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Showing posts from January, 2011

Malcolm Gladwell's THE TIPPING POINT!!!

The Tipping Point is a bestselling book by acclaimed author Malcolm Gladwell. In addition to being an author, Gladwell is a journalist for The New Yorker having also written Blink, Outliers and What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures (a compilation of some of his articles).

The ‘tipping point’, as Gladwell suggests in the title, refers to the point where a trend grows gradually until it hits a point where instead of gradual growth, it becomes an epidemic. He aims to prove that seemingly different epidemics occur for the same underlying reasons. He opens up the book describing two examples: the boom in sales of Hugh Puppy shoes in the late 90’s and the significant drop in crime in New York in the late 80’s/early 90s. Very different right? Yet he makes the claim that they are for the same reasons. He attributes the epidemics to three main concepts: the Law of the Few, the Stickiness Factor and the Power of Context.

In describing the Law of the Few, the basis of the concept is on the …

The Green Hornet!!!!!!!!

Green Hornet. Despite all the negative reviews out there, I thought that the movie was very, very, very… okay. It had good action, it provided some good laughs, thus satiating the crave for an action comedy. The story wasn’t the greatest, but I liked their approach to the concept. It was their attempt at turning the story into a buddy action comedy that I liked. Superheroes are sort of wacky as it is (the original Green Hornet not withstanding), so going for the comedy angle was appreciated. But that said, it was probably the weakest movie written by Seth Rogen and childhood pal, Evan Goldberg, and an even weaker attempt by mastermind director, Michel Gondry. It didn’t feel as polished as any of their previous efforts.

The story follows Britt Reid, the son of a wealthy newspaper owner, who lives the highlife as a socialite of sorts; sleeping by day and partying by night. One day his father dies from a freak bee sting, and Britt is handed the reigns as the new owner. He disrega…

Mass Effect 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Xbox 360)

Playing Mass Effect 2 reminded me of a few years ago, watching Spider-Man 2 in the theaters on its opening night. It just about improved on everything I loved about the first movie: the action, the thrills, the laughs and so forth. With the exception of the story, everything about Spider-Man 2 was better than the first (in my opinion, easy now). And likewise, Mass Effect 2.

ME2 takes place years after the end of the first game (here). The story kicks off with a bang as your beloved spaceship, The Normandy, is destroyed in the opening segment by an alien species called The Collectors. And like the olden days, "the captain goes down with the ship", as the returning lead, Commander Shepard is killed off in this introductory segment. But the game would be a bust if it just ended there. Through their miraculous technology, an organization called "The Cerberus" is able to revive him. Under their employment, he is charged with the task of uncovering the mystery behind…

Final Fantasy XIII (Xbox 360)

So I started and stopped about five or six posts last summer, and for whatever reason, never got around to finishing them off. Anyhow, this is just one such posting.

Final Fantasy XIII is one of the most highly anticipated titles originating from Japan this past year. The release was met with some criticism for its linearity but on an overall basis, it fell on the positive side of reviews. Even though Final Fantasy is my favourite series of games, I came out of this game liking it, but not loving it. I guess that puts me into the majority of people who have played this game.

The story follows a character named Lightning who was a former soldier of a government organization called Sanctum, as part of the floating city called Cocoon. The soldiers are branded with the task of suppressing people labeled as Pulse l’Cie, who are people infected with magic after coming in contact with the land called Pulse, the world below. The Pulse l’Cie are feared because of their control from god-lik…

Favourite Movies of 2010

Unlike last year, which was filled with a slew of 'good' movies, this year’s offerings seemed more hit or miss; absent was the grey area, as far as wide releases were concerned. I had trouble compiling a top 10 list as the movies below 5 were ones that I enjoyed rather than ones that truly captivated me. Still, the top 5 were great for what they were and helped to redeem the year from being a complete mess (although it was almost there).

You can view my favourite lists for the years (2009), (2008), (2007), and (2006).

Anyhow, here's this year in reverse order:

10. Kick-Ass (review)

9. Catfish (review)

8. The Fighter (review) – The Fighter was a good movie made great thanks to some outstanding performances.

7. True Grit (review) – Much like The Fighter, I feel as though the performances outshadowed the movie. Still, as a whole, this was an enjoyable movie, and I think more polished than The Fighter, hence it’s 1-up.

6. Buried (review)/127 Hours (review)/Frozen (review) - I didn…

90 minutes with 127 HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

127 Hours is the third movie I've seen in the past year that deals with theme of isolation (the first being Frozen and the other being Buried). All three use a minimalist approach to film making and despite the limitations of locations, manage to tell three very different, yet unique and emotional stories. Frozen dealt more with victims battling against forces of nature, Buried focused more on the mystery aspect of a man trapped in a coffin and finally, 127 Hours was more about one's drive to overcome the self.

127 Hours is a true story about a mountaineering/canyoneer named Aron Ralston who goes out to explore the vastness of canyons offered in Utah. He's shown to us as a thrill seeker and one that wants to connect more with nature rather than a life afforded by an engineering career (his words not mine). On one particular trek, he stumbles and falls into a crevasse only to have a boulder fall and trap his right arm. That's only the first 10 minutes. The remaining 80…

Gaming and God: An Ongoing Conversation With My Pastor (Part 1)

So before we get to the meat of the matter, I thought I'd just give you a little background on how this all came about.

For the past few months, me and my friend Matt have been having a back and forth conversation (some parts in person and some parts through email) regarding gaming and being Christians. Matt, legitimately one of the nicest guys I know, who besides being a father, a friend, and a "former gamer", is the associate pastor at the church I go to. And I say "former gamer" because he sold his Xbox 360 this past year leaving his home devoid of any gaming consoles (at least current gen?). However, if a great game does come out and if time permits, he indulges at a friend or relatives house. Also good to note, we both have similar gaming upbringings; that being the heavy influence of the 8-bit and 16-bit era, and in particular, Japanese RPGs of yesteryear.

Anyhow, it all started a few month ago when we started talking about gaming in general, but more sp…

THE FIGHTER puts up a fight!!!!!!!!!

There's something about sports/sports-related movies that always gets to me. And it's interesting because I'm not a big sports fan (only as far as some MMA and unless you count prowrestling), yet I can really get into those types of movies. Movies add a narrative that's missing from its real life counterpart, and it's that narrative that hooks me. Football movies are a great example. I don't watch or understand football all that much, yet there's not one football movie that I haven't enjoyed, and I've seen many. But I wouldn't exactly put The Fighter in the same category as football movies, as the sport takes a real back seat to the drama that's up front. Sort of like The Blindside and football or The Wrestler and wrestling (I know, it's not a sport!).

The Fighter is based on a true story in the early 90's about a local boxer named Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) in Massachusetts who climbs the ladder in the boxing world, both hindered an…