Thursday, January 31, 2013

Harvest Moon: Animal Parade

I never knew how much I missed console games until I started playing last week and fell immediately back in love with whole concept of being a casual gamer. It's something I look forward to on the weekends and my chill time after work. Although I've noticed that I spend most hours playing than anything else, it's a good escape from my temporary set-back. It keeps me from squandering cash outdoors, instead I squander time indoors. Fair enough.

The current apple of my eye is Harvest Moon Animal Parade. It brought me back to those days, long ago, when life was less complicated as my problems only composed of what tool to upgrade and what gift to give to a villager? Now it's a question of what now, and where to go from here? But as long as I have crops to grow and animals to feed, this is where my satisfaction level becomes shallow, temporarily. Oh humanity! 

I look forward to finishing the game so that I can start with the next. But in the case of Harvest Moon, it never really just until I get bored, then I go on with my life.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Les Miserables

Les Miserables is memorable to me in a sense that it gave me some of the darkest days and sleepless nights a few years back. I was 3rd year or 4th year   high school when I was tasked to be the scriptwriter of a 20-minute play, the Les Miserables. As an ignorant high school student, it was the first time I heard of the term, and reading the plot had caused so much confusion that I never really understood the story even after writing the script. 

Now, after seeing the 3-hour movie, I finally understood that the story was as confusing as the script I did. A lot of characters, multiple plots, and a span of over eighteen years of story progression...I just did the impossible, make a 20-minute-12-page script for Les Miserables. 

Here are my observations of the movie:

1. About half-way through the movie I realized that it was a musical because they were all singing even in times that they shouldn't. "Oh I was shot!" -Éponine. And after seeing wikipedia and the 50 songs of the movie, I knew they were darn too many!

2. I became a bigger Amanda Seyfried fan after she hit those high notes without losing breath or cringing.

3. I finally understood the irony of "I Dreamed a Dream" thanks to  Anne Hathaway's rendition. I always thought the song wasn't as tragic as she sang it.

4. Javert has a thing about walking on the edge of really tall places and singing there. Sad that Russell Crowe's voice didn't match the beautiful melodies of his songs. I wish Gerard Butler was Javert.

5. Ă‰ponine was the classic example of being friendzoned.

6. Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen were perfect for the role!

7. The movie felt 158 minutes long. My bum hurt at the end of it.

8. My friend beside me was crying in most parts.

9. The only one not miserable enough was Cosette...why she's the logo of the play is not fully understood.

10. Hugh Jackman deserved his Golden Globe.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Life of Pi

When a story taps into the question about man's purpose of existence and God, then the story blows up far beyond the straightforward context of the simple storytelling. In this case, Pi's life became far more ambiguous than man's innate nature to survive. For a story that's about survival, it turns to something involving faith, a question on life, and humanity. I haven't read the I have no basis of comparison.

I didn't realize that there was so much water-time involved, until my friend mentioned that about 80% of the movie was at sea so at the end of it he feared sailing even more. I wouldn't argue that because I'd much rather die than endure the hardship that Pi had to go through to make it out alive...but then again, when you see the end of the movie, that he had a good life after the incident, it makes you it worth it?

I wish I had watched the movie in 3D because the movie, beyond the intricacies that goes on between Pi and Richard Parker, was visually appealing; especially the part where glowing jellies floated beneath his boat, and with the whale suddenly leaping off the water, could have been beautiful in 3D--but to my friend, he simply felt like he was going to drown. I love the sea when I look at it, I never get sick...just don't put me in it.

The story was summarized at the beginning when old Pi said, "I found my faith in Vishnu, but I found God's love in Christ." then he said something I had forgotten about. It made me understand why a man chooses to have three religions: because religion was made to get people to feel closer to God, and if that is how he sees Him, then who am I to argue? My impression? He's very open-minded Hindu-Christian-Muslim.

Now see how the movie makes you think deeper than you're supposed to? That's why it's beautiful, because it is.

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year's Resolution for 2013

I didn't know you have to pay for the picture until I was 100 meters away.
Hats down to this guy, he laughed off the horse's kick.
My horse, Black Beauty

2012 may be a total bitch, but for 2013, things are looking up as my year began with me riding a black horse that almost killed me. We were supposed to gallop in the white sand beach as the sun rose out of the east horizon with our hairs whipping in the air and the clear blue waters splashed in the background. That was the plan. We got there on the 31st in the afternoon, but the horses were out and the owner said that the horses are more relaxed in the morning when they're refreshed and had their rest. With the British owner of the stable agreeing that we go there by 6am of January 1, and my brothers left for the Horse Stable at 5:30am. With the rain pouring in the night on the 31st, the streets were flooded, but we arrived around 5:30am anyway. We sat and waited and waited...and around 6:30, the very drunk caretaker who promised he won't be drinking came in with red eyes and a zigzag walk. He kicked the other caretaker who will be our guide to wake up from the floor. They were both a mess but I wasn't about to give up on that perfect shot of me riding a black galloping horse on the beach with the hair and all!

I was giddy to know that the black horse was awake. His name is Black Beauty. Right before riding him, I brushed his mane all around...he seemed nice. The moment I rode him, he kicked the intoxicated caretaker on the painful if was, I couldn't tell because he simply laughed and slapped the horse after the kick. As we were about to leave, Black Beauty went almost berserk. I said an awful lot of bad words that moment. Riding him was one of the scariest thrill and the scariest horse ride of my life. Ever. I couldn't control him, he wouldn't budge, and he was not afraid of threatening me to fall off his back. We passed cliffs with a drunk guide and a very grumpy horse. My only prayer? I don't die on new year's day.

So, under very bad conditions and rising tides, we didn't make it out on the beach. I wasn't very disappointed, I was more relieved that I get to mount off the horse sooner than planned. At least riding a black horse named Black Beauty is off my bucket list...the beach on a horse thing is still pending though.

And since I made it through the first day alive, I've come to reflect on what I want this year to happen in my life:

1. Feel Younger

I went home from Boracay with a terrible body pain. For crying out loud! I'm feeling far older than my age! So, I need to gain back the vitality I once had when I was...well I can't really recall when I felt younger than my designated age, but this year is a good start.

2. Reach a 6-digit Savings Account

This was actually last year's one and only New Year's resolution...didn't even make it half-way. This year, I'm more positive about making it happen. Swear!

3. Well...two resolutions is all I could handle. So for my third resolution, it's actually to make my two resolutions happen. At least I'm being realistic about it because I couldn't even fulfill that one single resolution I made last year.