Friday, July 25, 2008

Dark Knight and Various Movies

I watched The Dark Knight the other day. It was excellent and I thought the cast did an amazing job. I saw bits and pieces of the first one, Batman Returns, and the story was a tad too dark for me so I worried about my expectations for this sequel.

Simply put, I love Heath Ledger as the Joker. His scenes were definitely disturbing sometimes - I could barely watch the psychotic man, my fingers were plastered over my face - but he was so good. It just makes the viewer wonder what roles might he have gone onto had he not died so unexpectedly.

So who was the better Joker: Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger?

I don't believe they could even be compared. Asides from the Joker identity, their portrayals were so different. Even the makeup indicated distinctions in their personalities: Jack was neat and crisp with his fitted suit and a wide, maniacal grin while Heath's paint was smeared all over his face combined with greasy hair and a nervous, awkward gait.

Jack's Joker was more intelligent and thought his plans through with a purpose. He walked with a swagger and punctuated actions with witty one-liners and jokes. His Joker was more light hearted.

Heath's depiction of Joker, on the other hand, was of a true lunatic. In that way, he's scarier than Jack's Joker since he's a killer so crazy, he doesn't even care about his own life, let alone yours. Everything is literally a game to him; pain doesn't seem to register on him at all and it makes the viewer wonder how he got to be such a twisted individual. He offers several stories about the origin of his lips ("Why so serious?") and you quickly realize that you can never be certain what the man is about. Suspense, tension, and a feeling that you're constantly playing Russian Roulette with the guy. Now that is creepy.

Did anyone else find Heath Ledger's Joker reminiscent of Hannibal Lecter and the Black Dahlia? That sibilant way he hisses words and the way his tongue flickers against his lips suggested Hannibal's quirks and the whole story about his lips carved into a smile reminded me of the story of the Black Dahlia.

For those who don't know about Black Dahlia, it's a real, unsolved murder and brutalization of this actress back around 1930s. She was tortured, slaughtered, and half of her corpse, butchered across the hip, was found. Her lips were split side-to-side with a knife into a wide smile and it was absolutely horrific. A movie regarding this came out a while back, I believe.

Back to less dismal topics, I've been loving this summer's selection of movies. There are so many superhero movies out and while I'm not usually a big fan of the genre, a lot of them have been really good (I adore Iron Man - who doesn't?).

On another happy note, I'm so excited about the next Mummy that's coming out (not so happy to see Rachel Weisz's character taken up by another actress though).

And! I can't wait for Tropic Thunder. Except, I don't want to jinx myself because usually when I get my expectations all high for a movie, it usually disappoints. And then I cry. Not really.

But the point is it's going to have Ben Stiller, Jack Black, AND Robert Downey Jr. Robert Downey Jr. is an amazing actor and I'm glad he's coming back after his rehab.

Here's the promo thing they did for the movie. I love how Downey made fun of himself for his scandal thing and the comparison to Dark Knight - and the poster with Panda and Iron Man ... genius. Plus, the Panda head! Oh, Jack haha. The ending of this clip is kinda weird though and more disturbing than funny, but I still love the three of them.

The movie has a good premise (poking fun at the movie industry and setting up with three different actor stereotypes, throwing them into a real life war situation without any of them realizing it - cue funny and gross debacles) and I just hope it'll turn out well. I mean, we all know what happened to Hancock. Such good ideas, but they tried to do way too many things at once - romance, identity crisis, angst, action, and humor. It was like a bipolar flick on Prozac. You didn't know if it was a drama that had too much action or a superhero movie with too little action.

But I suppose it would make for some good fanfiction because there were definitely some novel points to it that could be explored more.

You see how I love my movies.

Writings: Still working on Through Me 19. And Unfinished Business 9. I hope to have at least one of them out by Sunday or Monday. Hopefully. If I'm not distracted by anything again. The summer heat makes me positively lethargic.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Through Me Updated and More SKoW

Chapter 18 has finally been posted to Through Me. I've actually been working on this chapter for quite some time. I know, I've always been horrendously late with updates, but usually it's because I couldn't get the time to sit around to type. If I actually get to work on a chapter, it usually takes two days, sometimes less, a few hours.

For those who were with me at the beginning of False Facades, I used to churn out those chapters daily. I don't know how I did that, but I did remember that I had more free time back then. I miss those days.

Anyway, about this latest chapter, I've finally realized that this has been what I've been working up to all along for Adel and Tristan. Through Me has in a way been something for me to practice my writing with and has been an experiment of sorts. False Facades was written in chapters that just rolled off the page in a rush of dialogue and action, hitting certain plot points in my head one after the other. Through Me takes things much more slowly - excruciatingly so sometimes - but I wanted to see how a story might form if I let things relax and just go. At times, it got away from me and it was a hit or miss with readers.

Some preferred the fast pace of False Facades. Others liked seeing the relationship develop in Through Me, even though my cousin still keeps saying I should just have Adel and Tristan kill each other and put each other out of their misery (and that's with Tristan as her favorite character).

Anyway, I think I've learned more about what works and what doesn't. In a way, I've become much more critical about what I write and what I post. Mmm, good learning experience.

Another note, look it! I'm such a dork, but I really like the newest layout (Thumbelina inspired by Nic S) on SKoW and so, I was browsing the site to check out the graphics and I found the little button thing that's like "I'm nominated!" so I just wanted to ... post it up here. Haha, be still, my heart. It's so cute! Look, it's Scarlett Johansson as Cinderella and she's running down the steps and it says Once Upon a Time, I was NOMINATED! Oh, I expire from the cuteness.

Did I mention my soft spot for fairytales and dreamlike, fantastical scenes? I can't explain it. It's not even so much the Disney aspects (oh, yes it is, who am I kidding? Finding Nemo and Little Mermaid are my all time favorites), but I actually spend time searching for pictures that are based on nature and earthy qualities, soft and dreamy with almost this surreal, ethereal glow. My desktop background must appeal to me - even just blades of grass in soft focus make me swoon. The SKoW layout and all these graphics are so whoa right now ... I'm so giddy, forget the results. This nomination badge thingie is already my prize.

Watch. Even if I hadn't been nominated, I would still have been the loser who posted this thing up anyway haha.

You see how I can write Will's character now, don't you?

Oh, and before I forget, I just wanted to thank emotionless-stares and whoever else for nominating me. I don't know who nominates me unless you say, but I sure appreciate it.

With that note, I just wanted to let you know I'm still working on revisions for False Facades. They're taking a bit longer than expected, but I may post up a sneak peek of some snippets as I'm going along.

Also, I'm writing up the next chapter for Unfinished Business and I'll begin working on Through Me as well.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mosquito Bite Allergy!

So sorry about the lack of updates over the weekend. I got caught up in too much food again haha.

I went for Shanghai food on Sunday. I absolutely adore xiao long bao, these dumplings that have soup along with the meat filling inside the thin wrapping. We had four orders with crab - extra tasty - and another one with just pork. We also got a scallion pancake, two pork chop noodle soups, and one Shanghai fried rice. The waiters must have gotten a bit annoyed with the way we kept waving them over to add another order. Lord knows the people sitting around us were giving us the weird "Did they not eat in two months?" look. My cousin, who's working in some big law firm that provides their employees with two great cafeterias and an even better pay, treated and I think we almost ate her out of her savings, poor girl. That's after she had to run out to the ATM too because the restaurant didn't accept credit cards. The rest of us had nearly demolished all the food by the time she came back and we had to reorder. We're shameless. But if you're surrounded by ravenous guys who didn't eat anything in the morning, it's difficult to prevent them from attacking you if you try to get in their way of piping hot food.

My cousin is an angel though, one of the rare types who makes friends everywhere she goes and laughs everything off. I've actually never seen her angry, come to think of it. She's a weird dork (our bros' words, not mine) who tries everything at least once (think bull testicles, public karaoke) and I suspect my dad favors her over me. :)

Me, on the other hand ... I got a mosquito bite that same day and had to go to work the day after. I'm very allergic to insect bites. As in, the bite got so swollen, it was the size of my palm and it looked yellowish in the middle like an aging bruise while rimmed with this fiery crimson color like I've been scalded. It's not itchy - it's painful. I tried to ice it down and the ice didn't even feel cold on it.

It was seriously inflamed and when I woke up, a putrid yellow blister had formed on its surface. I had to limp into work and I wasn't happy. Even though I didn't mention it and worked through the pain, my mentor picked up on the black, danger vibes I was emanating. When I'm unhappy or in pain (or actually! in the mornings, when I'm sleep deprived), I have a tendency to withdraw from others and stay quiet, as in if you ask me to do something, I'll do it and I'll either won't look at you or I'll give you a look and then glance away without an expression. If I know you better and you try to initiate small talk again, I might actually bite your head off. Think provoking an injured wolf.

My mentor was all "Awww" and offered to bring in antihistamine for me when I told her about it and then sent me to work, being sure to steer clear out of my way.

I was in so much pain, I had to call in a substitute to take my place for the night SAT class I was supposed to coach for high school kids. Sadness.

The bite's fading now, but I'm ashamed to admit that my temperament can be pretty much a ticking bomb sometimes. Don't be fooled by the quiet appearance.

* Picture source: wikipedia

Friday, July 11, 2008

Bro's Birthday

Today's my brother's birthday. We're both summer babies and we're really much the same. We don't particularly care what we do for our birthdays. Perhaps it runs in the family or something. Perhaps we're just mush people.

He's even more apathetic though. Every year, whenever we ask him what he wants to do for the day, he shrugs and then requests the same thing: pizza.

So we got him his pizza - with mushrooms, oh snap - in the afternoon. He went to work and after he came home, we went out for a small family dinner at a local Chinese restaurant.

Fried Fish with Tofu in Clay Pot

Somehow, our birthdays end up more like days of gorging. I suppose, as we get older, we lose all those birthday parties where we thrash the heck out of a pinata, devour slices of ice cream cake, toss around water balloons, hold bicycle races around the block. As they die down, our feelings regarding birthdays start to calm down.

That, or we start holding parties with sake bombs, Irish carbombs, blowjob shots, and way too much alcohol instead.

Haha, we may actually be better off giving into our mother instead, who always suggests that our birthdays were really her days of pain so why shouldn't we be honoring her and showering her with presents instead?

She has a point.

Maybe next year, we'll get her a pizza too.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

SKoW Nominations

I hope everyone's Fourth of July went well! :)

Unfinished Business Chapter 8 has been completed. After I review it once more, I will post it sometime soon when I get home from work and actually get a chance to sit down. I'm working on the next chapter to Through Me, specifically there's an idea that's caught my attention regarding it, so hopefully, I'll get that out soon.

Random tidbit: I work in a lab evaluating the neurotransmitters of Sprague Dawley rats. We fabricate these sensors that can be implanted so that a new rat doesn't have to be executed for each study and the cute thing gets to eateateat until it's nearly doubled its weight. The research findings are applied to theories regarding Parkinson's Disease and epilepsy treatments, etc. and we've recently gotten a paper published with my name listed after my mentor, the primary investigator, so that's been exciting.

And I'm exhausted. Nothing new.

On another awesome note, I've been notified by the judges, Cassie and Kyra, that I've been nominated in the Some Kind of Wonderful Awards Round Six under the category of Amazing Wordsmith and that Unfinished Business has been nominated for the story category of Most Humorous (Incomplete).

If you have any free time, please take the chance to check out the site and all the nominees to cast your vote. SKoW has been around for a long time and they've always generated an excellent reading list and nice awards, not to mention that I'm in love with this Round's Theme. Fairytales. Whoa.

I'm a Disney kid at heart and I absolutely adore the graphics that's around on the site right now. Annie Leibovitz's dreamy editorials have always made my heart flutter.

To my knowledge, SKoW hasn't started its voting process yet so please keep an eye out for when it starts. Until then, happy reading and judging!