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The Vampire Diaries. Season 2, Episode 16: The House Guest

Baby Warlock is dead and Papa Warlock couldn't help but join him. 
"Some kind of crazy-ass psychic witch attack."

Luka was toast. Jonas was vampire-bitten and neck-snapped. And just like that, the warlocks are gone. To be honest, they had it coming—especially Jonas. This gives Bonnie the witch-spotlight now. Her powers are back and Jonas passed something (vital information or more power, perhaps?) onto her, about how to deal with Klaus and save his daughter Greta, who might be a little bit of trouble if she knew who made her an orphan.

Other than that, it's girls night = girl power, or a.k.a. relationship check for everyone:

  • Alaric tells Jenna he loves her until Isobel shows up at her door. Okay, I wanted the werewolves out, but I didn't mean bring back the pre-werewolf villains. But with her boyfriend's (un)dead wife back, Jenna should know everything soon. 
  • Caroline sings to Mattt onstage—pretty beautiful rock-chic voice but I don't understand the song choice. "Eternal Flame," really?! Also, Matt gets an almost-fatal dose of the truth, and him freaking out on Caroline is such a sad sight. 
  • Bonnie and Jeremy get Elena's blessing. I'm not a big fan of them, so let's just wait and see how this pans out. This, however, gives Jeremy a more defined role in the series since his you-and-me-against-the-world stint with Anna (†).
  • And last but certainly not the least, Damon puts off Katherine's sexual advances. Okay, maybe this has nothing to do with girl power, but the resident bitch not getting any—not even a kiss—from the hottest guy in this series is a truly a goodie. 

The Vampire Diaries is on a month-long break again. Boo. They awfully go on a lot of breaks this season. I hope it's worth it, so 'till then.


Oscar Live Ticker

The first time I discovered Live Ticker was during the FSV Mainz 05─Bayern München match (20 Feb 2011). I sat through the entire game, in which Bayern won 3-1, with two assists from Arjen Robben.

"To me, an assist is a goal."


Repertory Philippines' The Joy Luck Club

When I was young, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan was a popular topic for book reports. I don't remember reading the book, but I remember the 1993 movie of the same title. Mother-daughter relations, Chinese, American (note that Filipinos are heavily-influenced by both cultures) or otherwise, is a story I took to heart since I, too, am a daughter. When I learned Repertory Philippines would be staging it this year in their 74th Season (and luckily, I got a hold of tickets to see it and two other plays), I was eager to see how the experience would differ. That, and it's been like ages since I've seen a play. 

Walking into the Onstage theater gave me a whiff of college nostalgia (my org stages plays and productions). The bamboo sets seem only fitting since this was Rep's Chinese New Year offering. The play of lights, shadows, sounds, and slow motion was put into the play artistically so that the minimalist approach (imaginary props, doors, and what have you) was noticeable but not distracting. It transitioned the audience through the changes of story or time, which helped tell the stories smoothly.

Old-photo-look courtesy of Photoshop.
Or, Female leads rock the house! 

As the play went on, I found myself counter-checking who's who from the movie. But the artistic aspects did not disappoint. The powerhouse cast of strong female leads delivered superb performances, as well as the supporting actors. And I have to say Frances Makil Ignacio is a favorite. She totally caught me unaware when she delivered her lines that sounded as if she was chewing her food. Well, it was during a dinner scene, so I shouldn't be surprised at all really. It was just so... natural.

Frances Makil Ignacio's (left) comedic timing is effortless.
Or, Cris Villonco (right) looks very much like her role's movie version.

Though I wouldn't suggest one to jump into this adaptation of the book since some lines are long. It might be hard for other people, who have no idea about the plot, to keep up. Even I got lost in the Moon Lady really, but his (yes, the lady is a man sans the makeup) lines were delivered in a very convincingly folklore-ish or mythical fashion. But once you've read the book or watched the film, the appreciation of this version is very welcome. If the movie put faces on the names in the book, this play kind of made it 3D of some sort.

Repertory Philippines' The Joy Luck Club gets a seven-point-five out of ten, for its powerhouse cast, classic story, and fresh take on theater directing.

*photos from bp.blogspot.com, courtesy of Repertory Philippines


NBA All-Star 2011

This annual roadshow used to be a must-see spectacle for me. It's fun to watch all-stars and superstars go at it once in a while. But for no apparent reason, I didn't have any real interest in the all-star game itself, and this started about five years ago or somethin'.

Or the fact that he's retired could be that certain "no apparent reason".



While the country is caught up in football fever (which is really belated, by all standards), some of you might want to check out some football movies. Goal!, I believe, is a good choice.

The movie starts off as soccer, then eventually turns into football.

An American soccer pitch.

That's because it starts off in America, then ends up in England, the birthplace of the bloody sport.

An English football stadium.

This movie is basically an inspiration story. One of those types of films that after watching, will make you want to go out and start kicking a ball. But this is better than most inspirational films because it's more realistic, in my opinion. It shows that a determined, never-say-die attitude will eventually get you places.

Living your dream is the best feeling in the world.

Great acting by Kuno Becker. Well, not really great. Believable, maybe. I also love Stephen Dillane's accent. For those of you who didn't know, that guy played Merlin in Antoine Fuqua's King Arthur. Plus we also have two actors from Band of Brothers here.

Anyway, watch this movie for football, for the English culture, and for the cameos of none other than football greats David Beckham and Zinadine "Headbutt" Zidane.

*some info from IMDb
pics from VLC

Goal! UK/USA. 2005.

Rating: Seven out of ten.


Montiel VS Donaire

Not an actual poster.

Nonito Donaire was the man last weekend, which was dubbed boxing's first big weekend of 2011. Of course, I'm a main event guy when it comes to boxing. Unfortunately, the main event lasted only two rounds, similar to the PacMan-Hatton fight. It was also eerily similar to how it ended, with both fighters sleeping on the canvas. Well, let's proceed with the undercard.


Mike Alvarado VS Dean Harrison

The night started with Alvarado stopping the Englishman dead in his tracks (in his stool actually) in four rounds. Harrison was just kept on his stool before the fifth round started. I don't know what's next for these guys. All I know is that Alvarado climbs up and Harrison slides down the junior welterweight ranks.


The Vampire Diaries. Season 2, Episode 15: The Dinner Party

It's my party and I'll kill if I want to.
"There's no such thing as a bad idea, just poorly executed awesome ones."

Although Mystic Falls creates event after event after event to get these people together, Damon really knows how to throw a killer party. I missed Caroline in this episode though. And it's a relief with no dog smell around.
I miss your skin-tight jeans, girl. What's up with that smile?
But OMG. Hooray for Lexi! Wohoo. Too bad we can see her only in flashbacks now. It was really touching to see Damon show a bit of real guilt and remorse when Stefan asked him, "You remember her?" Damn. So, if Stefan was the more monstrous of the two when the brothers turned and Lexi was the one who made Stefan be sort of human again, how come Damon lost it along the way and became obsessed with Katherine when he debuted in the show? I want Damon's story to be told! Mind that, writers. 
How many times does Elijah have to die in this series?
I have to say I am going to miss Elijah, his elegance and charm. He was so cool, whether killing or helping someone. I believe they're gonna have to pull the dagger off him when it's time to kill Klaus. And if he reawakens (I hope he does), Elijah should take Elena's side. After all, he wanted Klaus dead, too. And warlock, please, you have to start choosing your friends and enemies well. Klaus is your common enemy, so give Bonnie's powers back! I think it's time to bring Lucy the witch back, you know, maybe a witch-warlock fight would be cool.
Shove the ring up your ass and you'll still be dead sooner or later.
And Alaric, Alaric, I feel your pain as much as I love thy name. Last week, I thought you were more of use to the series as Damon's frenemy and being Jenna's boyfriend was just a sideshow. I still feel that way but it was admirable of you to shut your mouth even if it meant protecting and losing Jenna altogether. Get John for that soon, I hope. And Katherine, too, for everything nasty she's done. Yes, the bitch is back and out of her cave. Boo-yah.


The Fascism Simulator—CityVille Review

It was Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari who once wrote: “Groups and individuals are filled with micro-fascisms just waiting to crystallize,” and nothing is better proof of this than the extraordinary popularity of CityVille, wherein any individual with a Facebook account may become a tyrannical overlord of a capitalist utopia strangely lacking in any human demand and is solely composed of the values of the free market. It is the circulation of money—coins, cash, and commodities—that bring about the shape of your city; it is this convenient sort of literal Marxianism (obviously, not Marxism; but rather, following the organization of base/superstructure), along with economic (and therefore cultural) fascism that lets the single mom, bored dad at work, student after homework, or existentially impotent human being exercise a full-blast crystallization of the variety exposed by D&G.


Black Swan (Updated Intro)

It will be a treat if any of you re-watch this movie as I did some few weeks before this update 2013 April 17. The black and white motifs are quite extensively exploited throughout the course of the movie and especially during the metamorphosis. Even "greys" were used and juxtaposed with the B&Ws --all found in the overall sets and design, intertwined with the plot. Kudos to the deliberateness, of symbols/symbolisms, and whathaveyou.

The following is the original blog post, some 2 years ago. With a couple of missing picture links.

Although I have completely forgotten Black Swan to be an Aronofsky, didn't exactly prevent me from much hype that had trickled down to my father; I am sure in the end he was more confused than the Swan Queen herself. So he watched; and I, I just watched along, mind you, huh?

As far as I know, Aronofsky is a neurotisist, delving on paranoia and an intense sense of awareness of self (circa Pi). With Swan Lake, I mean Black Swan, I caught up with his humor. I mean, whoever took losing one's self seriously is a crack joker.



The Vampire Diaries. Season 2, Episode 14: Crying Wolf

Torturing me will leave you heartless.
"I can't stay here. Not like this."

It's a farewell to the werewolves resident and guests of Mystic Falls because either they're dead or they've finally skipped town. But they'll be back, as much as I don't want Tyler to be alive, really. It's good to see that the Damon-Alaric bromance is getting more screen time. There were crucial-to-the-plot revelations from the warlock's camp and soon probably to Jenna, too. Uncle John is now the convenient go-to guy to start conflicts. Even the rip-your-heart-off-your-chest move (Stefan has joined the bandwagon with Damon and Elijah.) is kinda getting old and boring seeing less action because of it. I wonder if the writers see these little stuff turning into some kind of pattern. Hmmm.

Also, Bonnie and Jeremy finally share their first kiss, which reminded me that these kids are still in high school. And yet Elena gets to go on a weekend getaway with just her boyfriend. What the?


The Pacific

When people ask me what The Pacific is all about, I just tell them, "It's like Band of Brothers, only in the Pacific. Duh." I'm not really sure if Dale Dye was the same military adviser for this series. Anyway, who gives a damn about military advisers in war films? World War II geeks, that's who.

Part One

"Stick 'em up, Jap."

Oh wow. Hanks and Spielberg teamed up again. Those World War II junkies really need their fix. You really can't help but compare it to Band of Brothers. Because they really are similar. Although the Pacific war came first. Just can't help thinking that the Pacific vets approached Spielberg and Hanks and told them, "Hey, do a series about us!"


The Pacific. Part Ten

No one wants to watch that kind of drama. 

Like I said earlier, I don’t really like war films that devote a huge part of the movie to civilian life. I expect to see war. Well, the only good thing in this episode was when Bob Leckie decided to court Vera Keller.


The Pacific. Part Nine

"If my face is all dirty, why are my teeth white?"

Emotions run high as the series draws to a close. And I was not mistaken that the bug-eyed Private Shelton seems to be a great character after all. Sure, he may be a dick to his comrades. But he sure is nice to the Japs. Well, not really nice, but ethical.


Moral Complexity Sold Separately─Fable III Review

I have never liked the Fable series. The storytelling is flimsy, the game mechanics are sloppy, and the whole is just too disjointed and unfocused. Creator Peter Molyneux is infamous for inciting hype and failing to deliver, and he has made this practice tradition in Fable’s latest installment.

You play as the son or daughter of Fable II’s protagonist. Your older brother, Logan, has inherited the throne to Albion. He, however, does not play nice and, because of this and a more personal infraction a few minutes after the game’s beginning, you and your mentor, Walter, decide to lead a revolution against him.


Coming Soon: The Black Mamba

Wait, isn't Kobe Bryant's nickname the "Black Mamba"?


Far-Out Theories: Kristine Hermosa's Perfect 'Pits

Check out these Kristine Hermosa pics:


Band of Brothers: Real American Heroes

Band of Brothers is about this really tight group of soldiers during World War II. Kind of like G.I. Joe, without the black people, as segregation in the army was still in back then.

But unlike G.I. Joe, the men of Easy Company are NOT real American heroes. Don't believe me? See for yourself.

Maj. Richard D. Winters
Damian Lewis (English)


Philippines v. Mongolia. Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup Pre-Qualifying Play-Off, First Leg

Hooray for the Azkals. Now let's hear our post-game analysis.

Pana-ad Stadium isn't really a stadium. That is, of course, if we use this definition of a stadium: "A stadium is a place where the crowd can do a continuous, never-ending wave." Pana-ad only allowed quarter-waves.


The Vampire Diaries. Season 2, Episode 13: Daddy Issues

Shirtless emo vampire guy gets attention (and hits!) a-plenty.

"She's your friend. Stop being a dick to her."

Yeah, Tyler, get a hint. Please stop being the annoying guy/confused werewolf, who tough-guys everyone into believing he's cool and therefore thinks he's going to finally belong to a group. You just stood with your big eyes even after what they did to Caroline, who kinda risked her life to keep you company when you became a bitch.

That said, the pretty-lame werewolf vs. vampire face-off is not the last, I hope. Let's aim for more action please. And poor witches/warlocks getting sidelined in the character development department. I was hoping they'd have a nice story arc of their own, sans their friendly (or "frenemy") fanged friends. By the way, when did Bonnie know about Luka and his father and Elijah, and so openly flirt with BFF's brother Jeremy? Either I missed something or the writers took the easy way out and thought the Elena-told-me platform was enough to establish that.

Not surprising: Uncle John's "good dad" image is so fake. It just makes me want to vomit.


UFC 126 (Silva VS Belfort)

Antonio Banuelos VS Miguel Torres

This looked like a really lopsided match to begin with. First off, I know virtually nothin' about Banuelos, save for the fact that he's a Hawaiian Kempo practitioner and sparring partner of the legendary Iceman, Chuck Liddell. On the other hand, Torres used to be near the top of everyone's pound-for-pound list, and was also the former WEC bantamweight champ. And that was just less than two years ago!


Generation Kill

Nice job, HBO. Something like Band of Brothers, but more modern, as it’s set in Iraq. It’s also shot in a documentary style, which kind of works, fortunately. But I need to watch more episodes before I can decide if the story’s as good as Band of Brothers. I’m hoping it’s better.


The Tourist

After watching this movie, the name Alexander Pearce would never be the same again. I don't know how many times it was mentioned in this flick.

Another Pearce. Guy this time..
I wanted to watch The Green Hornet first. But as a Johnny Depp fan, I sure wouldn't want to miss this. I really didn't care about Angelina's curves. Kudos to those curves, though. They blended in quite smoothly with the movie. No matter how much the camera shots were takin' emphasis on those curves, it still really didn't mean a thing.

Paul Bettany was put to good use in this one. Well actually, it was his natural accent that was used for good measure. He was from Scotland Yard in this flick.

Who were always put to shame by this guy.


They're actually the same dude.

The shooting locations were picturesque. The aerial shots, that is.

I wish they would shoot here too.

Breathtaking is the proper word for it. If the movie's quality depended on these aerial shots...

...then they could win themselves one of these.

The plot was kinda' stale to garner an Oscar, though. Ex-Interpol/Scotland Yard agent goes rogue, then comes back to the good side to redeem herself and sorta' save the day and everything. The new twist here was Johnny Depp's character, Mr. Frank Tupelo. But for me, it's a flawed twist. Why, you ask? Well, these spoilers in the next paragraph will show you.

This story kinda' revolved around Alexander Pearce (not that name again) who was like the banker/accountant of this certain English mob boss who always surrounds himself with Russian henchmen.

Russians, Russia's latest export.

Now Alexander was crazy enough to double-cross this mob boss, so he went into hiding with Elise Ward (Angelina Jolie) who was the undercover agent who went rogue.

Now somehow, Elise and Alexander got separated while they were hiding and Elise was supposed to meet him at this party. Now where is this all leading to, you may ask?

Well it seems that Alexander had so much money that he did some major facial reconstruction to look like Johnny Depp. And he didn't tell Elise a single word about it 'til the end part.

Now tell me this. If Angelina flirted heavily (and even kissed) with Frank, then wouldn't Alexander be turned off by the fact that his girlfriend could easily fall in love with another guy the moment he turns his back? It's like your slutty girlfriend who you dump for the same obvious reasons.

I guess it's hard to dump your girlfriend if she's this hot.

All in all, 3.5 outta 10 due to the plot's gaping hole; 8 outta 10 for Depp's superb acting and Jolie's curves.

Curves, another one of Russia's major exports.

*images from londonparties.co.uk, manyhattyreturns.com, gaviano.files.wordpress.com, philippines.com.au, oscars.org, robertamsterdam.com, showbizgossips.com, i.cdn.turner.com


Saw: The Final Chapter

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.


Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Episode 22: "Hostage Crisis"

"My face is in shadow because I'm badass."

"A secret shared is a trust formed."

That's Cad Bane. One of the baddest bounty hunters in the expanded universe. Also, I love his voice. I just don't like the fact that the filmmakers assume that Bane is the only reason viewers will go on to watch Season 2.
"If you liked Bane, get ready. You're going to be seeing a lot more of him." 
Seriously. That's an actual line from the teaser. Well I hope they don't focus on all bounty hunters in Season 2.


127 Hours

Warning: This film is not for wusses. I'm talking to myself.

Anyway, simple premise of this movie is this: Guy gets stuck for 127 hours. That's that.

Under a rock.

127 hours equals 5 days and 7 hours.

Seems short, right? At least it's not 127 days, you say?

Well, no. Five days is still enough for you to force yourself to start drinking your urine.

Nope, that's not Mountain Dew.

I had no idea about this film at first. But I soon learned this was directed by Danny Boyle. Which made me relax a little bit. I'm sure if there's any director alive who could make 127 hours in one location seem interesting, it'd have to be Danny Boyle.

"I didn't win this baby for nothing!"

Now as the movie progressed, I started to think, "Hey, this seems familiar. I've read this story before. From Cracked. And I was right. Read the article here. Then check out Number 6. That's the real life Aron Ralston. Though he looks nothing like James Franco.

Okay, so how did he get out of that rock? I'll give you a clue.

Like I said, not for wusses.

*some info from IMDb and Cracked
pics from VLC and China Daily

127 Hours. USA/UK. 2010.

Rating: Seven point nine out of ten.


The Vampire Diaries. Season 2, Episode 12: The Descent

Don't you just wish it's you he's cuddling in bed?
"I miss it more than anything in the world."

That more or less sums up my feelings after watching this show again after a looong break. And it did semi-justice to its absence for those waiting and wanting to have their dose of Damon. And he didn't disappoint either. Really. The Big Bad Boy of The Vampire Diaries—again—just shattered everything that sent us the message that he's good. That actually makes me root for him more. It's his personal struggle that defined this episode and not the vampire-human love affair (I think we have enough of that from other vampire franchises). But I'm not sure I like Damon tearing up so often so I hope this kill is an omen for more. And I think he'll do just that with a pack of werewolves coming to town plus the arrival of Klaus.

Caroline is one lucky girl but it's not a triangle at all because she obviously loves Matt. Tyler has some important decisions to make—friends or "wolfriends." If the writers are shaping up Tyler to be the enemy, please, please , please kill him fast.

Also, I liked how Rose took a bow from the series—madly dramatic. And that's only partly because she was very, very influential to Damon given the little time she spent in Mystic Falls. Did I already mention that Damon stole the entire episode? Yeah, I think I did already.


2011 Oscar Odds

For all the gamblers out there.

I don't really know what the numbers mean, because there seems to be a variety of number systems for gambling odds. The numbers listed here are the best odds according to Easy Odds.

Basically, the closer the number is to zero, the higher the probability.


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