When all you've got is nothing, there's a lot to go around....

Holy craptastical pillarcakes, Batman! When was the last time I gave you all a real, hold-the-phone, pump-ya-breaks-cuz-this-is-worth-reading blog? It's been forever... I took a break from NaBloPoMo for a while to focus on other things... like not stressing out about what to blog about EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. But all that did was make me a lazy blogger. I've been looking around in my life every day for things that will inspire me to write... I listen to songs that touch me, or look around at the things I pass every day on my walks... and I am proud to say that I sit before you now (in a totally metaphorical, impersonal manner) with the honor of saying:

I got nothin'.

Really... I have NOTHING to blog about. There are little things here and there... but nothing that will turn into a blog post. It used to be that I could blog because I was bored... but now I can't even do that. I WROTE ON MY CANDY JAR, PEOPLE! IN SHARPIE!!! And I find it highly entertaining... get it? Highly? Cuz I used a SHARPIE??

I know, lame pun. My once interesting blogging abilities have been reduced to this. It's sad, really.

Somewhere, in this world, my blogging abilities are laughing at me. Like happiness, they seem to have found the best hiding spot.

You know what's funny? It's easy to get off topic when your topic is nothing.

So... now I'm just writing. I'm going to try to get back into the groove of doing this, and actually giving you something to read, not movie reviews (though Bottle Shock IS amazing, go go go! WATCH IT!) or game reviews or anything like that. But, I'm afraid it's going to take a while to ease back into things, so you're going to get a few posts like this. However, I've been reading Ali Rosen's blog, and I noticed that she will kind of blog like she's talking to you, and I really like that... so I'll try to do that a bit more. Maybe ask a question or what not, update you on something in my life.

Like today! InsearchofNKOTB posted a video on their blog today, confirming that Donnie Wahlberg DOES in fact Twitter, and it was kind of cool. Now, had it NOT been the real Donnie Wahlberg, would I have been upset? In the words of Kohen Culver: "OF COURSE NOT!"

See, in my eyes, Twitter is pointless... if you just follow people and use it to tell people what you're doing step by step through your day (i.e. I'm doing laundry. Now I'm walking down the hallway. I stubbed my toe.) then it's not only a bit conceited, but boring as all get out.

However, Twitter has the potential to be extremely fun, if you follow the right people. People with EXTREMELY interesting tweets, or excited ones... something a bit more showy than the normal update (I'm doing laundry vs. about to tackle the heap of despair better known to you all as "laundry") can make the whole twitter thing a huge ole' heaping blast o' great fun! I started following Donnie, not because he was Donnie Wahlberg, but because his tweets made me laugh!!! (And I can prove it... I don't follow Michael Phelps anymore... he's great and all, but his tweets are BORING...Andy Levy on the other hand... I still haven't forgiven him for making me laugh so hard I almost died... lol) I decided that, whomever was tweeting as Donnie deserved to be followed because he was FREAKING HILARIOUS!

So - random Twip for the day:

Consider your Tweeders (See what I did there?) and make your tweets fun!

It's really hard trying to make these things entertaining... sheesh. I guess when you've got nothing to blog about, you've got everything to blog about... I guess that's it for now... I'm playing a game with a friend and need to stop getting distracted... she's bringin' it today. Ciao! :D

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

Let's hear it for the Red, White, and Cru...

Bottle Shock - A condition not unlike Jet Lag, for wine. A wine suffering from Bottle Shock will most likely not show well - Bottle shock greatly changes the taste.

It's also a movie that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008.

Cast List

Chris Pine......................Bo Barrett
Alan Rickman................Steven Spurrier
Bill Pullman....................Jim Barrett
Rachael Taylor...............Sam
Freddy Rodriquez..........Gustavo Brambila
Dennis Farina..................Maurice
Eliza Dushku....................Joe
Miguel Sandoval..............Mr. Garcia
Bradley Whitford.............Professor Saunders

Napa Valley, 1976: One small American winery and its workers are about to show the French that the world's finest wines will now come from the other red, white, and blue. For connoisseur Steven Spurrier (Alan Rickman), there's no finer art than French wine, despite rumors that the new California wine country holds the future of the vine. Positive the small Napa wineries are no match for established French vintages, Spurrier challenges the Americans to a blind tasting. But when he finds the valley full of ambitions - and talented - novice vintners like Jim Barrett (Bill Pullman) and his son Bo (Chris Pine), he realizes his publicity stunt may change the history of wine forever.

I don't know what it is... perhaps I have a love for this movie because of my American (and Californian) pride. Perhaps it has something to do with my love for cinematography (the shots in this movie are absolutely beautiful!), or perhaps it's a mix of both... but this movie is absolutely fantastic.

It tells the story, as stated above, of the 1976 blind tasting in France that put Napa Valley on the map. It's a beautiful, interesting story, and you don't have to like wine to think so (I personally can't stand the stuff). The movie gets you interested in the story - the history - of Napa Valley, Jim Barrett, and Chateau Montelena... but it's not even about the wine. Throughout the entire movie, you find yourself looking at the relationships of the people involved. You learn things about everyone involved and respect the hard work they put into making wine, and it's hard to view wine as just another alcoholic beverage after it. Wine truly is an art form - wine is essentially the perfect balance between grape juice and vinegar, sunlight held together with water. You don't have to like the stuff to see the beauty in it, and I think this movie gets that across very well.

The cast involved is phenomenal, each giving a stellar performance (especially Chris Pine, whom I will continue to extend my apologies to, till the end of time... lol) and bringing the story to life. There is a perfect balance of romance, drama, and humor that is only accented by each actors' quirks. They all bring something special to the table, and the movie is better because of it.

The cinematography, as I've stated before, is wonderful. The movie is littered with GORGEOUS shots of both Paris and the Napa vineyards. Having grown up in California, and now being a current resident, I grew up with the sight of the vineyards and orchards out the car window as we went on family trips or what not. The rows upon rows of grapes, walnuts, oranges, strawberries, etc. will always be etched into my mind. As a child I spent a lot of road trips just staring at them and wondering if they ever ended, or if they just stretched on for miles. I remember wondering why the vineyards seemingly sparkled as we drove by, and ultimately wondering what they were for. The shots in this movie took me right back to my childhood, and I'm now at an age where I can simply appreciate the beauty of the valley.

And finally... the soundtrack... the music used in this is AMAZING! Not that it's unknown stuff and will simply blow your mind (though, if you can honestly say you've never been in awe of the Doobie Brothers, I will bite you), but it's used in a way that really makes the movie pop (much like Pine's gorgeous blue peepers). Each song sets the tone for the scene, but subtly enough to where it doesn't DRIVE it. It captures the beauty and magnificence of the story, and helps to pull on the emotions that effect each moment, all the way up to the announcement of the Chateau Montelena and the history it made. The score, composed by Mark Adler (The Rat Pack, California Fast Forward), is magnificent and deserves awards... not that he doesn't have enough. ;)

As most well done films do, Bottle Shock tends to teach us all a little bit more about ourselves and the people around us through grapes.

Final Say:

Wine fans and haters alike should flock to the nearest video store and pick up a copy of this movie, you won't regret it. A great cast, wonderful story, beautiful cinematography and perfect soundtrack all make this movie a MUST see. If you liked "Little Miss Sunshine," "Sideways," or "Nobel Son" will like this. Bravo Mr. Miller, Bravo.

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

I'd like the puppy in the window...

Advertising fascinates me... no matter what you do, it's fairly impossible to get through life without advertising something at least once... we all do it. Advertising is a way to get people's attention... it tests our creativity and teaches us how to appeal to different types of people. They should teach it in schools... it would be extremely beneficial to the development of the present day teenager.

But I digress... the point of this blog is to just get some thoughts out on paper... well, e-paper, I guess... lol. I haven't blogged in a while, and this has been in the back of my mind, slowly becoming a blog, for a while, so two birds one stone, yeah?

Like I said - Advertising fascinates me. It's a universal concept and everyone takes part. Whether you sell girl scout cookies, or raffle tickets, or need something donated, or blah blah blah, you're going to advertise... and there are SO MANY techniques you can use, especially with the technology today.

Signs are used a lot... colorful ones get more attention than black and white ones, bigger signs are easier to see than little ones, streamers and glitter and other things catch the eye, blah blah blah.

Commercials are big, too... though a little more complicated. There are straight forward commercials, where you know what is being sold. There are stranger commercials... skantily clad women dancing in the rain is supposedly supposed to sell tires.... and there are extremely creative ones. Jack in the Box has some of the most interesting commercials I've ever seen.

Slide shows are also a good way to advertise something... pictures of the great times people are sharing get others interested.

I really respect most forms of advertising... there is a lot of creativity put into them and even if they don't make sense to me, they're probably getting someone.

However, there are still forms that I just have to ask: WHY?

What got me on this tangent is... anyone been to the Merced Mall lately?? Down at the Sweet River end, there's a GMC (I think) vitamin store... and they're advertising some new vitamins... but the advertisement is SO strange to me. There are two posters... one is the lower half of a young woman's face. You see the bottom of her nose, her mouth (painted with red lipstick), and one of her hands, along with a package of these new vitamins. The other is a young male. You see his whole face and shoulders, one hand, and pack of vitamins. (No red lipstick.) What strikes me as odd is what they're doing. Both people are very happily biting into these packages of vitamins. Just... biting the packages... not the vitamins, the packages. And it just struck me as strange... is that going to sell them? I mean... really? I can see how some people might be like... "I wonder what is so amazing about these vitamins that they're willing to EAT THE WHOLE PACKAGE!" But there's no explanatory text, just people eating wrappers.

so what about you? What's the strangest advertisement you've ever seen?

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

I wouldn't get anything done, but I probably wouldn't care...

So... a while ago, I wrote a blog about the Halo games, and as I was re-reading it, I realized a Halo blog isn't complete without exploring the webshow inspired by the game: Red Vs. Blue. Red Vs. Blue is a Machina series based on Halo, created by the fine people at Rooster Teeth. I stumbled upon the show a while back when I was piddling around online... my brothers stuck with it more than I did, but I kept coming back to it. It was dang funny, and had a really good story line. When the DVDs went onsale, I began to watch it more steadily, finding it easier to keep up with the episodes when I didn't have to wait for a good internet connection. I bought Season 1 of the Blood Gulch Chronicles, and began watching... and got instantly hooked.

The show is broken up into 3 arcs: The Blood Gulch Chronicles, Reconstruction, and Relocated, and the episodes are short, but hilarious, despite some choice language.

The Blood Gulch Chronicles is labeled as such because they mark the beginning of the RvB adventures. RvB takes place during the "great war." Somewhere out there, in the vast galaxy, Master Chief is fighting to save the world, and the battle lines are drawn as such... the Red army vs. the Blue army. The BGC take place in a canyon known as Blood Gulch. Blood Gulch is a canyon... a small canyon. On one side is a red base, on the other is a blue base... and that's it. The character's are stuck in a stale mate to see who will finally win and ultimately inhabit two bases in an empty canyon. Sounds boring, but the two teams get themselves in so much trouble, it's hilarious.

The story starts with each team getting a new recruit. The Red Team gains Private Donut - a clueless n00b who just so happens to be in red armor - armor designated for the Sargent ONLY. The Blue Team gains Private Michael J. Caboose... a naive and fairly moronic character. Caboose is... well, for lack of a better term... slow. The two sides cross each other for the first time when neither side wants to deal with their new recruit. The Reds tell Donut to go find headlighter fluid and elbow grease, and the Blues tell Caboose to guard the flag - loosing the flag loses the battle - because a surprise guest may come and inspect it... a guest who is the only person that doesn't look like them. Donut mistakes the blue base for the store, and Caboose mistakes Donut for the special guest, allowing him to take the flag back to red base. This causes the blues to go on the offense, trying to get back their flag, and ultimately results in Caboose killing Church - a member of his own team. Now greatly outnumbered, Caboose and Tucker (the other member of the blue team) are forced to radio for the help of a freelancer - Tex - but ghost Church isn't happy about that...

Meanwhile, Donut's retrieval of the blue flag gets him a promotion, and a chance to change the color of his armor. The color he picks gets him a bunch of ridicule from Grif and Simmons, the other two members of the Red Team. Sarge (the sargeant) and Lopez (a mute robot) inform everyone that they plan on attacking the blue base, due to their advantage, but the arrival of freelancer Tex and her Omega AI even out the odds.

The Blood Gulch Chronicles have 5 season, in which a number of characters are introduced, and the main characters are fleshed out. It's hard not to have a favorite by season 2, and by season 5, it was hard to see it go. The writing was amazing, and a lot of the jokes they drop are hilarious and out of no where. Amazing one liners, drawn out jokes, and a pretty deep underlying plot made the BGC pretty sweet. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and would recommend it to anyone who can weather the swearing. (Quite possibly the only negative thing about the BGC is the swearing... there's lots of it XD so be warned.)

Then came Reconstruction. The end of the BGC was epic, and left room for a number of things to happen, which is where Reconstruction comes in. We're introduced to the character of Agent Washington, a member of project freelancer (like Tex) that had a sketchy past with his implanted AI. He is assigned to investigate what happened at Blood Gulch outpost 17B (blue base) and figure out how to stop a new menace: the Meta.

Reconstruction was my favorite series, despite that Tucker only makes one teensy weensy little cameo in the whole thing. It had a lot of the charm of the BGC, but it was also really well written. Underneath all the jokes and humor and nonsensical stuff, the plot was AMAZING. Genius, I would dare say. Reconstruction focuses around Project: Freelancer and their implanted AI's, and the whole thing is just done very well. What struck me as truly amazing was how they took something familiar that happened WAAAAAAAAY back in season 1, near the BEGINNING of season 1 of the BGC, and turned it around on me. I didn't even see it coming. XD Not to mention, the ending is somewhat bitter sweet - and ending that makes you want to cry, but at the same time leaves you KNOWING more is coming.

And come more did. Enter Relocated. Relocated is a bit of a landmark series for the folks over at Red vs. Blue - and not just because it's the first time the boys have "relocated" to Valhalla. Relocated was directed entirely by a new director... and I must say, he did a SMASHING job! :) Relocated's run was very short... 4 episodes, and I just finished watching the last one before I wrote this review. It was done well, and did what I think it was intended to do: left viewers wanting more. With only a 4 episode run, I can't say it was my favorite, but I can say it is a necessary watch, if you plan on immersing yourself in the RvB world.

All in all, the show is amazing. I love it. I laugh every episode, and I can't help but appreciate how much work is put into the thing. If you don't mind swearing - and I won't even say mild because it's not mild... there's a LOT of it - then check it out, because it is worth it. A really... really... REALLY good show. :)

And that's all I've got to say... but I'll leave you with one of my favorite episodes:

Reconstruction Episode 5

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

I Watched the Watchmen...

...and I'm glad I wasn't really hyped to see it. I'm still trying to figure out if I liked it, or if I didn't like it... but right now, this is the vibe I'm getting.

The movie was good... for any fan of the graphic novel, it was exactly what one would expect, save for the ending. It was the comic book, acted out... some things were elaborated on, which were good and bad.

I'm sure I'm not the only one that thought the sex scenes were too much. I won't even sugar coat that... not a bit much, not kind of unnecessary... too much and COMPLETELY unnecessary. Showing those scenes added nothing to the movie, and took a lot away, in my opinion. It was all one could do to laugh and try to pretend it wasn't as uncomfortable as hell. I was lucky enough to miss the first one, but the second one was ridiculous. The graphic novel didn't even show that much, just eluded to it, and I think the movie would have done well to do the same.

The Comedian's death was done well, and props to Jeffrey Dean Morgan for portraying the character in such an amazing light... I was finally able to figure out why I loved the character so much. Despite his flaws, despite his views, despite his screwed up way of thinking... he got it. He was one of the only ones that got it. Save humanity from themselves. His persona really was everything that was wrong with the world, and that was the big joke - everyone hated him, but all he was doing was mirroring the heart of society... the true colors of the people around him. What they really hated was themselves... I love that. He was the very definition of "There's a problem with the world, and the problem with the world is me." Something about seeing him carried out - seeing the character translated to film rather than paper - made it easier to understand what he was about, and why he appealed to me so. He remains my favorite character of the novel. You can hate him all you want, but he was right. He was always right, to the day he died.

Laurie Jupiter's character was done well, too... I hated her just as much in the movie as I did in the novel. Daniel was given a few tweaks, and I actually liked them, save for the aforementioned elaborated sex scenes. Then, there's Rorschach.

He was simply amazing. Every scene he was in, you had to pay attention, you couldn't pull your eyes away. Every. Single. Scene. His character was one that translated VERY well to film... what you understood about him in the novel you understood when he became, essentially, real. The film cut out scenes were we learn the origin of his mask... certain interrogation scenes, yadda yadda, but for the most part, Rorschach remained in tact, and remained amazing. Justice was all that mattered... peace attained by genocide was unacceptable. When he met his end, I cried. I knew it was coming, and it broke my heart because, in a movie that was essentially about heroes, he was the only one that truly was one. I cried just like I did reading the novel. As much as I understand, as much as I get it, I will never be okay with his demise... he was just too awesome.

Dr. Manhattan was done well, too... but there were parts of Doc that we didn't need to see... really. Thanks, but no thanks. I also didn't like how he looked... I realize the movie isn't real but he just didn't blend. He didn't fit. But for the most part, he was handled well. The actor that played Jon did a good job, though I was disappointed that parts of his story were changed or left out, too.

I realize things need to be cut and changed... but I guess I just don't like that some of the things they did show they didn't need to, and some of the things they cut should have been there... I feel we lost a lot of interesting scenes due to ones that weren't necessary.

Like I said, the movie was handled very well. It was like watching the graphic novel... almost word for word dialogue. Beautiful shots and wonderful novel-to-screen translations. All the actors did a great job and the music was used very well, too. The pace was a little slow, but that matches well with the novel, so anyone who read it was probably following right along.

The ending, however, did not convince me. For starters, I don't see why they couldn't keep it the way it was. It would not have been that hard to create the alien... it would have been perfectly easy to cut the sex scenes short and give us the story of the missing artist... at least elude to it. Afraid the alien wouldn't look realistic enough? Look at Dr. Manhattan... that couldn't have been the problem.

The ending they used didn't make sense to me. I don't see how it would unite the world and make them back down. The idea is supposed to be that Dr. Manhattan is now this loose canon that will attack whomever decides to start up World War 3 again... but COME ON, PEOPLE. They were planning on using NUKES! Nuclear war fare usually results in massive destruction to everyone involved... theoretically... so I don't think the threat of being attacked would make anyone back down. I don't see how it would unite anyone... basically, Viedt is saying, if you threaten to destroy yourselves, we're going to destroy you.

Whereas, with the alien, there really was a common enemy, something they COULD defeat, something NOT employed by the US Government.

The other thing that bothered me was the fact that if you didn't read the novel, you would probably be lost. They cut the wrong things in my opinion.

It WAS a good movie... I was pleased for the most part. I'll probably end up liking it, probably see it again... most likely buy it on DVD. There were a lot of little things I caught that I most certainly enjoyed... Rorschach's delivery of my favorite line in the whole thing left me with a smile on my face, and little things here and there were beautifully scattered in... things only a reader of the novel would have caught. To date, it's the best film adaptation of a comic book I've seen... but it had it's areas it was lacking.

So - here's my recommendation:

Reader's of the novel:

If you don't mind the changed ending, if you don't mind not seeing some of your favorite parts, then watch it. You'll love it. It really was handled well. (Mars was fantastic!) Just brace yourself for awkward sex scenes, and be ready to know Doc Manhattan well... REALLY well.


If you don't mind being confused, don't mind the awkward sex scenes, and just want to watch an interesting story, check it out. It's a bit slow to start, but it's none the less good. It's an interesting ride.

I realize this review isn't going to make me a lot of friends so, since I'm not eager to get the reaction I got for not liking the Dark Knight (because God forbid someone have a negative opinion about that movie), I'm not going to tag anyone in this note, except those that have requested tag-ness. That doesn't mean I'm not open to opinions and feedback - I haven't written anything in a while, so this is kind of me pushing myself back into the blogging world. If you want to say something, say it. :) Just be sure that that "something" isn't "you're a frakking idiot for not wanting to have this movie's babies!" Oh, and... say hi to your mother for me! Thank you. :)


  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS