23 March 2010

FlashForward has returned!


Which means I’m very excited.  This show caught my interest when I first went to college and I’ve been keeping up with it until it was put on haitus.  I am very unhappy about this haitus because the original creators stated in an interview that they were planning for the series finale to mesh-up with the date of the flash forwards.  I do hope they keep that up.  It’s a very interesting concept.


This is not a review, this is just me being excited.


Someone on the Hulu reviews mentioned that the character arcs seemed kind of cliche, which made me think that Flash Florward can be a bit of a cheese ball, which made me fall for it all over again.  I am an uber fan of the Cheese Ball for reasons unbeknownst to me.  If it can pull off corny and bad-ass-ery, I’m liable to like it.


Like Transformers and Speed Racer.  Both are awesomely entertaining, but they are giant Cheese Balls.  But they are entertaining, thus, I like them.


This is the kind of thing I’d like to work on someday.

19 March 2010

Where Did I Go? Comments from a Web Surfer


No where, really.  But every time I think about this blog, I think about how few things I actually do outside schoolwork and writing.  I don’t read as much as other people, and I have to admit, looking at things with a critical eye takes the fun out of it.  So I’ve decided to also litter this blog with other things – like the cool videos I find on YouTube!  And other things.


Laini Taylor is a fun blog to follow.  She finds awesome writing advice including this pretty neat speech by Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote Eat Pray Love.  Check it out, my roommate loves it.


I am also a fan of The Big Bang Theory.  I’ve been watching that whenever I have to eat alone.


And when I’m not really doing anything else, I find random YouTube videos.  Like this one.  Check that out too because it’s awesome.  I almost want to go on Chat Roulette to find him, but I don’t want to see a quarter of the people I meet doing inappropriate things to their webcam. 


And then when that is done, I feel like listening to Owl City’s Fireflies, so that’s what I do.  And my surfing goes from there.


Internet surfing makes me think of the old 90s cartoon Reboot, which I watched last year and inadvertently found this Reboot revival movement.  That was also interesting.  But the show features a web surfer for a few episodes who uses a surf board and talks with a slight Aussie accent. 


But Reboot was made in the 90s when the Internet and its potential was just speculation.  Which makes me wonder what Reboot would be like if it were revamped with today’s technology and ideologies.  To prevent copyrighting, there will have to be new characters.  But they’ll still feature some sort of Anti-Spyware character, the main programming character, a character for each major program on the computer, and so forth.  I say we keep the binomial characters because they’re cute, personally, but that’s just me.


A friend of mine mentioned something once.  He said that we’ve now gotten to the point where, if a person is smart, you don’t have to hunt for a software problem at all.  If a program goes bad, just uninstall it and then reinstall it – simple fix without the hassle.  And any other problems you had would also disappear.  So now the common folk don’t even know how computers are run, we just know how to work them.  Does that scare you?  Because if computers die, a lot of people's lives will die with them (mine included). 


Inevitably, I end up picturing myself in a cool-looking protective suit with a surf board and wishing that whole thing was real.  Damn, that’d be fun.

10 March 2010

The Oscars


I’m not about to post who won what here, because you can easily check it out here.  Instead, I’m going to point out that I am happy for Kathryn Bigelow on her awards.  To commemorate the Academy Awards, I’ll be having an Oscar Movie Marathon this Saturday with a bunch of friends.


There is this ongoing tradition with me that I hardly ever see the movies put up for Academy Awards.  It’s nothing against them, it’s just that I probably don’t recognize quality cinema when I see it.  So I can never accurately guess which movie will win what.  Although I was kind of voting for The Hurt Locker because it was the biggest contender for Avatar and I didn’t think Avatar should get Best Picture.  Best Picture suggests a plot that hasn’t been seen before.


I was personally rooting for District 9 to get an award.  It’s a really good movie, so I’m disappointed with that.  But it’s not warrant to get the attention because of its genre.  Did anyone else notice the humanitarian message involved?  Just replace the Prawns with humans and you have a message against that sort of treatment!


Anyway, I’m still questioning the reasoning behind ten Best Picture nominations instead of the usual five, because all the attention seemed to be focused on five anyway. 


If you missed my highlight of the night, check out the clip linked here.


This is a very busy week for me, so I’m not sure when my next post will be.  I’ll be sure to update you on my happenings on Monday, though.  The list of recent movies will be a fairly long one (hopefully).

07 March 2010

Alice in Wonderland (review)

Director:  Tim Burton

Starring:  Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska


Among a series of adventures over the weekend, I saw the new Tim Burton film Alice in Wonderland, which shares common things in the original book but really follows its own path.  I haven’t really read the original book, but I did see Disney’s first rendition of it as a child.  Nonetheless, I believe that comparing a movie to its book counterpart is completely pointless.  The reasoning behind this is for another post.  But these are my thoughts on the movie, and the movie only.


First, I like the tight narration.  Everything that happened in the plot is essential to the story.  Things that happen in the end are alluded to in the beginning.  The end comes in full circle and left a satisfied feeling of completeness.


Going along with this, no subplots are left unresolved.  The focus of the movie is on Alice, so the development of the supporting cast is based on Alice’s adventures.  All knots are closed, all flaps are sealed.  A nice way to end things and yet there is still the hint that more adventures may await.  This is not a call for a sequel, this is merely the cliched “end is only the beginning”. 


I enjoyed the idea of two separate plots in the movie.  We see Alice in the real world and the problems she sees there, which involve how to act when so many people expect so many things from you.  Then we see Alice in Wonderland, where she faces the same kind of problems though with different expectations.  The lessons from one world are applied to the next, and we have a smooth and closed ending.


The casting was very well done.  Whoever cast the movie knew what they were doing.  Helana Bonham Carter was a fabulous Red Queen, and Johnny Depp was amazing as the Mad Hatter.  Both Carter and Depp were the best actors in the whole movie.  Anne Hathaway was good at the White Queen, but I feel like she restrained herself in the role.  I guess I’m just used to seeing Anne Hathaway in really awesome roles and the White Queen isn’t as awesome.  For the first time ever, I have seen Alan Rickman out of a villain role (other than Snape)!  I can die happy now.  The lovely actress portraying Alice (Mia Wasikowska) was lovely.  She had a nice attitude and great accent.  I felt her performance was a little stiff at times, but she was a really nice Alice. 


Costumes and makeup were quite amazing.  Johnny Depp’s eyes were absolutely cooky and really fit his character.  The credits listed a single person that did his makeup separate from the rest of the team.  Kudos to that individual (I did not catch their name) because they are a master at makeup.  And the costumes were fabulous!  I especially liked Alice’s dress as she was wandering around the Red Queen’s castle.  And the small shift the Mad Hatter made for her was really cute. 


The coolest thing about the movie:  Johnny Depp’s dance.  Enough said.


I have to say, I was not entirely blown away by the background or special effects in the movie.  Though interesting in the means, it wasn’t revolutionary or groundbreaking, just very fantastical.


I would still like to watch this movie again if only to watch it without a critical eye.  Word of advice: never ever watch something in the hopes of criticizing it.  You turn into a critic, and no one likes the critics.  A hypocrite, am I?  Yes, yes I am. 


This is a good movie, and very much enjoyable.  Recommended for Tim Burton fans and anyone who can’t decide what to see in the theaters.


For an interesting take on the making of Lewis Carroll’s original Alice in Wonderland, read this article in the New York Times.

04 March 2010

How to Disarm a Man Armed with a Hand Grenade


While having technical difficulties, the lecturer for Intro to TV distracted us by making this up on the spot.  Kudos to him for the effort.  The following is my recreation of his anecdote because I can’t remember his exact words.


I should point out that this is in an ideal situation. We shall assume that the Armed Person is a man for the sake of simplicity.


There are two things that must happen for a grenade to detonate. The first is that the pin must be pulled. Second, a pressure switch must not have pressure on it. Therefore, the first step in disarming a man armed with a hand grenade is to keep his hand on the grenade! This is done by holding his hand upon said explosive.


Once his hands cannot detach from the grenade (thus disabling the explosive mechanism temporarily), you are to trip this man by knocking his feet out from under him. While he is on the ground, one of two things can happen. If you are a big, strong or both big and strong, you may stomp on him until he stops moving. In the case of smaller people (like me), you are to continuously fall on his neck until he stops moving. Josh recommends using the knee since it is a joint, probably bony, and a handy weapon in the situation.


With his hand still firmly held around the grenade by yours, and immobile, this is the prime moment to take the grenade into your own hands --- quite literally. Very carefully, scoop the grenade from his hand to yours. Make sure that the pressure pin is still locked down so it not explode on you.


If you can locate the pin, find it and put it back inside the grenade. The grenade now will not explode on you.


In the case the pin cannot be found, there is no other way to disable the grenade than just letting it explode. Placement of the grenade is vital depending on the surrounding area. If you find yourself in the woods or another rural area people are not likely to wander about, you are free to toss the grenade and allow it to freely explode. This begs the question as to why you had to disarm the armed man in the first place.


The more likely situation is that you in a populated area like a city or school playground. In this situation, the grenade must be placed in an area where it will safely explode without any casualties or injuries. You may think that a garbage can is a good spot for it, but THIS IS NOT THE CASE! In fact, the garbage can is a dangerous thing as placing a grenade in one automatically makes it into a shrapnel bomb. Instead, place the grenade under the immovable body of the formerly-armed man and advise everyone to run away. The blow of the grenade is stifled by the body, and everyone in the area is now safe thanks to you.

But you should really thank me for informing you on the process in the first place.

01 March 2010

Weekly Update


Current reads:

Ariel by Steven R. Boyett


Current TV Shows:

Turn-A Gundam (episode 9)

How I Met Your Mother (season 4)

The Big Bang Theory (season 1)


Recent movies:

Singin’ in the Rain (Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, 1952, USA)


Recent Performances:

Narukami, the Thunder God (University Theater)


It’s taking me longer than usual to finish reading Ariel, but between homework and How I Met Your Mother, can you really blame me?