Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Demonic Genius.

Perhaps my play on words for the title wasn't per se quite accurate, but it popped into my head and I couldn't really think of anything else. So yes it has been approximately 15 days since my last entry, but I have to tell you that January...well...it hasn't quite been like the month from Hell (September 2013) but it is coming quite close. Several extraordinary events have happened at work making life oh so much more stressful and ridiculous, I turned 28 a little over a week ago (not that it was traumatic, but it is a life event that adds an amount of stress), and of course I resumed classes for graduate school (lots and lots of stress) and essentially the stress that came with all of this was something that I was not anticipating. I was just stating to my sister the other day that I hadn't gotten sick, and low and behold what happened.......my words caught up with me. Despite being sick though (my head felt like I was carrying around a cannon ball and my sinuses felt like straw had been stuffed down them) I was able to do a bit of homework, and then towards the end of the evening I flipped on the television and watched this show called Da Vinci's Demons starring Tom Riley as the namesake character, but it is filled mostly with an unknown cast, albeit quite excellent cast. Da Vinci is a young man of about 25 years of age and he is finding out who he is and what he is capable of doing. Living in the free thinking city of Florence he flourishes, but with Rome ever trying to increase its stranglehold on civilization, its agents seek to eradicate those who threaten that reach. There it is in a nutshell; Da Vinci versus the Pope and his chief underlings. I do not know much about the man, which I should change considering his impact on the world, but Tom Riley's interpretation of the character is well done. He makes him eccentric, humorous, serious yet light and comical, passionate and intense, but also very likable as a character. The chief villain so far is quite impressive, which of course he would have to be due to Da Vinci's remarkable intellect. It is relatively fantastical more than realistic, but it is very, very intriguing with some very fascinating theories and questions about time and spirituality. Granted it is just entertainment, but some measure of truth may always be found in such things. Even though The Newsroom turned out to be a great disappointment, which I attribute to poor writing and bad character development, which is surprising for Aaron Sorkin, but perhaps it had more to do with who directed the shows more than writing it, but he was also a producer, so he would have gotten some say in the matter so I don't think one of the finest writers in Hollywood has an excuse. This show may not have per se the same level of writing, but the intricate plot and covert characters and agendas does have me hooked, and I like the era and the whole technology exaggeration as well. I just need to survive January and get on top of my life; writing, social life, and religious matters have all slipped away leaving graduate school and work remaining and in between I am merely trying to survive it all; not a truly great form of existence. Balance is the key, and now I am beginning to sound like a philosopher rather than a writer. There it is. Have a goodnight everyone and may the Force be with you.

Da Vinci's Demons trailer

Game of Thrones season 4 trailer (A couple more months!!)

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Polar Vortex.

While my friends, cohorts, and former co-workers bask in 72 degree F. temperatures, I was battling a wind chill of -44 degrees F. this morning on my way to work. I was so cold that 0 degrees felt oh so warm. Despite the danger of frostbite and drifting snow due to excruciatingly painful winds, my place of employment was not closed, and though I have many thoughts on that topic, I will bite my tongue as I do not want history repeating itself. I believe several weather people are stating that a "polar vortex" has settled over the US Midwest. Sounds like something out of a catastrophe film, which is essentially what is going on. It will be a little over 3 years since the Arab Spring began, and a short while after what began as protests in Syria led to an armed civil war that has claimed well over 120,000 people. It has not gotten better, Assad is still in power and people continue to die, and the U.S. government has maintained the same position it had before.....doing nothing. Except now the violence is spreading to places like Lebanon, Iraq, Israel and Jordan, all four of which are US allies, and the US has special interests in making certain that those countries remain stable so as not to fall under a similar sway as Iran currently finds itself. Meanwhile in the US there is a debate about whether or not President Obama should have been vacationing in Hawaii for 2 weeks....hmm....I'll let you all riddle that one out. Anyways. A week from today I start graduate school classes up again.....oh joy. One last week of freedom before I begin to lose track of everything again. I would like to wish a couple of people happy birthday; Jeremy who's birthday was yesterday, David, who's birthday is on Thursday, and Marcos, who's birthday is on this coming Sunday (just in case I forget). You guys are awesome and I love ya all; happy birthday!!!! So this evening I felt like watching some lighter fare, so I put on this film called I Don't Know How She Does It starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Greg Kinnear, and Pierce Brosnan; Kelsey Grammer makes a small cameo role. It's a humorous story about a working mother that tries to balance both work and family life together, but when she gets this big opportunity at her job she finds it a little more difficult to juggle family life, work life and personal life. All three of the main cast members provided an astounding performance, and what was nice was that it depicted a rather nice modern, functioning family without coming off as cynical, bitter, or feminist or anti-feminist. If you enjoy comedy and some drama, then you will enjoy this film, and I also think it could be an excellent date film with your significant other. Well, may we all live and survive another day. Live long and prosper all.

I Don't Know How She Does It trailer

House of Cards season 2 (Wow! It looks fantastic!!!!!)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Snow, Wind, & Blood.

I am uncertain how cold it gets in Siberia, but I do know that as of now in the U.S. Midwest that it is getting frigidly dangerously cold. Apparently in some parts of Wisconsin people are talking about the wind chill being as low as -40 degrees F. Mounds of snow are everywhere, and it is just so doggone cold! We're in for an arctic apocalypse, although the weather people say that it will last for only a couple of days, but they also reported that there would scattered snow showers today, not that it would heavily blow and snow all day long. Happy New Year, by the way. For me so far the new year hasn't really been that promising. Work has been stressful because the company big whigs believe that my department aren't doing a good enough job (which is a load of crap) and thus they are going to lite a fire under us in order to motivate us; think Lord Vader visiting the Death Star to motivate the workers. I can't say that the news has been that good either, domestic or international. I don't know if it is because I am getting older and am seeing less good in the world, or if with every passing day there is in fact less good in the world, but it is certainly a drag on reality and I don't even get the worst of it. In my field of work I am constantly reminded of humanity's penchant for evil, yet I can't imagine what takes place in central Africa or in North Korea to name a few. Tonight I watched the film There Will be Blood starring Daniel Day Lewis, which was the only reason why I watched it, and honestly there is no other reason to watch the film. If wasn't for that very talented man playing that role, then the film would have been boring beyond imagination. The film is essentially about this man who makes it as an oil tycoon back in the early 1900's in the U.S. I don't really know how else to describe it other than that. The only other role/character that really stood out what this psycho crazy preacher who had an ego larger than Nero. The only other cast member from the film that I recognized was Ciarin Hinds, who has such a tiny role that was flatter than flat; very disappointing. The film had pretty good cinematography, but the music was either good or immeasurably agitating to my ears, and the writing had good potential, but it never seemed to go anywhere beyond the surface of the characters, even though it occasionally touched upon a few moments of depth ever so briefly. I will give it a "Yearning Ability," and the only reason why it gets that is because of Daniel Day-Lewis' awesome performance as he continues to demonstrate how alive he can bring his characters on the screen to life. The Newsroom is beginning to disappoint unfortunately due to some rather shoddy writing and character crafting, which is odd for Aaron Sorkin, but in some regards the writing and characters do resemble The West Wing to a growing degree. Jeff Daniels continues to be the best part of that show, although Sam Waterson is a great addition and so far a small cameo by Jane Fonda, which hopefully she will return. Good night everyone, and try not to freeze, or if that be something you need not worry about, than try not to roast, although a good heat wave would be welcome over here in the frozen tundra.

There Will Be Blood film clip

The Grand Budapest Hotel trailer (it seems like it will be quite humorous, but who knows; the cast looks completely awesome).