Friday, June 22, 2007

"Stuff That I've Watched, Read, Or Done": Vol. 2

Hello everybody! Kaleb the Critic has returned, and this time he's bringing an entire legion of different stuff for your reading pleasure. Fortuantely, I had alot of things that I had forgotten to review from my last entry, so I'll hit upon them here. Please enjoy, and if you don't agree with any of these insights, please give me a ton of rantful comments. :) I love comments.

Borat (A Film in Review)
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I like a you! I like a this film! It's a very nice!

OMG: This is the funniest movie I've seen in a very long time! No matter which way I look at it, I really can't find anything I didn't like. I literally laughed until tears came streaming down my eyes. It was a that nice!

Classic Moment in Comedy: Two very naked men fighting through a hotel. It was perhaps one of the most disgusting/funniest scenes in any movie to date. Pure genius running wild!

Rating: A (Nice!)

He Is My Master (An Anime in Review)
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Super kawaii!

Things That I Hated: This show hasn't a single shred of dignity or class. All of the characters are basically one dimensional archetypes, and the situations are even more generic. When your show relies almost entirely on the sex appeal of it's fourteen year old cast to sell every joke, you know you've got issues. Big issues!

But Yet...: At it's best, this show is a guility pleasure. There are alot of things to laugh at here, but you'll soon find yourself wondering how many times they'll end up reusing the same gag instead of using something fresh. While Anna-chan's constant infatuation with Izumi was downright hysterical for a few episodes, it all gets very ho-hum after the tenth "I would love to do this and that to Izumi-san!" statement. Come on, guys! Being perverted doesn't make up for creative!

Speaking of Perversion: I'm not going to lie to you and say that I don't like fan-service (a term that basically means "anime sex appeal"), but this show really does take it too far. I was nearly insulted on a few occasions, which is something that very rarely happens withe me and comedies. Maybe it was the fact that the girls are only fourteen, or the fact that thier "master" is a complete and utter lecher.. this show really rubbed me the wrong way. They're just too young! It's creepy!

Rating: C (it's sorta funny, but lacks a real heart)

Grave of the Fireflies (A Film/Anime in Review)
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If you don't feel like being depressed, stay FAR FAR AWAY FROM THIS MOVIE! It's like seeing a cute little puppy dog get run over by a truck.. but in a good way.

What I Loved About This Movie: This goes up their with Pan's Labyrinth as one of the most depressing movies I've seen this year, but in a good way. The animation isn't quite as good as more recent efforts such as "Spirted Away" or "Howl's Moving Castle", but it's still a very pretty film to look at. You'll forget this is anime the moment the bombs begin dropping. The overall story is excellent, if a tad bit dissapointing. You really want these kids to be happy.. but unfortuantely, no matter how hard they try, everything just shoots straight for hell.

When Dubbing Attacks: I didn't manage to watch the orginal Japanese dialouge for "Grave of the Fireflies", but I can say that the English dub of the film was lacking a certain zest. It really took the emotinal power out of the movie's more dramatic scenes. When I'm watching a World War 2 animated drama, I really don't want the voices to sound like Speed Racer (which they don't, but you know what I'm saying).

Rating: B+ (would have been an A- if the dubbing was better)

Batman Begins (A Film in Review)

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I must be emo.

Things That I Loved About This Movie: This is by far, the smartest superhero movie ever made. The plot is what we in the geek business like to call "freaking genius!" Trust me, this makes pretty much every other superhero film feel like child's play. This is a really deep, dramatic, fun movie! That's right, I did actually use the words "deep and dramatic" in the same sentence as "fun". It is possible! Batman Begins proves that there is still alot of life in the superhero genre, if directors would only treat their source matieral as seriously as this one does. A must see, even if you aren't a fan of The Dark Knight.

Don't Believe Me?: Take a look at See! The majority of critics loved it too. Which means... you should watch it. I'm lookin at you, Christine.

Rating: A- (a great movie! Watch it now!!)

Back at the Begginning (Its Been a Tough Week)

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Several blog entries ago, I made an entry about how I was going to nursing school and how it was going to be this great amazing life changing experience. I had basically convinced myself that this was the perfect carrer track for me, and how everything was just going to fall into place from there. Unfortuantely, reality strikes and situations forced me to double think the choices that I was making. Since yesterday, I am no longer a nursing student, and I really have no idea what I'm gonna do with myself.

Okay, for starters, I'm only sixteen years old! I have another few years to think about what I really want to do with my life, and just throwing myself into something without giving it much thought and consideration could have some major consequences. I just said to myself, "I can be a nurse", and that was how I made my decision. I didn't really think about whether sticking tubes into people's private areas was really what I wanted to do for a living. Sure, I could have gotten a different job in the medical field after being a nurse.. but I've never been too fond of hospitals. xD Maybe that was something I should have considered when I signed up for nursing school, the fact that I don't like the hospitals or medical facilities. Where was I coming from again?

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Amen to that! Although, I'm not so sure I would have "loved" it.

I do have to say though, that being in the program for as little time as I did ended up being a worthwhile experience. It really did open my eyes to the real world, and I feel that I've matured quite a bit. But now I'm back to where I was before I entered nursing school, and I can't help but feel just a tad bit guility. Here I was thinking I was gonna be "Macho Nurse", and yet I chickened out (I didn't really, but this is the way I keep on seeing it) and didn't finish what I started. And now what am I supposed to do?

I guess I'll start up the normal college classes again, and maybe get into some acting program. The only issue I'm really having right now is the debate between what I really want to do, and what will eventually become profitable. I really want to do something involving the arts or acting, but their are so many chances of failure in that area that it could become nearly impossible to make a solid living. Yet.. I really want to do something along those lines. Maybe I should write books or something. *shrugs* I have alot of time to think about it. Maybe following my dreams is the best way to go? Or are they just "dreams". Will I really be happy when I'm broke and chasing something I can't possibly attain? *shrugs* I've got alot of time to think about it.

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Doesn't look like I'll be walking down this hallway anytime soon. Unless of course, I get an ingrown toenail or something. xDD Sorry, couldn't help but throw that in there.

Anyways, I really don't want this post to be a complete downer. I'm feeling all right, and this experience has really made me think about what I want from my future. That is.. I'm not sure what I want from my future. :) Guess I'll just have to go with the flow of things for now, and keep my eyes open for new oppurtinites. Hope you all have a great day!

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Song That Describes Me (A Tag Response)

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I'm a bloody rock god.

So anyways, the other day I was on Christine's blog (a friend of mine, who is awesome by the way), and like all good Blogger friends should do, she tagged me with a topic I'm going to have a really hard time responding to. She left me with the challenge of "trying to find a song that best describes me" and to write an entry about it. And to her I respond: "It's gonna take alot more then one song to flesh me out."

xDD When translated into honesty, this means that "I really don't want to spend the time narrowing it down to one song, and it'll be less time consuming making it three." :) Unfortuantely, there wouldn't be any fun in that now would there. So I decided, after much consideration, to pick a song that had touched me in an honest and sincere way. It may not exactly describe who I am, bit it does describe something I eventually want out of my life. And that in and of itself is enough to catapault it to the top of my list!

I Want Love (by Elton John)

I want love, but its impossible
A man like me, so irresponsible
A man like me is dead in places
Other men feel liberated

I cant love, shot full of holes
Dont feel nothing, I just feel cold
Dont feel nothing, just old scars
Toughening up around my heart

But I want love, just a different kind
I want love, wont break me down
Wont brick me up, wont fence me in
I want a love, that dont mean a thing
Thats the love I want, I want love

I want love on my own terms
After everything Ive ever learned
Me, I carry too much baggage
Oh man Ive seen so much traffic

So bring it on, Ive been bruised
Dont give me love thats clean and smooth
Im ready for the rougher stuff
No sweet romance, Ive had enough

My reasons: This song really breaks my heart everytime I hear it. Even though I've never been in a real relationship with anyone as of yet (I am only sixteen), this song really speaks to me. It talks about having a real emotinal connection with someone, instead of just hiding behind deceptive romance. Or at least.. that's what I got out of it.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

"Stuff That I've Watched, Read, or Done": Vol. 1

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Your opinion sucks! Mine is better!

There comes a point in one's life where... you just feel like being a critic. So now, it's my great plesure to reveal to you, a new feature in my blog. "Stuff That I've Watched, Read, or Done" Volumes!! :) +Since I really don't have the time nor the patience to make seperate entries about all of the things I'm about to review, I decided to give you what is basically a bite-sized summary of my thoughts for each subject. Don't worry, it isn't all anime.... only most of it. xDD I'm sure Roger Ebert here would be proud.

Pan's Labyrinth (A Film in Review)
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Welcome! My name is Willy Wonka! Welcome to my factory!

Things That I Liked About This Film: Oh god, where to begin! Easily one of the most orginal and visually inspired films I've seen in a very long time.

I"d like to clear this up for alot of people.. this is not a fantasy film! This is a war-time drama that just so happens to have elements of dark fantasy thrown in for flavor. The fantasy scenes only take up about thirty minutes of the entire film, which is a bit misleading if you've watched all of the commericals and ads for the movie.

Prepare to be depressed! By the time you've watched the last five minutes, you'll see the world a bit differently. I know I did.

Things I Didn't LIke About This Film: While the movie was basically brilliant, there were a scene I thought was unneccessary. When you've got a big CGI frog in the middle of what is otherwise a hauntingly realistic film, it completely takes you out of the moment. What were they thinking when they did that scene anyways? It didn't make much sense to me.

While this isn't really a complaint, I thought the brutal violence could have been toned down in a couple scenes. It really narrows the auidence down, since I do know a few people who wouldn't be able to tolerated watching a man's face get beaten in (quite literally). I like that Pan's Labyrinth didn't smooth any of it's sharp corners while presenting it's tale, but people who can't stand the sight of flowing blood need not apply. Which is unfortuante, because they'll be missing out on a really great piece of art.

Rating: A-

Emma (An Anime in Review)
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Get outta my grill, yo!

Things I Liked About This Series: I really do love the Japanese! I've been watching anime pretty much non-stop for the last year or so, and they never cease to impress. You would never see anything like Emma realised in the United States, because we're still stuck in an "animation is either satire or kiddy shows" rut. This show proves that you can pull off a Dickens like tale in animation without a single compromise.

The characters are well developed, the story is interesting, and the love between the two main leads is like something you'd find out of an old 1940's style film. See! You can have a believable romance in animation! Now get crackin Disney. I can't stomach anymore of those "Chicken Little" leftovers you've been given me.

Things I Didn't Like About This Series: I do respect that the show takes it's time with developing the characters and the situations they currently find themselves in, but the series is rather slow paced. I really didn't mind that much, but I know a few people who will be turned off by it. :) To be completely honest, I would rather have believable characters then have to put up with another "fast-paced bang boom" anime. Those are getting old really fast.

The ending was not good.. at all. If I didn't know there was a sequel series to this, I would be pretty pissed. I don't want to give anything away, but the last episode was very dissapointing. Luckily, "Emma: Second Act" just got uploaded to! Yaaaaaahhooooooo!

Rating: B

Epic Movie (A Film in Review)
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Get it! It's just like the movie Scarface... only with a fawn! Hahahahahahahaha! *crickets chirp in background*

Things I Liked About This Movie: I laughed once. *shivers* I'm embarassed I even said that.

Things I Hate Hate Hated!! About This Movie: By now, you all know this movie is horrible. I mean, come on! Look at the trailer and all of the promotinal clips. Do I really need to tell you how bad this is? .... Actually, I didn't make it all the way through. My friend and I watched the first forty-five minutes and turned it off. If you know me, and how much I love my stupid comedies, this is not something that should have happened. But this isn't just a stupid comedy, it's so brain-dead that it's tragic.

Rating: D-

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?! (A Film in Review)
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Marty! We need to travel Back to the Future. (Only major geeks will have gotten that.. because you know, the guy who plays the villian in Roger Rabbit is also the same guy who plays the professor in Back to the Future)

Things I Liked About This Movie: What's not to like? Who Framed Roger Rabbit is funny, hip, and just about everything else you'd want a movie of this type to be. It was also a huge breakthrough from a film perspective, making the animation/live-action sequences in Song of the South seem downright prehistoric. It's mind blowing just how believable the cartoons are when they're acting alongside the actual actors.

The icing on the cake? A piano duel between Daffy Duck and Donald Duck. Genius!

Things I Didn't Like About This Movie: Let's face it, this isn't a kids flick by any stretch. Heck, Jessica Rabbit should have boosted the rating to PG-13 all by herself. You have waaaaaayy too many sexual innuendos, far too many curse words, and far too many Jessica Rabbit jiggles to really qualify this as a family movie. While I personally found it all amusing, I'm sure many parents have not. I saw worse stuff when I was a kid.. but the fact that there's a Disneyland ride and lots of merchandise in Toontown may be a little misleading.

Rating: B+

Friday, June 08, 2007

Welcome to the Bi-Youth Nation

In our culture, teenagers find themselves confroming to different kinds of personality and psychology traits just strictly because it's the popular thing to do within their group. Look around you and you'll see hundreds of kids morphing themselves into something they aren't, just to receive the attention and admiration of their peers. They do it because they feel they have to. It has become a bit of a social survival technique. Although, every so often this can actually deal more emotinal harm then good, and thus I come to the topic of this entry. Why, in such alarmingly massive numbers, have teenagers all of a sudden been stumbling out of the closest about their 'supposed' bi-sexuality. Is it because they're actually bi-sexual... or are they just seeking attention of other youths.

Within our youth culture, the new it thing is being "bi". Now maybe it's just because I'm young and haven't had much experience within the real world, but it seems like every other teenage girl I've talked to claims that she's bi-sexual. On top of that, most of their friends are either "bi" or have been converted into being "bi". Wanna talk about exposure! All of a sudden, you have all of your friends bragging about how great it is to be attracted to both genders. Now how is the typical teenage brain going to react: it conforms and adapts. Pretty soon, you've got a whole group of friends that have all decided that they're bi-sexual. It's really strange, and I've seen it happen a little more then I'd like.

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Through peer pressure! Oh, the drama of Japanese school life! Although.. if you had watched the show, you would know this has very little to do with my actual topic. I just thought the image was funny! Haruhi is a cutie anyways.

Now, if you're completely for people being bi-sexual, this really shouldn't be a problem right? Well, I for one don't have a problem with people being either gay or bi-sexual. People should be able to choose what works for them, and that includes sexual preferences. That's not the point. The point I'm trying to make is when kids put themselves into a state of mind that isn't their own, but was created through the forces of peer pressure, you have a problem! You are what you are, and you shouldn't just jump into something because it's the new and hip thing to do. If you aren't gay and you aren't bi, then there is no reason why you should be. It's more healthy to be true to yourself and walk your own path then to hear girls giggle about you being "the hot bi".

I do believe that this sudden bi-wave is probably just a phase, and will eventually pass just like everything else. Their are some major negatives to going around bragging about how you swing both ways. As accepting or unaccepting as you think our society is, once someone says that they're "bi-sexual", a massive amount of assumptions will be made about you. Do they really want that? Do teenagers even bother to think about this part of the deal? Do they bother to ponder what emotinal baggage playfully dabbling in this kind of stuff can cause? How many of them are actually bi-sexual? If you want my humble opinion, probably less then you think.

I would like to state once again that I'm not against any sexual preferences. Whatever floats your boat is fine by me. Just stay true to who you are, and not what the current social "it" is hinting towards. You may just end up trapped in something that you may later regret.