Saturday, December 24, 2005
Some thoughts on Kong

For all the references countless movies and shows have made to the 1933 version of King Kong, I have never actually watched it. The only famous scene imprinted in my thoughts of course, is the part where the mighty primate scaled the Empire State Building with biplanes in close pursuit. Having very little knowledge of the original film, I think, helped me enjoy the remake without any preempted biases or expectations.

Anyway, I had no idea why Peter Jackson decided to direct the film. However, it felt like Jack Black's character (the desperate director Carl Denham) in the early scenes draw some parallelisms to Jackson's own I assume, when the studio execs were screening his own work. "How much more of this is there?", the cigar puffing executive asks impatiently. Given the length of the movie, I read that the big wigs wanted Jackson to cut down his film by about half an hour. Well, the film still would have been a huge hit even if they did snip some scenes here and there, but I'm glad they didn't. Fortunately, they were wise enough to allow Jackson to invest more time in building up the anticipation for the arrival of Kong - as well as allow the characters to be fully fleshed out. There was simply enough time to allow us to see the people as complex individuals with personalities of their own, and not just cookie-cutter, run-of-the-mill templates.

As much as I wanted to avoid mentioning the LOTR trilogy (since it would be too obvious and too cliche' to do so), that was what probably convinced the powers that be to release King Kong unbutchered. I mean you look at those three movies, clocking in at three hours each, and they have without a doubt, kicked major ass. It's all about pacing and mastery of your craft I suppose. How else could you keep people glued to the screen for so long without boring them?

On another note, Jack Black was a very good choice to play the role IMHO. He has that passionate aura going for him, just teetering at the point of madness. In most of the scenes he was in, I kept thinking back to how enthusiastic he was as Dewey Finn in School of Rock, and he carried that well into this film. But of course, what made his character different here was that he was plain desperate. As Carl Denham he was, from what I thought, against the wall, playing his last card in a game against his favor. So much so that he was willing to risk not only all that he has, but as the ship's captain pointed out, others' as well.

Oh, and I also liked how Bruce Baxter's (played by Kyle Chandler) statement effectively demystifies the culture of celebrity worship: "I'm just an actor with a gun who's lost his motivation." He has one other quote, that I felt, was taking a pot shot at Jurassic Park. Denham orders Baxter to be within sight of the camera taking footage of the nearby dinosaurs close by reasoning that "the people are gonna think it's fake."

Baxter quips: "trust me, they aren't going to think they're fake!"


And I'm sorry for not having said this right off that bat: the special effects are of course, first-rate. As my friend Clyde told me, "You can't tell the difference between live action and CGI." In this case, technology has been appropriately used as an effective tool to paint the picture that was, just decades ago, helplessly trapped in the mind's eye. In particular, the superior facial animation has made Kong a sentient being with a great range of emotions - and not just a faceless main attraction to fill in the money shot. I mean, you have to love those close ups that capture his different moods: rage, laughter, sadness, and silent contemplation.

Anyway, I just wanted to get it out of the way before I hit the bathroom (too much information eh?) and play another round of Vice City.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Happy Birthday Dan

We love you :)
We wish you all the happiness that you deserve.
Thank you for coming into our lives and making it brighter with each passing day.


Mommy and Daddy

Tuesday, December 20, 2005
A Miserable Gray Limbo of Sleeplessness

You know what I am? I’m stuck in a rut. So I’m chained to my office at home, forced to stay up until the wee hours of the damn night to pay off the bills that we’ve incurred in the past few months or so. And for the past few weeks, Dan is waking up at the most ungodly of hours. I mean, I love him for sure, but what’s the deal with him wanting to bolt out of the room and downstairs right from the moment he wakes up? Come on.

His sleeping clock has somehow synchronized with mine I think. He’s up when I’m up, and sleeps through the good part of the day. What’s up with that? I seriously think that our stay-out sitter is lying. I bet she makes him sleep during the day so she has more time to do other chores, because she also does the laundry. In fact, she was originally doing the laundry on the weekends before she started babysitting for us. Now, she does the laundry duties in between Dan’s nap time, and a bit on the weekends still.

Here I am trying to rant this out of my system before I go downstairs again. WB (whiny boy) has asked to use my PC to surf fucking Friendster, or whatever trivialities tickle his fancy I suppose. Gotta make this quick. Take advantage of letting him watch Dan while I blow off some steam here eh? Anyway.

Going back to what I said earlier, I am stuck in a rut. So I’m enslaved to stay up at unholy hours to fill in a second job, we're stuck with bills, bills, and more bills. I was thinking of closing down the business, but that would be bad. Why? It only took a hundred grand from various family members to put up the business, that’s why. So shutting down for good puts that collective equivalent down the drain. And then what? Get stuck trying to pay off more debts if I take that option. Not to mention the goddamn electricity bill every month, by fucking god. WB stays up all fucking night watching TV and wasting away his youth getting bogged down in useless shit. But I digress.

I tell myself that once I’ve completely paid off the PC, I can start paying off the pending BIR and SSS bills for the business. But shit, I wonder when that will be. By that time, they might shut us down already.

So where does that leave me? Lyn wants to teach in the US, but she can’t get her foot in the door because it will take an obscene amount of money to do so. So that leaves me, the guy with the Visa that expires in 2010, to find employment abroad. Lyn says I could probably teach even for just a while so I can petition them or something like that. But I’m not teacher material. I could grin and bear it for a while, I could really. But then I would need to take some education units in school, and that would cost more money right? Who do I borrow from yet again?

Hmm, let’s see. Eeenie, meenie, minie, moe. Dad? Yeah sure, I only owe him enough as it is. If he was the mafia, he would have had me sleeping with the fishes by this time. But he loves his dear boy. Which reminds me, the car is not in good shape. I mean no dents, but the shocks need to be fixed, not to mention the moderately scuffed exterior.

Anyway, I’ve stayed here long enough. I’ll just finish this later at work, if I still feel like writing.

Disclaimer: various parts of this rant do not completely represent the actual truth. But that's how one talks like when a bit upset right?
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Today's update....

currently listening to: P.O.T., Slipknot, Dream Theater, Stone Sour, and Stemage

So I'm a little miffed that the radiator is irreparable. The problem is that it sprung a leak from wear and tear (the car was bought back '97) which has been causing it to overheat. Jimmy says the unit is basically beyond saving; he originally thought that patching it up with a sealant would do the trick. He said, "malutong na yung ibabaw nya, plastic kasi." GREAT.

Given that this is a Honda we're talking about, replacing it with an original part directly bought from the dealer would probably be equal to what I earn in a month (from being a phone monkey, not a teacher). Dad gave me money to have it fixed, but we weren't counting on having to replace the bloody thing. Here's hoping buying a surplus radiator won't exceed four figures LOL. The engine is also noisy so I had a tune-up done as well. The upper arm suspension for both front wheels needs to be replaced too. I'll have to canvass for those at a shop in Imperial where I bought from before. I had some parts of the arm suspension replaced before, but not the whole thing. A few months ago, the guy that looked my shocks said it's best to replace it but I held it off due to budgetary reasons. Oh, and the lock for the rear door at the passenger side won't open either. That's minor though, that'll be easy to fix.

Automobile woes aside, Dan's party is this Saturday. So the car has to be fixed by that day or I don't know how we're going to get there. Of course, Christmas and New Year is also fast approaching. By the end of this month, I will have fully paid off the computer :) That means we can pay off our other financial obligations.

It's my rest day tomorrow too. More GTA3 time, yipee :) Just kidding. If Dan was big enough, he'd probably smack me, hehe.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Why I hate reality shows:

Because I have enough drama in my own life to give a shit about anyone else's petty bickering broadcasted to millions of people.

To each his own poison I guess.