Wednesday, 31 October 2012

BLOG -- Recap of October

Happy Hallowe'en! Here's a recap of my month. As usual, if you are curious about my thoughts on anything, as always, please go ahead and ask. :)

Outings/Events in October:
- Had a wine and cheese event at work. I tried eating a block of cheese. I still don't like it.

- Celebrated three of my co-workers' birthdays. Then a friend's birthday. Then my grandfather's birthday. (What's up with all these birthdays?!)

- Karaoked for 3 hours.

- Watched Bloodless: Trials of Burke and Hare musical. It was neat and cool.

- Drank to the honour of one of my co-workers, who decided to leave the company. I'm gonna miss him :(

- I dressed up for Hallowe'en.

- (whiskey) Jack Daniels -- I took this with cola. It's good! I don't think I'd be able to take this straight, though.

- (Anime): Mushi-Shi (for the 2nd time) -- I really enjoy watching this. I was watching it in English dub this time. It's very good! I must blog about this some day.

- (Anime): Samurai Champloo (for the 2nd time) -- It's really good.

- (Movie): Perks of Being a Wallflower

- (Movie): Argo -- This was really good. Full of suspense.

- (PS2): Persona 3 -- I got the bad ending. I'll go through it again for the good ending sometime. It's good, but very long.

- (Novel): Shakugan no Shana: The Girl With Fire in Her Eyes by Yashichiro Takahashi -- It's good. Simple and light. Yet... at the same time, it's pretty deep.

- (Novel): Shakugan no Shana: Fight Day! by Yashichiro Takahashi -- This is the sequel and is very good. There's such a cute, romantic scene in there.

Playing (not all at once):
- (PS3): Record of Agarest War Zero 
- (PS3): Folklore 
- (PS3): Borderlands 2
- (PS3): Tokyo Jungle
- (DS): Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja 
- (DS): Mazes of Fate 
- (PSP): Persona
- (PSP): Hatsune Miku 2nd Diva  
- (Wii): Fortune Street 
- (PS2): Persona 3  
- (PS2): Ape Escape 3
- (PS2): Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (stopped 'cuz I have no interest in the flying sections)

- (Anime): Corpse Princess
- (Novel): JPod by Douglas Coupland

That's it for October. Here are some random photos:

Another screenshot from Persona 3

One of the pumpkins from the Pumpkin Carving Event at work. 
I didn't participate this year.

My Hallowe'en costume. It's kinda blurry.

Thanks for reading! :)

Sunday, 28 October 2012

REVIEW/THOUGHTS [Movie] -- The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Format Watched: In theatres (Tuesday October 23, 2012)
Approx. Runtime: 102 minutes (1 hour, 42 minutes)
Language Watched: English
Type of Movie: Comedy, Drama, Coming-of-age (sort of)
Overall Impression: As the credits rolled, I still wanted to see more.

PERSONAL STANDING (Pre-exposures, thoughts, etc.)
My only exposure to The Perks of Being a Wallflower was some preview clip while I was waiting for another movie to start (Step Up Revolution). It showed a scene where a girl character (played by Emma Watson) gave the main guy a typewriter with the typewritten message "Write about us some time." Then he typed on the typewriter, "I will."

I thought, What a cute scene. What drew me more was realizing that Emma Watson was in it. I was curious how she would play this character, since I have only seen her play Hermione in the Harry Potter movies.

I was also curious to know what the perks of being a "wallflower" would be, as I believe I am one at times.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower follows Charlie as he starts high school. Being socially withdrawn, Charlie's only friend on his first day is his English teacher. Eventually, he befriends a senior in his Shop class (Patrick). After an unfortunate revelation, Charlie is welcomed into Patrick's circle of friends. The movie then follows their lives as they go through the school year.

There is a lot of voice-over narration and flashback scenes in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. While I hear that voice-over narration is bad writing (making a reference to the Adaptation movie), it was nicely done here. The narration is witty and at times comedic.

The flashbacks, unfortunately, weren't always that clear to me. Sometimes I didn't know what was going on, and flashbacks are where we learn most about Charlie's past. It could be just me, though, since my sister could tell what was going on.

The movie's light, comedic, and very serious. It addresses some serious issues like domestic abuse and sexual abuse. Sometimes I'm surprised by how serious the movie can be and still keep a light air to it.

The acting was amazing. It felt so honest. Huge props to Logan Lerman for successfully pulling off Charlie -- socially withdrawn; clear that he values his friends; clear that he's going through something; but still very likeable.

The characters in The Perks of Being a Wallflower are interesting. When the credits rolled, I still wanted to see more of their lives and see where they go. I liked Patrick, Charlie, Sam, and Mr. Anderson the most.

The music doesn't go with my personal taste, but it fits very well with the movie.

Well... I'll fill this in when I've read the novel.

***EDIT -- October 20, 2015 -- Well, I finally got around to reading the novel, and it was a love / hate experience. I enjoyed the straightforward and blunt writing style, the heartfelt moments, and all the different things it got me to think about. What I didn't like was how immersed I sometimes got and ended up feeling a bit nauseous or not like myself. Frankly, it was hard to read through some parts because of its... mature content and the story's atmosphere (which can feel a bit suffocating at times, at least to me).

Between the novel and the movie, major plot points were presented in both. The novel goes more into detail about Charlie's family life, though, while the movie focused more on Charlie's interactions with Sam and Patrick.

I think if you could only experience one format, I would recommend based on the kind of experience you are looking for. If you want to have an experience where you think about a lot of things, I'd recommend the novel. If you want to experience something serious and light, I'd recommend the movie. For me, personally, I'd prefer the movie.

I greatly enjoyed The Perks of Being a Wallflower. My only qualm is the length -- it needs to be longer! Well, that could be seen as a compliment as well.

Thanks for reading! If you want some more input about something I didn't cover, feel free to ask. :)

Normally, there would be a "Spoilers" section, but I think I covered everything I wanted to talk about.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

BLOG -- My Movie-watching History (in Theatres) Part 5 [2009-2011]

So... this blog is part 5 of the movies I've watched in theatres. Now I'm all caught up. I'll make a blog of movies watched in 2012 in the new year.

Since I will be mentioning a good number of movies in this blog, some of them will contain spoilers. Any movie that will contain a spoiler will be marked.


MOVIE: Coraline
DATE: March 10, 2009
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: I really enjoyed this movie. I liked the animation, the story, and the characters. There was just something sincere about it.


DATE: March 16, 2009
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: It was really good. But very depressing. When I exited the theatre, all I could think about was Rorschach’s death. The movie made a big impact on me – its views on humanity were sooooo sad. I made a ranty entry on Facebook about it.


MOVIE: Terminator: Salvation
DATE: June 2, 2009
RATING (OUT OF 5): ***

COMMENTS: This movie was better than the 3rd one. I don’t remember how it compares against the first two. Probably not as good. The story was kind of neat, though.


MOVIE: Sherlock Holmes
DATE: January 18, 2010
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: Robert Downey Jr.!!! Mmmm… so HOT, haha… This was a really solid movie. The pacing was a little slow, though – or rather, it would be slow watching it for a second time, when you know everything. Jude Law was really good, too.


MOVIE: The Crazies
DATE: March 3, 2010
RATING (OUT OF 5): ***

COMMENTS: Uh… it was like any other kind of horror movie. Nothing unique or especially cool. Nothing to complain about either.


MOVIE: Iron Man 2
DATE: June 1, 2010
RATING (OUT OF 5): ***

COMMENTS: This was not as good as the first movie. Robert Downey Jr. was still good in it (and HOT). There were just too many quibbles and not enough seriousness like in the first movie. Gosh, he was so hot in the first movie…


MOVIE: Inception [SPOILER]
DATE: July 30, 2010
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: This was really good, but at the same time, a little overwhelming. I liked that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was in it, even though he was more of a comic relief. I didn’t like the ending though. I prefer definite endings so I can have an actual opinion of it instead of deciding what opinion to have of the movie.


MOVIE: Resident Evil: Afterlife
DATE: September 15, 2010
RATING (OUT OF 5): ***

COMMENTS: This… was a bit better than the 4th movie, I think. I only watched it because one of my friends was an extra in the opening scene. I think this movie made more connections to the earlier movies which I thought was neat.


DATE: October 16, 2010
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: I really liked this movie. It’s a long movie, though, which sucks. Otherwise, I would watch it more often. This was the movie that sparked my interest in Helen Mirren. I just liked the idea of an well-aged, delicate lady expertly handling a rifle or some kind of heavy-duty gun. It was awesome.


MOVIE: Saw 3D (in 2D) [SPOILER]
DATE: November 9, 2010
RATING (OUT OF 5): ***

COMMENTS: This was bad. This movie was originally supposed to be broken into two movies, but they squished them together because not enough people watched Saw VI. Because of that, they kept all the gore bits and had the story and character development at a minimum. That was a bad move, in my opinion. I wanted a clean finish at the end, but there were still a few questions.


MOVIE: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
DATE: November 30, 2010
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: This was good. It was much more faithful to the book. The pacing was good. Yes. This is how a Harry Potter movie should be executed.


MOVIE: Just Go With It [SPOILER]
DATE: February 26, 2011
RATING (OUT OF 5): ***

COMMENTS: It was a decent movie. I didn’t like the girl child. She did not need that British accent gimmick to keep her character interesting. The boy child didn’t have any gimmicks and he was so sincere with his acting. My heart went out to him when he said that wanted to spend more time with his father. This movie was slightly humourous, but also predictable, and kinda stupid.


MOVIE: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 [SPOILER]
DATE: July 18, 2011
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: This was great. I didn’t like the final battle between Harry and Voldemort, though. In the book, they had a conversation before casting their final spells. I also didn’t like the battle between Bellatrix and Ron’s mother. It was too short. Snape’s story, of course, overshadowed the whole movie. The scene where Snape casts Lily’s patronus could have been better. The conviction just wasn’t there. *complain complain complain*


MOVIE: Green Lantern (in 3D)
DATE: October 22, 2011
RATING (OUT OF 5): ***

COMMENTS: This was okay as a super hero movie. I liked that it poked fun at the super hero genre sometimes.


DATE: October 23, 2011
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: This was a slow and fast-paced movie. I liked the quiet nature of Ryan Gosling, and the soundtrack was really good. The movie overall was just sad, though. I didn’t like the ending. It was fitting, but I didn’t like it. I wanted him to be happy and alive.


That's it for this blog. Thanks for reading! If you have any comments about anything (even if you greatly disagree with anything I've said, or if this made you think about the movies you've watched and want to share), feel free to comment! :)

Sunday, 14 October 2012

BLOG (PERSONAL) -- Brief Reflection

*Sigh* These days, I've been feeling a little down. I'll bet the weather has a lot to do with it (yeah, I tend to blame the weather for my crappy moods). I'm not completely sure why I feel down. I just feel like something's not right... like something's missing... hmmm... or maybe the feelings I felt around this time last year are affecting me. That happens to me sometimes, since I tend to have a very good memory.

*Sigh* With me feeling down like this, I kinda want to go back to my bed and just lie there and contemplate. But I know that I have things to do today.

I'll bet that's part of it, too. Not having enough time to just sit / lie around and do nothing.

Arg... I should write a collection of my thoughts, and sort them out.

Sorry about this downer blog. I am human after all -- can't be smiley happy-happy all the time.

As an apology, here's a Youtube video of a bright, cheery song I'm currently into:

kz -- Yellow (From Hatsune Miku Project DIVA Extended)
I wanna learn this dance!

I hope I get out of this rut soon -- don't wanna continuously spread negativity around. :/

Anywho, thanks for reading and I hope you all have a good week! :)

Sunday, 7 October 2012

BLOG -- Happy Thanksgiving! (in Canada)

Well, it's Thanksgiving weekend for those of us in Canada. Happy Thanksgiving! My family doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving, but I'll take this opportunity to take a break from blogging this weekend. I've got too many to-dos on my list this weekend -- most of them involving playing video games... and cleaning up my messy, messy room.

I will tell you that this past week has been stressful, but also very nice. I got to give Birthday beats to a team-mate this Thursday and that was tons of fun. I also gave him whiskey. I gave wine to another co-worker 'cuz it was also his birthday this past week. I'm happy that they both liked their gifts.

And that's it for this blog. I'm not even going to share this on Facebook (as I normally do). So if you find this blog and read it, thanks for reading!

Here, I'll also share two songs that I've been listening to a lot at home. Have a great week everybody!

"If You Were Here" by Jennifer. It's a song from Dance Dance Revolution (DDR). 
So nice and nostalgic.

"Kimi no mama de" by iDOLM@STER. I've loved this song since the first time I've listened to it and I've recently found a video with English translated lyrics. Yay! Now to find a site that has Romaji lyrics for this.