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Caged in Ice

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

6:19PM - Reality Binge

The show I've been working on, Reality Binge, goes up this Thursday (tomorrow) 7pm, on the Fox Reality Channel.

I'm not going to say that THIS SHOW IS PURE GENIUS and that it IS THE EPITOME OF EVERYTHING HUMOROUS...EVER.

Because its not. The lead guy (whose actually hilarious IRL) just makes fun of all the reality shows of the week.

But, its my first credits outside of music videos. At least I think I should be credited. We'll find out.
Well, those of you who watch will find out. So hopefully everyone who reads this. If they get good ratings, I might get hired! Yay me.

(4 lacerations | please, kill me)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

11:36AM - My Internship

Interesting interview story: So I did my research on the company. I knew what they did, what some of their upcoming projects were, what a lot of their old projects were. I even knew the names of a few key employees.
But I forgot the name of the guy interviewing me. Couldn't remember it at all. So I get to the front desk, and say I'm there to meet the lead of post production. Secretary, who seems to be in a bitchy mood, "Do you remember his name?" Me: "Uh...no. I only talked to him once." So she calls him up, "Sean, someone named TJ is here to see you...yes your 11'o'clock." And then her voice gets really bitchy, "Oh yeah Sean, He didn't know your name."

My jaw just dropped. That wasn't needed! Come on woman, give a new kid a break! Might as well walk out right then.

Next day he calls "Well, we made a decision about you..." Yes, silence. "I had to talk to Denise and some other people about this..." ... = silence. Yeah. "Despite the fact that you didn't know my name..." *laughter. On his side and my side. I got the job, and once he made that joke, I knew it.

So I finally got my internship. Exactly 1 week late, but all in all it isn't that bad. I started working on Friday, and I know people who had their internship set up for weeks now that just started Wednesday or Thursday. There's also a handful of other kids who just turned in their internship paperwork too.

So what do I do? I'm working at Weller/Grossman, which does a lot of editing for History channel, A&E, Food Network, and some other channels like that. Mostly documentary work. They are also the soul re-editors for a relatively new channel thats slowly spread across the nation called "The African Channel," where they are bringing over all types of shows from Africa to America so we can experience them.
I'm working on something called "Reality Binge." Basically, its VH1's "Best Week Ever," but it focuses on reality TV and just tears into it. It's rather new for what they are doing, since its not documentary work. While I occasionally help film, my main duties will be assistant editor duties, such as digitizing, dubbing, converting, and duplicating. If we have open time, I can bug the lead editor and watch him do his magic.

Its not exactly where I want to be. I want to do Movies, but no-one starts off in movies. So next up is commercials and music videos. But, in the end my choices were A: Tech Guy, B: Online editing (which isn't what most people would consider editing. Its taking whats already edited offline, and putting it all together), or C: This job. This job is offline editing, which I feel is much more important for me. I want to know all the things that will make me a great assistant editor, so I can move up as an assistant to music video editor, commercial editor, or even movie editor. But we'll see how that all plays out. For now this internship seems great, laid back, and lots of fun. Everyone knows what they are doing, but really understanding that I'm new. Luckily for me though, I already know a lot of the technical stuff, its just understanding how the place works and work order and all that.

So yep. Objective A: Internship, achieved. Now for objective B: Get a paying job anywhere ($8/hr = min. wage! And LA isn't anymore expensive than Boston from what I see). After that, find a place to live in August that I can afford.

(1 laceration | please, kill me)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

5:28PM - Alone in LA, and the thoughts that accompany it

So I'm in LA now, and well... its lonely. I'm in the transitional phase. I don't know anyone here, my one class hasn't started, I don't have a job yet, and my internship isn't set up. So I don't have a lot to do, yet. But I'm trying. Trying real hard to meet new people, to get a job (I've been here 3 days, and I think I have 10 applications out right now)., and my internship should be solid soon.
But while I wait for responses, I have time to think, so I've been doing that a lot. Which at times is good, at other times not so good.

One thing I was thinking about is the difference between the major places I've been. When I wrote Dameon Strykes, I was in Boston. The East Coast is so much different...its city after city after city. But every single city seems like its decaying. The outsides of the cities, even New York, are just abandoned rusting building that look completely lifeless. They almost look undead, and the feeling of corruption was always around me.
I used that as the stage for Dameon. A depraved world that was slowly decaying but fighting so hard to appear still alive. I love the script, I think I painted the picture right.

But LA is not that. Its the opposite. Everything here is beautiful, and awake, and screaming "I am alive!" A much better place for a different character, which might be my next script. And I've heard a lot of bad things about LA, and almost every single one of them is untrue. The people here are nice, and its rather genuine niceness. The roads are perfect, driving is easy (I feel like an ass when I do Boston driving). Oh yeah, and there's places to hike, and an ocean nearby. Its pretty much perfect.
But it does feel fake. Plastic even. Maybe I just refuse to accept perfection, but I just am having a hard time accepting this place. But maybe I'll get accustomed to it.

And then there's the pacific NW. That I miss. It felt really alive. Not undead, not plastic, but living. But recent events in my life has really made me want to be there more...but its home. The people there are home.

I am hoping to get out of here sooner than later, and get a job up there and just do editing and writing from my house in a beautiful place that rains, snows, and has sunshine. A place near a cold beach where me and one other person can just walk and look at it and not worry about the hundred others.

But until then, I'll make the most of LA. Maybe I'll warm up to it.

(please, kill me)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

12:24AM - Depressed about Apathy

So for my speech class I had to lead a discussion. I was going to go talk about how Macs are horrible by first bringing out some of the bad business practices done by Mac and Steve Jobs. While doing this, I was asking the class if they cared about where their products came from and if it would influence what they bought.
A resounding no. They didn't care. They just wanted it to be cheap and to look good.
Now, if I had let off before that I was talking about macs, I can see where the cult mentality (or as some of us like to call it, "ignorance") would kick in. But no, I was simply talking about Capitalism and its merits. The class didn't care where their products came from, as long as it was cheap. They didn't care if it hurt the environment, if it was created by slave labor or anything. They saw it affecting them in no way but a positive one.
Two kids, of the twenty in class, did bring up that the workers were getting paid, and they needed to get paid, and us refusing to pay for the overpriced clothing of the GAP and such would only get them fired, and these people needed as much money as they could get. But most people didn't even agree with that sentiment, they simply didn't care about another human beings health other than those who immediately effected them, if that much.

I literally was flabbergasted. I stared at the class for almost a minute, unable to speak. I tried to bring any morality into it, and they seeded themselves further into their apathy. I sat another few moments before saying "I'm just...depressed. I...have...I'm going to sit."

Next topic brought up: Celebrity obsession. Man did the class find the latest details about Britney Spears interesting, fully supporting such low entertainment. Class was eating that up...

but when it comes to caring about another human being's health and how some simple shit we don't even need to do seriously hurts them, they didn't care. Nada, zip, zilch, nothing. Apathy.

I'm kind of disgusted right now. Well, by kind of, I mean a lot. I was hoping a little more from our upcoming 19yr olds, I mean at least some naive idea of saving the world or at least helping someone. But no, they were more interested in Perez Hilton.com gossip being attacked then Slave Labor.


On another subject: I'll be home, in Oregon, from the 18th-7th. Lauren will be with me from the 27th-7th. I hope to see at least a few of you.

Current mood: Disgusted in the world

(please, kill me)

Friday, November 9, 2007

12:59AM - No, no. No, see this is a really shit idea. You know why? Because it's really obviously a shit idea.

That quote is from 28 days later.

That quote is about 28 weeks later.
Really shit ideas is the entire plot of that gah damn movie. How stupid can we have characters be. I mean, the entire movie is a sequence of shit ideas. 1st sequence: Hey, lets rescue a stupid child and then get all of our asses killed over his shit-head idea of an escape plan. This is the only good sequence as Robert Carlyle is able to realize everyone he is with is an idiot and deserves to die.
Unfortunately, his children inherited his wife's brains, make a shit idea and doom the world. Way to go kids. And stupidity, just like rage, is infectious in this movie. Carlyle then makes a shit idea and becomes Ravenous...and thats only the first half hour of shit ideas.
Robert Carlyle is to Cannibals as James Spader is to sex offenders.

I keep feeling like this movie was trying to make commentary against Military Control or Martial law or something. That locking down a town isn't going to stop whatever is growing beneath the surface from escaping. Unfortunately, I just can't help but feel the Americans had a shit idea in letting people go to Britain at all, or the not being more willing to kill people. I mean, I know should be voting to have the kids survive...but every inch of the way I wanted them to die. Sure, they're cute, but they are the harbingers of the death of EVERYONE, and to get mankind to survive you have to kill people.
The movie just felt to have the OPPOSITE meaning of the original, and did a shit poor job of that too.

But, the acting was good, the cinematography was good, and the editing was interesting. So if people making the worlds worst decision for two hours doesn't make you want to kill and you REALLY like the other three things....well just watch 28 days later, as Weeks is just a rip off.



Yes, I am that disappointed in that movie.

(1 laceration | please, kill me)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

12:45PM - Bjork, Michel Gondry, and Birthdays

Yay, Today is my birthday. Go me, 23.

Too bad I'm too fucking tired to do anything really. Last week I skipped school and went to New York to be an intern to shoot the Bjork Music Video "Declare Indepedance" directed by Michel Gondry (He did Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). I went to school to get internships and build my resume, so I'm not letting school make me miss cool shoots like this one. Real cool and fun, and got quite a few more connections. Its easy to get smiled upon when you bust your ass and there are people who aren't doing shit, or are inept otherwise.
I am too tired though because We working on average, 16hour days. Add 1+hour commute in either direction, and thats not a lot of sleep for the Teej. Got back today though. Found out if I wanted to skip another week of school, I could have been a Editor's Apprentice (I want to be an Editor), but as much as I wanted to...2 weeks of school missed is WAY too much. And I have to do a bunch of stuff for my own movie. I should be getting the chance when in LA.

For those who want to ask, no I did not get to meet Bjork nor Michel. Bjork stayed with her entourage the entire time, not in a rude way though. She would smile at us crew members, and was polite, but wasn't really interested in talking. Which is alright with me, I'm not really starstruck. I was happy to shake Spyder's hand, but it was more like "Hey, you do awesome work. Thanks" than "OMFG, I worship the ground you walk on." Some people were like that on the set though.
Michel is a very awkward person. He has a hard time talking English, but on top of that he's just very awkward. I can tell some funny stories about him, but I'll do that in person. Let's just say, he's not really sure what to do around crew members.

Anyways, I'm 23 today. Go me.

Current mood: Ancient

(1 laceration | please, kill me)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

4:43PM - 2 Years in the waiting

So I finally got to see Powerman 5000. Lauren bought me tickets, and after two years of waiting to see my favorite band due to circumstances, I got to see them.
The show was 90 minutes outside of Boston in Worcester (they pronounce Wooster. I blame laziness on not to correct people for saying Warchester and trying to explain Worcester is pronounced Wussester, so they just went "Hey, Wooster is easy and almost right."), so we had to get a hotel while there. Doors opened at 6, first band started at 7, we got there at 8.
The place was a bar, and a relatively small one. 21+ only show, and Lauren is not 21. Her fake ID also expired. She was freaking out for the last month that she wasn't going to get in and have to wait in the hotel while I stayed and enjoyed they night without her. She got in though, no second guess. The guy just made a joke about how stupid NJ ID's are.

There were 5 bands, we got in at the second Band. Eyes Sewn Shut. I always feel bad for opening bands. They really do try to get the crowd riled up, and really want people to mosh for them, but there's rarely enough people, and only I-once-played-college-football retards are drunk enough to go in, and no-one wants to mosh with a guy like that. On top of that, the band was 100% cliche Death Metal. Next band wasn't that great either. The third band I saw (4th band up), Till We Die, wasn't half bad. I might myspace them and see if it was just me being drunk.
Because once they were setting up, I realized I wanted to be drunk when I mosh. So I got a redbull, and about four shot of Jager in the 20min switch over time.

Powerman 5000 finally came out and rocked. During their second song, a fist fight broke out (some chick was wearing rings, and was going crazy, accidentally punched a guy, he tried to punch her in anger, and then people started taking sides). Spider One laughed it up, and the rest of the moshing was great. They played a lot of their old classics, which was great, but a lot of their new stuff. Spider is a lot less of an ass than his brother Rob Zombie...just like when I saw Zombie, their was some technical difficulties with the vocal volume. Instead of declaring Worcester, and all of Ma. sucking like Zombie to Eugene and Oregon, Spider just asked if we in the audience could hear, and then continued to rock.
I got one of my favorite shirts torn off in the pit. Besides the one fist fight, it was your normal awesome mosh pit. Throwing punches, taking swings, mad dashing, but also helping and making sure everyone is alright if they fall.

I got a drum head signed by the band, because its cooler than a poster, and a shirt with a bunch of 9mm. After the concert, waited around, got to shake Spider's hand and he signed my shirt (one of the guns) and talked a little. No picture, but thats because I opted out. It was an amazing night.
----

Beyond concerts, life is alright. A little stressful with school, as the work is beginning to pile up. First month is down, so now teachers all feel like due dates are approaching. Little stressful, but not too bad. Couldn't get a job, probably due to hours (most of my hours are weekends, which I'd probably often have to call off for shooting movies).
I am directing one short for film 2, which will be fun. Hoping to edit a different one too, but have to interview for the job. Still got some other projects to do.

Oh yeah...I'm totally addicted to comic books again. Yay. My final project for The Arts of War (we study all art influenced by war since WWI) is going to be about how we humans need war, and I'm using Marvel comics to show that (mostly Silver Surfer's war against humans to protect humans, and Cable's recent revival of Apocalypse). Also using other things, such as War of the Worlds to show that lots of things fantasize humans only working together against a larger than human threat. Yepyep.

Hope everyone in Oregon is well. I plan to return home for Winter Vacation, which is forever and a day away, but I'm still looking forward to it.

(please, kill me)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

8:29AM - Back to Boston

Well, tonight at 8pm, I get on a plane to go back to Boston. Its the first of four planes I will be taking that night, which will be putting me back in Boston at 10am the next day. Yay for red-eyes where I'll have three lay overs.
It was good to be back in Eugene. Got to see a lot of people. Wish I did have more time to see everyone more, and some people would've been nice to see just once. Well, hopefully next time (winter, probably), I'll be up with more time. Maybe I'll have some sort of transportation to, so I can go upto Portland and over to Newport the other time.
But had a great time.

Yep.

Oh yeah, so I was writing a script for like 2 weeks before I flew over to Eugene. During my flights, I lost my entire big notebook including everything I wrote. So, while in Eugene, during travels or waiting for someone to arrive, I was writing furiously. Got all my pages back. YAY. Now to continue my first full length written bad-action movie

Current mood: satisfied

(please, kill me)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

10:30AM - Two movie reviews and 1 life

Movie critique / Review / whatever:
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: First, I haven't read the books and have no intention to read the books. Personally, I believe Rowling is very good at writing entertaining books, but that doesn't mean they're good. Its called being concise. Luckily, movies force one to write for a specific amount of time, and this movie is able to focus on a major storyline and run with it. Unlike the 4th movie, Order of the Phoenix storyline is obvious and the entire movie is paced amazingly well. The editing was amazing, while the cinematography just followed suit of the old movies. Everything in the movie was necessary, other than perhaps 1 character (Gworp?), whose role was just a catalyst for later events. Also, the graphics of this movie are amazing, and I loved the ending. Oh yeah, and plenty of cinematic symbolism.

Breach came out on DVD recently. Wow, RL really does copy the movies. This is an FBI thriller about the 2001 breach of security in which a wannabe FBI agent is hired to watch over his new 'boss.' I restrained from choosing the end of the movie because I thought that since it was based on RL events it wouldn't revert to the formula. Strangely, the over-all storyline and even the ending did occur in RL. Crazy. Beyond the predictability, everything was good. The acting was damn good, IMO. Oh, this is a slow paced movie, its not a Secret Agent Bourne / Bond movie with lots of action.

As for life...going well. Spanish 2 and "The Environment and Humankind" taking up my time now. The second class is really interesting and fun. Had to re-read Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn, for the class, which is never complaint worthy. Unfortunately, it is a lot of work which is stressful. If I had a job, I'd be screwed, but luckily no-one found me worthy to hire! (Yay minus the broke part).
Oh, I'll be back in Eugene at the end of August. Looking forward to that, as well as coming home and moving to a new apartment. This entire 45mins from school thing is kind of shitty.

Anyways,
Adios.

(please, kill me)

Saturday, June 9, 2007

9:13PM - Summer School

Eventually I had to figure out how to graduate.
I had to take 13 courses in two terms. Even at 5 classes / term, it doesn't add up. So, I had to take summer courses. 4 over the summer, 4 over fall, 4 over spring, which saves me 1 for when I go to LA. I am still excited about LA...can't ever show it here though. Lauren gets upset if I mention being happy to go to LA, even if it is a year away.

Anyways, this section of summer I'm taking Spanish 1 and History of Jazz. Its strange that my hearing deficiency hasn't been a problem for ages. Hell, the hearing hasn't even been an issue, and then the first two speed classes I take require my ear a lot. I've mastered "I can't hear" in spanish though, thats promising.
They aren't going to be difficult in the end. I already know most of the Spanish course, and History of Jazz is all take home tests so I can listen to a song 18 times if I have to (did have to listen to one 6 times).

Oh yeah, I'm editor of some shitty project right now. The director has yet to get a hold of me, despite me calling him a lot. Pissing me off, but I'm getting excited for it be August, and him contacting me "Hey dude, lets start." "Sorry dude, fuck off. I said I'd edit it over the summer. Summer's 3 months have gone and past." In August I'm the editor for a much cooler project that has a cooler crew all around that I'm looking forward to working on with some friends up here.

Going to Las Vegas soon, for a weekend. My father's birthday is next week, so the family is meeting my brother in Vegas and we'll have a grand ol' time with my dad.

Strangely, I've been missing a lot of people from Oregon more as of recently. I think its because I was originally intending to return home for the summer, and hanging out with everyone the entire length of summer. Well, now I'm not. I'll hopefully be back in August for a week or so, but we'll see how and when that goes down.

-TJ

PS: Wow, just reading my LJ sounds more depressing. Is it the LJ atmosphere and memories that due that to me? hrmm...*shrug*

Current mood: calm

(please, kill me)

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

8:14AM - Final Month

Lets just start this off with entertainment. Alanis Morissette did a spoof on "My Humps": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W91sqAs-_-g . Its entertaining in that a: Alanis has an amazing voice, and can make anything sound good. B: I actually got to hear the lyrics. They really rhymed sexy and sex me? Creative....

Anyways, its final month. Yeah, yeah, normally its just 1 week or something, but when all your assignments are huge it kind of changes. I am currently on page 9 of twelve and haven't even started either of my 2 9page essays. I also have a huge analog film project.
Not too worried though, I have confidence I'll get it done.
Despite the fact that every weekend I'm on an Emerson movie set.
I am Camera Crew (like, the entire thing) for one movie, and am Editor, Continuity, and Script Supervisor for another. Have a third movie tryout next month, where again I'll try to be editor. I love editing, I might not try for Director after college, and go for editor. Anyways, editors are the ones who make the movie, directors just collect the material for it (as one teacher said).

So uh, I'm doing good. Thanks. Alright, have a great day.

(please, kill me)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

8:31PM - Return to Boston

Back in Boston.
First want to apologize to those I didn't get to see while in Eugene. Most of my time was spent showing Lauren Oregon and its bountiful beauties (she never saw a real mountain before), and did lots of things like that. Also, for some reason I didn't adapt to west coast time quickly, if at all (Its 11pm here and I'm passing out already), so I was asleep before anything fun could happen. Not that bars were an option since she's under 21.

Anyways, it was a good visit. Saw Aaron and Chester, and lots of time with my parents. Last time I was here, the parents got almost no time, so this time I tried to give them more...although I still feel bad for not giving my mom enough attention. Although, in my defense it is Tax season and she is seriously disgruntled and constantly complaining about the same things she was complaining about last year...so its hard to hang out with someone whose constantly mentally 'at work.'

Watched 300. I felt it was a good movie. Maybe not writing wise, but the filming was amazing, as were the characters. As for the story, they did what they wanted to, recreate a legendary epic, and everything went into that. Its very surreal, like tales passed down a few generations.

Read Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, by Mary Roach. Entertaining information about various ways your corpse can be treated. She has a cool style that was fun to read, but the problem was she kept inserting her opinion as fact. I disagreed with some of it, since it is 'when you are dead you are dead, and thats that' (although she touches the ice of 'soul'). Still, fun and lots of funny little tales. It was meant to be expository, and one of the most entertaining 'scientific' or exploratory reads I've done.

Oh, saw the new Spider-Man 3 Trailer. VENOM! MWAHAHAH. He's in the movie.
Unfortunately, I broke down the movie and think I know how it ends.

Prediction from the trailer, don't read if you don't want a probable spoiler.
Peter Parker's need is to control his feelings.
So, first 15minutes will set up all the characters (Sandman, Eddie Brock, Green Goblin, and the Symbiote known as Venom), then Spider-Man will get his suit in the next 15minutes. After that, Sandman battle time! But, after half'n'hour or so of that the suits going to start taking over, and by 90minutes into the movie Spider-man will lose control. Yeah, he's going to mortally wound the Green Goblin (as we see in the trailer). After that spider-man will have to undergo rebirth...tear his suit off, but this is where Eddie Brock becomes the amazing Venom! (YAY) and slaughters spiderman, starting a spinoff movie series dedicated to Venom.
Er scratch that last sentence. Last 20 or so minutes will be against Venom, probably with a semi unconclusive ending about what happens to Brock. Sandman will most likely die, but Green Goblin will be recovering as Spider-man tries to recover his life with Mary Jane.

(please, kill me)

Saturday, March 3, 2007

8:48AM - Oregon

I'm in Oregon. Brought Lauren along. She's under 20, but maybe we can do something one night.

Oh, and Happy Feet might be cute, but its Scientologist bullshit propaganda. Come on, the old antiquated religion doesn't work, so we have to ask the aliens for help.

Thats all.

(2 lacerations | please, kill me)

Monday, February 5, 2007

9:58AM - Movie Geek: Fantastic Four 2

So...just watched the teaser for the new F4 movie. Before even watching it, lets just say if Marvel wants to do a Silver Surfer movie...do a Silver Surfer movie. Not F4, because the first thing I saw from F4 was that the acting was horrendous. I'd say not even Jessica Alba, but no-one goes see a Jessica Alba move for her acting.
Although, Silver Surfer does look awesome, and he kicks Flame (Mor)Ons ass. Unfortunately, I have a bad feeling the movie isn't going to end with Silver Surfer knee deep in the blood of the F4, in fact they'll probably convert him, and they'll all help to defeat Galactus.

I hate the Fantastic Four. From conception, to comic book, to movie. Never liked them...

(10 lacerations | please, kill me)

Sunday, February 4, 2007

10:13AM - Recovering

I was supposed to do a lot of homework this weekend. It was in the plans, since real soon homework is going to be dumped on me from all directions.
Mainly it was right my 5-7 page paper for research writing. As much as I didn't want to take that class...I got the best possible subject for me ever. DEATH, and mourning. The entire term we are focusing on death. On top of that, my teacher is awesome. First, she looks like 2 years older than me and really cute, first 'hot teacher' I've had in my life (Lauren gets jealous that I'm excited to go to class), and next, the teacher realizes most of the students are film or TV majors, and don't give a shit about writing, so she's built movies / TV into the course (watching Six Feet Under, e.g).

Anyways, that was in the plan. Then around 11pm on Thursday night I got massively sick. Was up until 7am throwing up left and right. Of course, since it started at 11pm all the stores nearby were closed, and Friday was supposed to be shopping day for me. Anyways, I pass out around 6am, wake up at 8am, and continue the wonderful trend until around 11pm Friday night. Still not sure if it was food poisoning or a 24hr thing (I think food poisoning, because I felt great and then BAM, hello toilet). I had some major plans of things to do Saturday along with more homework, but instead stayed at home like a crippled man.
So it is now Sunday, and I have done none of my homework. So time to start that. Thankfully for me, Lauren stayed with me the entire time and kept me alive. If she wasn't here I'd of probably called the ER, in which they would have stuck me with tubes and told me where to puke. Wouldn't have been a good situation.

Anyways, I never said what my classes this term were. I am in Media Criticism with Peter Flynn, who is this amazingly funny guy, and apparently the best teacher for the should-be easy A course. Film 1 with some semi-french guy who seems extremely eager to help his students. History of Islam is a cool class, although only two projects in the class is daunting. Then of course, Research Writing. So yep, those are my classes. Yay.

(please, kill me)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

12:51PM - Critic: Pan's Labyrinth

I just saw the much talked about Pan's Labyrinth. This movie is a foreign film, directed and written by Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy), and is entirely in Spanish with English subtitles. It takes place in Spain during WWII.
This movie is a lot like "A Little Princess," except add some seriously better graphics, cooler creatures, and massive brutality. Visually this movie is stunning. I can't rag on Guillermo del Toro's ability to film the movie beautifully and able to really push the story forward, and his vision of monsters is amazing. Even in his lackluster 1997 film, Mimic, he had good direction.
The problem for me is everyone talked up Pan's Labyrinth. From screenwriters to cinematographers, so I expected it to be great on all fields. But, as I said, there was an unfortunate side. The characters is what killed it for me. With giving as little details as possible...for me I did not hate the father as much as I should, and did not respect the girl as much as I was expected to. In "A Little Princess" everything that the caretaker does is directly done towards the little, so you have an antagonist and a victim. That makes you feel for the little girl, and makes you hate the caretaker.
In Pan's Labyrinth though, other than the father being strict (he's a fucking fascist general), he's not that bad to the girl. Yes, he's an asshole outside of her world, but he's not that bad to her (she tries to shake his hand, and its with the wrong hand, so he squeezes her hand and says its the other...he doesn't even really hurt her!). And she, she is very much so in need of obedience with her constant running off. There just isn't that attacker > victim relationship between father and daughter that the Little Princess had between caretaker and slave.
I'd of forgone all that if that father-daughter relationship wasn't the focus of the story. If the focus of the story was Pan's labyrinth, and the majority of the story took place in the girl's world, I'd of said "Hey, they didn't have enough time to fully develop the relationship, they gave me an amazing world to enjoy." But only a third of the movie was in that fantastic world.

This isn't a warning to not go see the movie. I'm just disappointed after paying $11 bucks to see a greatly talked up movie, it failed where I am looking most at. It was easily 3.5stars, maybe 4. Stunningly beautiful, great direction, and a lot of things going on all at once which really brings you in.


POTENTIAL SPOILER:

I didn't like the end. I just sided with the Father about the son thing. It's not right for them to ignore a man's last wishes, especially when it was a wish for his son. If his last wishes were "put a grenade in your mouth," y'know, I could see them not going a long with it. But they denied him what he most desired in his life, after they took everything away from him. Hell, his wish could have easily been used against him to. It all goes back to if they had made him appear as more of a bad parent than a bad person, it would've worked.

(2 lacerations | please, kill me)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

11:32PM - Geekfest 2: Gears of War (360) vs. Resistance: Fall of Man (PS3).

I finally got to sit down and play a game I had been waiting to play for awhile, Gears of War for the XBox 360 over my vacation. I also got to enjoy my father's PS3, and his new favorite game (after Halo), Resistance: Fall of Man.
Okay, plots lines are similar to most shoot 'em ups. Oh shit, somethings attacking us with unbridled fury and we are the last resistance. In the case of Gears of War, we're in the future and creatures called the Locust have been dormant in the earth for ages, and seek to destroy all humanity. As for Resistance, a strange virus from Russia has broken out during World War II, creating a new race that converts humans to their side, with advance technology, and they so far have conquered almost all of Europe.
Story concepts, and over all storyline, Resistance does win. I mean seriously, what would have happened if instead of Nazi's we were fighting evil alien hybrid human monsters!? The idea is mind boggling and deep.
Game play, Gears of War has gone out and done something incredibly new. Chronotrigger for the arcade meets a controllable format. Gears of War is extremely confusing at the start, but grows on you with mad dashes to duck behind barriers to throw a grenade and move a few more feet. Resistance goes back to the never-failing, and well missed, primary and secondary fire buttons. I love secondary fire. I rate them equal here, although after the confusion Gears of War is awesome...but not something I always want to have to do.
Difficulty: Resistance is harder, hands down. They have nearly equal AI, but Resistance has an amazing assortium of munitions (13 different guns for single player) which not only gives you plenty of options, but gives your adversaries tons too that they WILL use (Fucking hate the Auger! stupid shooting through wall bitches!). Gears of War uses all the basic weapons + 1 or 2 new ones. Other than a few key levels, the fights are pretty easy to manage. Also, the bosses are just simply patterns that if you beat them once, you can beat them every time (with your eyes closed!). Sucks on both though, if you die you respawn with full health at your last checkpoint, but hey, at least its not aggravating.
Multiplayer: Equal. Resistance is going to dominate PvP or TvT games, and I love it. Brought the PS3 down to Boston, looking forward to hooking it up and joining in some 40 player games! Gears of War rocks the world of Co-op. I've never seen a better co-op game ever. It's flat out amazing and made to be played two player, the entire feel of the game changes, and actually brings strategem and planning to the table. Resistance lacks that type of co-op, but makes up for it with the 8 different weapons for multiplayer that are all pretty unique.

As for Graphics...Resistance on the PS3 should win, the game play has slightly better graphics. Its not as busy as Gears of War, or as much eyestrain, but still has plenty of things going on outside of your battle that its visually stunning. Gears of War is just busy busy busy, and you miss a lot of what is going on. But, Resistance took that simplicity too far in the cut scenes, many of the characters look cartoonish. Not to say Gear of War, with its men who have biceps bigger than my torso, isn't unbelievable, it looks real with the muscles, veins, and scars. Other than Hale (the main character of Resistance), the character really don't have much facial detail. They really should have added more complex graphics at the cut scenes. So, pretty equal. Oh, Gears of War dominates on the Blood Bath factor though...so many viscerals! Although, its quite entertaining.

I rate them about equal in the end. I am dieing to set up my PS3 and begin the semi-bloody fighting, but long to return home and co-op play Gears of War with Chester for a blood bath of 300 (that movie is going to be EPIC) proportions.

Oh, one thing I did like about Resistance. The XBox 360 came out with the awesome 'achievements' idea for their games, which if you haven't played 360, every game has unlockable achievements just so you can say 'haha I'm better than you' to a friend, or just get everything for yourself. While this is awesome for plenty of games (Racing games, fps'es and the sort), its awful for many RPG's (Kameo didn't need it, and I'd hate to see a FF game do it...kind of ruin some of it for me). Resistance added the achievements, called 'skill points and rewards' to the game itself, which adds something for me to shoot for...other than the heads of mutated human scum!

Current mood: I Miss Oregon

(please, kill me)

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

2:59PM - I need a reason to burn.

So I'm about to get on a plane in a few hours, and as always I'm a little worried about the crashing and burning.
So I decided if it happens, I want a reason to say "Hey, god struck me down...I deserved it."
and here it is.

I'm tired of the liberal hippy bullshit from Eugene. I'm talking about the diversity issue, which does not exist in Eugene. Whats the 'race' demographics of Eugene? Oh yeah, 91% white, 5% Hispanic, 2% Asian, and 1% Native American and Black.
As a child I kept getting fed 'ignorance breeds hate.' Well After months of being in Boston (55% white, 25% black, and the demographic break down separates an entire section for Latino) I believe its intelligence that breeds hate.
Every time I get on the T, a minimum of 6 black people will sit in the middle screaming at each other on how they are either going to "fuck someone", or "fuck someone up" while listening to their shitty music. Hispanics do the same in groups of 3, and often threaten those around them (not to mention, most of them either look 25 coming out of a high school, or perhaps they are). I don't even want to get into the feminite male homosexuals and the shit I've seen with them and their near complete inability to function without drama, and even those functions are lacking.

I hate stereotypes, but what I hate more is they are true. While being in Boston, every stereotype that Eugene attempted to remove from me has been re-proven 10 fold. Sure, I run into a person or two in that says 'not all of so-and-so is true,' but the majority is. The one black guy sitting alone bobbing his head to rap doesn't disprove the fact that 7 of them just got kicked off the train for starting a fist fight (which moved to in front of the train...could've won a serious Darwin award for that). Living with a flaming homosexual (Fag is so much easier to say, but I think some would be offended) and seeing them all over the school has basically set off an A-bomb on my tolerance there.

Not many of my liberal opinions have changed beyond my tolerance level though. The stereotypes probably has more to do with economics than it does with 'race,' just happens that the poverty breakdown favors those minorities (and some of my hatred is just towards ignorant things teens do anyways). Despite my low tolerance for overly-feminite homosexuals, I still support civil unions for homosexuals (I never supported marriage since marriage is defined as a "Man and a Woman for procreation," but still the union brings the same economical benefits while still saying 'we are together'). So, hopefully that buys me a little less disgrace since I'm not a conservative bastard, just a liberal who is actually sitting on the trains watching what happens.

(8 lacerations | please, kill me)

Sunday, December 31, 2006

7:12PM - Christmas-New Years

Spent Christmas pretty much alone. Despite how sad that sounds, it was amazing. First off, constantly seeing people for the last few months before, so my introversion was seriously suffering. Also, got lots of calls from various people letting me know they love me, and that was more re-assuring then hanging out with them.
After Christmas, Lauren came up to Boston. Went to the aquarium and had some fun in Boston. Came back down here to NJ. We're going down upto NYC to watch the ball drop, saying the weather doesn't turn to shit like its supposed to.
Unfortunately, been really busy, so my introversion battery is getting drained quickly. And her friends are demanding.
Soon I'll be home though, back in Oregon. The 3rd-13th. Hope to see all you Oregonians when I'm back there.

Now for nerdiness:
The Wii = Fad. Its game play is not superior to PS2 or XBox 360, let alone the PS3. While its fun, the controlller frequently calls attention to itself. If I hit forward and X on XBox, it always does the same thing. But the Wii frequently changes and becomes annoying. Not horribly stop-playing so forever, but put the controller down for 30minutes. Not necesarily a horrible thing for some people, but to me thats bothersome. I want to be able to enjoy the game for a few hours then quit, not play half'n'hour and get annoyed.
Doesn't help that I'm playing Zelda: Twilight Princess, which is luckily better than WindWaker since that game made me wish they never made another Zelda (Windwaker was Link is a 12yr old right? HATED that one). Still, Twilight Princess is so dumbed down to an infants intelligence with everything spelled out for you, then annoying puzzles which aren't complicated, just require lots of patience. Something that the Wii controller makes annoying. Metroid might be better, since its at least more intelligent. We'll see. Worst comes to worst, I'll abuse her to play Metroid Prime 2 since Wii plays past-system games.
Lauren has a Wii, so thats why I've been playing it.

As for Final Fantasy XII..I really liked it. The gameplay was really exhillerating, and the hunt thing was (still is since I haven't finished them) really fun. The ending of the game felt rushed though. It felt like all the loose ends were tied up, and everything worked together, but for some reason I really felt like they could've added more. I don't know why at all though, I did rack up over 90 hours.
Still, the game didn't compare to X. The summons in XII, while mimicking X, just felt useless. They had almost no HP so died way too quick to ever be useful. Although, they did look awesome (I only got 8/12...and Adramelch was my favourite). The fact that there were constant allusions to Tactics made me happy. So they didn't even use Bahamut as a summon, probably because X had perhaps the best Bahamut ever and I don't see it getting better. As cool as the hunts were , they weren't Blitzball awesome...again though, I think XII said 'we can't top 10' lets not try'. There was also no real love-story in XII, which isn't horrible, 10 was so sad...still could've been nice. They had room to make it.

So 12 = good game. Way above 9 (is that Kuja and monkey-bitch boy?) and TA, or crystal chronicles, and better than 8 (thats the confusing storyline one that I love). I actually may have enjoyed XII more than VII, but VII did have a better storyline. Still, X and Tactics reign supreme. XII = top 5, probably as 5.
Ranking: T, X, V, VII, XII.

Thats it for me being nerdy. Hope those of you who read (lol, maybe Frank and David?) enjoyed my rant.

Anyways, I'll be back in town 3rd-13th, so give me a call between 4th-12th and we'll do something AMAZING.

(8 lacerations | please, kill me)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

2:46PM - 3 point GPA! YAY

Man did I almost get raped this semester. For one, I got my first C+ in my entire life. WTF! For a while there I was afraid I was going to drop under a 2.7 GPA(If I drop below that I can't go intern at LA, aka the entire reason I went to Emerson).
But I managed. A C+ in the class that was an easy A, B's in the two classes I thought would give me troubles, and an A- in my screen writing class.
The C+ pisses me off though. Its one of the classes where your entire grade is 80% based on two essays. First essay I got a D on. I don't get how I could get a D when I got the note, "TJ, you have a superior understanding of the subject." The teacher was a good teacher, but a horrible grader. How do you have 'superior understanding' and get a D? I got knocked down 35% mostly for over using specific words!

BAH.
Part of it is that I'm used to creative writing though. Going from poetry, screen writing, and short stories to MLA format essays is quite a rough change. In my psychology class, I got marked down a few points for writing a few things in screen writing format (Dick, a 33 male teacher).

Next term looks a lot better. Film I and Media Criticism = classes I'm interested in, so I'll enjoy them more, which in turn puts out better work. On top of that, they are supposedly easy teachers. I also have History of Islam, which is eh, but easy teacher and it covers three requirements I need. Last, and worst, is Research Writing. That class may fuck me in ways I never knew possible. But we'll see.

I'll be returning home on the 3rd, and coming back to Boston the 13th. So I'll see you Oregonians all then!

PS: They changed grammar while I was in college! The possessive apostrophe moved! If its two S's its the same, like Jess', but if its just one S, like Jes, it becomes Jes's. Why? I don't know, but they did. I got marked down on a paper because of that, with the note 'keep up with the times.' Keep up with the times? Microsoft Word isn't even up to date on that madness! Who debates this shit. MLA Man A: "I still don't know guys...I don't like the apostrophe 's thing." MLA Man B: "I think you have a point, lets discuss this and then change it, because people know we frequently gather and debate proper punctuation (and people always pay attention to proper punctuation in the first place!). You Eeeeediots!

(1 laceration | please, kill me)

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