Kids in the Street

This video went viral on social media today and is quite fascinating to watch. I just had to do something interesting with it.

Mary Tyler Moore

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Dec 29, 1936 – Jan 25, 2017

She lived, she breathed

She experienced and rose

One episode at a time

Changing the world

After The Walking Dead

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The Walking Dead is one of my favorite shows on TV right now (even though I hardly ever watch it on traditional TV). I have enjoyed watching every season so far up to the first half of season 7 through Netflix and other various means. The show hardly ever varies from one season to the next except for a location change or new deaths but it’s the interesting characters that have kept me in. Cheap plot gimmicks aside and the usual Rick goes crazy and then decides to fight the system formula and this show always manages to keep me anticipating what is up next.

The main villain for season 7 is a brutish man named Negan and the rest of his biker gang known as the Saviors, who all are known as Negan together. He controls the stock of weapons, food, and other essential items (even taking away the mattresses).

As for how this show will eventually end, whenever that is, I hope the producers don’t settle for some cliche ending like the one on Lost. Or that this was all a complex dream of Rick Grimes, the main hero of the series. I am hoping the show goes the route of eventually finding a cure for the zombie virus (which was a brief idea by Eugene a few seasons ago) or that our survivors have developed an immunity to the zombie walker virus that activates when one is bitten or dies. I can even imagine Daryl taking one last look at Rick before he rode off into the sunset on his motorcycle. Or maybe they eventually reach Washington DC and the final shot is of the tattered American flag slowly waving in the calm post-apocalyptic breeze.

I sure hope the show isn’t dragged on for too long and ends as long as the ratings stay positive.

 

 

YouTube Rewind 2016

Another year of YouTube is nearly in the books. To celebrate 2016’s greatest moments, the annual Rewind is back again and better than ever.

This is my reaction video. Enjoy!

Slumdog Millionaire

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If there is one film I would definitely like to see again, it would be Slumdog Millionaire. This was a true treasure of a film and is something that requires a little research to understand. The culture and history of the Indian subcontinent portrayed in this film have been the subject of controversy because some believe it isn’t quite accurate and is being exaggerated (like the issue of poverty in India), while others see this as a way for the country to improve the state of its cities.

Once a sleeper hit in 2008 that wasn’t expected to do much, it went on to win many awards, including eight Academy Awards, one for best motion picture of the year. The film was first shown at a private film festival before being released to the U.K. and elsewhere. As with many of these international films, they don’t usually gain widespread popularity until something big happens, such as winning major awards. I love these kind of films that have very little widespread promotion and go on to become big hits later on. They are instant classics in my mind, one of a kind films that deserve a little more thought and analysis when viewing them.

When I first watched the movie (getting it off a bootleg Internet site), I had no idea the answers to the questions for the eventual Who Wants to be a Millionaire? segment were shown in different scenes of the film. When the quiz show contestant Jamal Malik (played by Dev Patel) got up to the 20 million rupees (US $300,000) question, he was suspected of cheating because no one would have thought a simple “slumdog” would know so much with very little education. He was beaten and tortured by the police and asked how he got the answers. Jamal confesses that his secret to getting so many of the questions correctly was based off his past experiences, such as getting the autograph of a famous Bollywood actor and the death of his mother in the Bombay riots. The police questioning him think this is a ridiculous idea and eventually let him continue playing. He ends up getting to the final question that asks who the third musketeer in The Three Musketeers was. After using his Phone-a-friend (calling his brother Salim in his prison cell), his childhood friend Latika picks up and tries to help him. She doesn’t know the answer so he randomly chooses Aramis, getting the question correct and winning the grand prize of 20 million rupees (the same currency used in the Zelda games).

When watching this film again, I’ll look for those subtle clues that lead up to the ending. It’s quite a far-fetched plot that is used and is quite unbelievable but I still loved the film otherwise.

I have figured that the final question given to Jamal about the musketeers was supposed to be simple enough (even a child could have answered it) in order for the organizers to prove that an uneducated slumdog couldn’t possibility walk away with the big money. They thought he wouldn’t even be smart enough to make it that far, let alone past the first few questions, which is why the questions were set up the way they were, but he proved them all wrong. His winning was all based on a lot of real good luck and being in the right places at the right time, which I see as a rather convenient plot device by the writers, but done in a way so as to amaze the viewers later on.

Millions (of rupees)

100 Years Ago Today

The film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, based on the novel by Jules Verne, was released in 1916, nearly 100 years ago today (officially on December 24, 1916). To compensate for the lack of dialogue in this silent era film, there are facts and pieces of biography scattered in the film. Enjoy the entire 10 minute title in this one post.

 

Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared 

 

I watched this series of videos on YouTube yesterday, prompted by “The Film Theorists”, and didn’t even know what to think. It was the weirdest adventure. They start off like educational videos and then go into a creepy sequence of disturbing images and shock moments. “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” has got to be the most beautiful and artistic creation I’ve seen so far. Unlike some viral videos, this one makes you think. It’s deep and layered with a message that is not so easy to understand. The unpredictability witnessed by someone who has never watched these is amazing – it was especially for me.

Now, this sixth and final one (though fans have tried to make their own theorized 7th) is obviously dealing with death. The three puppet friends are in some kind of purgatory. Scenes, characters, and dialogue from the previous episodes are featured. The Yellow Guy lies in bed thinking about his friends that have gone missing, reflecting with an old photo album. The talking lamp tells him how he can dream about the most morbid and nightmarish things and then characters from the previous episodes, such as the steak and clock, randomly appear and disappear in the room one by one, faster and faster until Yellow Guy is going insane.

Oh, and the songs in these videos are catchy as ever, especially in the first video that sings about creativity. “Green is not a creative color”. Why? The first one was probably supposed to be a one time thing done for kicks, but after people started talking about it and theorizing, a Kickstarter program was initiated to fund the second and subsequent ones. I must have watched the sixth one numerous times. It’s such a timeless creation. The whole series, while rather short, is unique. It’s time to fund a “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” feature length film.

Rocky Balboa Forever

There once was an underdog boxer named Rocky Balboa. He lived on the streets of Philadelphia among shady individuals, poor as dirt, living in a rundown apartment. Even though he was a pretty good boxer at the local level and had won many fights, nobody took him seriously, calling him a bum and a loser. He even had his locker taken away from him and given to someone else, being ousted from the boxing club because he was no longer needed.

One night while in a pet shop, he met a shy young girl named Adrianna, or Adrian as Rocky preferred to call her (Yo, Adrian!). She was very reluctant of his advances at first and didn’t want to enter his apartment because she didn’t know him very well but they soon hit it off. She was a source of inspiration for Rocky, a hint of light for him to move ahead. Rocky made her more self-confident as well. They shared a long kiss and he no longer felt alone or like a creep anymore.

Then one day Rocky was given the once in a lifetime chance to go up against World Heavyweight Champion Apollo Creed, since he had no other challengers and was giving an unknown the opportunity to shine. This was to be the ultimate David and Goliath match, an upstart nobody against the best of the best. Rocky started training hard day after day for the fight, running through the streets of Philly and up the historic 72 steps, taking to punching huge cuts of raw meat in a freezer room, and working on his footwork with a trainer.

On the other side, the champ Creed was not taking the upcoming fight seriously, not even training himself. To him, this was a charity event for the fans and he doubted it would go on for more than 3 rounds. And when the night of the fight finally arrived, he showed up dressed like Uncle Sam, taking this matter as a joke, teasing and taunting Rocky. But that was not to be the case. After the Italian Stallion knocked Apollo to the ground to the audience’s surprise, the first time in the champ’s career, the fight became serious. It went the whole 15 rounds, Rocky falling down once and the fight looking like it may had been over. Cocky Apollo started waving his arms in the air, celebrating early. Rocky stumbled back to his feet, vowing to “go the distance”, to Apollo’s amazement. The fight continued, both men jabbing and beating each other up some more, Rocky too tired to defend himself with his fists, taking shots to the face. His nose was broken for the first time in his career, blood dripping. There was no way either of these competitors were going to just give up.

And finally the bell to end the fight rang. The judges called it a split decision. Adrian raced into the ring and embraced her lover in a hug, telling that she loved him. Could Rocky win the decision and become a national hero? Would the Cinderella story end happily?

Amidst the roar and cheering of the crowd, the deciding judge’s voice was barely audible:

“And the winner of the fight by a split decision is…Apollo Creed!”

Rocky was the bridesmaid again. He didn’t want a rematch, said he was tired of taking shots to the face. He went on to marry Adrian and had a son named Rocky Balboa, Jr. He gained the respect of his community and the boxing world.

And all was well with the world – his world.

I just watched this film tonight for the first time in a long while. I picked up on minor details and plot points that I missed the first time around. This movie is similar to Cinderella Man, I’ve come to realize, not that the 2005 film is a ripoff but is inspired by Rocky in a number of ways. The following movies in the Rocky series seem to follow a pattern: Rocky is on top on the world and then Rocky is fighting to get his “eye of the tiger” back.

Overall, I give the first installment in the Rocky Series an 8/10.

No Cliffhangers

Deadpool: Something Different

I think we can officially say that a previously underrated superhero has put himself firmly on the map.

That leather looking spandex was sure used comically.

Okay, so fans of the original Deadpool (Wade Wilson) will surely hate this movie because it’s not true to the comics. Deadpool was played up to be a silly and ridiculous character who told sex jokes and was a jerk to everybody. Diehard Deadpool fans would have liked to see a more serious and traditional story of an ordinary man turned extraordinary, but this has an edge to it. It’s entertaining with the right amount of dirtiness and violence that makes it anything but another bland and boring superhero flick.

My honest opinion of the movie: it was awesome in every way. I just watched it for the second time tonight and was blown away. The acting is superb and the action is spot on. There was never a dull moment. Ryan Reynolds, God’s perfect idiot, has the look and charm to command a powerful leading role. Morena Baccarin was more than just the pretty face in this film and had some tenacity, such as when she punched the long bearded biker in the tender zone when he tried to hit on her. That Sinead O’Connor look a like named Negasonic Teenage Warhead (best name ever) played her part great as the sidekick and offered some funny moments. The humor is never ending and mixes well with some perfectly timed serious moments, such as the fight in the fire that proves Mr. Pool is truly invincible. Deadpool is definitely a breakout hit of 2016 so far. “It’s a game changer” states the movie poster. That it definitely was. This isn’t your daddy’s superhero movie. The excellent delivery of Reynolds and his breaking the fourth wall give this film an extra appeal.

The movie starts out with some early exposition of Deadpool being involved in a car wreck on a bridge. This scene happens at the end of the movie but the director decided to give us an early glimpse of what’s to come. His girlfriend, Vanessa Carlysle, played by Morena Baccarin, is kidnapped by Deadpool’s arch enemy Ajax played by Ed Skrein. Deadpool’s main objective is to get back at this man who left him horribly disfigured. The climatic battle at the end of the movie is slowly revealed in pieces throughout with X-Men members Colossus and Negasonic being introduced, who were trying to recruit him to join the team (maybe he will in Deadpool 2?) Did I mention that this is also the eighth installment in the X-Men franchise? That I did not realize until doing some research.

The movie then dives into the origins of Deadpool, starting with his wild lifestyle as a mercenary in New York and the “Dead Pool” game of betting on targets to kill. He proposes to his longtime love Vanessa but after she accepts he suddenly faints. Shortly after, Wade is diagnosed with terminal cancer and is told he doesn’t have much time to live. He is then approached by a special team that says they have a way to cure his cancer and give him superhuman abilities. After he leaves Vanessa for this project, she moves on with her life knowing that Wade will eventually pass away.

In the laboratory, Wade meets Ajax and Angel Dust, two members of the Weapons X special operative. Ajax gives him a serum that will cure his cancer with the catch being that he will have to become a mutant for it work. He is put through a series of stress tests in order for the mutation to awaken, but which fails. Wade is then locked in an oxygen chamber and develops the mutant gene to cure his cancer – but here’s a surprise: Ajax abruptly cuts off the oxygen and subjects Wade to total asphyxiation. He is cured of his cancer but as a side effect contracts a case of Freddy Kreuger skin with his new abilities. Wade eventually escapes from the chamber by lighting a match and blowing up the lab, getting into a fiery battle with Ajax who impales him, leaving him for dead. With his immortality, Wade survives this and sets off to find and kill Ajax.

Unable to walk around normally in public without being stared at, Wade creates the Deadpool suit and persona. His mission as the New York mercenary turned Deadpool badass is to track down Ajax, kill him, and win his love back. It’s a reversal of roles. The man is the damsel in distress this time, not the woman.

The thrilling ending battle sees Deadpool kill everyone but Ajax, demanding a cure for his impairment but is told that it isn’t possible. Deadpool kills Ajax and eventually reconnects with his girlfriend. He reveals his mangled face to her and it is concluded that she still loves him despite his flaws (on the inside and out) and they share a long embrace with Wham’s “I’m Never Gonna Dance Again” playing on Deadpool’s iPhone.

Overall I’d give this movie a 7/10. It’s got everything you want in a superhero movie and more. Some of the jokes are ill advised and some scenes are over the top but it was a pretty spectacular popcorn flick. This is not a kid’s movie but kids would find it enjoyable. It’s not going to win any major awards but you can expect it to be one that can watched repeatably because of all the memorable scenes, that save it from being mediocre. Definitely one of Ryan Reynold’s best films so far.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this movie was great from beginning to finish. It instantly catches your interest with the freeze framed airborne car scene set to Juice Newton’s “Angel of the Morning”. But I’m just begging to wonder how Wade Wilson suddenly found the skills to craft his intricate Deadpool suit overnight.

The bonus scene at the end of the movie is a reference to the one used in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, another thing that I failed to realize until later.

How incredibly inventive of the writers. This was quite an original movie by director Tim Miller. I had a far better time critiquing this film than the first time I watched it because of things being far more clearer to me.

Night At the Movies

Drinking beer with the guys

A starcross night, chilly air over the city skies

I’ve wrote about this already but I might has well revisit it to freshen up the details in my mind.

Seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens on the first night it premiered in my sleepy little town was definitely an experience I will never forget. I can’t believe how much of a fanboy I felt like sitting in that theater, watching one of the biggest films, perhaps the biggest, of 2015 unfold. I chuckled inside when the iconic words seen in every Star Wars film popped on the screen, and then let out a sigh of relief when “Star Wars” zoomed onto the screen and the iconic scroll commenced. A mysterious fog was cleared in my head when I finally realized the masked person seen in the trailer was Rey as she uncovered her face.

Afterward, standing on the curb of the theater in the chilly December air, waiting for my ride, I reflected on my awesome experience. I had waited years to see this film, first hearing it announced in 2012, and had bought tickets months ahead, so to finally live out my dream and be one of the early goers to these insanely hyped up parties, was very satisfactory. There was never a movie I went to where I felt such a connection that I had to where a matching t-shirt. Not even Harry Potter could do that.


Tell us about the most exciting big night out you had recently.