Movie Reviews

Friday, September 30, 2011

Don't Be Afraid of The Dark

      Honestly, stress has been having a prolonged stakeout in my head for these past couple of days. If you ask me about the origins of the nervousness, school's the culprit. This part of the "Drugs and Disease" course was said to be easier than the other two parts. Easy my ass. I studied for hours on end and I still came out of that final with a "what the fuck just happened" look. In all seriousness, I can't afford to fail this course. As you can see, I need an outlet. So, why not a movie post. With my current luck, I'm bound to watch a really bad flick but this won't necessarily be a bad thing. It'll give me an excuse to flip shit on it. That'll speed up the healing process a bit won't it?
      What do you know about director Guillermo del Toro? Name sounds familiar? It should. He directed mainstream movies which include: Pan's Labyrinth, The Hellboy Series, Kung Fu Panda, Splice, and yadayadayada. What's the common theme in all of these flicks? Don't say that they were all crap. Tell me, who didn't like Kung Fu Panda? Not even I will dare to write a bad review on it. The underlying theme in all of these is the idea of fantasy or the belief in the fantastical. So, it's easy to predict what's to come from this film. Matter of fact, the whole introduction of this movie came off as very animated. Now wait a minute, I first chose to watch this film because I wanted to watch a new horror film. When you have a title like "Don't be afraid of the Dark", I mean, you should have ominous music spilling out of every pore in the scene to compensate right? Not Disney introductions. It looks like del Toro thought he was exempt.
      Guy Pearce, Katie Holmes, and Bailee Madison star in this 1973 horror movie that retells their troubling experiences with the goblins of the Netherworlds...Ok, it's not a movie from the seventies but hell, it sure seems like it should have been. The music, the crude transitions, the repeating screen shots of the Blackwood Mansion, all made it seem as if the movie industry rolled back the clock a billion times. Just as a side note, is it just me or is Guy Pearce seem like a cross between Brad Pitt and Matt Damon? 
      Anyway, Pearce played the role of Alex, a work-oriented father, divorced, who wants to get his career back on track by remodeling and selling the Blackwood Mansion. Little does he know about it's daunting history that was forcibly hidden from the public. Besides, one or two lines, I thought Pearce did a good job. Nothing much to say about Katie Holmes since the movie was predominantly centered on Bailee Madison, who played the role of Sally, a medicated, troubled, divorce torn youngster. Child actors tend hit home every time. I'm pretty sure that if I did say something bad about her acting, I would be escorted straight to the gates of hell without a seconds notice. 
      I'm trying really hard not to give away the ending but it's not like you wouldn't figure it out within the first fifteen minutes of the movie. This review is long enough. Would I hit the replay button on this one? Hell to the no. I'm telling you it's a waste of time. But if you are bad-ass and watch it anyway, I want you to let me know what you thought about the librarian's comment about the Vatican's involvement in all of this. I thought that idea was pretty freaking hilarious. Since when did the Vatican like to share children? 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How Far Will I Go For Friends?

      What would I do for the ones close to me? You can't comprehend the number of times this question has popped up in my head and all the answers that I've come up with. Ideas of self-sacrifice have fiddled in my mind, pretty dark huh? Ever encountered that one guy with the superman complex that just wants to save everybody. You're reading one of his posts and I know it sounds ridiculous but it is what it is. Weird? We are talking about the intangible depths of my mind here, so if this didn't come up as somewhat of a surprise to you then you are on hell of a job reading me.
      I'll tell you guys of a e story that most of my friends already are privy to. I'm hoping that it'll help you guys gauge a part of my personality. In my freshman year of college, I made the choice of walking for miles to find one specific bag of Potato Chips.  Why should a guy, who is supposed to be working hard to retain a 4.0 GPA, go out of his way to walk for a good three hours to find chips? In what world would that be logical?
      I had a friend, let's just give her the name Amy, who made a mistake. She assumed that the bag unopened chips in the dorm room, which was bought by her roommate by the way, was up for grabs. After taking a couple of chips, her roommate came in and made a fuss about how Amy shouldn't use things that isn't hers or at least ask before using them. After I came to know about this, I put it upon myself to save the situation by purchasing the same bag of chips for Amy to give to the roommate to appease her error. So the next three hours were dedicated to hunt for a large bag "Lays Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips".
      These chips are fairly popular, don't you think? I thought it would be quite the simple operation. (Shaking my head.) No No, I was wrong. I found small bags of these chips but the large ones weren't being sold anywhere. I know because there isn't a store I didn't strip search. After tiring myself out, I opted for "UTZ" version and thought to myself, "If she doesn't accept this, she has got to be the biggest biotch of all time. Who doesn't like "UTZ" Sour Cream and Onion?" To conclude this boring-ass of an anecdote, I don't know whether or not she actually gave them to her roommate. She might have just eaten it.
      When my friends are in a bad place, I try to help the situation. Sometimes, I just do whatever comes first to my head. They might not seem like much but I do enjoy doing it and seeing them smile because of it. When I see that they are entertained, I feel as if I am doing something right. So how far will I go for those close to me? If I was a car, with a full tank, I would drive till every last bit of gasoline has been used. It doesn't even matter about the lack of moola in the bank account or the increasing price of gasoline. Without our friends, who the fuck are we?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Apologies

      Sorry everybody, you won't get much from me today because of the Drugs and Diseases final, which I am to partake in at 7:30am. I hoping I am ready for this one because this particular exam has a unique ability to shit on the recent midterm when just comparing their respective reference material. Anyways, my marathon studying is going to resume at three in the morning, which is less than three hours away. Until then, I'm getting my snooze on.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Maya

      For as long as I could remember, "Maya" has always been that girl. You know, the person who you couldn't really place a finger on or pinpoint. The one that you sometimes secretly thought about and, at other times, just stayed content with her presence in your life. The name "Maya" is a pseudonym, I can't disclose her actual name. If she, somehow, catches a whiff of the existence of this blog entry and reads it, then everything will be prematurely blown to shit. At least this way, I have a pathetic little excuse to hold on tightly to when she does confront me. It doesn't really matter though because any hope of this even working is null and void. After four broken relationships, not counting the two that didn't really end up anywhere, I should know better. 
      She's beautiful, oh my sweet Lord is she beautiful. If I wouldn't be assumed to be some kind of creep-ish visual stalker, I would just enjoy the sight of her all day. Being innocently gorgeous is just the icing on the mouth-watering, delicious, hazelnut-almond cake that is Maya. Did I just compare her to a cake? Chyeas! Hahaha, let the idiotic analogies continue! She's lovable. With her distinct smile and easy to please nature, it makes me somewhat jealous that another is enjoying the pleasure of her company. 
      Sometimes before class lecture starts, I would quickly peek behind me to see if she is sitting somewhere close. No one would think twice about it because Maya is a friend of mine and not another acquaintance. We've known each other ever since the instigation of this program in our lives. The five star problem lies in the fact that she has a boyfriend and that for quite some time now. In actuality, this turns out to be a good thing. I don't really need another relationship. Honestly, at times, I do secretly wish that she was one of my failed attempts. At least then, I would have shared nice intimate memories with her. 
      Maybe, I will tell her. Certainly not today, but when right opportunity presents itself. Nothing will become of it but it's about the time that I made the choice and owned up to what's unfairly rousing inside me.
      

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Feeding Steroids to M.J.?

      I was warned that kittens grow rapidly but this can't be normal. Because of my Drugs and Diseases Final on Wednesday, this is the last thing I should be thinking about but I am given no choice. When M.J. lays by me with that protruding belly of hers, I can't help but ask. What is Purina slyly adding into their dry food formulation? Dianabol? Or is it Winstrol? Which one?! The fact of the matter is that the answer doesn't reall matter now. The effects have already kicked into full throttle. My once cute little kitten is rapidly evolving into a thick skinned saturated saber-tooth that sleeps three fourths of the day. It was once considered cute when she tries to bite me but now she's digging deep. When was that? Like a week ago?
      Opting out of getting her de-clawed when I got first got her was a bad idea. I thought, hey, a cat without its claws is a sledgehammer to the pride of a feline, even if it's a female. I should have thought twice. I have two pairs of dress shoes. The first, I have worn to shit and I don't really care what happens to it. The second pair is the moneymaker. I keep that one in great condition and use it only for special purposes such as interviews, special familial occasions, and formal celebrations. As of now, there are a total of eight holes on its surface. The heck? She went on to shred them right in front of me as well. They didn't even have a chance, it all happened in a split second.
      Afterwards, like nothing happened, she contently takes a nice dump in the litter box. What a life, huh? So simple, so annoyingly innocent. "Are you angry, my dear sir, at the fact that I clawed through your perfectly maintained shoes? Look deep into my large greenish blue eyes and have your heart warmed. Are you done? Now go get me that new toy that you bought over the weekend bitch!" Moral of the story, crash diet. I wouldn't dare but a scratching post, as soon as possible, would be a great start. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Miracle At Paul's

      Before I start writing about anything remotely close to the title subject, I need to vent a little. Here goes...Why in the hell is George Washington Bridge toll now 12 dollars instead of 8? Has everyone managing The Port Authority gone insane while I was passed out last night?! I'm sure I wasn't passed out for that long. Despite the fact that I don't really use G.W. too much anymore, I'm entitled to be a little unpleasant. I remember a time when I used that bridge every single day to go to class which was ridiculous because I wasn't a smart driver back then. All I cared about was getting to school and if I had to be stuck in the same traffic jam every day, so be it. Then, I started to pay for my own gas...
      Alright, I'm feeling better already. I was more of a Tappan Zee fan anyway. Some of you readers, who know me personally, know the double meaning in that statement. You know who makes me feel even better? Give it up to the only barber in New York who I entrust the livelihood of my hair follicles, Arthur. I don't let anyone else touch my hair except this specific employee at "Paul's". Other than him, only a handful of ladies had that pleasure. Pleasure? Please, back then my hair was like a chocolate ice cream bowl with vanilla sprinkles. Gross, yes I know. Even Arthur told me to put some baby oil on the bitch. 
      For a while now, I have been keeping my hair in great condition; however, I also haven't cut it... in months. Do you know the growth rate of hair on my head? A half an inch a night is not rare phenomenon. I may be pushing it but you get what I'm trying to say. It got to the point where my friends have even advised me to get rid of what I had going on. My closest friends didn't have to say anything, they just talked about my hat a lot more than usual. Anyway, I had a full day of work ahead of me and because I was heading back to the "Basement" shortly afterwards, I only had  a small time frame to work with. After leaving work early, I headed over my hero.
      It was about 5:30 in the afternoon and to my relief the lights were still lit and the "Open" sign facing towards me. I came closer and read what made me wince. Saturdays: 9am-5pm! Looking through the window, I saw him still at work on someone's haircut and, clutching on to all hope, I walked inside. He initially said that the shop was closed and that he had to get to a family party. After showing him my hair and letting out pleas of desperation, he gave in. I now stand before you a few pounds lighter and a total douche-bag. Although, I did give him a hefty tip. Big tips always makes any situation better, even if the situation doesn't call for it.
      If you guys want more information about the toll situation, take a look at this article: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/19/higher-bridge-tunnel-and-path-rates-approved/
     

Friday, September 23, 2011

Make Space for Spontaneity

      Life always gives you room to try something different, something that may even surprise people around you. It's up to you to say yes or no. Today, I said yes. I only say no to certain things such as: hurting people intentionally, getting drunk, misbehaving with the opposite sex, doing drugs, being dishonest at the workplace, stealing, and smoking. These are just some of many things that I promised myself that I wouldn't participate in my lifetime. People that came before told me not to do it so why not take their word for it? But today, you can cross one of those things off the "Not to Do" list. A couple of hours ago, I took my first few crude puffs of a Romeo Y Julieta Reserva Real.
      Now before some of you start running after me with pitchforks, let me put this into context. Understand that I did this out of my free will and I wasn't coerced.
      Tomorrow, marks the birthday of one of my good friends. Since I had to return upstate later on in the day because of work responsibilities, the afternoon hours will be the only chance that all of us friends can group together and give him a nice warm welcome into the wild age of twenty-one. So after class, two friends and I went on a search for the perfect cake for this lactose-intolerant noobie. After concluding that search in the mouth-watering Martha's Bakery, we stopped by a nearby convenience store and bought two cigars. We chose R&J and Acid since this guy likes to smoke at occasion, to relieve stress. I am the first to advise my friends to not smoke because it is a serious hazard to their health but today, it was his birthday. So F^&* it.
      Meanwhile, the birthday boy was being entertained by my current roommate and by my first-ever-roommate as a freshman in college. The remainder of us came in, broke out the cake and candles, and lit a flame in his being. He was happy and because of that, so were we. While he was sitting down trying to stuff down the last portion of vanilla frosting down his esophagus, I told him that he needs to light up the Cigar before I left and maybe, I'll join him. The look on his face was priceless! For a moment, he stared at me in disbelief and asked, "Are you being serious?" After affirming, disbelief turned to surprise in it's purist condition. Why I did I say yes? I wanted to make his birthday into something special, an experience that us friends could share and remember. Was it worth breaking my own rules? Yeah. As to whether or not I'll do it again, for me this was a one time thing. I'll try my best to keep it that way. If not...Here's to my first steps into the depths of Hell.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Damn you M.J.!

      I may have stated, in one of my previous posts, that I learn things the hard way. Want some examples? Let's see...I could give you answers to the following questions with supporting experiential proof: Why do you not microwave eggs? Why should you not wear shorts and a see through hoodie during thirty degree (Fahrenheit) weather? Why should you not eat forty McNuggets thinking everything is going to turn out great afterwards? Why should you not pull two consecutive all-nighters to study for an upcoming exam and decide to fall asleep a couple of hours before taking it, thinking you could wake up? Now you can add another one to this ever-so-growing list. Why should you not hold a kitten when you're trying to give it a shower?
      How could I not understand something so simple but can explain the effects of Folic acid and Vitamin B12 deficiencies on the DNA and RNA synthesis platforms fifteen times over? I was naive to think that M.J. would be different from other kittens. In my head, she would be that one kitten that does backstrokes in the bathtub. Come on, water? Please, M.J. loves to stay dermally hydrated. Uh Uh! Damn, she almost cleaved my forearm clean off my body with her nails. I'm telling you, I'm spoiling this little one with my lack of common sense. I'm giving her extra portions and little treats for being a good sport. When I'm not doing that, I'm letting her sleep in my bed at night. After that, I let her wake me up at 5:30 in the morning and she has the audacity to puncture my skin and leave my roommate unscathed? Hell, he was holding the shower head.
      Right now, she's sleeping comfortably on my thigh. I just had a study session with my roommate on anti-platelet factors and mechanisms and there were times when I had to break concentration to grab a piece of plastic out of M.J.'s mouth. Sometimes she would jump onto my lap and start clawing at my legs. I want you to imagine a curved needle. Got that image? Now I want you to mentally insert that needle into the side of your thigh. Did it? Now pull up! ...All the things I do for this beast. Despite all these things, she never fails to jump into bed and sleep beside me. It doesn't matter in what shape or form, the female gender confuses the shit out of me.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Not So Hostile Takeover

      It has yet to be a full three days and M.J. (the new cat on the block) has already marked my room as her new playground. No no, when I say "marked", I don't mean designation through urination. I mean the "Hey, I'm just letting you know, from now on this is my pillow so you can go fetch yourself another one" kind of marking. Get it? Fetch?...Sigh.
     She's unpredictable and outrageously curious. When I arrive from a long day at the classroom, I'm at a complete loss when it comes to knowing where to look first. At times, she's curled up in the corner underneath the mattress in a perfect circular formation. Other times, she's traps herself in a crevice in the bathroom. There are even times when she hides herself in the darkness of my closet floor. Yesterday, I couldn't locate her and I had already I checked the usual places. Where could she have been? I opened up my closet again to double check and there she was, on the top most shelf! I know she's one hell of an athlete but there's no way she could have reached that shelf without some major acrobatic skills. Or maybe, just maybe, she just clawed up my neatly pressed dress shirts to get there? That aside, I did smell something funky in closet, for all I know she could have...You know what? I'm not going to finish that.
      Thank the good Lord that she's toilet-trained. I don't know if this is a common trait for every kitten but every time M.J. goes to the bathroom, she let's everyone know that she is. She meows exactly two times before she goes and fools poor old me into thinking that she's afraid of her predicament. Meanwhile, she's just taking a good ol' dump in the small cardboard litter box we have set up. Come on, we're college boys, we can't afford a nice hard plastic litter box for the little Queen. When she's not announcing her bathroom visits, she keeps herself busy by telling me what not to do. When I'm on the computer watching YouTube videos when I'm supposed to be working on my lab report, she jumps on top of the desk and proceeds to sit on my laptop. Then, when I go to back to work and start to write notes, she lays down on my papers. So, exactly what am I allowed to do M.J.? I won't be surprised if there's a human leash sitting on my counter-top tomorrow as her "Congratulations on the New Kitten" gift to me.
     

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Her Name is M.J.

     Ok. Ok. I'm allowed one mistake. I took my dear time to finally realize that the little kitten was actually a female "in disguise". She had me fooled. I'm not about to make up a dozen excuses why I thought the malnourished one was a male. I'm just going to own up to my mishap there and just leave it at that. I'm not about to tell you that it was all the previous owners fault! He should have done a better job delineating the gender to me. Look at me being a complete and major asswipe. I love you Chris but you should have fed it more than once in two days!
      We needed to name her right away. I want her to learn her name as fast as possible, which from what I heard, is pretty difficult. So, I had to make lower my impregnable standard and choose the name my roommate wanted, M.J. Being the goof-ball he is, he wanted to name the kitten after Micheal Jackson thinking it would be funny. Not to knock the late "King of Pop", I just didn't feel comfortable to name the four month old after him. I don't know, maybe it was because...the kitten is a female! I'd rather name her Mia. What a standard right? Later on that night, my good friend and I were driving to the gym for a late night workout and I pulled up the topic.
      Supposedly, he liked the name M.J. as well. So after thoughtful deliberation, I agreed on the name, but on one condition. MJ is to stand for Mary Jane. I'm certainly not in love with the Spiderman series but someone had to come half-way for this little devil to have an identity. After being forced to type in the name Mary Jane on the Google search-engine by my roommate, I then realized that Mary Jane is another name for the chemical Cannabis Sativa. In layman's terms, it's some Bambalacha y'all! I'm of a pure soul so it's only natural that I'm totally oblivious to these things.(Audience laughs here. God laughs even more.) Without further ado, we now introduce to you our cross-gendered, racially confused, pot smoker.



     

Monday, September 19, 2011

You are not going to guess...

      How many days has it been since I wrote that entry about wanting a kitten? Like two? Well, guess what? Looks like we have a third member to our family here in the "Basement"! Yep, we got ourselves a fine young lad of a cat and I know what you might be thinking. "Wasn't he the one that just said that he wasn't financially ready for a cat?" That was me all right. It was also I who was practically jumping for joy when I heard that a friend that was willing to give us a cat, no questions asked, no money exchanged. My roommate looked at me and I gave him the immediate sign of approval, a smile two miles wide.
      There were a couple of "sound" reasons why I jumped at the opportunity. First, I'm a complete idiot. Secondly, the friend who gave us the kitten said that if we can't handle it, we can give the kitten back. Thirdly, who am I kidding? I wanted to recreate my childhood and live it the right way. The third one is a little far-fetched but you know what I mean. Want to know about the young lad?
      He, yes it's a boy, doesn't have a name yet. My roommate and I are currently working on it with no apparent success. I disliked all the names he came up with and the ones I came up with don't fancy his requirements. The little one's black with a white nose, paws, and belly. Even the skin leading from his eyes to his ears is white, on both sides. He has light blue irises and he's full of curiosity and is fearless. When we first saw him, he was hiding underneath a couch that has a bottom only a couple of inches off the floor. How he got under there is beyond my comprehension. But he was just "chillin" there. As we speak, he's sleeping in the corner of my room, underneath my bed, curled up into a ball. Look he just got up and is making himself  comfortable on my favorite pillow, oh wait, he just climbed on my back. (I'm laying down right now.) Oh no...What have I got myself into?!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Just Plain Irresponsible

      Tonight, I will divulge yet another aspect of my personality that will one day bite a nice portioned chunk off my ass. My secret love for a really interesting television series is second to none. This addiction eats up my day like a hungry lion looking on at a wounded caribou. No? Didn't like the analogy? I might as well tell you that it's not going to get any better.
      This situation ailed me before during my freshman year of college. Having an unsuspecting feeble mind like mine, it was easy for "Lost" to get a firm hold of me. You wouldn't believe how fast I went through that gem of series.(Let's not bring up the topic of the ending.) Actually, I don't even remember how long it took me to complete it but what I do remember is watching about seven or eight episodes a night. Do you know how long those episodes were? They were a good forty five minutes long! Here was the problem. I started watching "Lost" after four seasons came and gone. So all of those hundred-odd episodes were uploaded online so fatheaded people like me could lie in bed and watch it for hours. It was easy. I didn't have to wait to watch an episode every Tuesday night. Why should I? There they all were right in front of me, only a click away from taking me to a place that makes absolutely no sense. For the record, I'm not really fatheaded.
      Imagine, with all the time I spent mindlessly watching those episodes, I could have started this site. By now, I'd have a thousand entries and maybe two more subscribers. Haha. Now, sadly, it has started all over again. This time, my addiction comes in the form of  the "Game of Thrones". It wasn't totally my fault. Blame my friends for keeping me out of the loop while they discussed how amazing the season was. Thank God that there was only one season of this show released or I would have been doomed. Doomed, I tell you...Doomed. There are a total of ten episodes, each episode being about an hour each. Guess which episode I am on now? Numero nineo. (Perdoname por favor pero mi espanol necesita mucho trabajo.) Eight hours have passed which I'm never going to get back. If I didn't need these technological devices for school, I would have destroyed them long ago. Now, before you start getting angry with me, I should let you know that I completed all the assignments I was supposed to do for this week. So on to episode nine!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Pet for the "Basement"?

      A couple of days ago, my roommate brought up the idea of having a pet for our place. I immediately, without processing anything, said; "Yes!" I never had pets growing up because of the sad fact that my mother was allergic to them. Yes, to both cats and dogs. Well, maybe the word "never" isn't the right one to use. The most affection I ever showed to animals were to the fish. But even then, something was lacking. Actually, haha, something definitely was lacking there. I had always thought about what life would be like if I had a dog to take care of. You know, life probably wouldn't be that different. I'd still go to the same college, still have the same friends, and have the same mannerisms. But, I think having that extra someone in the family gives you a lot of simple joys, which, by the way, I love.
      My roommate went on to tell me about his experience at the nearest animal shelter with his girlfriend. They just thought it would be fun to go in and check it out. He played with puppies and cats and he just couldn't have enough of them. After a while of thinking about it, my feelings of excitement slowly were trimmed away with an oncoming edge of reality. We can't afford a pet. We don't even know if the couple living upstairs will even allow it. Besides, we are broke. Oh wait, I mentioned that one already. Even if we somehow put up money for a cat, who's going to take care of it when we're not around? I can't take the cat home with me because of allergy issues and he's not up for it either. My mother is already on too many medications anyway to be on antihistamines as well.
      Why a cat instead of a dog? My roommate keeps telling me that a cat is very low maintenance. I don't know how true that is because whether it is a cat or a dog, they both need equal amounts of support and affection. But cats are cute. There's no reason to lie about that. After a night of deliberation, we decided to put the idea of getting a pet on an indefinite hold. I was sad to be the one to say that we couldn't have one but we really didn't have a way around it. Then yesterday night, the idea popped into my head again. I watched YouTube videos on how to take care of cats. I know. I know. I shouldn't be looking into such videos to learn these things but I just wanted to see how people interacted with these furry little purring big-eyed creatures. Ahh frick...I want a cat!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Blue Valentine

      This is the first time I'm doing three posts in a day and I'm kind of proud of myself. What do you say? Are you proud of me? This is going to be yet another movie post. I don't know what it is about today but it just seems like a movie day to me. I'm telling you, it's movies like "Blue Valentine" that get me all twisted in the head. I don't even know what to say. I'm telling myself that I should leave give myself some room to have what I just saw just marinate in my head and do the entry tomorrow. But on the other hand, I may not even want to think about it tomorrow. So the sooner I do this, the sooner I move on. You see how this movie affects me, it's pathetic actually.
      "Blue Valentine", directed by Derek Cianfrance and released 2010, was a story about the complicated relationship between Dean and Cindy, who are played by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. I think "complicated" is a very inadequate term for this because it implies that, although difficult, there is a way to get through it. I can't even seem to put a finger on it nor do I know where to pinpoint the problem. My mind is a complete question mark. Cianfrance just left me lonely, vulnerable, and furious all at the same time which certainly can't be legal can it?
      Just to make this clear. This is NOT a family movie. You shouldn't be watching this with your children. Just because Gosling is in the movie doesn't mean the story is going to be a fairy tale. He freaking blew me away with this one. He was born for this role and that's all I have to say about that. He should share some of that excess talent with the other guys sharing the red carpet. I'm pretty sure he'll have just enough left over to make me watch all his movies a hundred times over, like a slave. Anyway, I had my doubts about Gosling's "Drive" but after this movie, I'm sure he'll do just the same with me with that one. So, definitely, expect a review on his new movie soon.
      There was an inexplicable power to this movie which I believe stems from it's simplicity. To me simple movies allow for a different kind of feel. It's not straightforward anymore like action thrillers or horrors, here even in the silence, there is a full blown conversation going on. I'd rather watch a horror than to sit through something as deep as this and get mindF*&$ed. This was a very honest film and brilliant scenes scattered  perfectly throughout the whole movie. What I loved about this movie is that every scene mattered and added something to the story. Michelle Williams. You would turn a guy like me inside out. I would literally go crazy if I fell in love with someone like Cindy.
      I won't start talking about what I liked about the story because I fear that I'll put out too much information. Just know that I loved it and I want you guys to watch it to draw your own conclusions. There you go. Press the replay button? Heck yes. This movie had me thinking about how far I was willing to go to hold on to a promise, a commitment, that I will make with my future wife. You know what, I'll hold on with my dear life. This movie reminded me that simple love, although life changing, is the deadliest of all and should be pursued with a little bit of caution.

Defiance

      Ah, screw it. I'll just do a bunch of entries today since I can. I had quite a bit of time on my hands yesterday so why not a movie? Next one on the list was a film called, "The Debt". Starring Tom Wilkinson, Sam Worthington, and Helen Mirren, this movie really caught my caught my attention. The trailer made the movie seem like it was in a class of it's own and I was super excited. But guess what? Most of the playable movie links were taken down and the ones that were still up had freakish lags to them. Truth be told, I just wanted to see Sam Worthington turn into his Toruk Makto-self and ride off in a banshee. If none of you got that reference...shame on you. In the end, I turned to Edward Zwick's 2008 production of "Defiance," for a good watch. 
      Starring Bond, Sabertooth, and Billy Elliot, "Defiance" was about the journey of three brothers and a Jewish community who are under the oppression of the German militia. Actually, it was Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, and Jamie Bell. Alright, the joking stops now. By facing the tribulation head-on, these three individuals prove that when facing a calamitous situation, one should never find themselves alone.There's a special place in my heart for movies about the hardships of brothers and how they deal with adversity. It's probably because I always wanted an older brother to look up to and experience life with. Don't get me wrong, there's no one like my sister, but I've always wondered what life would have been like if I wasn't the oldest. Anyway, movies like these, in their own way, allow me to experience it.
      I'm finding it difficult to do a review on a movie about one's experiences during the Holocaust because even though there are mainstream actors in this movie, the baseline story wasn't fiction. The holocaust really happened and millions upon millions of people were killed off like animals because of the irrational Anti-Semitic ideals. So with that in mind, know that I will be only reviewing this movie on a cinematic standpoint. Otherwise, it just wouldn't be fair would it? I might seem to take the matter lightly, but rest assured, I will never understand the true, for the lack of a better word, "torment" that was felt during this time.
      Where do I start with this movie? Should I start with it's incredible soundtrack? Yes sir! Right off the bat, the first thing I noticed about this movie is its noteworthy music. James Newton Howard showed his meticulous genius when crafting the underlying compositions to this movie. (I'll put some links in the sidebar.) Does his name sound familiar? Howard orchestrated several pieces for blockbuster movies such as "Blood Diamond", "The Dark Knight", and "The Sixth Sense," just to name a few. "The Green Lantern" doesn't count. The beginning sequence just did it for me. You know what else did? The German accents. If it wasn't for the English subtitles, I would have had absolutely no idea what they were talking about but, nevertheless, subtitles or no subtitles it all sounded right to me. I understood. Sometimes you don't have to know translations. All you have to know is how to read emotions. 
      Not everything about this movie was remarkable. There were scenes that seemed a little too empty to have been kept in the movie. The film was more than two hours long and if you have useless undeveloped scenes lingering around, to make a long story short, it's not going to be welcomed well by the viewers. Although in scarce amounts, there were cheesy lines recited between Schreiber and Craig. And finally, the only other negative aspect I could think of is the lack of on-point acting done by Bell during the first couple of minutes of the movie. Here's what it comes down to. Would I press the replay button on this movie? No. I mean, Schrieber was definitely the one to watch, but there was nothing too special about this one other than the history it's based on.    

Hookah While Driving...What?

      Originally, I was going to make a movie post today but that'll just have to be on a temporary hold. I'm doing this for three very adequate reasons. The first reason being, I'm not completely finished with the movie. The second reason is that it's too early in the morning to do a critical review. The third and final reason: I have something even better to talk about. JPB, sigh, what can possibly possibly better than that? I'll give you my answer to that question when you answer one of mine. When's the last time you did some hookah while driving with you're buddies heading to 53rd and 6th at one in the morning?
      If nothing comes to mind when someone casually says 53rd and 6th, then you, my friend, have been living a pretty sheltered life. It is the location of one of the best Halal Carts in New York City. Google it, it's pretty famous. Yesterday night, my roommate came up with a plan. Blame him for the gastric pain I'm feeling right now. Basically, he was going to cash in going to Toxicology at 7:30 in the morning to go get some Chicken and Rice, at this specific Halal Cart, which always has a shitload of people standing on line. How convenient...But that's not all. We were going to Hookah all the way there and back.
      What? You Hookah? You won't find me doing it all the time though, only just once or twice a month when friends are over. But this idea blew my mind for a good minute. I was always the good boy in school and church; known to everyone as the gentleman that never drinks, smokes, or makes rash decisions. But I think I still do a pretty good job keeping my gentleman status intact. I won't smoke but then again, I do hookah sometimes. Do what you will with that one. After that minute passed by, the idea of going didn't sit right with me. First off, I don't want either of us to miss our morning class and secondly, I didn't feel like buying anything anymore. I forgot to pay rent today.
      There will be some of you that are going to be very surprised when reading this entry. To those people, surprise!!? Luckily, my roommate said that he would pay because I bought lunch for a bunch of our buddies two days ago. After hearing that...everything seemed in place. Tell you what, I don't regret the decision. It was by far one of the most peaceful car rides I've ever been on. When we got to the cart, we encountered this Caucasian male that insisted that we company him to go piss on FOX 5 News Studio, which was only a couple of blocks down. Why exactly? I'm not sure but I'm getting the feeling that he actually works for them. It's what I would do if my University was a couple of blocks down. But we....didn't go. Too much crazy for me for one day.
      By the time I got home, it was about three in the morning. I remembered that I still had to proofread my sister's Honor Society essay. After hitting the send button, I unknowingly fell asleep on the laptop, only to wake up at 8:00AM. So much for Toxicology lecture and I still have to pay rent. The perfect formula for an amazing start of the day.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Too Close for Comfort

      Tired, sleepy, and delirious. Pick from anyone of those three adjectives and you will have an equal chance at defining me correctly at this precise moment. But at least the choices are not angry, depressed, and cheated out of my forty thousand dollar tuition. That's right. The midterm went, surprisingly, well. For the past week and a half, I've been studying my ass off for this exam and now that it's finally over, I feel free and light as a feather. Temporarily forgetting that in two weeks I will have to take a final, I decided to give myself some well deserved downtime and you know what? I'm going to be productive. First, I'm going to take a well needed power-nap because of the total of five whopping hours of sleep, I was allowed the past two days. Secondly, I'm going to step foot in a place that I haven't been to in months. Let's just say after going to this place and participating with its activities for a good couple of weeks, I'll be able to fit into most of my clothes. God knows that I need to get back into them as quickly as possible. It looks as if I'm wearing the same thing everyday. I'm not going to lie, I've been wearing the same jeans for two weeks. Gross right? Think anybody noticed?
      Allow me let you in on something that happened to me this morning. It's quite amusing. I have been told by previous teachers and college professors to not study on the day before a big exam. Instead, do something to take your mind away from it. For example, go to the theaters with a couple of friends, lay back and relax, and get a good night's worth of sleep. At 4:30 in the morning, I rewarded myself with an hour and a half worth of REM-lacking dormancy. This means at precisely 6:00o'clock, I will be taking a shot of caffeine to keep me alert during the exam. It takes about an hour for the effects of coffee to start stimulating my brain so it's imperative that I have it at about that particular time. Two alarms went off, I rose from my bed, walked over, and beat them to death. Then, I laid back in bed. Next thing I know, I wake up at 7:21! You know when my test begins?! At 7:30AM.
      After exhausting every inappropriate swear word that I have accumulated over the years, I jammed everything I thought I needed into my string bag and ran out the door. Screw brushing my teeth, screw taking a shower, screw breakfast, screw the frappuccino in the fridge, and the belt buckle could have gone and committed leather suicide for all I cared. After parking at my college grounds about six minutes later, I sprinted to the other side of the University in under sixty seconds. After seeing a fellow classmate calmly striding to class, I realized that I had made it on time. What would I have done if I woke up at 8:00, morning or evening? Do you know how that would have destroyed me? No make up tests are allowed for excuses such as, "I'm sorry, I woke up late because I haven't slept like a normal human being for the last week and a half". This kind of sleep schedule is very much expected for us students. If I learned one thing from this whole experience it is this: If you're awake that early in the morning and you have a test in three hours, don't f%$^ing go to sleep.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It's almost here

      I will not be writing much today because  my first Drug and Diseases Midterm Exam will be upon me at 7:30AM sharp tomorrow. I've been studying a lot and I hope all those hours work in my favor. It's definitely a lot of information to retain and I'm sure that I'm going to forget half of it after the exams are all collected. Right now, I'm going to be reviewing everything and drawing countless medicinal structures until they are chiseled into my brain. It looks like it's going to be another all-nighter but never fear, I took a powernap to keep my system in check and able withstand the important hours ahead. Then there's always the Dunkin' Donuts at the end of the street that I will be visiting once my body starts flipping the gratuitous middle finger at my mind. Caffeine, hands down, the greatest of mankind's discoveries and the best of friends to the late night academic.

Monday, September 12, 2011

168th and 77th

Some people call this place home,
Others, just another street.
The name itself is certainly nothing special,
but it is always the first to greet.

It is lined with colored camouflaged trees,
those that seem to be reaching to touch a treasured face.
What a complexion it must have been,
to have accepted to be eternally frozen in place.

Lively voices of little ones sound from the topmost window,
towards their father who just came home.
There it is, a moment savored,
as he will soon be holding his very own flesh and bone.

Turning the corner, I silently bid farewell to 168th and 77th.
I won't walk another path as unselfish as you.
To the open-minded you ceaselessly provide
and even in unkempt shambles, stay true.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Crutch Thoughts

      During my hour ride to "the basement", I was pondering about what it was that I'm going to be writing about today. (Just for future reference, "the basement" will refer to where I live while I'm at college.) So the brainstorming began. Am I going to write about a possible string of all-nighters before the exam? Do I want to even bring up the topic of school? Should I have taken a nap before I started driving? Why is that fool honking at me? Does it look like another rant? Five minutes of this and I had enough. I decided that there will be no more rants about how hard college is or how unmerciful professors can be, simply, because the more I talk about it, the more I will believe it. 
      The more I thought about the coming exam, the more nervous and doubtful I became. So I tried something different. I started digging through my available consciousness to find memories that pushed me to feel peace and hopeful. I started recollecting times I spent with my parents but the only ones I can firmly hold on to, for longer than thirty seconds, are those of verbal fights and empty conversations. Next on the list were the memories of close friends, but even they don't know me for who I am, so their memories are half-hearted. Memories of a past life in high school only brings to mind incomplete actions and fake personalities. So which ones do I turn to? 
      Incidentally, those memories the I find refuge in, are part of events that hurt me the most. Some of you may understand the following sentences but some of you may not. I look to memories of past loves and relationships. Don't worry, I'm at a point where I could look back at these memories and feel nothing for these women. At times, the images of them laughing, smiling, and enjoying themselves makes me feel as if I was doing something right. I believed for those brief months that there was something in me that no one else can provide. Snapshots of held hands, walked paths, and bent grass flood into my mind when I allow them. Yet, replaying times such as these hold a price. I am allowed one steady minute of satisfying images at the fee of  remembering disappointing climaxes. Unfortunately, none of these relationships ended the way I wanted them to, for reasons understandable and some just plain inadequate.
      These are my crutch thoughts. Although they come with restrictions and boundaries, I believe them to be necessary when my mind is in distress. Try isolating yours. They will prove to be an convenient tool of support, just in case you're stuck by your lonesome, with a heavy mind, and in an area where technological devices fail your cause. My advice to you is to try recalling something other than failed relationships. Things will be easier that way. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Wednesday the Fourteenth

      I know about two hundred students who are exponentially increasing in anxiety as each day comes to an end. Coincidentally, you can count me as one of those students. No, it's not because of either the half-empty threats of the nearing apocalypse or the possibilities of another brutal act of terrorism. The problem is Wednesday the Fourteenth. Curious as to what happens to us students on this particular date at 7:30 in the morning? Listen closely. At this time, renown professors and the doctoral elite of the university gather sleep deprived, fast food-filled, memorized-knowledge-vomiting machines into an auditorium. Here, these students spend the next two hours prying their brains open to complete fifty life-numbing questions. Yes, I know I'm exaggerating a little bit but only by a little.
      Students that came before me warned that the fourth year of the program would be the likes of one I never faced before. Within the first few days of the new school year, I experienced exactly what they were going on about. The Drugs and Diseases Midterm is standing on my doorstep ready to rap furiously at the pathetic barrier in front of it. Isn't it too soon to be having a midterm? It's certainly, not a wrong question to ask but it is a futile question. It will happen, whether I like it or not, on Wednesday the Fourteenth.
      This semester I will be taking three midterms and three finals. Doesn't sound so bad right? Well that's because those exams are contained within one course, Drugs and Diseases. I have five more courses, each with it's own midterm and final. Blew your mind yet? It's something all the graduates before me had to go through. It's only fair that I have to experience it as well. I have been doing pretty well with staying on the same page with the coursework and lecture materials but it feels like no matter how many things I cross away from my list of assignments it's no use. My agenda book is swelling by the minute with projects, group tasks, and projected dates for concussion dealing exams. As we speak, I'm racing to finish off the last of my "never-ending" readings so I could, finally, dive into previous lectures on Medicinal Chemistry.
      Prioritize. I hate the word. Although I should be spending time within the chaos that is Structural Resonance and Mechanism of Action, I'm bombarded with coursework of my other classes. It looks like I'll just have make do with the phrase, "Tough Love." You know what the funny thing is? If I was a Liberal Arts major, this would have been my senior year of college. I would have been a young mind ready to be thrust out into the "real world". Yet next year, you'll find me in a lab somewhere creating assays of drug compounds. Neat huh?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Apollo 18

      I seem to have pulled up to a labyrinthine "fork" in the road. Of course, physically, a crossroad seems to be much too simple to be considered a maze-like experience but when referring to one's resulting mental duress, it is nothing short of one. I am trying to determine whether I want to do one of two things. Should I talk about the jellyfish-shaped cloud structures that were aimlessly floating in the sky? Or, should I help you out in your quest for the perfect movie? Such a difficult choice! Actually, it's a no brainer. I only wrote this paragraph...Yes! You guessed it...to use the word "labyrinthine". 
      Who's up for a movie that will keep you gripped to the edge of your seat and strained with suspicion all the way till the end credits? Well, you won't do either one watching Gonzalo L√≥pez-Gallego's "Apollo 18". I had to be blunt because I was given no other choice. Gallego hails from Madrid, Spain, and has racked up multiple Movie Festival awards and nominations for his movies: 2001-"Nomadas", 2003-"Sobre el Arco Iris", and finally his 2007-"El Rey de la Montana." Unfortunately, it looks as if this time around, he's going to be walking home empty handed.
      "Apollo 18" was an "account" of the experiences of two cosmonauts who found themselves questioning their purpose in a lunar mission. The word account was placed in parentheses due of the awkward style of shooting that was introduced into this film. At first, I believed that I was participating in a documentary-like production, however; minutes into the movie, documentary melted into what became an "account". The movie was basically a conglomeration of many different angled video recordings of the two astronauts and their surrounding area. To tell the truth, a large portion of the movie was just interference that these two characters faced in both their telecom and visual systems. In other words, I was staring at either a black screen or static. Not much to see there. 
      I firmly believe the film would have been better off and more believable if only one or two focal points were used. That's my two cents. Take it or leave it.  Aside from the director's style, the film was very straightforward. Prior to entering the theater, please check your brain at the appropriate counter. All the answers to any questions that arose were answered almost immediately, allowing the viewer to easily predict both the plot and the ending. However, if you are a person who likes a flick that attracts your attention only fifteen minutes before the cast names starts scrolling, then by all means, watch this movie. I found myself finally interested to what was happening on the screen only to find that there wasn't enough time for something well thought out to happen. Would I watch this movie again? Not even the slightest chance. Even though the movie was only about an hour long, it was approximately forty five minutes of absolute boredom. With that time, I could have done three extended Extemporaneous Compounding problems. I would have hated every minute of it but at least I would have been satisfied after I completed them.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

India Day 13 Photos!

      The following photos were those taken during six hours that I will never forget. Most of the lasting  memories that I had collected during this trip originated from these moments. To give you some background information, six hours refers to the duration of a cruise. We traveled to, bear with me here, "Kumarakom Lake Resort", where we rented out a houseboat. There are no limits in this houseboat. One is able to do anything. You want to cool off and take a dive in a pool? You can...into the lake, but the driver's not going to wait for you though. So bad idea. But that aside, you could do anything else. I loved spending these next couple of moments with those that were dear to me.
 This was, undoubtedly, my favorite shot of this whole trip. After taking this, I wasn't able to feel anything else but accomplished. It's no likely that I'll be able to another one that has such aesthetic attraction. 


This is a derivative of a houseboat that we found ourselves cruising in. Who else but me will use the word "derivative" when talking about a "hugeish" transport vehicle? Looks like the studying is paying off.


At this point, I was sitting on the back of a moving "golf-cart" like automobile, taking a tour of the resort. It was difficult to take a good photo due to the cart's choppy movement. But this one seems passable.
All of the houses built within the resort all are of the same imperial structure. Surely, there wasn't any shortage of the land's natural beauty residing here. Actually, if you think about it, the whole resort was flooded with it. Harharhar.


Anyone up for a dive? That the water may seem inviting enough but I'm also positive that there are  probably seventy four different undiscovered species of man-eating aquatic vertebrates down there waiting for you.

The bow of the houseboat. I hope I have the terminology right. What are the car tires for, you may ask? If they're used for emergency extractions, I'll be a little concerned. But I forgot to ask so the answer to your question is strictly up to the whims of your creative mind.
Unfortunately, I wasn't the original creator of this shot. It was my fifteen year old cousin, who was playing around with my cameras, taking pictures of anything that had color to them. The little boy struck gold with this one. The hours flew past us while we sat down and played a few lively games of cards.

To finish off the day, we submerged our feet into the cool sand overlooking the sunset. Such natural beauty will elude my eyes for the next couple of days because I found myself in bed dealing with a nasty cold. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Monopoly Masta!

      Unfortunately for three of my friends, yesterday night didn't go quite as planned. I will gladly explain. After sitting down for good two hours dwelling in the carnivorous land of Applied Therapeutics, I received word that two of our friends will be coming over to visit. I know, I still have another, what, thirteen hours worth of studying ahead of me? But after what happened the night before... I wanted to exact some well deserved revenge.
      This past weekend, I stopped by Barnes And Nobles to buy some board games. I have horrendous aptitude when it comes to such games but I believed that it would be a nice addition to the new place. With that said, welcome to the family, Monopoly and Bananagrams! Don't knock Bananagrams, which some of you might be tempted to do. I absolutely love playing that game. Later that night, my roommate convinced me to play Monopoly with him. Since it was a brand new set, he wanted me to christen it...What a load of bullshit. Behind the scenes, he wanted a chance to exert his dominance in the game. Truth be told, for the next two and a half hours that's exactly what he did. He showed me how far one can walk down the path of the devil because of this game. I believed possession of the soul was characterized by long and arduous bouts of the soul against the devil's hold but I was proven wrong. In just a matter of moments, my roommate traded his amiability and self control for insatiable ruthlessness.
      After obliterating any chances I had at building a Monopoly, he stated that he will think about trading properties only after I land on one of his properties. Let me make that clear. I would have to pay up at least one thousand dollars so that he could give me a monopoly out of pity, since pretty much all the properties he owned had hotels on it. Although I knew the end was inevitable, I played till the bitter end. As the victor, he reserved the right to be called "Monopoly Masta" and, annoyingly, wouldn't let me forget it. But if I knew what was going to happen the following night, I would have gone through all the badgering with a grin on my face.
      To make a long story short, until the next time I lose in Monopoly, you may address me as the long awaited "Monopoly Masta". You should have seen his face after I cleaned him out, it was the face of pathetic defeat. He still had properties, although mortgaged, after landing on my path of utter destruction. But the pride was sucked out of him and humbleness eased back into place. You can also call me the healer. That is, if you want to. It's not mandatory but it's certainly an option. Who knew? Monopoly does sometimes deal success to those who are flagrantly tossed to the side by the Scrooges of society. But you know what I truly got out of this experience? That I'm hours behind in my studies and although it was a strategy game, Monopoly will do nothing for my midterm next week. Agreed? Agreed.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Super Roommate

      It's been a week into the new school year and I finally unpacked my last box of essentials. I'm glad the owners of our last residence told us to beat it because of some financial issues. Don't ask. It's complicated. The good news is, I love it here. I'm probably not going to move out of this place for the next three years. It's just the kind of place that I can enjoy living in. With a peaceful atmosphere, non-confrontational neighbors, and immense amount of parking spaces, which I am not used to in the city area, this place has an aura about it that I can't get enough of. My roommate and I are slowly making this basement, own own. We were quite lucky to find this place actually. 
      Two months ago, before I left for India, we were set to rent a room in a house that was just a block away from where we are now. A couple of days before I set out for my three week trip abroad, I met with the landowner and gave him two months rent which he asked from both of us. It wasn't that bad of a place. I would have had to share the house with seven other guys but at least we had freedom, right? Two days after I landed, I checked my email and sure enough, I received a very "loud" message from my roommate stating that we had a major problem. Supposedly, the douchey landowner, who still had my money, backed off on the deal. As you may guess, this spilled out unwelcome trouble because school was just a little over a month away and I was in another country. 
      But never worry, it was through the hard work of my roommate that we eventually found this place. This is where it gets entertaining. After a couple of long nights sifting many second-rate apartments on Craig's List, my roommate started to become nervous. Concerned, his father told him that he should start looking through the Chinese newspapers that were lying around the house for apartment and house openings. Eventually, that path would eventually lead us to buy a basement with a Chinese oriented family living upstairs. It wasn't that easy though. My roommate had to convince the landowner that his roommate, although Indian, was very Americanized and doesn't make potent smelling dishes for dinner...???...Apparently, the East Asian community doesn't approve the smell of Indian food.
      So, we were about to be rejected because of my stifling method of nourishment, which I don't even know how to make. They eventually caved and gave us the "ok" to move on in. Imagine how I would have felt if they refused him because of me? On the other hand, that wasn't a fair question. You barely even know me. But today, I love where I am because of the hard work of my unrelenting roommate. (He doesn't let me forget it though.) I owe him big time. The more I think about it, the more I believe that we are where we are today because of generosity of the people who decided to support us along the way. Now, if you excuse me, I'm going to go ahead and spend the next fifteen hours trying to understand Applied Therapeutics. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Crow

      As a result of not being able to sleep last night, no matter what I tried to do, I went ahead and decided to watch a movie. I mean nothing worked. The soft sound of waves hitting the rocks on a beach, sleeping on my face, hiking up the fan a couple of notches all seemed to fail me. Of all the movies I have on a growing list, I picked Alex Proyas' "The Crow", which was released in 1994. Why "The Crow"? The first reason being, I have yet to watch a movie that stars a superhero by the name of Crow, until today morning obviously, so the plot line must be original. Secondly, I have a soft spot for ass-kicking, crime fighting, justice providing, death dealing superheros. And finally, as I was watching one of Vlogs that I subscribe to, I found out that Brandon Lee, who plays the main character, actually died on set. So, I believe that this movie is one of those several movies that you have to watch before you expire.
      Lee plays the role of an up and coming musician and to-be-newlywed, Eric Draven. Due to a housing issue with the city's most vile of criminals, his fiancee was brutally raped and beaten in front of his eyes. Draven came in on what was happening and was sent, mercilessly, to his untimely death and his fiancee died hours later. Now, Draven is back to see the death of each of these criminals through as The Crow. Bear with me on this one. To me, the Crow was Nicholas Cage's "Ghost Rider", Michael Jai White's "Spawn", Ben Affleck's "Daredevil", and Heath Ledger's "Joker", all packed into one character. But all of these movies came out years after the release of this movie. It could be very much possible that the main characters of these movies, in part, originated from the character of The Crow. Except "The Joker" of course. 
      I, personally, loved watching this movie. The musical composition of this movie was beautifully manipulated and handled by Graeme Revell. As we speak, I am replaying the shit out of Revell's "Return to the Grave." That piece is not as dark as it sounds, trust me. Although based on an eerie theme, there were scenes that put a smile on my face. Aside from some empty acting from Ernie Hudson and one or two movie mistakes, this movie is a must see. Now about Brandon Lee, the son of the late and coveted Bruce Lee. Because of an improperly prepared gun on set, Lee was accidentally shot on scene. Hours later, he was pronounced dead at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Wilmington, because of an bullet intrusion to the spine. 
      There is no doubt in my mind that if Lee was still alive today, he would have the actor to watch on the big screen. His unique ability to be taken seriously, even with a bit of humor, makes him an actor with a lot to offer. The movie went on a hiatus for a while but Lee's family pushed for the movie's release in his remembrance. Proyas and Lee's stunt double, Chad Stahelski, did a great job covering up and keeping Eric Draven alive without a trace of Lee's absence. Will I watch this movie again? Yes, most definitely.

I will post the link to Revell's "Return to the Grave" on my "What I'm listening to right now" column. Check it out. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dan in Real Life

      One of the many crimes of man is to remake movie plots of older and better movies, thinking that one can substitute actors and get better feedback from the audience. Don't do it! All you screenplay writers, use your combined intellectual power and come up with one original plot please. The thing is, I'm having trouble watching and enjoying older movies because I've already watched at least one movie, that released in the past year, that has a similar plot version. What movie am I referring to? Yesterday, one of my friends was curious to what I had to say about a movie that he liked very much: Peter Hedge's "Dan in Real Life", that came out in 2007. So obviously, I wanted to write a good review about it, so as I was watching it, I gave the movie the benefit of the doubt. After thirty minutes of the movie, I felt as if I watched this movie before. I started guessing what was going to happen in the next scene and to my disappointment, I was correct. But aside from all this, if I had a time machine that could take me back four years and, simultaneously, clear all the modern bias I have residing in my head, I would use it to watch this movie. Because if it was 2007, I would have liked it.
      Consequently, I will attempt to talk about the movie as if I didn't watch Luke Greenfield's "Something Borrowed." Steve Carell, the star in "Dan in Real Life", teaches the audience how hard it is to be a single father of three children and deal with the messy, life scrambling "Minotaur" that is love, especially if love comes in the form of your brother's new girlfriend. To me, there's always this sense of unbelievability when it comes to Carell's acting. But in this movie, he proved himself to be of a higher caliber, not too high, but higher. Partially because of the scenes that I thought were "bare" and required more of Carell's animated touch. He, undoubtedly, had more chances to really "wow" the viewer, but I guess the screenplay didn't really give him enough space to work around.
      Those who were responsible for the casting of this movie made it very obvious how this relationship dilemma was going to pan out, without actual lines being recited. To know exactly what I'm talking about, I want you to look at the photo above and tell me who's the better couple. With this in mind, there was only one way that this movie could come about; with an uneasy attraction between the characters played by Carell and Binoche. Regardless, I was continuously smiling at the chemistry between these two actors and unrelenting charisma that Carell never fails to bring to the table. Carell succeeded in making me feel afraid and helpless if I was put into his character's shoes. If I was going to watch a late night movie on the ol' big screen with a lady-friend, "Dan in Real Life" will be one of the first I would reach for. But would I watch it again, by myself? No, not really. But I do hope to live by Carell's ending lines of the movie. To know what they were, shed all your modern bias by the microwave when you're heating up the popcorn, and watch it.
   

Saturday, September 3, 2011

New Follower Jitters

      September 1, 2011 marks the day when this blog received its first follower. Once I saw the news on my dashboard, I felt great and there was happiness just radiating out of me. Man, was I ecstatic. I called and messaged some of my best buddies and let them know what was going on and how excited I was. Then after descending from Cloud Nine, something else set in and took the emotion's place. Slowly, I started to become nervous and self-conscious. Uninvited questions started to tear through my train of thought and made things more complex. Would this person like what you have to say? Is your  blog going to be geared toward this person? Will you change yourself, like you have before, just to please people?  Are you going to be satisfied? Do you feel like the chase is over? Maybe it's not a big deal to some, but it's something I have been dealing with for a long time.
      There's something you should know about me. I'm always up for trying new and exciting things and I will be attached to this particular "thing" by the hip for a while. Then, I'll hit a milestone and then the thrill is no where to be found. Let's just take blogging for example. One of the main things about blogging is that people, that are not familiar to you, will read what you have to write. After this, they have to determine whether or not they will follow you so that when they sign on to their respective account, they are able to see any of your new entries that you posted. If the answer is "no" then the process stops here. If not, they have to either copy your URL identification and paste it in the managing section of their reading list. Or maybe there's a simpler way that I am not familiar with. There's always an easier way. Having a follower is one of the biggest accomplishments a blogger will have. Once I find out that there is a person who is interested and following what I have to say, I start asking myself; What should I look forward to now? If I have no answer to that, then it's on to the next best thing.
      After thinking about all the work that this person had to do to follow this particular blog, I started to become nervous. What do I have to do to keep this person interested so that he doesn't angrily eradicate me from his reading list? After talking with a good friend of mine, I started to remember exactly why I made this blog in the first place. This blog wasn't made to please people and force me to change to the beat of other people's hearts. It's main purpose was for me to share what I think and my experiences. If I lose that, then this blog will just be another unnecessary burden on my life. The very point other people come to follow your blogs is to experience a new way of thought and the person you are. If you lose your sense of identity, then you become the generic, lifeless, bland reading material that you promised yourself that you'll never become.
      Unfortunately, I have a loose sense of identity. Throughout my life, the only thing that stayed constant about me is my bad sense of fashion. Everything else just changes with the tide, it's why being consistent is so difficult to me. It may have been the way I was programmed or maybe I'm just a guy that bores easily. But nevertheless, this blogging experience has been great and is something that I do want to continue. If I ever do start slacking. I give you each permission to give me one backhand across the face until I regain my senses.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

At War with Inconsistency

      There are things I absolutely hate about going back to college but then there are things I don't mind returning to. Trying to explain the feelings that flow through me when I meet my, tight knit, couple of friends is very difficult. It's just us four guys. We have known each other since our orientation three years ago and I still have a vague memory of the first time I met each of them. If you're not someone that I talk to on a daily basis, I most likely won't be able to recognize you the second time I see you. Not even if we talk for two hours the night before. Don't expect me to know your name, it won't happen. If you understand that then you'll know how important still having a memory of how we all started out is to me. These guys bring me to a place of peace, no effort involved. When we're together there's this sense of fullness that I get and it's a feeling that I want to have for a long time.
      Unfortunately, you have to take the good with the bad. You can't bribe reality. To me, going back to school means more half-hearted all-nighters and motivational videos to narrowly get me by. To find success this year in school, I have to be a new person with a new way of thinking. I can't take things lightly anymore and I have to be mentally rejuvenated. My discipline is as structured and polished as one of a fourteen month old baby. That has to change and it is changing as we speak. Playing keep up this semester is key because of the heavy course load and fleeting time. It'll be too easy for me to be left behind. Guess what? A total of three classes has passed me by and I have went to all of them. Thank you. Thank you. What's more? I didn't go to sleep yesterday until I finished reviewing the lectures that I had the "pleasure" of attending. First day of school and already attaining herb status? But this is what's going to happen every night for the next year and a half. This is what better happen.
      As of yesterday, I'm officially at war with my problems with consistency. I will be on top of my classes this semester and I will break this vicious cycle of mine. I have no other choice. At the rate I've been going, I've been acting like I could wing it and make it to the finish line. It's not going to happen this time like it did many times before. I might just get kicked out of the program if I don't rid myself of that attitude. It's time to grow up and show up.

I Still Remember

      This one is dedicated to one of my best friends who is going through a rough time right now. He just got out of an almost three year strong relationship. It's going to be tough but it wasn't your fault. Remember, life's a long time. Just know if you need anything, your boys will always be here for you.

I Still Remember

It hasn't been that long
Since I saw a full smile on your face.
Yet it only took an instant
for you to give up the chase. 

I still remember the time.
Remember? When I would have given even my heart to you?
You meant the world to me.
Yet you, so easily, tore me in two. 

In me hides a longing for things to be as they started out,
When you said "I love you" because you wanted to. 
Here I am bearing out my heart
But you won't listen to me will you? 

Why'd you chose distance over me?
Why'd you chose the silence over my own voice?
Are you satisfied
To have played with my mind and pride like they were toys?

I still remember who you used to be,
Now just a foreigner by your own frivolity.
But I won't shed another tear for you, not one.
Watch me, I'm moving on with all my dignity.