Thursday, January 25, 2007

Utada VS Beckham

Beckham can't really sing, and Utada doesn't play football. So, how do they compete? They eat!

The nattou looks delicious.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Hollywood dreams

I went to a rather small high school. It was only a year old when I first attended there as a freshmen. The benefits of a small school is that everyone knows everybody else. Thus, I've a clear memory of everyone, especially people in my year. A group of people who I clearly remember are the movie geeks. You've probably met one in your high school. They are the aspiring actors/directors/film makers. They always have a camcorder in their backpacks, ready to record everything they see. They are the creative people, who love film so much that they started their own class on video production at my high school. They became teachers to kids of their own age. Who says you need a degree to teach? The Scotts Valley High School Video Production class is still going strong. You can see some of the students works here .

One of the founding members of the class is Dan Hollister. He is now in Los Angeles, chasing his dream of becoming a director. Another originator of the class is Drew Mylrea. He filmed the only movie/video I've ever starred in, playing, what else, a nerd who knows all the answers. Apparently, he's now in UCLA, no doubt going for a film degree of some sort. These talented people have made a feature length film. I'm amazed by their talents, and everyone should take at their film: Phenomenon Jon


The school scenes are filmed at Scotts Valley High

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Deal or No Deal

I just saw a guy, who has been living in his sister and brother-in-law's house in Arkansas turn down $200,000. Instead, he eventually walked away with $10. This is the lowest amount that I've seen someone walk away with. The truth is, you can always walk substantially richer than when you came on this game show. You've just gotta be less greedy. However, like the wise say, no risk, no gain. He had a shot at $500,000. What a quandary! If he had just gotten rid of the $100 case, then the next bank offer would have gone up considerably. Following the show, the host of deal or no deal appeared on CNBC. He said the most heated part of the show is when the driver drives the contestants back to the airport after they've finished playing. If I were a lawyer, I would call up a lot of these contestants after the show. Divorce, for some, are imminent. Poor guy, I bet his sister is not really happy with him right now.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Children of Men

This new movie by Alfonso Cuaron is a testment that critics aren't always right. The movie has gotten raving reviews everywhere I checked. Rotten tomatoes has reported a 91% freshness rating. Everyone seems to like this movie, except me. Not only did I not like the film, I started feeling nauseous in the theater because of it. The battle scenes used a shaky filming technique (almost documentary like), which is used to put the audience in suspense. Think of the filming technique used in Saving Private Ryan and you'll know what I mean. I can understand such cinematography and its purpose, so that's no reason to dislike the movie.

(Beware of spoilers below!)

The setting in futuristic London shows a world of upheaval. London, for whatever reason, maintains minimal order through the use of extreme police force. The year 2027 brings about an age where women are no longer able to conceive babies. It seems like the end of Earth has come. Utter desolation, abject poverty, and any adjective that relates to chaos can be applied to the setting. Even in London, there is great unrest, especially between a terrorist group called "The Fishes" and the London police. Inexplicably, a woman named Kee becomes pregnant. In order to ensure the world's last baby's safety, Kee must be delivered to The Human Project, a group of scientists working on a remote island to try and solve the world's infertility problem. To get to the The Human Project, Kee needs travel permits to the coast. Theo, the protagonist of the story, is captured by "The Fishes" and bribed with $5000 if he could provide the necessary paperwork. Once captured by "The Fishes", Theo realizes that his ex-wife, Julian, is head of the group and finally agrees to help. However, on the road to the coast, Theo, Kee, Julian and a midwife named Miriam were ambushed. Julian gets shot to death and the group narrowly escapes. The remaining group return to a Fishes hidden place only to overhear that the assasination of Theo's ex-wife was conducted by The Fishes themselves. The Fishes want Kee's baby for themselves and use him/her as a rally point for their revolution. Theo, after realizing their sinister plan, escapes with Kee and the midwife and try to bring Kee to the coast. Dodging through showers of bullets while trying to keep Kee and her baby safe, Theo must escape with Kee to the coast.

All this sounds great on paper, nice plot, plausible ending. What gets me to dislike the film is the setting and the eclipse it casts on the audience's mood. Throughout the movie, I was desparately searching for the remotest glimmering of any good to be derived from the birth of Kee's child. By the end, the faintest hope of a bright future is quenched, even with the arrival of the ship to the Human Project, because of the ubiquitous disarray. Futuristic London is a sea of pale and haggard faces. Brooding doom permeates the setting. The overcast skies siphons its effects into the mood of the audience. The abject hopelessness evinced by every scenery left me in despair that it was almost too hard to continue watching. Perhaps I'm still too attached to movies with colorful tones, and happy endings, but when the movie ended, I had given up hope. The world had collapsed and her pregnancy's will just be a futile attempt for humanity to redeem itself. That was my lasting impression as I walked out of the theater. Perhaps this is a movie of acquired taste, and that I became too emotional disturbed by the setting to focus on the story. Nevertheless, although I thought the movie's final message failed, the strong emotions invoked by this movie is commendable. I said that this year I needed to watch darker movies, and this one is just about as dark it gets.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Youtube Issues

For some inexplicable reason, youtube videos suddenly stopped working for me. Everytime I tried opening a video, a message popped up saying either I had to enable my Javascript or download the newest version of the Adobe flash player. If anyone out there is having similiar issues, the only way to resolve it is to uninstall your Adobe flash player and reinstalling it. The problem with uninstallation is that you can't simply going into your add/remove program list in your computer's control panel. Instead, you need to go to Adobe and download the uninstaller. After running it, you need to go back to youtube and reinstall the Adobe flash player prompted by youtube when you first clicked on any unplayable video. Hope this helps someone out there!