Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Why does everything need to be a video

Dear News articles on the internet and YouTub-ers.

  If you don't have footage or anything new to share like YOUR OWN OPINION, you don't need a video of a reporter reading the article I was just on, with a slideshow of some pictures and happy music playing in the background. I'm not a gerbil with a short attention span, well maybe I am, but I'm also a gerbil that can read.

  I ran into this issue when trying to review a new motorcycle (Buccaneer Cafe) that's coming to the US. there's no real rider reviews and the video reviews I could find are just these young adults reading the articles, spec sheet and showing the photos from the bike's website. Thank you, I've become so lazy in browsing the web, I could just watch you do it for me. (sarcasm font). Please stop this.

  Funny side story. I found great review from YouTub-ers in Thailand, but they only spoke Thai. Even then, their reviews were pretty good and they seem to really appreciate cheaper Chinese bikes.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Ghost in the Shell (Both of them) (Movie reviews no one asked for)

Oh look, she’s not wearing much clothes.... Don’t let that distract you from the fact that this robot is suffering through an existential crisis. 

Although both movies portray this idea well, one simplifies it to the point where we don’t sympathize with the character and the other leaves you thinking about it, long after the movie’s over and has so much to talk about. Guess which one is better?

The original is the 1995 "Ghost in the shell" anime. Doing a quick google search doesn’t really inspire you to watch this film since it looks like any other slutty anime flick, but it’s not. More of an artsy, thinking kind of film, miss a few scenes and you're left with.... wait, what happened? What is an identity? Or what is human? 

It’s a captivating film and whether you prefer reading the subtitles or watching the dub it doesn’t change the film so I enjoyed it, and the quality was way up there among some of the best anime styles out there. 

So when I heard that a Live Action feature was being planned. I just had to watch it. By myself because at the time, I didn’t know anyone else who was interested, but it let me focus on certain key points. Such as the main actress, she did a good job for the character, but I did not like this overly simplified confused Major who changed her name like she changed her mind about who she was. I received a special ticket that looked more like a special pass for a concert, IDK maybe they thought this movie was gonna be HUGE. I smiled when I walked in and I was the 5th person in the audience. I felt special. 

So unlike the anime, the live action version seemed to focus on... are you still the same person even if your memories are wiped? And are put in a robot? Are you my mommy? Who am I? Doesn’t matter because the anime Major seemed to be focused on what was right and who she was going to become, THAT was much more interesting. But to each his own. I suppose if I had watched them in reverse, I may have enjoyed them more. But even after introducing these films to my wife as we are slowly trying to watch more anime. We both lost interest in the live action version because it was not as compelling as the anime. 

Both had very beautiful visuals, backgrounds and the live action had great CGI. But story wise, the anime wins, and that’s what people will remember most about a movie. Story. Unless you’re making Speed Racer but that’s another review. :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Mad Max - The First ONE (Movie reviews no one asked for)

Oh my goodness, next to the Star wars Holiday special have I ever seen a film so slowly paced, confusingly cut and with a plot so small it can be summed up in 5 minutes by a ten year old. It goes without saying that the film has decent, action, gore and actually some potential in some scenes, it just felt dragging, confusing and hard to read. Most of the time, I was thinking, what's going on? What's he saying? Who's who?.... and so on.

About halfway through the movie me and my friends where like, "Well it's too late to change the movie now, and we won't have time to finish another one, so let's just keep going till the end. By the way what's going on? I'm going to nap." We then had fun trying to capture bits of the story from what everyone else understood, we found ourselves telling the story of Mad Max as we understood it and it's a very good movie if you don't have ANY A.D.H.D in your system. And can focus on things very well, .... oh and speak Australian. It helps if you can understand their accent.

To it's merit, it's a lower budget, Australian (is that a bad thing?), artful film. In it's own right I like it, but not to watch with a group, maybe late nights drinking a beer and just chilling as I watch the world of Mad max unfold. Plus the fact that it spawned interesting and better sequels is something else entirely. Just don't make it the first Mad Max film to watch if you've never seen any. It's not a fair comparison. Now for Fury road, that is another beast.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

(Ben Hur) Movie Opinions No One Asked For

Quick while it's still fresh on my mind, what was the movie Ben Hur like?

Well I'll begin without preconceptions. The only thing I new going into the theatre was that I wanted to watch Kubo instead of this movie, but my friend who isn't into animation as much as I am told me we should compromise, which is the overall vibe this movie gave off. Anyways we both agreed that a Ben Hur action movie sounded cooler for both of us. So we walk in, my friend arrives late as always missing out on a decent intro and since the 3d showing is the only convenient time we let the movie roll by.

It captured my attention and held it. Recently few films have had a decent story and some action to keep me watching and Ben Hur does that, the actors did a good job and the effects where good, story made sense, the overall look was great... and then I saw Jesus. He was doing some carpentry in Jerusalem, maybe making some extra cash to fund his work, but I don't know... I thought it seemed out of place, but the whole movie had a good feelings happy kind of vibe. Forgiveness, family, love and it was soooo sappy. And I liked it, it was like a sappy drama action movie that your parents liked to watch, but without the epic tale or memorable characters to go with it. (Prince of Egypt?) It could have removed the religious portions and been a fine movie on it's own, but most audiences will have groaned at the cheesy ending Ben Hur had. Me on the other hand, being a religious guy who likes cheesy 90's movies from time to time this really hit the spot. Although the chariot race blood batch really feels out of place now doesn't it? I don't know if the producers wanted to include a little bit of everything for everyone but alright you're going to end up with a compromised film. Which very few people would like.

Would I watch it again? Maybe in a few years but it's no gladiator that's for sure. Do I recommend it? Sure, maybe for a DVD rental and a home popcorn movie night. Enjoy.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Why I like CAKE (the band, well I like regular cake too, but that's not the point)

The main singer drones on about something he feels strongly about, the drummer keeps pace despite having little in common with the guitar or trumpet's fare. The bass is in a league of his own as he steadily basses on like a pillar in the band and the tune is as common as the air we breathe.

It's cake, in all it's glory
It's cake and their story
writing their own songs
ignoring what is hot
you'll never know if it's right
or when to stop.

My New Favorite Band

No it's not going to be my top pick for every road trip, or the thing I listen to every day. but I have a list of favorite bands in my head and guess who just made the list?


As a young man I've heard one or two songs, and liked said songs, but never realized who played them, I even thought them to be made by separate band, but no, the songs I heard were by the same artists. I'm not trying to convince you to like them like I do. In fact I prefer you don't since it really enforces the stereotype that is my taste in music, which is not really determined by popularity or constant drilling into my mind like radio tends do to. "You will like this song because I'm playing it nonstop!" kind of deal.

Cake is a band based in my hometown of Sac. They sound like a typical stoner band, but a really good one. The main singer has monotone, but really hits those notes. Flatly but he hits them with the sureness of a drunk man who really hates that guy. The Bass, oh wow I wish I could come up with baseline like this dude, I really really like the bass player's creativity and skill to entertain me. And the guitars, trumpets and guitars, they both have their sound down to a fine piece of musical art, they know their place and it's strangely not in the front.

The songs are good, varied and catchy. Some songs have meaning, some don't, but good songs all around. I could listen to every single song and not feel a need to skip it, unless it's like 10 slow songs in a row, then I might shuffle it up by then.

How did I not know they existed? Like Rush, they're popular enough and they are of a certain taste, but I'm still genuinely supervised I never heard an entire album until this year. Why? because I blame my friends that's why. Pop music really tells you what to like and since I'm not a 90's teen, I guess I missed them by that.... much....

One of my workmates said Cake was one of his favorite bands. I casually mentioned I liked one or two songs of them but didn't enjoy the singer. He said, "Well I like the band as a whole" Which got me thinking, maybe I should look into them. And it was a good decision as I ended up liking the band too. A lot. Purchased three of their albums. Listened to all their songs and now I learn how to play a few of their songs in hopes to share their style music with others.

It doesn't matter that they have no plans to make more music, it doesn't matter that they're not popular as they once where before. However they are good at what distinct sound they produce and admire that.

The sound they make isn't messy or even overwhelming. When you need to hear the guitar riff or trumpet blare, you'll hear it clear as day, then the sound switches back to the melody bass line as the drums accent and keep the rhythm to the song, filling in those needed roles or drum spice.

Have you ever run into a CD and it all sounds the same? Well we could argue that CAKE is one of those artists, but we'd also say that you're not listening to the songs. Unlike other bands that copy the same tune(Beach Boys), same riffs for every song(Chuck Berry), and same song structure (Every rock band ever) or even singing that sounds like the last tracks's song (NickelBack). Cake actually progresses through their genre with grace and class. Finding all the intros and solos only they can pull off. Making it varied within their niche. And that's pretty darn special for a band that sounds the same throughout the years.

Friday, February 19, 2016

So you think you can critique.

You know what irks me, like really ughs my bones is when people who have not a shred of musical talent, can't play a thing, think they know they best music and when you show them a song you composed, I can almost guarantee you they are already comparing it to a hit song on the radio and then mentioning why your song isn't good enough like that one. But they don't bring up a straight comparison, no they mention one or two things they don't like about your song because it's recorded on a potatoe, because the singing isn't as good as Ray Charles or whatever, they don't even try to compare you they just say oh now your rhythm is off or the singing is out of tune, maybe a drum is too loud or the guitar too noisy. I didn't ask for an in depth analysis, just listen to the song as a song, not as a critic, I don't care about your opinion. I just want to share my music, but you made me change my mind! You wannabe Eoger and Eggbert or whatever they are. Do you feel like a more knowledgeable person when you critique someone with a fine tooth comb on something they worked hard for and you couldn't even do if you tried really hard. Is it so hard to admit that the song you think is nail scratching horribleness might be 10 times better than what YOU can do? No you don't think about that because you're full of yourself. I'm not showing you anymore of my songs.

These songs aren't even mine, I played the guitar on them and these artists have worked on their craft for years, so maybe we are slightly out of tune, yes it's on a cassette recorder and unless you are in a band and can play better than this, then maybe you have the right to express your opinion on why these songs suck but otherwise keep your trap shut.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Creep (Short Film Project)

To Mario. 

This is the short summary of the short film we made. If you're editing you might as well know the story so the scenes are in order. 

Erik creepy guy moves into this house renting a room, he's a computer technician, but the kid doesn't trust him, the mom treats him nice so he'll stay because he pays rent ahead on time. One day mom leaves the guy in charge of the house and the kids invites some friends over. The friends start to disappear one by one, the remaining friends investigate and suspect the guy. Then they notice he's building a bomb and they call the FBI but he cuts the call an tells them please not to. He explains it's not a bomb but an art project. They don't beleive him. When the FBI comes he runs out with the bomb and mini bike chase ensues. Bicycle chase then car. But they lead up to the river, Erik throws the bomb in river and then runs back to his room to get rid of the evidence, but the cops and the Mystery crew were there investigating everything.

The kids try to capture the guy but leaving a laptop in a trap and Erik falls into it and they rope him in. The Mystery crew and cops throw him in the car. As they take him they feel so successful but when the mom returns she gets mad at him. Some of the kids simply went home and she drove them herself. The art project was recovered and it really was an art project not a bomb. Also he was creepy because he was antisocial and got scared because his laptop had a lot of pirated movies. But there was bigger fish to fry and the cops let him go. When Erik goes back to his room the kid wants to apologize but the guy is so mad that he wants to move. The mom and son want to apologize but he feels like he should just go. When the kids explains his mistakes Erik understands and decides to stay. When the door closes he reboots his laptop and proceeds to finish working on his "art project" which looks suspiciously more like a bomb now after adding more parts to it. 

Normally i'd make a full 3 or 4 page script with lines and scenes, but it was much easier considering it was mostly action and acting in this one. Also Gricel replaced me in the role for the Creep.