September 30, 2008

Movie Review #21: Cashback

9/29 Cashback = Boy gets dumped and ends up becoming an insomniac. He takes a night shift job at a supermarket to pass the time.

One of the weirder movies I've seen recently. Kind of meanders around, shows a lot of skin and has a weird creepy scene in the middle that made almost no sense. Almost all of the characters are good-looking though so it makes up for a lot of the unanswered questions. It had some funny parts in it but the only reason I'd see it again would be for the skin.

September 27, 2008

Story Episode #1: The Beginning

As I sat waiting for Joseph to appear from the Post Office, I idly played with the lush grass that covered every inch of the city that wasn't paved. Each blade of grass was immaculately created and practically indestructible. Whoever came up with the idea to create natural-looking, feeling and smelling grass that was completely unnatural, must be a billionaire. I wish I had thought of it. When the strict water-conservation ordinance was passed, everyone's lawn turned to shit. People were quietly furious that their hard work could be destroyed in mere weeks. However, now that this unnatural natural grass is everywhere, no one cares about their lawn anymore. There's no way to make their lawn look better than anyone else's, especially since lawn ornaments have been outlawed.
Joseph ran out of the Post Office and jerked his head to the right to signal that Plan #1b would be the ideal course of action at this time. I smiled in response and continued sitting, lazily leaning back against the tree and for all intent and purposes appearing as if I was enjoying the hell out of the nice weather and quiet chirping. Meanwhile, Joseph had rounded the corner of the block and was only picking up speed and falling into his escapist-stride. As soon as he was out of sight, I closed my eyes and tapped out the...
Sorry, got mildly distracted by some speaker talk and I think I'm also at least two or three minutes over on this first attempt. I think after the first couple of these I'll write about if this is helping or not and if I should continue.

Movie Review #20: Tremors

9/25 Tremors = Two handymen from the town of Perfection try to save the town's inhabitants from something that is killing them.

A bunch of my friends got together to watch this with me, seeing as I was the only one there that hadn't seen it. It was...silly. The acting during the 80's and early 90's really kind of annoys me. Pretty much any fist pumping, thumbs-upness makes me feel embarrassed for the actors. As for the movie's lvl of scariness, okay, it wasn't really that bad. Any of the Aliens movies are much scarier.

However, I feel like as I've gotten older that I'm more jumpy than I used to be. Not sure why...maybe my tolerance has decreased and so my guard is down and my instinct to yelp takes over. Screaming actually makes watching scary stuff a little more tolerable. I'm not sure I enjoy the feeling of being totally freaked out and super tense though. As I look back on some of the scary movies that I've watched, it's more the amusement and reminiscing that comes after surviving something horrible that wasn't particularly enjoyable at the time. Several such things come to mind: The Camping Trip, trying out for high school soccer, losing my big toe nail, and my high school graduation ceremony. These were all horrible horrible experiences at the time, but now that I've successfully survived them, they're now somewhat funny stories. Character builders I suppose. I also used to read a lot of scary thriller books back as a teen. A lot of Stephen King books as well as Anne Rice and even collections of short ghost stories. Of course, I was always super paranoid after reading them but I guess that period of my life when I was actively seeking out scary stuff was just a phase. This leads me to believe that no, I do not enjoy watching scary movies, they are something to endure so that I can "Character Build". I'm not sure though, if I've regressed somehow in my fear factor and if that's a bad thing. Maybe I'm really more comfortable in my skin that I can feel free to let my emotions out instead of bottling them up. I like to think that if something truly horrible happened in real life (such as a zombie apocalypse) I would be able to reign in the terror and be useful instead of a liability. It'd probably take a little effort and time in the beginning though. I'm sorry if it causes anyone to have their brains eaten. Maybe this is one area I need to undergo some training in preparation...though I think Left4Dead will be good enough.

Movie Review #19: Definitely Maybe

9/22 Definitely Maybe = Dad tells his daughter about how he met her mother because she wants to know why they're getting a divorce.

It was kind of Princess Bride-ish, in terms of it's a story being told to a kid and the kid sometimes interrupts. It was really cute though and it's always interesting to follow people's lives and see where they're at and how they got there 10 years later. It's not super typical in terms of plot devices for RomComs, the ending bit is fairly original and I didn't expect it. Also, I shed a few was more of a awwww, sweet father-daughter thing than anything super sad. It was a pretty good movie overall I'd have to say :) And everyone in it is super pretty.

September 20, 2008

Movie Review #18: Raise the Red Lantern

9/20 Raise the Red Lantern = Follows the inner politics of a household with four wives. Focuses on the 4th wife and her struggle to survive.

I'm still not sure if I've seen this movie before or not. While the movie was good, I still felt like they could have focused more on the women and what it was about them that made the Master marry them in the first place. I can't imagine what they did all day, cooped up in their little "houses", every night wondering if they're going to get the chance to maybe produce a son, which is the only way to better their position in the household and thus in their small world.

Would being a kept woman be super great? Or would you feel tied down to the guy and like a pampered slave? I would think the issue of being bored and useless could be easily solved by going out and getting involved in something of value. Reading to little kids at the library seems like it'd be fun. Or volunteering to help create stage sets for high schools or other theaters. There must be plenty of things that are worth doing without needing monetary compensation. I for one, love accomplishing tasks. I am extremely goal-oriented and, at least in games, will more than likely do plenty of grinding if I like what I'll get in the end. Having lots of little tasks with loose deadlines that I can accomplish easily would be my ideal volunteer work. I mean, my current job is pretty task oriented and I feel like I'm fairly happy in it. Now, if I did the exact same stuff in a cooler, more relaxed and fun-loving company that paid me at least $15k more, I'd be super content. I might even be happier doing it than I would be if I stayed home all day and tried to write. Writing is multitudes scarier and a foggy, undefined task. While I don't particularly want my tasks to be detailed out, I need at least a base level of detail to feel confident in my abilities to successfully accomplish it.

...this is kind of feeling like a boring post. No one is ever interested in hearing about work. I really need to meditate or do something that brings out the muse. Though, I guess this is what this is supposed to be for, practicing the writing so I can get inspired and be creative and re-find my "voice". Okay, now it's going to sound like I'm complaining, but I don't like my current "voice". It's too logical, not theoretical enough, not spontaneous enough. Hmmm. Maybe I should start an episodic short story. No plot, no themes, nothing to start off with. I'll try not to think about it at all and just spend fifteen minutes on each episode. I'm always up for experiments.

September 10, 2008

Blog Idea: Dating Experiences of the Delusioned Desperate

It would be HEE-larious to start a blog that was solely about someone's love/dating life. Like it would start off a brief, vague description of the guy or girl doing the searching and then launch into a description of Date #1 with Girl/Guy #1. Of course the main concern would be anonymity, which might be solved by having anyone be able to post their dating stories, but I personally think it would be far more interesting to follow one person's struggles and triumphs in the dating world. I haven't seen the movie yet, but maybe this idea is kind of like Train_Man? There's probably blogs out there that people use to detail their love lives...I should really look into getting an RSS feed, besides the little ticker on top of my Gmail.

Of course, this could only work if the person was willing to make light of their failures and the weirdness of people and situations in general. I don't think the purpose would be to scare people and discourage dating, but to make it seem more fun and crazy cool (for stories later anyway).

September 9, 2008

Movie Review #17: Enchanted

9/8 Enchanted = A Disney flick that starts off as a typical Snow White-que fairytale. There's an added step inbetween the poisioned apple that makes up most of the interesting part of the movie, that they somehow get thrown into the Real World.

This was a cute movie. Even Zach agrees. The animation in the beginning and end are really well done and the chipmunk is SO F-ING CUTE. SO CUTE!11!!1!1!! Some of the plot twists weren't very original but some of them were. Bit of hitting, bit of missing. The singing was pretty epic though.

September 8, 2008

Ratatat @ the Showbox in the Market

It kind of feels like I've been suddenly obsessed with this band, but I think it's mostly the excitement of discovering a great music feel and then discovering that tons of other people are similarly totally into it too. It's exclusive, but not so exclusive that no one knows what you're talking about. A larger inside joke if you will. Overall, the live performance of it was fantastic and it was great to rock out to it. Even with earplugs. I wouldn't have really imagined that I'd be jumping up and down for some of the parts/songs but it was pretty intense and I just love some of the parts so much. I kind of wish that I had been closer to the stage so I could actually see them, but it really wasn't that important. I'm not really invested in the band members, in fact, I've been thinking that there were only 2 members in the band, but there were three on stage.

The two cover bands were really kind of weird though. The first one, E*Rock, were these two guys with full head/face covers, like KKK, but black and not pointed and the one at the turntable type thing for some reason, had the Wii controller with the nunchuck around his neck and kept on acting like he was playing the Wii or using it somehow...which, even if it were true, was kind of weird.
There's a delicate balance required when using popular implements in an entertainment fashion. If you use it a few days after the thing becomes popular, it's usually considered extremely hip, but if you wait too long it becomes tacky and tryhard. Even more interesting is the relative quickness of tragedy-inspired jokes that pop up practically before you even have a chance to grieve. Each time people are like...too soon? And the answer has always been...nahhh, it's still funny...a bit grotesque/morbid/off-color...but still funny. We're curtailing human sympathies for a quick laugh.

In other news, we killed some time before the concert at Gameworks and Zach got me an awesome T-Rex from the claw machines:

OMG isn't it awesome?

September 4, 2008

The 6 Traits

So I'm reading this book right now right? And I'm on the Chpt titled "Finding The One True Love". Cheesy I know, but it just went over this story of this woman who was great-looking, with a great personality. "A catch in anyone' book." But she had a hard time picking guys. So the author was like, okay, do you have a business card? Write these on the back:

Not stupid.
Not crazy.
Not creepy.
Not mean.
Not ugly.
Not smelly.

It's pass or fail on each item and if you fail one, you fail period.

What I thought was interesting was that it's a Not instead of Is (like is smart). They just have to not be it. But really, you must have to really not know what you're looking for if you can't weed them out without having a card of basics. Or at least friends that can be like, "oh no honey, not that one. That one's not so good."
If I do say so myself, I am particularly good at picking people and seeing basic flaws (yeah yeah, I'm sure that means I'm not so good at seeing my own flaws blah blah blah). Though I guess sometimes I can be a little harsh about it, when someone flips the "not so good" switch, I can seriously get into a strong dislike streak. And it takes showing quite a few good characteristics to get back into the light. I know everyone has their good points and most people are generally good people, and I feel like with my initial grilling that I give strangers, I can pretty quickly find what it is about them that's interesting and enjoy them at their best. But if it turns out all of that was really just a show then why should I waste my time putting up with a faker or worse? :) Or maybe I just surround myself with good people in hopes that it'll rub off on me and/or my evilness will be diluted and the scent will get lost.

September 1, 2008

Movie Review #16: Tsotsi

8/31 Tsotsi = A thug shoots a woman and steals her car, only to find out that her baby is still in the backseat.

I thought it was very realistic and gritty and reminded me of City of God/City of Men with the frank and random violence and the casualness in death. The mortality of humans is aptly portrayed, as well as the conflict between doing the right thing and being decent. I enjoyed it and liked hearing some South African. Foreign films are great. Usually pretty weird and totally non-mainstream like Hollywood flicks, but each is a little gem. Babies are so cute! They're evil like that, making your head spin and not letting you think rationally and in your best interest.