Galaxy Collision in Action (NASA, Chandra, 7/0...

Galaxy Collision in Action (NASA, Chandra, 7/09/09) (Photo credit: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center)

So… here we are, all anniversaried and stuff, and nothing to contribute. Last year I gave you a dose of ‘Natural Selection,’ and, while I do still plan to do something else with that eventually, I have yet to get around to anything. I could still do a Flash before the day’s out, but I have nothing motivating one right now (but I’ll see about looking for something). Best I can give you is the strong possibility that I will be able to give you a review for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ tomorrow, since I plan to see that. I Amazon Instanted ‘Transcendence’ last night, but I don’t know if it was really worth reviewing, but I don’t know.

See, this is one of the key reasons I put this blog on hold for so long. Trying to keep working on top of keeping this running is a pain, simply because I have to keep trying to come up with things to talk about, and that’s difficult to do for even just the anniversary entry. I have a few categories, but coming up with anything to fill those categories with takes time too. I have to take time to develop a recipe, well enough to be able to explain it in as plain detail as possible (and I don’t even get time to cook anywhere near as much as I would like, let alone develop a new recipe), or I have to watch TV within a certain timeframe to review it (and you’re lucky if I’m not just catching up on a series about 3 or more eps at a time with OnDemand), and then movies, they just cost money on top of time. And of course stories are a whole issue of their own ‘cause not only do I have to take time to write them, I have to decide on who gets them (you or a publisher), which is why you’re always more likely to get flash-stories, there’s only so many places to submit those—although ‘Natural Selection’ is for the most part for you people, as I mentioned in a previous entry, I wrote something in that universe a bit ago, but held it back for submission possibilities, so, that’s no completely for you either, and money has to come first (that’s just how the game gets played).

And, so, that’s your sad anniversary entry. I’ll try to put up a Flash in a little bit, but that’s the best I can do for you for now. Here’s hoping for a review tomorrow.

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Advertising (Photo credit: Wrote)

Thursday is the 2nd anniversary of this blog, and even though I have completely blown off this thing for most of the year, I do plan to do something—haven’t entirely decided what yet, though a Flash might be among the things. But, aside from that, I’m trying to fix my lack of being here as well. I have been gone because of work and writing (which is also work—it just hasn’t paid a bill yet), but next week, my shift changes, and my free time should be different which is looking better for my writing time for both here and, more importantly, the novels/short-stories.

But, due to the recent shutting down of Yahoo’s freelance program (which I never got the chance to make use of), I have had to put thought into where else to make money. I have considered YouTube, but, frankly, I’m a writer, not a speaker. Kudos to the people that can spew verbal diarrhea and get enough attention to quit their jobs, but that’s just not what I do (still considering it a little, but it’s lower on my list of possible). So then we look at this blog—I have been trying to keep this more of a thing I do for fun and never money, but then I started figuring, you readers are getting ads either way, the only difference is between who’s getting paid for those ads, nothing personal to WordPress, but that’s my money, damn’it. So in reality, on your end, the worst that would really happen is the ads are a little closer to stuff that is relevant (although I can’t see the ads as is, so I don’t really know how random they are), all the while you are feeding my bank account while subliminal advertising for things you now believe you want is embedded in your mind.

On that, I need to redesign the blog with more structure. Something I’ve been meaning to do anyway, but that’s just a lot of work that is a pain in the ass (especially with code restrictions right now), but for the sake of making this look more appealing, I should give this better structure. Actually put the different categories of interest in their own place and such.

So, yeah, this is just me giving you a heads up about stuff about to happen, and I’m not capable of giving timeframe, but at some point the URL will probably change (because I would have bought the space), and the layout will hopefully change.

If you’re a regular, you may have noticed the St. Jude link is gone now. The Michigan Warrior Dash came and went, and you gave me nothing but $20 (all from people I know), so no pictures for you (unless you happen to follow me on Twitter and/or FB). I will be doing the Dash again next year though, I’ll update you when I can, and I hope you will give a bit more.

You have a couple days, if you read the blog, tell me what you would like me to do for the anniversary. Flash, reviews, you tell me—if you don’t tell me, then I’m just going to ramble for a couple pages worth with lots of swears—that’s how I get the ratings motha’fuckas!

 

English: Bumble bee & Optimus Prime

English: Bumble bee & Optimus Prime (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Watched ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ yesterday in 3D. Now, most movies I’ve seen in theater lately, I’ve seen in 3D (obviously excluding the cheap shows), but I mention the detail of this one being in 3D because it was the first time I was significantly disappointed. For pretty much the whole movie, I could have been watching it in 2D and it wouldn’t have made much difference. I’m not even just talking about the lack of things flying off the screen (which this did lack), but it’s also the lack of significant depth. In a lot of movies, my stance on 2D vs 3D and how 3D is significant, is that the added depth puts you a bit more in the story, but with this, I still just felt completely disconnected from beginning to end. I saw ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ in 3D (no, I didn’t do a review, and this is probably the closest you’re gonna get), and that was damn near the most amazing thing I’ve seen so far, and a completely opposite from ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction,’ and I’m glad that was what I used to be my little girl’s first 3D movie experience.

This was a Michael Bay movie so naturally it’s difficult to talk about it without it being mostly about the visual effects, while barely mentioning the story because, essentially, that statement is the entire basic concept of a Michael Bay movie: visual effects scenes with a barely substantial story speckled through it. So, let’s start with that speckled story.

This, in case you don’t know, is the fourth movie in the Michael Bay Transformer movies, we start with a vague and mostly pointless prologue of the Earth surrounded by ships, and invading a Earth filled with dinosaurs, the after about a minute of that, we cut to a scene in the arctic where they uncover dinosaurs covered in metal (try real hard to remember this because by the time anything about his is even vaguely hinted at again in the movie, you will probably have already forgotten about it—and if that happens, also don’t worry ‘cause nothing in a Michael Bay story is ever that important). Prologue ends, and first act begins, it starts off a few years after the invasion of Chicago that took place in the last movie, ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon.’ There are signs everywhere telling people to report any suspected alien activity. Mark Wahlberg is a junk collector with his friend TJ Miller (from the show ‘Silicon Valley’ on HBO and a crap load of comic-relief roles), he goes into an abandoned theater in “Texas” (which I have been in before, and I’ve never been to Texas—weird), after rummaging through discarded theater stuff, they find a huge semi (I’m not sure how that was supposed to be considered normal), when the door was opened, spent ammo shells of many sizes spill out (and this is only vaguely glanced at, “Well that’s weird, eh, whatever”). So he buys the truck that the theater owner didn’t remember was there (vague nod at the first movie when Shia finds Bee at Bernie Mac’s car lot—that’s right, I’m making you go watch that bullshit now).

We then cut to some black op stuff where they’re hunting a Transformer on the Boblo Boat, which is revealed to be an Autobot because the black ops are on mission to destroy all Transformers for some reason (except the one helping them—he’s cool, apparently).

Back to “Texas” where we sort of meet Wahlberg’s daughter Nicola Peltz (from ‘Last Air Bender’ and movies/TV where her main talent is just being hot—do I need to remind you this is a Michael Bay movie?), she just got denied a scholarship and then here comes her father with a truck he just spent money on, “but don’t worry, it was the comic-relief’s money, but we’re still broke, so it doesn’t really matter.” We reveal that he’s actually not a junk collector, but a really crappy inventor, who understand electronics well enough to reverse engineer anything, but can’t seem to find any practical use for this to make money with (until the very obvious ending).

Next day, simply because, he already figured out the truck is a Transformer between scene-wipes because a car batter gives enough charge to activate the distress call. Hot daughter storms in the house upset that absurd-line-delivery dad wouldn’t let her call the government and get enough money to pay their bills and her school because he’d rather make money instead (Michael Bay plots—they’re fun).

And from this point shit just starts happening and the vague chance at story just got thrown out. Optimus is fixed, and black ops storm in, and shit hits fan, and hot daughter’s pedophile boyfriend who caries laminated copies of pedophile protection laws on his person at all times saves the day, which leads us into ending first act with flash-fossilizing the comic-relief (which left me with “Who the fuck kills the comic-relief in the first act?” to “Thank god, Michael Bay has no idea how to balance comic-relief at all”—I am still haunted by the garden trampling gag that just wouldn’t fucking end).

For most of second act it’s pretty much just people running around and stuff blowing up, with a barely crow-barred in, “Hey we made our own Transformers from that metal that you forgot about, and named one ‘Galvatron’ to give nerds a cheap boner.” We also reveal that the Transformer that the black ops are totally cool with is actually working for the “Creators” (which is never mentioned beyond this, strongly hinting at seeding a sequel—but I predict it’s a reference to the Quintessons—yes, I’m one of the nerds that got a cheap boner, leave me alone!).

Third act, we’re in “China” that had a lot of Detroit building scape for some reason (seriously, the Detroit People Mover doesn’t go to China, it barely even goes to Detroit, it’s entire purpose is to just get you from one parking structure to another to make parking easier, it’s basically just a giant middle-finger that circles downtown mocking everyone that wishes public transportation was a thing). We rescued the dinobots from the bounty hunter’s ship, and stuff blows up, and movie ends with Optimus launching into space to find out what the “Creators” are (see, sequel seed—most of this movie was just a sequel seed, not as blatant as the second movie where we just spent two hours mocking ‘Search for Spock,” but still, it was just set-up for another movie).

And that’s about it, other than the constant attempts of Michael Bay trying to use blowing stuff up as a plot device no matter how many times people try to tell him, “that’s not a plot device, that’s just stuff blowing up—it could have not blown up and it would have been the same difference to the story—except less boomier.”

I’m not sure how I should rate this, ‘cause somehow rating Michael Bay the same way I would rate other people just doesn’t seem fair—it’s like rating a special needs kid with the same grading scale of a genius. It’s like the Einstein quote, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” But, I still expect a guy that spends and makes a crapload of money to be better than this, so, I’m going with two grade scales: On the Michael Bay Scale4 out of 5, there were at least a couple things in there that could have blown up that completely didn’t blow up at all; on the Everybody Else Scale2 out 5, not a single detail of the plot came together, it was all just set-up for the next movie, and seriously, look up the definition of “plot device,” the only thing it had going for it is when it actually mocked itself (which was both funny and sad), and when it crow-barred in nerd titillation (which was also a little sad).

 

 

Legends of the Dark Crystal

Legends of the Dark Crystal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hey, kids, how you doin’? I’m pretty much just posting to let you all know that I’m still alive. I’ve been stuck in novel mode while working around hell at the day job, so I haven’t really been able to even think about anything to post here, let alone actually post (I was actually meaning to post this bit a few weeks ago).

So, update on things. ‘Stiym’ is making progress, third act should be underway and things should be coming to a close (hopefully). I should be, with luck, requesting betas and proofers soon.

Results for Dark Crystal’s short-list came, and they said I was too awesome for them and they just weren’t worthy of me (their words, I swear). So, Dark Crystal is a no-go, and I’m now left with time to work on already running projects (never stop moving forward).

Last week while in a really shitty mood, I started working on a short set in ‘Natural Selection’ that takes place where everything left off (think of that with said shitty mood, and you get the basic idea of the story)—it will probably undergo a rewrite at some point later, but as it is, I my plans for it will depend on how it comes out—meaning, if I can get it to stand on its own, I might try throwing it at mags before throwing it here (I love you all, but I love your money more).

And… that’s about the gist of things. I’m lost in work with only hopes of finding my way out and getting back to keeping this thing moving.

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This was originally written to be the prologue to something, but I have no idea what. It basically came from one of my many moments where I was reading something and thought, “I can do that better.” And even though I like it, I sadly have no idea what to do with it. I thought maybe making it something for D’arc Lyte, but since I can’t figure out what to do with him either, it sits and does nothing. But, it’s in the notebook that I’m writing ‘Stiym’ in, so it keeps staring at me, and telling me to do something with it… so this is me doing something with it. It might get reused elsewhere, but for now, it’s here…

English: Chest of drawers in the Herkimer Hous...

English: Chest of drawers in the Herkimer House in Danube, Herkimer County, New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A smell fills my mind—the memory of a sweet perfume. It calls to me, it rumbles in my mind like a long starvation. My hunger for the flooding tastes of the salty, sweetness with its lasting trace of iron.

I look at my chest-of-drawers—the place where it slumbers. The image of it burns like a glowing ember. It calls for my hand—it calls for my feet—it calls to run free. It calls…

The memories telling me it’s wrong—scolding me to shame as I curl up tighter. I shut my eyes to ignore the burning, but it’s still there to blind me beneath my eyelids, demanding to be served. The memories scold me…

I curl ‘til I feel myself floating—falling. Down into the deep depths of the darkness—my god, the darkness…

It lulls me into submission like a siren’s call—it drowns the memories that tell me “no,” it smothers them as they gasp to silence. And my body responds and I rise…

My existence floats to the chest, slides the drawer where it waits to be brought from its slumber. The objects that hide it are shifted, and I move a false back away revealing its small casket of a box. It creaks as I raise its lid.

I believe it smiles at me as it sees me… and it knows… it’s time to feast.

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Man of Steel

Man of Steel (Photo credit: MuseLed)

Finally watched Man of Steel

A short review on it… Zack Snyder is a confusing director—he keeps insisting on taking on action movies, but he really doesn’t seem to know what to do with them. He actually tells the story well, it’s when the action happens that he just starts falling into piles of clichés. This was one of the few comic book movies I’ve watched where I actually preferred the back-story act… it was well told, and actually made you feel for the character. But then when the action act started up, the clichés spewed out and punctured the movie with plot-holes and nonsensical physics and getting us to pretend to care about the wellbeing of barely significant characters even though every fucking thing was just leveled (“oh, look, those three guys are ok… too bad about the two completely fucked cities, but at least those guys are fine”). Completely leveled to the point that when Zod started saying he should have just let him build a Krypton, I was pretty much on his side about it, ‘cause, fuck, ya’might as well now.

Quick guess how they’re going to introduce Lex in the next movie… anyone? His usual thing is to point out that super humans are more dangerous than helpful… I’m pretty sure he has a good case going for him.

The CGI for a good portion of the action was just sloppy and at some points started looking completely cartoonish.

And the ending… when he gave himself a secret identity… half the fucking movie knows where his mom lives, but lets pretend the secret identity still makes any damn sense.

So… I’m giving this two ratings: Back-story act 4 out of 5, Action act 2 out of 5. I’m a storyteller by trade, I’m easier to win over with stories.

ZumiaoTemple complex - Ip man residence

ZumiaoTemple complex – Ip man residence (Photo credit: dhelling01)

Just watched ‘The Grandmaster’

Out of all the Ip Man movies that I’ve seen so far, this one is just odd. The storytelling of it was awkward and choppy, and just went off on tangents that I could barely even follow. The fight scenes were decent with only a few moments of unrealistic thrown in, but because of the odd story structuring, I had no idea what half the fights were even about… and I’m pretty sure only some of this can be blamed on the rum.

I give this a 3 out of 5, and I have no idea if this would have been different if I was sober.

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The empire was at war, once again. The docking platforms were lined with gun-clad airships, loading to the brim with soldiers and merchs alike.

As I trudged towards my own transport of destruction, I viewed a display of two love-torn kids putting on a drama for the whole place to catch a show. I’ve seen the type before—the boy, so young, he probably never even touched a loaded pressure-rifle before, and would be lucky if his trembling hands don’t blow his own head off the first time—but he read the penny-store novels and rags, and his mind was filled with the idea of battle’s glory.

He tore himself from the girl’s fingers, one-by-one, with such a caricature of love-lulled look on his face. I was too far to hear, but I already knew the lines as if they were reading them off an offstage cue-card.

“I’ll think of you every night,” he’ll say.

“I’ll cry myself to sleep, worrying about you,” she’ll say, while whipping up alligator-tears to make sure it was believable.

And then he’ll say, in some off iambic pentameter, “Good-bye, my love, I will long for the day I will return to you, and feel your touch again. For now, my empire calls…”

He’ll be puking in a corner, crying for his mommy at the sight of the first battle flare.

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