Sunday, April 15, 2007

Old Family Memories

You know when you look through the old photo albums or video tapes from about ten years back and you rediscover those old memories that you had since forgotten? Little bits and pieces of your childhood slowly coming back to you the more and more you watch or examine. Old houses, old hairstyles, old people, all the things that had slowly disappeared as time swept forward. That's why things like video recording devices and photos can seem trivial, but are ultimately necessary instrumentss in keeping said memories intact. Who wants to forget those crazy Disneyland trips anyways? Not me!

Mom was going through the old family videos today, trying to find our tape that chronicled our first trip to Hawaii. After going through nearly a dozen little time capsules (when put together they span about eight years, with a few jumps), we had no luck finding the one containing our Hawaii vacation. Which was a bummer, sincewe're going to be taking another trip to Hawaii starting this Saturday, and it would have been wild watching the old then recording the new. xD I really can't wait.. but that's besides the point.

We ended up watching bits from each of the tapes, which was really weird. Dad looked really really freaky with a moustache! I was, on the whole, perhaps the cutest baby you could possibly think of. :) Or at least I think so.. but then again, I could be a little bit biased on that account. After a few minutes, nearly the entire family parked themselves in front of the TV, completely engaged in past activites and events. It was just reeeeaaally trippy for some reason, kind of like time travelling through the television set.

After an hour or two, I decided to bust out the ol' DVD Camera and start recording some random stuff around the house. After all, we did have a couple empty discs, and what else were we going to record on them? No time better the present, that was my current motto. And thus began my quest to annoy everyone around the house with my video camera (technically it's mom's camera, but she always lets me use it). It was really silly and quite pointless, but I'm sure ten years down the line it'll be just as trippy and enjoyable as all the other video's of our family we've been accumilating over the years. Then a cool thought struck me.

Wouldn't it be neat if for every week, I had managed to record one disc's worth of video? You could start all the way from the begginning, and watch straight through an entire year almost like a television series. Mind you, at some points in my life I would have to skip weeks, but it's a really cool concept. The discs aren't too expensive, and it doesn't suck up that much time at all (it only takes thirty minutes to fill up an entire disc). Some kind of bizarre little treat to keep for myself, and maybe eventually I could share it with my kids. xD Of course, they probably wouldn't care.. but I will.

So I would like to dedicate this blog entry to the video camera, one of the world's coolest electronic devices. :) I'll keep you all posted if I do actually decide to record my life one disc at a time.. but I doubt it. It was just a really cool thought that I felt like sharing with the world. =) May The Geek Be With You!

Blending a video camera?! You've gotta be kidding right?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Peaceful Quiet

Life is one enormous roller coaster ride of emotions, and not having a moment of peace makes it even more difficult to hold on. I haven't had much to do over the last couple weeks, so I've been trying my hand at spirtuality, with some rather interesting results. What I find fascinating is that when I put aside just a few moments to pray every morning , I feel more motivated and active throughout the course of the day then if I didn't pray. While I pray, I tend to focus on the things that are good in my life, thus placing me in a more postive active state of mind. Which, needless to say, is quite awesome!

I put aside my own time to communicate with whatever is out there, and a surreal kind of change occasionally happens. My emotions seems to balance out, and alot of the harder edged emotions that pop-up frequently in my day to day life feel considerably dulled. I still have the emotions, and I'm still not the world's perfect man, but praying seems to help a little more then I was expecting. Truly a great way to begin and end each day! There is a kind of peaceful quiet that envelopes me, if only for a few minutes. Still, that moment of serenity really helps when I know the day is going to be a little harsher then usual, or when I just want to give my thanks for what will no doubt be a great day around the Playstation. :) I'm very thankful for my Playstation.

What a Twist!! Something that has nothing to do with the rest of the entry!

The freedom of conversation is invigorating, since I can say things to God that I have great diffculty speaking about to other people. If I feel guilty or hurt about anything, the option to pray usually comes to mind. So I kneel in front of my bed, and have a silent conversation with my God. Thinking patterns seem to gradualy clear up the more emotions I let out, leaving my body feel like a clean slate. There is a promise that today will be better then tommorrow, because I have the will and integrity to make it so.

Was it an instant cure to all of my life problems? Nope! My room is still a mess, and I still haven't gotten around to cleaning my bathroom. You can still find me staring at my computer instead of engaging in more fulfilling real life situations with *gasp* REAL PEOPLE! What it has provided me with though, is a rough foundation for a better tomorrow. So here's to the future, and it's many oppurtinites! May The Geek Be With You!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Path Few Tread

Over the last couple days, I've been trying to find new ways to improve myself little by little. In order to thrieve in this world, you must first find balance within yourself.. or so I keep telling myself. On the whole, I'm a pretty calm guy. On the rare ocassion that I actually do get angry, the guilt usually outweighs the sudden burst of negative energy, casting me back into the middle again. Still, finding little ways to improve myself is going to end up being a very beneficial process.. just as long as I don't get frusturated and give up right when I'm starting to get somewhere.

I'm just realising that fixing bad habits is alot more difficult then it sounds. All of those wasted moments where I think about doing something actually could be used towards (dare I say it) doing something. That's not to say that I don't engage in activity on a frequent basis, but there is a massive room there that could use some improving. So why not liven it up with some wallpaper and some furniture?

Alright, so my new life goal right now is just to improve. What do I need to improve? Everything that I can (that won't drive me insane in the process)! With that, I bid you all good day. May The Geek Be With You!

An AMV from one of my favorite anime shows, Azumanga Daioh!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

SCR: The Best Years of My Life Thus Far (Part 2)

Well, a few days I made the first part of what will be a little mini-series of entries talking about my time at SCR. This will hopefully become a trend with my new blog entries, since I want to talk alot about my own life and not just about my current geek interests. After all, it is "The Journey of a Geek", not just "The Geek".

Once I had finished my acting classes with Joe (for those of you just tuning in, one of my acting instructors), I decided to auditon for a program called the Junior Players. Quite a bit more advanced then the usual lessons, Junior Players was a group that not only included the typical classroom lessons that were common at South Coast, but also invovled the students in an actual play. This of course meant, actually performing in front of an audience that consisted of more then just your friends and family. That was what really tickled my fancy! I wanted to know what that was like, and whether I would actually be able to compose myself within that context. So I auditioned.. with a scene from Jurassic Park. If I was a little more experienced and maybe a little bit older, I would have auditioned with something else. What was really shocking was that... they liked it! They were laughing along with me!

If you've seen the movie Jurassic Park, there's this scene in the begginning where John Hammond is introducing them to the museum tour, which includes a rather silly Disneyland-ish video invovling an animated DNA strand presenting the concepts of cloning. I was the DNA strand! And they loved it for some reason. They did ask me to do it again with a different mindset, which kind of freaked me out. I learned later that they will do this to you everytime you audition for anything, not because you did anything particularly wrong, but because they want to test you. See how you react to new situations and new territory. So I went in with the new directions they gave (they asked me to play it seriously), and I nailed it!

For the next few days, my soul was off in the heavens somewhere. You could probably see me prancing about the house in anticipation, waiting for them to call back with the news. I kept reminding myself that there were probably twenty other kids who went in there with Shakesphere, and the chances of them picking the dweeb with the Jurassic Park audition wasn't very good. Much to my surprise, they called back with not only news, but good news! I got accepted into that year's "SCR Junior Players." If you could've seen me face, it was probably complete and utter shock mixed with a rush of nirvana. I actually made it! It was like... winning the lottery to my little twelve year old mind. You know what the coolest thing was? I didn't have to study! I already had the entire movie down in my head from repeated geek charged viewings Oh yeeeeeaaaaahhh, I felt like the man.

Nothing could prepare me for the unusual experience that went by the name of "Junior Players".. but that will have to wait till next time. For now, this old hermit needs to read more Bleach volumes and finish Eureka Seven. May The Geek Be With You!

Weird Al being his typical song spoofing movie lapooning self.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Eragon Review

Talk about dissapointing. Ever since I heard they were going to make an Eragon movie, I was having 'Geek Attacks' all over the place. Even though the book was completely unorginal, it still had a ton of scenes and themes that would make an outstanding movie. Just thinking about how the movie might handle such concepts as Eragon's first true communication with his dragon got me all excited. This could have been the next Harry Potter! So what happened? The movie sucked, that's what happened.

I don't know who wrote or directed this piece of garbage, but they need to be fired. The entire film lacks any sort of visual inspiration, and I think this is mostly to blame for the studio picking up a newbie director to take charge of the movie. The guy hasn't directed a Hollywood film before, is it really worth the gamble giving something with so much possibility to a complete unknown? If the studio even cared how the film was going to turn out, they would have actually searched for someone with the directing skills to handle a grand fantasy picture. Of course.. they didn't even bother, and the movie suffers for it.

Don't get me wrong, even a talented director would have a hard time making anything out of this screenplay. I understand that you have to take liberties when adapating a book to screen, but this is just absurd. The only thing the book and film have in common is the names of the characters and maybe the first twenty minutes of the movie (but barely). That's it! None of the touching themes or interesting concepts that made the book such a hit made it in this big-screen adaptation. What's left is what feels like a bad Star Wars rip-off set in Middle-Earth. They might as well have changed the title of the movie, because Eragon fans will be ticked after seeing this. I sure was, and I didn't even finish the entire book!

I couldn't have put it better myself, Action Figure Man!

One of my favorite examples of how the screenplay utterly ruined its source matieral was in Saphira's (the dragon) first flight. In the book, it takes a while for the dragon to completely mature. In the film, she just swoops up into the sky for a minute, then comes crashing back down as a full blown dragon. To make it even cheesier, she begins talking to Eragon right from the word go. :) His expression still makes me laugh. It isn't one of those 'Wow, I'm really amazed' kind of looks. Instead it was one of those 'I really want my paycheck, but that means acting in this crappy movie' looks.

I could go and on and on about how uninspired and boring this movie was, but I figure you already get the picture. Most everyone already knows it was a flop, so you're probably not going to see it anyways. Save your money and rent Superman Returns instead! Now that was a good movie.

Rating: D+ (the dragon was kind of cool... and that's about it)

This is one of those cool trailers that is about twice as entertaining as the actual movie. Has about the same amount of substance too.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Religion: The World's Greatest Inspiration

You know what I find fascinating? The fact that there are so many religions out there, and most of them all share the same concepts and themes. All are locked into this wonderous concept that there is a spirtual realm beyond our own, and that us as mortals have an obligation to use our lives to the fullest (or worship to the fullest). It just blows my mind to think that so many people would all rally under one banner, and take up this certain religion that they've chosen as the core of their moral and spirtual beliefs. To think that just through the belief of a higher power, people are able to change their lives for the better. Through the power of faith, people are able to find a new meaning to live, something beyond the everyday grind of our world. They can feel the change happening inside of them, basically changing their entire perception of the universe. Now that's something truly amazing!

Not everyone manages to be so lucky though. Some individuals manage to enrich their lives through faith, and still others remain as cruel and sinful as they ever were. Religion and spirtuality isn't an insant cure to our everyday problems, but it is one of the most inspiring forms of self-motivation to ever come into existence. It can open up your heart and mind to new experiences, and even dramatically change your relationships with loved ones. :) Just thinking about it sets me in a whole new frame of mind. When I look into any kind of religion that has benefited the faithful's lives in a considerable fashion, it makes me feel lighter. *laughs* I don't know how to explain it.. but I feel better about myself and my surroundings. Alot of the tasks that earlier in the day seemed extremely irriating or frusturating seemed like a breeze now that I looked at it from this new perspective. I kind of felt like nothing was beyond me, that I could make a difference if I gave it my best shot. That doesn't happen everyday.

There is a sense of wonder when I look at all of the world's religions as a whole, and not just the one I was born into. I really don't believe in the entire concept of heaven and hell, because how can a Budhist who has found such spirtual and self peace with themself possibly be punished for it? I believe there is a spirtual realm beyond our understanding, and we will never quite understand how it functions and interlocks with our world. Maybe some day we'll find the answers, but until that day comes, I am perfectly contend with leaving it as the world's greatest mystery. As long as I can keep this sensation with me everytime I think about spirtuality, I think whatever God or Being that is out there will be pleased with the way I've developed since my childhood. :) If there is a heaven... I'm confident I will go there someday. And if there isn't.. it was still one helluva ride.

I needed to add something geeky here. LOL, at least it's on topic.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Richard Simmons: One Cool Dude!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
I'm doing super! Thanks for asking! *rolls eyes*

Last night, I was watching this one program called "Super Obese". It was a really sad show about a few individuals who can't even function properly in the real world due to their weight problems. One woman had to have portions of her fat surgically removed before she could even begin recovery. Can you imagine that? Hardly being able to function at all? These people hardly have anything going in their lives. They're completely consumed by their weight problem. And of all the people in the world.. Richard Simmons comes to these weight treatment centers to cheer them up! These depressed obese people go from being miserable and helpless to feeling happy and empowered within the blink of an eye, and it's all because Richard Simmons decided to drop by and give them a boost. After watching that program, I have new found respect for that man. He's really a cool guy, even if he is a little on the flamboyant side.

I figured it was all a big stunt at first, that he just did it because he had some sort of secret agenda behind it. After doing some research, I came to realise that Richard Simmons has no real ulterior motives. He drops by those kinds of centers all the time, and he actually reaches out to the people who ask him for help. One guy on the show said that Simmons would talk to him at least once a week to ask how everything was going and if he was making any progress. :) Doesn't that just bring a smile to your face? There is no finical reward for him to be doing that, but he still goes out and does it.

When Richard Simmons ran into that room and hollered "Who's ready to sweat to the oldies!", everyones face lit up. Just by being there and acting like his typical self, he made about two dozen critically obese people temporairly happy. Just for that, a man whom I had never taken seriously gained my complete respect. This salute goes out to you, Richard Simmons! *salutes* May The Geek Be With You!

Richard Simmons advertising a steamer on the David Lettermen show! Believe it!

The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya (An Anime in Review)

As most of you probably all ready know, I am a huge anime geek! When I manage to grab hold of some freetime, you will usually find me in front of my computer soaking in whatever piece of Japanese animation I can find on YouTube. Alot of it is really quite invovling, with characters constantly developing and changing depending on what kind of weird situations the writers feel like throwing them in this week. Brothers turn against brothers, wars rage out over fantasy landscapes, all that good stuff. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is perhaps the stupidest anime series I have ever watched, but not in a bad way. This is one of those shows that is so stupid and upsurd that you can't help but wonder "what were these guys on?" Again, not neccesairly a bad thing. Infact, with the right mindset, it can be a very good thing!

Let me first start out by saying that this series has a very uneven feel. It can often feel like two different shows mixed into one, each episode switching between tones so quickly that it will no doubt leave some viewers with a case of whiplash. About two-thirds of the series is complete and total junk food, throwing you into one weird (and often hysterical) situation after another. The other third is an often confusing sci-fi/drama where the very fate of the universe revovles around the happiness of one high-school student. Although there were times when I had no idea what was going on, I never found myself bored. Most of the thanks goes towards the show's main character Haruhi, who manages to pull the entire mess together through sheer force of personality. The rest of the cast isn't bad either, consisting of your usual array of delightful anime sterotypes (cute clueless girl, quiet shy girl, smart-ass guy, just plain smart guy, ect). The show is fun, even though the entire thing is really a sugar filled train wreck.

Actually... did I fail to mention that the creators purposely released the episodes out of order to confuse people? One odd thing about this show, is that if you watch it in its orginal order, the timeline is all messed up. You'll be watching one episode that is set at the begginning of the school year, then it'll jump ahead and start an episode that is midway through the school year. To further your confusion, they always feel its necessary to show flashbacks to episodes that you haven't even gotten to yet. Of course, you won't have this issue if you watch the episodes in their correct chronological order.. but first you'll have to figure out what order that is. Which means you'll end up watching the series out of order anyways (unless you cheat and look up the proper order online). *shakes head* It's a really trippy fun ride, I'll give it that.

The ending theme of the show as performed by a bunch of cos-playing nerds. I love them all!

The continuing episode quality could have been better. There were a couple stories that felt rather rehased and uninspired, and after watching several episodes of pure zippy insanity, they tend to stick out. None of the episodes were truly bad, but there is a definite quality difference between them. For instance, Episode 1 was a real knock-out homerun episode. Funny from start to finish. Then the next episode after that is just midly entertaining. Then there's another fantastic episode followed by an average one and such and so forth. This is a general flaw in most televised shows, but it is particularly apparent here.

Against my better judgement, I couldn't help but like this show. It's funny, insane, and unusually difficult to follow. Is it worth the ride? Yes and no. "Yes" if you love surreal humor, "no" if you don't feel like taking the risk of possibly rotting your brain.

Rating: B-

This intro really doesn't express how weird this show is.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

SCR: The Best Years of My Life Thus Far (Part 1)

It has been over a year now, but I still miss acting at SCR (South Coast Reperatory). I always felt so energetic and alive when I did a play there, even if it was just a small insignificant role. Just that feeling of going out there in front of an audience and melding yourself into a character was just amazing! It was like being a part of your own little fantasy world, except you had a large group of other people participating in what would end up being the same vison for that world.

I remember my first year at SCR as if it was yesterday (wow, how cliche). I was basically scared to death, because before that time I hadn't really participated in any social activites on my own with other kids. Just the thought of being judged by a group of ten year olds made me feel extremely nervous. There was just the constant thoughts of "oh my god what do they think of me", "oh my god do I look okay, "oh my god that girl is looking at me". I never once thought to relax and just act like myself, because whenever I attempted to do that, I usually said something incredibly stupid. Nothing that people would even remember, just stuff that made myself feel slightly lesser for some reason.

Then came my first play, and it turned my world upside down. Not only was it one of the more exciting memories of my youth, it was also one of the scariest. I had all my lines down, but my acting was horribly stiff. I got out there and I was sorta robotic.. okay, maybe very robotic. But it was one of those fun "only your parents and friends get to see it" kind of plays, so it was all good. I knew what I needed to improve on, and I moved on.

And now time for something "Completely Different"!

The next year was rather mild and uneventful as far as drama was concerned. I loosened up quite a bit, but was still the social clutz. One of the down sides of homeschooling was that I didn't really gain many social skills with people my own age. Sure, I could talk to adults just fine, but kids were an entirely different matter. They had to accept you as one of their own, and they didn't have to accept you just because you were someones son. So I ended up being the quiet boy, avoiding social contact and just trying to please whoever was my current drama instructor. We always had a perfomance we put on for the parents, usually a short play that had either already existed or something our instructor had created personally for us as a group. Which meant.. we usually ended up playing ourselves. :) Which was actually quite educational, since I could focus entirely on my charisma and stage presence instead of overloading myself with character traits and possiblites. Mind you, they always wanted us to have a different character body and background, but I basically ended up playing the shy guy for about a year. That was of course, unless I got to choose the character I played for class activites (those were fun!!). I would usually do something really wild and crazy, to the pleasure and or displeasure of whoever my stage partner was at the time. Good times, good times.

One of my biggest acting leaps had to be when I performed "Gradution Day" (a play written for us by Joy, one of my instructors). It really built up my confidence, since I was required to do a couple stage shifts that were a little tricky. Tricky as in turn the box around so it lines up with the other box tricky... but at the time that was really quite difficult! More importantly, it taught me alot about myself. I learned that talking to people could often lead to conversations (amazing), and that you shouldn't tell your teacher what other students are doing behind his back. Those kids will give you the evil eye for at least two weeks. :) I learend evil glares should be avoided at all costs.

After I had participated in Joy's play, I felt like a new person. It hit me right during puberty, and it really hepled me grow emotinal strength. It was also a huge stepping stone towards my teenage years at South Coast.. and that was when the fun really began! We shall talk about it next time though, because this entry is already waaaaaaaaaayy too long! May The Geek Be With You!

MST3k completely relates to this topic! Don't deny it.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A Description of Myself

If you've been keeping up with my blog entries thus far, you no doubt know that I'm huge geek, but I haven't entirely thrown my personality out there for everyone to see. Since I want this to bascially be my life story as told through sloppy badly proof read blog entries, I have decided to make my own character profile of sorts. Slightly influenced by the character profiles commonly found in my favorite manga volumes (no shock there), this should throw a bunch of random details about myself out there for everyone to see. Please enjoy these very juicy pieces of Kaleb Knowledge!

Role Models: My Parents (taught me everything I know about morality and life in genreal), George Lucas (taught me to follow my dreams), and Peter Jackson (same as Lucas)

Favorite movies: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (one word... amazing), Star Wars Trilogy (most cherished movies from my childhood), and Jurassic Park (one of the best thrill-a-minute rides of the 90's)

Favorite televison shows: Stargate SG-1 (great characters, great writing, and some thought provoking stories), Stargate Atlantis (same reasons as SG-1), Fullmetal Alchemist (one of the best anime shows.. period), and Bleach (anime action/drama/comedy at its finest).

Things I Love: Movies, anime, manga, happy people acting happy, writing, drama, and my mother!

Things I Hate: hateful people doing hateful things

What I Hope Will Come From the Future: I really want to be a father! What will end up being my major goal is to find
that special someone, stay married a few years to see if we can ever stand each other, then have the baby. I really want to make sure that the realationship can be stable before having the child. Bitter relationship between parents= unhappy child (in my book at least)

This song is strangely addicting! Another fact about myself.

My Description of the World: It's a mess.. but a beautiful mess brimming with qualites. Just stay away from the gloomy dark alleys and you should be fine.

People I Would Like to Meet: George Lucas (one of my idols), Peter Jackson (another one of my idols), Keira Knightly (just to say that I met one of my top crushes), and God (who wouldn't wanna meet God).

Features I Love About Myself: my quirkyness, my non-agressive nautre, my hair, my love of the Japanese

Features I Would Rather Change About Myself: My nose and my acne back.

Favorite quote: "Do.. or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

Favorite candy: Warheads all the way, baby!

Favoirte food: I am pizza addict, no doubts about it.

Favoirte color: Red all the way, baby!

Yoda break dancing?

Yeeeeaaaaahhh, that was kinda pointless. :) Hoped you all enjoyed it though. *makes peace sign* May The Geek Be With You!

Barnes and Noble= Geek Heaven!!

Today was one of those dreamy kinds of days. You know, the ones you wish would never end because you're having such a good time. :) Well, today was one of those days. Not only did I get to stay at the Barnes and Noble.. but I got to stay at the Barnes and Noble for FIVE HOURS!! This gave me plent of time to catch up on the latest manga and comic-book developments. It was quite exciting!

The only downside is that I've just recently caught a wicked cold. The sore throught has gone away, but I still have a really bad case of the sniffles. So while I park myself in the manga aisle, I kept having to quickly run to the bathroom to blow my nose. Even after all that effort, my nose was still pretty plugged up. I swear people could hear me breathing from about twenty feet away! That.. was kind of embarassing.

This is too funny for words! Seriously, you need to watch it.

I managed to wolf down three graphic novels while I was there though, which is quite an accomplishment on my part. They weren't all of the greatest quality, but I managed to pick up one that will soon be a personal favorite. It was just sooo kawaii! Anyone who has ever had a crush should pick up "School Rumble". You will smile.. and given the right circumstances and enviornment, laugh out loud. Unforutnatley, I had people sitting right next to me, so I had to keep my laughter in (it was hard at times).

So overall, here are the ratings for all of the mangas and comic-books I had read! Like anyone cares. *snickers*

School Rumble Vol. 1: B+ (the concept got slightly repetitive, but I couldn't help but love it)

Yu-Gi-Oh Duelist Vol. 1: C (it's kinda like Poke'mon. Feels like a giant fluffly ad for the card game)

Astonshing X-Men Vol. 3: B- (I found this really confusing, but it was still entertaing)

.dot Hack//Legend of Twilight Vol. 1: B (The entire concept is very simple, but I really fell for this one. Great characters and funny situations!)

And yeah, that basically rounds out what I had read. I only read half of Yu-Gi-Oh, so my grade is based entirely on the portion that I read. Maybe it got better.. but I doubt it.

This man is a genius! Literally.

Basically, today was alot of fun! And now I wish to continue the fun with a couple hours of anime before I go to bed (yaaaaayyy!). May The Geek Be With You!!!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Happy Feet Review

Since I have a long break before nursing school starts up, I've been watching alot of movies. Thanks to my mother's Blockbuster Online account, I'm basically able to watch an unlimited amount of movies with no further charge. So I've been basically glued to the television set this week, watching movie after movie after movie. After seeing so many films, you come to realise how bad and overrated most movies are. Very rarely do I end up watching a film that I find not only memorable and engaging, but that affects me on a much deeper emotinal level. Happy Feet is not one of those movies.

After hearing rave reviews from critics and friends alike, I finally decided that I would give the film ago. Besides, the concept of dancing singing penguins seemed kinda cute. Maybe it would end up being like Cars or Finding Nemo, where I actually pat myself on the back for giving the movie a chance. I made up my mind, and figured that Happy Feet would be a good time. Unfortuantely, the film is so murky and badly put together that I find it hard to believe people embraced it at all. I could have written a better script!

The first problem is with the story itself. The entire thing takes far too long to get off the ground, and when it finally does you're bashed over the head with themes that feel like they came straight from the 'Save the Whales' foundation. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against using enviormentalism as a major theme in a movie. Infact, some of my favorite films, including the work of Miyazki, use those ethics to great storytelling effect. Unfortuantely, Happy Feet doesn't have enough of a story behind to make you care about anything it's trying to express. It wants to be taken seriously in the end, but how can anyone take the film seriously when you have a bunch of badly developed Mexican penguins busting out some of the lamest wise cracks I've heard in a very long time. This script should have never seen the light of day.

Here's an entirely different look on the movie. Apparently this guy really liked it! Maybe you will too (the first review is for a differnet movie, but the vid is only three minutes long).

Another issue I had with the film was the badly slapped together stereo-types it wants us to accept as characters. Incredibly one-dimensonal and completly boring, the film doesn't even attempt to be orginal with its inhabitants. Hence the dreadful Mexican penguins that I had mentioned earlier. Not even an all-star cast could save these shallow computer-generated images from inevitable hollowness. One of the biggest let-downs was Elijah Wood's vocal peformance as Mumble, who seems about as enthusatic as a stoned actor in a recording studio after an all nighter. Come on Elijah! You can do better then that!

To the movie's credit, the visuals were simply stunning! By far one of the best looking animated films ever made, if not the best looking animated film ever made. There are some shots that will take your breath away, and leave you craving more. The movie doesn't even seem to understand the beauty of its own surroundings, as it drops you into yet another brain dead penguin dance number. There are barely any quiet moments throughout Happy Feet's runtime, since it insists on constantly engaging the audience in hyperactive action scenes which barely have anything to do with the main plot as a whole. Looking back at one of Walt Disney's greatest animations "Bambi" proves that you can make a kid flick without resorting yourself to ADD style structuring. I wish more animated movies were like "Bambi". The world would be a better place.

I really wanted to like this film, but I couldn't help but be reminded how full-length animation has lost all of it's creativity and zeal. There is not a single moment in this romp that isn't spoiled by eratic directing and a poorly plopped together script. Happy Feet did not make me happy in the slightest.

Rating: C- (only because the animation was breathtaking)

Serenity: A Movie Review

Having recently seen the cult sci-fi series Firefly, I couldn't help but feel a little excited about seeing "Serenity". Continuing the plot of the orginal film, Serenity feels more like a great three episode story arc then an actual film. Anyone who has seen the majority of the "Star Trek" flicks without any biasis knows exactly what I'm talking about.

Besides a few surprisingly dramatic moments, the film as a whole is as flat as a pancake. You've got the typical sci-fi plot invovling human superweapons and evil empires, while throwing in a bit of Wild West salt in for good measure. That in and of itself isn't a bad thing, since the orginal Star Wars films were about as generic storywise as you could get, but the film itself has always been a breath of fresh-air for sci-fi fans. Serenity in comparison, isn't even worth a second glance.

One of the major issues I had with the movie was that it didn't set itself apart from its source matieral. When you're making a film continuation, drawing upon the series isn't a bad thing.. but in this particular case it keeps the film from feeling worthy of the big screen. It feels as if Joss Whedon (the writer and director of the film and series) took one of his Firefly scripts and just added a few extra fight scenes to pull the entire thing together.

For anyone interested, here's the trailer for the film. Worth seeing if you're sci-fi fan or a fan of the show, don't get me wrong. Just not a particularly good movie.

Oh! And let's kill off two characters that everyone loves and hardly have any emotinal reaction from the rest of the crew. I can understand killing people off to raise the stakes, but in Serenity's case, they don't dwell upon the deaths long enough to leave an emotinal impact. It kinda goes like this: "He's dead, we're sad, we're over it." It's like X-Men 3 all over again!

This film is riddled with plot holes. Points where you wonder if the story had been created by a bunch of lucky fan-fiction writers. The plot itself isn't bad, wit a few suddle tweaks to keep the movie fresh. But when you start to look at the events from a logical standpoint, the entire thing starts to fall apart. Why wouldn't the Alliance just nuke the planet if it was that much of a threat to their order (the geeks know what I'm talking about).

The movie wasn't all bad. Infact, I found myself fairly entertained for the two hours the film lasted. It has a cool style, some nice one liners, and a likeable cast. But it could have been so much more then it was. There was a few scenes I thought were quite neat, such as the spaceship battle bewteen Serenity and a horde of Alliance ships. But this isn't anything you haven't seen before in deeper more emotinally rewarding sci-fi pictures. As a Firefly fan, I was dissapointed. Which too bad, because the only people who will enjoy this film are those who have already experienced the TV show. If you haven't.. good luck trying to figure out all of the different relationships and plot points. This is a film for the fans only! And more then likely, they will love it. Does that make it a good movie? No.

Rating: C+

Life's Gonna Suck When You Grow Up!

Since I haven't updated in god knows how long, I decided to throw you guys a bone. Or more importantly, just throw Chrsitine a bone.. since I think she's the only person who's reading my blog. :) I need a fanbase, that way I can become one of those famous interent people. Then I wouldn't even have to get a job, I could just get into modeling and make my living from that (be on the cover of Hot Otaku Weekly). So yeah, I have now just realised that in order to fulfill this goal of fully expressing myself through the magic of blogging, I need to blog more often. So here's the first of what I think will be many updates. Oh goody!

This one's gonna be short, since I have alot of other topics that I want to type about. There's this song I found on the Internet just a few days ago, and I've found it very amusing. I think the title of the song is "Life's Gonna Suck", but I'm not entirely sure. I watched a vid with the song in the background, but I'm dying to get it on my iPod It's really funny while also being brutally honest. It's a great messsage to give to your kids.. that life is gonna suck! *shrugs* Let's face it, most of the time it does. But this song puts it out there in such a playful manner that it's unusually uplifting (for me at least). So without further ado, here's the "Life's Gonna Suck" vid.

Warning: Did I mention that this is an anime vid?