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Showing posts from December, 2009

Retro Rebound: Castlevania II - Simon's Quest

Recently I had this kick where I wanted to play all of the old NES games that I played as a kid. I also decided to do little write ups for some of them in a new segment I'd like to call Retro Rebound! I took some screenshots of my adventures too! Consider these posts an homage to my friend Dave's site, 8-Bit Memoirs, who's site is purely dedicated to old school gaming.

In Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, you play as an adventurer named Simon Belmont who was cursed by Dracula. He learns that he will die unless he finds five different body parts of Dracula in order to resurrect him and seal the curse.

Castlevania II was one of the first games to allow free-roaming, incorporating an action/adventure gameplay and adopting some RPG mechanics. (remember those annoying games that only let you progress to the right and not left?). Every kill garnered you experience points and with enough points you'd gain a level, extending your life bar total. If you're familiar with…

The Blind Side

First of all, holy crap, I have so many different posts going on at the same time. I think I have enough content for 2 weeks, which gives me a short breather. I've got a few fun things with end of year and beginning of year stuff as well as some retro reviews ;) Anyhow!

It's sort of funny. I think I've seen at least a dozen different football movies and I don't think there's one that I didn't enjoy. I say it's funny because I'm not a football fan at all and in fact, I hardly know how the game is played (catch the ball, don't trip, run to the other end?). So I went into this thinking that it was going to be a football movie (see picture on left), but was surprised to find out that it was more of a human story with hardly any football in it at all.

The Blind Side is the true story of a young man named Michael Oher, who both lived in and out of foster homes and was also homeless. Seeing his athletic prowess, a coach at a private Christian high sch…

Intergalactic AVATAR, AVATAR Intergalactic!!

Phenomenal.

In short:

Starcraft within Warcraft + playing World of Warcraft + Aliens (the James Cameron one) + An Inconvenient Truth + the BBC Planet Earth series = Avatar.

That ain't a bad thing at all.

I'm going to skip talking about the story because basically that's the way I went into the movie (knowing pretty much nothing) and I recommend the same thing for you if you haven't seen it yet. I pretty much avoided all the reviews on AICN, but I did skim over Roger Ebert's who gave it an resounding thumbs up.

I will say this though, while the storyline doesn't really reinvent the wheel, it still makes for a pretty damn nice looking wheel. While not completely original, the story is quite layered and allegorical, and I'm sure there's many different aspects that can be singled out that could be related to past, present or possibly future social conflicts.

I saw the movie on IMAX 3D and the word 'beautiful' doesn't begin to describe how the whole t…

Chuck Palahniuk's PYGMY!!!

Ya know, I can't say that I'm a big fan of Chuck Palahniuk, but only because I haven't read much of his stuff. I've read Survivor which was pretty great and also Haunted, which I was hyped for, but disappointed in the end. Aside from that, I've watched Fight Club but never read it. So I'm a fan fo shizzy, just can't claim to be a big fan.

Pygmy tells a story about a young exchange student taken in by an American family. He along with a handful of other teenagers are adopted by families into the same city and are showered with the American ways of living (including handing them T-shirts that say "Property of Jesus" as they board off the plane). Unbeknownst to the dimwitted families is that these cute little foreign students are really military trained secret agents working for their Motherland. The story builds up to a mysterious large-scaled mission called "Operation Havoc" which is almost alluded to in every chapter, but with few deta…

Halloween 2!!!!!!!! Sort of.

Yah, another bad one.

When the idea of remaking the first Halloween came about, I wasn't really offended like some of the other fanboys. I wanted to give Rob Zombie the benefit of the doubt. I mean, I really enjoyed The Devil's Rejects and thought he could bring that same brutal element to the Halloween franchise, which was itself dying a painful death (his previous faceoffs in the main series was against Tyra Banks and Busta Rhymes... I rest my case).

Anyhow, that movie came out and frankly, I was appalled. It was just not a Halloween movie nor did it seem like Michael Myers. I understand it's a re-imagining from Zombie's perspective, but still if that's the case, then it was just a bad movie in general, let alone a Halloween movie. Well, that was all 2 years ago.

Like all slasher movies, it's not complete without a/some sequel(s). This year, we were "treated" to Halloween 2 also directed by Zombie. Again, being the fool that I am, I wanted to giv…

Special Post: Farewell Skyrah!

Today is a special post for my friend Skylar and his beautiful wife Sarah. Today, they will be embarking on a journey to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates where Sarah has accepted a job in teaching. They're going to be there for the next (undetermined) while, with I'm sure exciting adventures and stories ahead.

Skylar is my Tier 1 friend and probably knows me like no other, even though I don't get to see this dude much post-schooling. Anyhow, I'm gonna miss ya and I just wanted to wish you both the best (I know you're reading this Skylar)! This blog hides my tears, lol. My prayers will be with both of you's! God bless ya!

Locked up in THE HURT LOCKER!!!!!

On the other end of the spectrum from 2012, we have The Hurt Locker. This is action and suspense done great. During its limited theatrical run this past summer, there was early talks of Oscar nods for this movie. Interestingly enough, the Golden Globe nominations came out today, and Locker is nominated in the best drama picture category. A good sign so far!

The Hurt Locker follows a bomb squad who are a part of the U.S. Army's Bravo Company deployed in Iraq. Rather than a central story, the movie opts to show a slice of life within these soldiers. We follow them over the course of the year and see how the hardships take their tolls on these men. At times, what comes across as anger to us, is actually camaraderie to them. At the head of the team is a young brash sergeant named William James, who at times seems to be living more for the thrill of it than as a duty. We see how the decisions he makes affects his two other close squad mates.

The theme of decisions seems to be stron…

2012.... LOL!!!!

It's been over a week since my last movie review, and boy, what a way to get back into things.

LOL!!! This movie SUCKED!!!!#@$!!#$@#!!!!!!

But really, who's surprised? When the trailer first came out, I thought, oh cool, another low thinking, CG-littered, late season blockbuster. It could be fun. I later found out that Roland Emmerich was at the helm and abandoned all hope.

Emmerich doesn't exactly have the hottest track record. His last 3 movies before this was 10,000 BC, The Day After Tomorrow and The Patriot... all of them pretty much crap. In fact, The Day After Tomorrow is almost the same as this movie; a global natural disaster movie. I think the last movie of his that I enjoyed was Independence Day. I should mention though that they were playing it on TV not too long ago, I watched it, and unfortunately it doesn't seem to hold up with time.

In short, 2012 is about the world getting destroyed for whatever reasons. We follow John Cusack's family as they nar…

Love Feast 2009!!!

On Tuesday night, FreeChurch Toronto had a Love Feast to celebrate love as God had intended. Basically it was a big feast to the church members as well as the community at large. The place was packed to the brim with nary an empty seat in sight.

Our new Living Room (small group) was officially inducted this past weekend after completing the 8-week long membership series. As the new members, our group was charged with the task of being the hands on help for the day. Our crew of folks did everything from helping with the cooking, decorating the place, serving dishes and then cleaning the whole place up. I think most of us ended up doing a little bit of everything. It was actual an excellent opportunity to further bond with each other as well as with the existing church members.

What was awesome was the number of people that just walked off the streets, came in and had a meal with us. We were blessed to have them eat with us. I did feel bad about one thing though. There was this group of…

T-Shirts, oh I can't wait!

My wardrobe is dying a slow death. I don't buy much new clothes at all. In fact, a good 80% of my clothes now are band related merch, from shows that I've gone to in the past 4-5 years... more than half of these bands which are broken up now. Anyhow! On Threadless this weekend, there was a $12 sale on all their shirts. After going through their catalog and discussing what was good and what was not with my brother, I ordered 3 of them. Lo and behold, yesterday there was a whole different sale, shirts went down to $9 a piece!! You've never seen a man cancel his order so fast! So yes, I did that, and then re-ordered my order plus one more shirt to bring it back up to $36. I'm happy now, I'm in a peaceful state... unless shirts go for $6 tomorrow. The following are the designs I ordered. Later geeks!




The Cost of Life and the Purchaser

I hope this post doesn't come across as preachy. Believe me, that's not my intention. Rather, I felt very convicted of this during the past week and thought that I should put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard I guess).

This past week was a bit of a strange week for me. It's not that anything particular happened to trigger it, but for whatever reason, I was in this quiet, contemplative mood the entire week. I suppose as the year 2009 is beginning to wrap up, I was just reflecting on my life and where this ship's headed.

On Thursday night, during my nightly prayer, something really stuck out and I must have prayed about it for a good 20 to 30 minutes. I kept thinking about the cost that Jesus paid so that we could be saved and live. God, being the Great Purchaser, picked up the tab so that we could experience life. But how do we as followers of Christ justify that price, the ultimate price at that?

To put things into perspective, I thought about an analogy of a dog…

Weekend Bonus: UT Gospel Choir at Calvary Church

On Saturday night, the University of Toronto Gospel Choir performed a Christmas concert at the Calvary Church, in the heart of Greek Town Toronto. Apparently they do a Christmas concert every year. They did a number of songs including of course, Christmas songs, as well as a few worship songs. The thing that really stood out to me was the diversity of the choir. Of the 40 or so people that made up the choir, all but 1 were visible minorities. So the minority made up the majority, awesome! It was a very soulful performance overall and you couldn't help but tap your feet at some of the songs. So good music, and fun for all!



Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans!!!

Nicolas Cage is one bad assed mother fucker! This is the Cage we know and love. Where has he been all these years?

Let's list all his movies since Adaptation because the list is amusing: Matchstick Men, National Treasure, Lord of War, The Weather Man, Any Bully, World Trade Center, The Wicker Man, Ghost Rider, Next, National Treasure 2, Bangkok Dangerous, Knowing and G-Force. So 2 or maybe 3 'okay' ones amidst the sea of crapfests. Honestly, he's probably one of the best actors working today, yet he subscribes himself to schlock after schlock. But I know Cage is a geek inside and he must be doing those movies to satisfy that inner geek within (note: he named his son Kal-El ie. Superman's real name... I bow down to his geekery, I am humbled).

This holiday season, I haven't really been pumped for too many movies at all, but I was pretty excited to see 3 particular movies which includes Up in the Air, Avatar and this one, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans…

Diving into THE COVE!!!

When The Cove debuted earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, it was received with wide acclaim, taking home the much coveted Audience Award, overcoming 879 other movies to take the win. Later in the year, it also took home the Audience Award at the Hot Docs Film Festival. So going into this movie, I had high expectations.

At times, The Cove was tear jerking, at other times, brutal, but in the end, there's a great sense of triumph. The movie follows an activist named Ric O'Barry who is trying to stop the people in the Japanese town of Taiji from hunting dolphins. The dolphins are herded off into this secluded area of a national park, dubbed "The Cove", where they are then slaughtered by the fishermen/hunters. Because the dolphins are worth so much money, the town and the Japanese government protect the hunters from doing their deeds, even prohibiting O'Barry from entering the closed off area.

The irony is that O'Barry who is now an activist was also …