Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Putting the "Science" Back in Science Fiction

So last night Amanda and I finally saw The Day the Earth Stood Still and we thoroughly enjoyed it (though I might have a little more, I definitely must give her dad credit for weening her on Star Trek and 50's sci-fi classics). I heard mixed reviews on it, and yes I know it didn't stick to the 1951 story exactly, but what did surprise me was that it stuck to the way 50's Sci-Fi was made, and then beefed it up a bit.

Let me explain myself. 1950's Science Fiction used to be exactly what it says it the title and would show through in the movies. Their would always be the scientist-hero in the story, and some form of government/military always did stupid stuff with Science winning out in the end. Also, their would be some portion of the film where said scientist would get to explain real scientific principles. The Day the Earth Stood Still stuck to this winning formula.

John Cleese and Jennifer Connelly play said hero-scientists who end up saving the world while politicians and military over-react and worry about protecting themselves. The movie opens with a micro-biological discussion led by Jennifer Connelly on organisms that are able to live on one of the moons of Jupiter (?) Then there is a medical surgery scene that seemed pretty real to the actual practice, the "As scientists we cannot do what you are asking us to" bit, and the Klaatu (alien played by Keanu Reeves, perfect casting) helps a scientist (Dr. Barnhardt by Cleese) solve an equation scene...and I loved it all!!

On top of having these types of scenes that don't happen in Sci-fi a lot these days, the creators of this new edition added in some cool explosions, a better protector-robot version of GORT, a way cooler spaceship for Klaatu, and all the great special effects to go along with those that new-age Sci-Fi can provide.

The Day the Earth Stood Still blends the old and new of Sci-Fi beautifully and provides a good message about protecting the planet without getting too preachy or self-righteous (there is no "ooh, our spaceship is 'green'" crap, just "take care of your planet or die"). Just an all-around fun movie and a fun remake of the original.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Welcome to our humble apartment. We love Christmas and had to decorate our little piece of home...
Here is Christmas central...
Pajama 's ?! for Christmas eve?! Who would've thought! Plus we're wearing the pj's that Amanda's Mom got us for Christmas Eve too!! So two pairs of PJ's...The fierce present unwrapper!! (if you look close, you will see that the pj's that mom-in-law got me are DC Comics Pj's, NICE!!)MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2009 Preview

So 2009 look likes it's going to be an amazing year, movie-wise. My last blog already showcased what will most likely be my favorite movie for 2009, but here are some other great films scheduled for release in 2009. MERRY CHRISTMAS, and a happy New Year!! Woo hooo...

Most Notable of the following is the movie 9, check it out here

1/9/2009 - Bride Wars (link)
1/23/2009 - Inkheart (link)
1/28/2009 - Blessed is the Match (link)
2/6/2009 - Coraline (link)
2/20/2009 - Fired Up (link)
2/27/2009 - Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li
first I've heard of it was making this list but Kristin Kreuk is playing Chun-Li, here are two pages where you can check out the movie

3/6/2009 - Watchmen (link)
3/13/2009 - Race to Witch Mountain (link)
3/20/2009 - Knowing (link)
3/27/2009 - Monsters vs. Aliens (Dreamworks) (link)
4/3/2009 - The Ugly Truth (link)
4/17/2009 - State of Play (link)
5/1/2009 - X-Men Origins: Wolverine (link)
5/8/2009 - Star Trek (link)
5/15/2009 - Angels & Demons (link)
5/22/2009 - Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (link)
5/22/2009 - Terminator: Salvation (link)
5/29/2009 - Up (link) (Pixar/Disney)
6/5/2009 - Land of the Lost (link) (starring Will Ferrell, who knows?)
6/12/2009 - The Proposal (link)
6/26/2009 - Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
7/10/2009 - 2012 (link)
7/17/2009 - Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince (link)
8/7/2009 - GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra
9/9/2009 - 9 (Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov,
dir. of Wanted; this looks way interesting) (link)
9/18/2009 - The Informant

Other Mentionables:

-The Elfstones of Shannara!!! Rights to the Shannara series have been optioned to Warner Brothers studios until 2010. Elfstones is the first planned movie and even has a director names: Mike Newell (known for such films as: Four Weddings & A Funeral, Donnie Brasco, Mona Lisa Smile, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). It was supposed to start filming this year and finish production in 2009, though what's going on with it now, I could not find out. (link) (link)

-Witchblade. The comic/anime series has a live movie planned for 2009 release. The director working on it is Michael Rymer (Queen of the Damned, and various episodes of Battlestar Gallactica)

- Metal Gear Solid. This has been rumored to be in production for release in 2009, but no apparent progress is being made, we'll see if it comes out or not... (link)


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

X-Men Origins - Wolverine!!

This movie looks amazing!!! I haven't been so excited about a movie trailer in a long time, but it looks like this movie DEFINITELY will NOT disappoint!! Just watch and let the excitement ensue...

40 Inspirational Movies in 2 Minutes


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Orson Scott Card ... Is Pissing Me Off!

I'm kind of getting sick of Orson Scott Card. On his blog he has an article where he refers to himself as "Uncle Orson" and he reviews everything (hence "Uncle Orson Review Everything"). I used to enjoy reading it but it's just kind of ridiculous how he has such a high ego that he thinks it certifies him to comment on everything, and to do so as a supposed Uncle. His book writing has really been below par, his reviews are un-researched and annoying, and he himself is very pretentious.

This upset attitude stems from my recent readings into the Ender-verse. Card wrote an amazing book in Ender's Game, followed by some great sequels in the same thread: Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind, Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, and Shadow of the Giant. I have also heard that his Alvin Maker series is pretty outstanding. But his most recent work is just going off his old stuff and is not done very well.

He wrote a book called "War of Gifts." It is supposed to be a short-story of Christmas in Battle School. I had heard of it but wasn't really interested and thus never read it. That was until I went on my cruise and found it in the Cruise Ship Library (yeah they had a Library with a very decent selection). I picked it up and TRIED to read it. Emphasis on tried. It was terrible. It starts off with some character we have never heard of in Battle School who is very uninteresting. That's a great way to start a book sub-labeled "An Ender Story" right? It was terrible and I'm glad I never wasted any money on it.

"Ender in Exile" is Card's newest effort to make extra money on old work. It seems that he is out of ideas and decided to do a book version of a Directors Cut DVD. You know the DVD's where they have all kind of behind-the-scenes and deleted or extended scenes? That's basically what this book is. It's like left over notes and side stories that Card had left over from Ender's Game. It's supposed to be a "Direct Sequel to Ender's Game" but really most of the story takes place during the last few chapters of Ender's Game (he doesn't even get to the Shakespeare Colony until about 2/3's of the way through the book!). It's a collection of deleted scenes and random short stories, some of which seem irrelevant.

So why did "Ender in Exile" get made? My guess is he needed or wanted some more money. He's not writing new stories, he's just riding the wave of the old ones. What has he lately worked on? The two afore mentioned books, and comic-book adaptions of his old works (the Alvin Maker series, the Ender's Game series, the Ender's Shadow series, etc.). I enjoy the comic-book adaptions, but come on! Why hasn't he written anything credible lately? He's too busy writing a...

Stupid Blog
Yeah, it's pretty ridiculous. The thing that really pissed me off was his review of Quantum of Solace the latest Bond flick. His review said that it was surprisingly good "only because the filmmakers had seen the Bourne movies and decided that Bond should be reborn as Bourne, only British." and "The trouble is that while stealing from the Bourne plotlines, the filmmakers also thought they should make Quantum of Solace look like the Bourne movies, too."

The "stolen plotline," as he puts it, is that the agency has turned against Bond and he's a rogue agent. Well, that isn't the first time this has happened in the Bond franchise. Then the worst was the accusation that "the filmmakers also thought they should make [it] look like the Bourne movies, too." DO YOUR HOMEWORK CARD!!!

He also said: "Worse yet, the movie began with so many action sequences and so little explanation of what was going on that we never quite got to the point of caring how the action bits came out." Well, if you had seen Casino Royale, you would have known exactly what was going on you retard!! He explicitly stated in the blog how he had never seen Casino Royale, then doesn't get it when Quantum starts off right where the last movie left off, Literally! Quantum of Solace takes place ONE HOUR after Casino Royale. The movie was supposed to start how it did, or else it wouldn't make sense. If Card wasn't such a pompous jerk he would know that (again do your homework if your going to spout off, Card).

Here's a list of some key people who worked on BOTH films and might be inclined to BE THEMSELVES and produce the same type of work! Imagine that: a director of photography who shoots things the same ways!
- Shaun O'Dell, director of photography on Quantum, and directory of photography on Ultimatum
- John Gamble, worked on Camera Focus on Quantum and worked as a Focus Puller on The Bourne Ultimatum
- Marc Atheford, same jobs...
- Dean Morrish, loader on Quantum, and camera loader on Ultimatum
John Bowman, video playback on Quantum, and video assist on Ultimatum
- Stephen Nakamura, colorist on Quantum, and digital film colorist on Ultimatum
- George Richmond, camera operator on Quantum, and B camera operator on Ultimatum
J. Patrick Daily, gocam operator on Quantum, and stunt performer on Ultimatum
Richard G Pearson, editor on both Quantum and The Bourne Supremacy
- Terry Madden, assistant director (2nd unit) for Quantum, and 1st assistant director for Ultimatum
- Terrence Madden (same?), 2nd assistant director for both Quantum and Ultimatum
- Gary Powell, stunt coordinator for both Quantum and Ultimatum
- Rob Inch, assistant stunt coordinator for Quantum and stunt performer for Ultimatum
Rowley Irlam, same jobs as previous
- Nicola Short, stunt coordinator's assistant for both Quantum and Ultimatum

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mormon, Mormon Rap! Do The Mor-Mor-Mormon Rap!!

"Hey brothers and sisters, listen to me! I'm talking to you religiously..."

Ahh yes, this brings back memories. I remember dancing around to this thinking it was the coolest thing when I was a wee-little one. Anyways, enjoy!

Yummy Midnight Snack

So I was really hungry this evening and decided that I wanted a sandwich. So we went to the Grocery Store and spent way too much money, but I got my yummy sandwich:
So here is what is in my sandwich (in order of assembly):
-Sourdough Bread
-Mozzarella Cheese
-Smoked Turkey lunch meat
-Feta Cheese
-More lunch meat
-More Feta Cheese
-Salt (cause I forgot to put it on the Tomato, I added it on top last)
What a great snack!

Here's the sad part of the evening:
That is the second picture of the sandwich. My camera has been freaking out lately and this is what it does. How sad...oh well, I've had it for a little over four years, so it has definitely been a great camera.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Fresh Prince of Gotham

This is pretty entertaining... The Fresh Prince of Gotham
See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Book Tag

Now here is a tag worth doing, one based on books!! Enjoy! (I got this from my friend from ward's blog).

1. Total Number of Books I've Owned:
I'll have to go do a quick count.....and it came in currently at 425 (with an estimated 30 books in storage...)

2. Last Book I Bought
Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card

3. Last Book I Read
Purple Cow by Seth Godin (a good book on marketing and making a unique and remarkable product).

4. Five Books That Mean A Lot To Me

1. Homeland by R.A. Salvatore (this was the book that got me into the Fantasy Fiction genre and Salvatore remains my favorite author to this day, thank you Salvatore for countless hours and hours of enjoyment)

2. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (This one makes the list because it was the first novel that I read in sixth grade. Before that I read the Goosebumps series which was the series to read when I was young and that's why they're here as an honorary mention. My influential sixth grade teacher found I had a sophomore in High School reading level and encouraged me to read something at my level, thus Jurassic Park. The same was my favorite movie at the time and is still a timeless movie. The movie, on VHS, is still the best and most memorable present I have ever received from my Grandpa and Grandma Fiet. One last side note, thank you Nicole for using a sharpie on the book to block out all the foul words for this sixth grade reader. Thanks Crichton, RIP).

3. Scriptures. Those are a given and they are definitely the most influential on me as a person and are a continual guide to my life.

4. Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (I think I read this in 8th ? grade and I include it because it was one of the only required reading books throughout my education that I enjoyed. I have heard more than one author say that they didn't enjoy reading in middle/high school because they either give you stupid books, or books that you aren't ready for yet. Apart from this book, everything I read in school that I enjoyed, I chose myself. Plus, Bradbury has become one of my latest favorite authors as I discover more and more of his genius as a writer. He truly is a literary genius and an artist of words)

5. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (My first enjoyable classic. Need I say more? Dumas is a brilliant writer and I discovered him in my first semester of college. Dumas has since inspired me to break out of my Fantasy/Sci-Fi shell and read other types of writing and other classics).

Now I'm supposed to it if you enjoyed it...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Puerto Vallarta - Zipline Adventure

Well, we just got back from our cruise and here are the pictures from our Zip-Line Adventure in Puerto Vallarta. The cruise was amazing and we had such a good time. Puerto Vallarta was such a fun port and beautiful city. This Zip-Line thing was amazing as well and definitely the best part of our trip. To start the trip of we rode a speed boat for 15-20 minutes down the coast to a small village. Along the way we saw whales and stopped to check 'em out. Upon arriving at the village we boarded some big Mercedes SUV's which we rode in the back of. We then arrived at the base camp, donned our equipment, and that is where our pictures begin (for this post).
Here we are waiting to begin the treck.
We had to ride mules up to the first Zip-Line, and this is us waiting to be assigned a mule.Here (above) is Amanda and her mule, and below is me and my mule.The following is a series of pictures of the first Zip-line...
After the first Zip, we did a series of nine more Lines which varied in length and drop. One even plummeted us into a deep pool where we were submerged to our chests.

The next series is of our first rapel. It was against a waterfall and a lot of fun. Plus we got these sweet pics!
This one is Amanda and her brother CameronThis is the second rapel. It was a free-fall drop from the platform you can see in the pictures. I didn't get any pictures on this one because I did it too fast for the photographer.
This was the second to last Zip-Line, and was a dual one where we could race. Amanda raced her brother Cameron, and I raced Amanda's brother Travis. We both lost... :(And here we are mid-adventure, after splashing down the waterfall rapel. Travis on the left, then Cameron, Amanda and Myself.
This was an amazing trip and this is just part of it. We still need to develop the pictures we took on our disposable waterproof cameras that have the boat ride and stuff. All-in-all we did 10 Zip-Lines and 2 rapels and had amazing fun. If anyone ever has an opportunity to do something like this, DO IT, it is so much fun and worth the money.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bon Voyage

Later folks, I'll be gone for the next week on a wonderful cruise to Mexico, enjoy your lives in normalhood while I am being pampered! Mwahahahahahaha! Anyways, you can expect a nice post with pics and whatnots when we return.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Into The Wild

At some points in this life, you realize some truths that just are. Whether through stimulation by outside influences or by introspective forces, these moments come and we should cherish them.

One of the major eye-opening points for me was my mission. So many things that I took for granted in my everyday life, so many things I had never thought about, so many of these salient truths waiting to be discovered were there waiting for me in Ecuador. The simplicity of life, the humility of the people, and their complete happiness with what little they had been given in life, really illustrated for me what happiness is.

I've been home for 2 1/4 years now and some of those lessons, though learned and internalized are not so poignantly placed in my mind. Which brings me to the above named movie (based on a book, which was based on the true story), Into The Wild.

The young man is about my age and graduates college and decides to experience what such writers as Henry D. Thoreau and Jack London wrote about as they found themselves in the solitude of this great earth. I'm not here to post about the story behind it (you can watch/read that on your own) but the truths behind it. The main character Chris is looking for happiness which he did not have at home. He travels and interacts with people across the nation all on a quest to go North, to Alaska. (SPOILER ALERT) When he finally gets there, he thinks he's happy until stranded alone on a river that grew much bigger than what it was in winter. He eats the wrong plant and just before dying realizes the one great truth behind happiness:

"Happiness is only real when shared"

He had found it on the road with the people he had met and befriended, he had found it through human interaction. Happiness doesn't come from things, or money, or whatever else, it comes from those we love and care about, from those precious moments when we are at ease with those we love.

There is so much good in this world, we just need to get people to look at it another way. We need to get out of our cocoons and be the kind caring people we are meant to be but sometimes forget we are.

I love landscapes, sunsets, the beauty of nature. How often do you take a moment to savor a sunset? To share a sweet tender moment with those you love? To share happiness? This is what we should pursue in life. In closing here are some good quotes that express some of the ideas of the movie:

-"You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only...from human relationships. God has placed it all around us...and all you have to do is reach for it." (Jon Krakauer, Into The Wild)

- "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." (Henry David Thoreau)

- "Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify." (Henry David Thoreau)

- "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." (Henry David Thoreau)

- "Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth." (Henry David Thoreau)

- "The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time." (Jack London)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Getty

I love art, so does Amanda, so for Veteran's Day, I had both school and work off and Amanda got work off for the day, so we went and had some fun. Our day was filled with breakfast at Casa Jimenez, a quick trip to the new Used Bookstore right next to Casa J, after which we headed off for the main event of the day The Getty in LA. We stayed there and enjoyed the beauty for a few hours then headed back to Ontario to hit up Re-Mart (great deals) and Mervyn's (crappy store, no wonder they went bankrupt), after which we got dinner at Applebee's, dessert from Handel's Ice Cream, and a nice movie to cuddle up to afterwards. What a great day. Here are a few images from what we saw...

Us outside the Getty in the middle of our trip

This is the top of a waterfall that overlooks the beautiful gardens there, I like this shot (and had to stand on top of a water rim to get it)

"Van Tromp, Going About to Please His Masters"
A beautiful landscape by Joseph William Turner, 1844, Oil on Canvas
"Wheatstacks, Snow Effect, Morning"
By Claude Monet, 1891, Oil on Canvas
"The Portal of Rouen Cathedral in Morning Light"
By Claude Monet, 1894, Oil on Canvas

"The Bridge Over Water Lily Pond"
By Claude Monet,

"Bust of Winter"
By Paul Heermann, 1700-1733, Marble
"An Old Man in Military Costume"
By Rembrandt Harmensz, van Rijn
"Moonlit Landscape With a View a View of the New Amstel River and Castle Kostverloren"
By Aert van der Neer, 1647, Oil on Panel

"A Panoramic Landscape"
By Philips Koninck, 1665, Oil on Canvas
"The Entombment"
By Peter Paul Rubens, about 1612, Oil on Canvas
"Dancer Taking a Bow (The Prima Ballerina)"
By Edgar Degas, about 1877, Pastel and gouache on paper

I loved the fountain in the following pictures and took a lot of pictures of it...
This is the sunset at the end of the day, Montclair Plaza

What a beautiful day, hope you enjoyed this blog!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Bored...Crazy 8's

I was bored and saw this on a friend's blog, so...

8 Things...

8 things I am passionate about:
1. My wifey, Amanda
2. My family
3. The Gospel/Truth
5. Accounting
6. Speaking my Mind
7. Meat, yum
8. Reese's Sticks

8 words or phrases that I use the most
1. I love you. (to Amanda)
2. Blah, Blah, Blah
3. Hi, How are you doing today?
4. Hi there
5. Thanks for coming in today...
6. This book is good/bad because...
7. WHAT?!
8. I'll Kill you... (??)

8 things I want to do before I die
1. Have kids, grandkids, etc.
2. Own a home
3. See the world
4. Have my own personal Library
5. Get published
6. Be remembered (maybe I'll just go shove some random kid's face into his ice cream, the kid should remember that, right?)
7. Learn how to fence (i.e. sword fight)
8. Invent something useful

8 things I need right now
1. Switch the laundry out
2. For winter to actually arrive and stop bouncing around between cool and hot
3. More books, you always need more books right?
4. More water bottles in the fridge (I hate tap water)
5. To understand Lease accounting better
6. A nap....zzzzzz
7. A vacation (soon enough)
8. Something yummy to eat

8 places I want to visit
1. Italy
2. Ecuador
3. Jerusalem
4. Mexico (in a couple weeks on a cruise ship...)
5. English Isles
6. Greece
7. The rest of Europe
8. Church history tour

8 favorite restaurants
1. In 'N Out
2. Senor Baja's
3. Logan's Roadhouse
4. Olive Garden
5. Applebee's
6. Red Robin
7. Chipotle
8. Chili's

8 TV shows I watch
1. The Office
2. 30 Rock
3. South Park
4. House
5. Heroes
6. Lost
7. News
8. Seinfeld

Thursday, November 6, 2008

How did YOU celebrate Nov 4th?

I voted for McCain, but him losing doesn't mean the end of the world for me, these videos might illustrate the sentiments of both sides a little better... ENJOY!!

There are those who supported McCain...

And those who supported Obama...

but the truth of the matter is, Obama winning was part of a greater plan...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Late but fun

I know Halloween has past but I just found this song by Panic at the Disco and I liked it. It's not spooky or anything, but it would be a lot of fun when I have kids.

Panic at the Disco - "It's Almost Halloween"

Pearls Before Swine

I love this comic!!