superman" we start at the beginning, and without Lex Luthor (at least for now, although Lexcorp makes some interesting appearances). Russell Crowe as Jor-El was a perfect choice, as was Michael Shannon for General Zod. I loved how Krypton was designed and shot; it really worked really, really well. It was beautiful and ancient, which made it seem real in a sense. Amy Adams was perfect as Lois Lane, although Laurence Fishburne didn't really quite do it for me as Perry White, but he wasn't all that bad. Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Clark's parents were also fine choices. Casting was done very well on this film. Hans Zimmer's Score (as opposed to the music John Williams originally did) was....okay; I have to listen to it a couple more times before I come up with a concrete decision, but on first listen it came across as good, but nothing too memorable or impressive/catchy. That was a little disappointing. The 3-D was also a little disappointing as well, either that or I am just getting so used to seeing that format that nothing jumps out anymore. The action in this film was fast paced, and there was a lot of it to be certain. I was actually getting a headache towards the end of the film when it was all seemingly non-stop. This is where I wished that they would have focused more on building up the characters rather than doing so much action to where it almost seemed like overkill. Oh well. Artistic differences I suppose. I'm giving the film an "Admirable Ability," but don't get me wrong it was highly entertaining and enjoyable and I will certainly watch it again, but there are several elements to which I eluded to above that were lacking from the film. I do recommend that everyone watch it though, as I think the message is something that everyone could use right now; hope. This new Superman is all about hope, and he is it; a paragon of true good, that uses ultimate power not for personal gain, but to help others. He has no ego to strut about, he's a gentleman, he helps those that despise and reject him, and he's trustworthy. Sound like someone else perhaps? Well I'll let all of you come to that conclusion on your own. Anyways. He is a representation of everything that there isn't at least in the United States Government, and in the average American citizen unfortunately (I'll let the rest of the world judge itself). This world needs hope right now and lots of it, why not find inspiration from a film depiction of a comic book character.

Man of Steel Trailer

Man of Steel interviews

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Is it Safe to Time Travel?

Obviously that is a rhetorical question, although feel free to postulate on the possibilities; it keeps the mind sharp to debate such improbabilities. So tonight I finally sat down and watched Safety Not Guaranteed which is a small independent film about a man who puts an add in a newspaper looking for someone to time travel with him. A young and upcoming writer at a magazine volunteers to go with one of the main writers and another intern to find out if this guy is for real, of just plain nuts. While the main writer is interested in an old fling, the other writer/intern Darius, begins to hang out with this man, Kenneth, and together the two of them prepare and pysch themselves up for this time travel event. However, the two of them become more than just business partners. In due time as well, the trio from the magazine finds out that this guy is being followed indeed by people from the government. Yet everything is not as it seems. So this wasn't a great film, but it was good and it was also fun. I really liked the time travel story line, but the story line about the one guy hooking up with an old flame, that was kind of lame, but it had potential. Everyone was essentially unknown in this film, but it was a great cast. I really enjoyed the concept of the entire film, and I think it would fit the criteria for a really good date night film if you're looking for one. I'll give it an "Admirable Ability" rating, and yes I believe I would recommend it for other people to see, granted it's not going to win any Oscars, but it will lightly entertain, and at least it is rather fresh and new instead of the same predictable and boring crap that is for the most part out there. My dining room table and chairs were delivered today and look awesome in the new place. Next up is living room furniture. I also finally got my office together, so now I have a place to write and create once more. Stay cool everyone, and best of luck with the reality that is life.

Safety Not Guaranteed trailer

Tyrion & Tywin Lannister (I love scenes with these two in them)

Friday, June 14, 2013

"What's Another Word for...Engorged?"

Every generation I guess will have its "teeny-bopper" films, fads and other popular things. Ten Things I Hate About You in my opinion just isn't another faddish teenage film, which I firmly believe is in large part due to its cast: Heather Ledger, Julia Stiles and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I love this film with its witty dialog, humorous stereotypes, and of course the play off of Shakespeare. Even though its from 1999 and I've seen it so many times, it still makes me laugh so much. Definitely a good sign of a well made film. If you haven't seen the film then you should, although since it is dated to a point, if you didn't grow up with it, then you might not like it, so watch it for the cast. It is what launched Heather Ledger into the spotlight. So after a bunch of bitter-dreadful news, the Syrian rebels are apparently finally going to get the help they should have gotten right from the beginning. President Obama was decided to agree to allow the Syrian rebels to be given arms, although I think he is doing this begrudgingly due to all of the pressure that he is receiving on the issue. Personally, I think it is too little too late; rather like the French helping the Americans towards the end of the war of Independence from Great Britain. It is most likely that many hearts have been hardened already, and God only knows how much time it will take for all of that damage to be undone. Regardless, I hope this "help" will actually be helpful for the the rebels and allow them to topple their brutal dictator. I was reading the Wall Street Journal the other day and I thought it was rather ironic that Hezbollah (on Assad's side) was fighting Al Qaeda (on the rebels' side). Who would have ever thought, so I suppose anything is possible if two terrorist organizations are fighting each other. I am continuing to settle into my new place, and I should be back to writing and editing tomorrow as I finally got my computer set up thanks to one of my co-workers providing me with a table. Slowly but surely all of the pieces and furniture (as well as the decor) will come together, one by one. Apparently nothing of great interest happened this week as I cannot recall much of anything, so I suppose I will leave it at that. Live long and prosper.

10 Things I Hate About You trailer

300: Rise of an Empire trailer (looks surprisingly good, but we shall see. I like the cast).

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How Much Changes in a Year......

It was an exact year ago that I heard those fateful words uttered "....I'm sorry to do this, but I'm going to have to let you go..." and with that I lost my job and eventually had to leave San Diego, which ironically changed my life forever. One would have never thought that something considered a incalculable mistake could prove to be so useful and lead one down a better path. If I had remained in San Diego I would have acquired a Masters degree in social work rather than a Masters in Industrial Organizational Psychology, or what I hope to get. How did I come to this realization; my current job tells me that I do not want to be in the mental health field for the rest of my life, although I am certain that I will make use of those skills during my life at some point. That's besides the point though. Anyways. So life at my new place is going wonderfully, and the interior is slowly coming together quite lovely. Between all the things I have to do for my pending graduate program, my job, and getting everything together at my new place I have had absolutely no time to write or continue my editing of Book II, which is supremely irritating, but life is what it is. At any rate, it is something I plan on getting back to doing once everything gets settled. Moving on. Lots of crazy stuff has been happening in the world, but what I would like to point out is Edward Snowden; the whistle-blower who alerted the press to how the U.S. government was spying on its citizens without warrants. There are some that believe that releasing this fact is a blow to U.S. national security, and President Obama has said that you cannot have 100% freedom with 100% security. He is correct, but I would rather err on having too much freedom, and less security rather than the other way around. After all, great tyrants like Napoleon, Hitler, and Caesar did what they did in the name of national security, so you can see my dilemma. Not one of those men believed themselves evil for the decisions they made, but in retrospect everyone can agree that they became the ultimate evil. So I would like to say thank you, Mr. Snowden for your courage and showing the American people something they should have known from the beginning of what their government was up to. As for the world of entertainment, I watched the season finale of Game of Thrones Season 3 last night and I have to say that I wasn't that impressed by any stretch of the imagination with how it ended, the previous season finale was much better. Overall I believe season 3 started out far superior to season 2, but that season ended far better than the third one. In short, I will continue watching the show just to see how it ends, but I have to admit that I don't really care for it whatsoever. It's a fascinating world with compelling characters, but the storylines suck. Oh well. That's it for now. Goodnight and good luck.

Desolation of Smaug trailer ( cannot wait to see it)

Game of Thrones Season 3 finale preview

Friday, June 7, 2013

Getting It All Together.

I am completely exhausted. Between work and moving between today and this past Wednesday, I am bushed. My new place is divine, and I am getting everything put away and organized, although a lack of furniture is hampering that goal unfortunately. I'll get there eventually though. Have I ever mentioned that I hate moving? The worst is boxes of books, and other really heavy and awkward objects. Tonight is the only real downtime I've had since Wednesday, and boy does it feel great to sit back and relax and do nothing...well almost nothing. So as of late there has been plenty of good news for me all around. Between moving out into my own place, and the progress on my second book, I am also one step closer to admission into graduate school. I have to write a statement of purpose this weekend, and then send that over to my graduate counselor. So much fun you have no idea, but it shouldn't be that difficult as opposed to writing a 500 page plus book. Honestly a great deal has happened since Tuesday, but I cannot seem to recall very much of it. The world continues to fall apart. It appears sadly, that between the combined military might of Assad's forces, Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia that the Syrian Rebels could be facing a defeat. I'm not certain what people from Western countries think should be done in that country, or what their appetite is for conflict, but I believe for multiple reasons, which chief among them is freedom from tyranny, is that help should be given immediately, and should have been given years ago when the whole mess began. I cannot state anything for any other country save my own, and I have said it, but I will keep on saying it; President Obama should have intervened along with NATO right from the start. It is a dreadful mistake which will haunt this country in the future for a very long time I have a feeling. I really hope that the Syrian people pull off this revolution, but without any assistance I am doubtful that they will be successful. Meanwhile the American Federal government continues to get larger and poke its nose where it shouldn't belong. Who knows then how long Americans will be facing a similar situation like Syria, or something much more subtle as in Russia, or monstrously efficient as in China. Who then will help us, when we help nobody but ourselves. Anywho. That's my soap box for tonight. I'm finishing up The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen starring Sean Connery and a few other notable British acting talents. A very fun film, and it is full of Victorian era heroes and characters, which of course is part of the reason why I find it so endearing. Well there it is. Have a fantastic weekend everyone.

LXG Trailer


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Move....Again.

"....Once more unto the Breach dear friends...." -Shakespeare

Well it is that time of my life again, where I must pick up my belongings and move once more; ever the wanderer I have become. Hopefully though with this latest move, that will soon be a long ere played song. Tomorrow I begin my descent into one of the last parts of getting back on top of life. Out of my sister and brother in-law's basement, and into my own place; what a wonderful feeling that is, although furnishing it is going to be a pain in the neck. I just have to get through tomorrow and then the next couple of days, and then I'll be set, at least that is the plan. Yesterday was an extremely long day at work, and today was busy right from the get go, up until I left work, and yet I didn't get everything accomplished that I wanted to. It's irritating, but I believe that I am staying on top of everything, which is an improvement over the last month when everything crept up on me all of a sudden. Last night watched a documentary called Hitler's Children and I have to admit that it was quite interesting. Children and grandchildren of former high ranking Nazis were interviewed about their thoughts on their family members, and how it affected them. One was a grandchild of Heinrich Himmler, a great niece of Hermann Goering, a daughter of Amon Goeth, a son of Hans Frank, and a grandchild of Rudolph Hoess. It was definitely something to see these people talk about how they were treated because of their name, the guilt and shame that they felt due to their family members' previous actions, and how they were to proceed in life. Certainly a fascinating set of stories, and if you enjoy documentaries and history then I highly suggest you watch it. So I was in for a shock when I watched episode 9 of season 3 of Game of Thrones tonight. Apparently, according to my sister and brother in-law, everyone has been yacking their blabbering heads about it on Facebook, but since I don't really spend that much time on that site, I was walking in completely blind to the episode. Wow, is all I have to say. That and George R. Martin may have created a heck of an interesting and awesome world, and also have written compelling characters, but his story lines are bleak and hopeless. As a matter of fact nothing really hopeful has happened since the show began; nothing but bad things have happened to good people, and good things to really evil people. I don't like the show, but I really want to see how it finishes up, and then I'll be completely done with it. Actually, there is only one story line that has been getting increasingly positive, and only one; the Mother of Dragons. Well there's my take on the show, and with only one episode remaining of the season, I think its too much to hope for that Tywin Lanniser or Joffrey die. Well, much to do. So goodnight and good luck.

Hitler's Children trailer

King Joffrey & Tywin Lannister (such an awesome scene!)

Game of Thrones Season 3 Finale Preview

Saturday, June 1, 2013

It Takes Faith.

First and foremost, I would like to say that I have reached my 900th post! It is true that I have slacked off since towards the end of last year, and then ever since I began my newest job, but I have a feeling that will be changing. I have been blogging for quiet a few years now; I think that it will actually have been 3 years comes this August, and my website has been around for over 4 years now. I remember I started doing all of this to promote my fantasy trilogy, and I feel like I was able to accomplish that goal somewhat, but I really have no clue. I was lazy today and didn't do any editing for Book II, but I am hoping to make up for that tomorrow. Some excellent news though is that I am taking one of the final steps to re-normalizing my life in that that I am moving out of my sister and brother in-law's basement, and into my own apartment at last! It's taken me longer than I had wanted, but the timetable was what I had been anticipating would happen. I am so relieved and excited, and it's a rather spectacular space as well. Furnishing it is going to be a pain though, because I have to get all new stuff since I had to give pretty much everything away in San Diego. Little by little though I will regain everything. It was a long week though, despite being quite productive at work, concerning which I am getting better and better. There is still much territory that needs to be discovered and so many things that I do not know at my place of employment, but in due time that will all settle itself out. Now, I began watching the epic mini-series "The Bible" the other day, and honestly I'm not that impressed. The visuals I have to admit are quite lovely, most of the time; I was especially fond of the creation segment. I also really enjoyed the part about Abraham, but for the most part the acting is dreadful and the dialog makes you want to cringe. The sets are usually quite pitiful, and whoever the casting director was should have been shot. For something that takes place entirely in the Middle East, you would think that they would recruit talent from that area, but no everyone is British. I have so far only watched the first disc, and I'm not overly impressed. It's nice to see the Bible brought to life in such a way, but at the same time I was expecting so much more. However, the biggest and best bright spot of the entire thing so far is the music by Hans Zimmer, Lisa Gerard, and Lorne Balfe. I love this music. It is full of passion, emotion, and something very deep...almost spiritual. I definitely recommend it. I could go on critiquing it in so many ways, but I won't and I think I painted enough of a picture. Despite my better judgement, I'm going to continue watching it, and see how much I want to pull my hair out by the end. Well there it is everyone. Have an excellent weekend.

The Bible Trailer

Faith from the Score of The Bible
by Hans Zimmer & Lorne Balfe