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Sunday, 25 November 2012

BLOG -- My Issue With Time Travel Stories

First off, Happy Thanksgiving to those in the US. Okay, now on to my blog. 

Before I go on, I must say: this entry will spoil the movies Looper and The Terminator. If you haven't watched either of these two movies and don't want to be spoiled, don't read this blog. 

Having that said, this entry makes the assumption that you've watched both movies. I won't fully explain the plot for either one -- just enough to make point of my issue with them.




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Okay, so... I have an issue with time travel stories. Whenever I watch anything involving time travel, unless parallel timelines are brought up, I tend to assume there is only one linear timeline (as in if the past gets affected, the future gets affected and adjusts itself to those past events). That's when I ask myself: does this story make sense? Does it still make sense when future elements are in the past, interacting with it? When it doesn't, I have a problem. 

Here is the issue I have with time traveling stories: When the driving reason for the future to collide with the past originated from some kind of interaction with the future and past. When that happens, I wonder: what drove the future elements to go into the past in the first place? It just doesn't make sense to me.

Now this issue happens with Looper and The Terminator. First, I gotta say that these movies are very good and enjoyable. Just so you know I'm not bashing them because I just don't like them. But this issue... it doesn't make sense.

In Looper, Joe from the future (let's call him Future Joe) goes to the past with the aim to kill a boy (Cid) who would grow up to become the "Rainmaker". The "Rainmaker" is responsible for closing all loops (loopers getting sent to the past to be killed by their past self). Later on, we find out that the driving reason for Cid's hatred of loopers comes from Future Joe being in the past, killing Cid's mother (who was killed trying to protect Cid from Future Joe).

Now, I'm confused. Thoughts and questions fly through my mind: So, Cid won't develop a hatred of loopers if his mother wasn't killed... And his mother wouldn't be killed if Future Joe wasn't back in the past... and Future Joe wouldn't be in the past in the first place if Cid didn't have a hatred of loopers... but Cid wouldn't have a hatred of loopers if his mother wasn't killed... Aggg, my head hurts!

This same issue happens in The Terminator. A cyborg assassin from the future is sent to the past to kill Sarah, the woman who would give birth to John, the savior for humanity in the future. Kyle also gets sent back to the past, but to protect Sarah. Later on, it's revealed that John is the result of a union between Sarah and Kyle. Sarah and Kyle... some guy from the future.

So... how was John conceived in the first place? Kyle went back to the past to protect Sarah, because... why? John would have never existed in the first place. Because in the first place, Kyle would never have had a reason to be in the past.


So, there is my issue. I don't mind it so much when it's in cheesy movies like Bill and Ted. And I can still enjoy time travel stories. But if it does happens, I just go *facepalm*, become confused, and complain about it later.  

If this issue could be explained logically and somehow I'm just missing something, please let me know. I want to understand!

Thanks for reading! :)

Sunday, 18 November 2012

REVIEW/THOUGHTS [MOVIE] -- Wreck-It Ralph

Format Watched: In theatres (Sunday November 11, 2012; Tuesday November 13, 2012)
Approx. Runtime: 108 minutes (1 hours, 48 minutes)
Language Watched: English
Type of Movie: Adventure, Comedy, Video Game
Overall Impression: I absolutely love it. I've already seen it twice and I still want to see it again.


SPOILER ALERT WARNING!!
This review will contain some spoilers -- or rather, there will be a "Spoilers" section at the end of the review to go into further detail about certain things. There may still be slight spoilers throughout the review, but I've tried my best to keep them at a minimum.


PERSONAL STANDING (Pre-exposures, thoughts, etc.)
When I saw the trailer, I wasn't completely sold on it. At first, I thought it was going to be a movie knee-deep in video game crossovers and references -- that Wreck-It Ralph would be nothing but that, which would possibly result in thinly developed characters and a tacked on story.

When my sister told me that she and her fiance were planning to watch it, though, I tagged along.


STORY
Wreck-It Ralph follows Wreck-It Ralph (whom I will refer to as Ralph for the rest of this review), the villain character in the arcade game, Fix-It Felix, Jr. He's been playing the bad guy for 30 years and has grown sick of it, wanting inclusion and the same kind of admiration and appreciation that the hero character receives (Fix-It Felix, Jr. -- whom I will refer to as Felix for the rest of this review).

Determined to be recognized as a good guy, Ralph leaves his game world and visits another, in hopes of winning a hero's medal. Somewhere along the way, he befriends Vanellope, a character from the racing game, Sugar Rush.

The story itself is pretty standard. But it's a story that I think almost anybody can relate to -- trying to find acceptance, or a place where you feel you belong.

PACING
The pacing is great. Jokes aren't drawn out; tender moments are held for just long enough. Things are always happening to move the plot forward.

VIDEO GAME REFERENCES AND CROSSOVERS
For a movie that takes place in an arcade where game characters can visit each other's worlds, there aren't that many video game character crossovers. And you know what? That's fine.

Some may be disappointed that Wreck-It Ralph isn't littered with character crossovers. I think there's just enough. I'm really glad that Wreck-It Ralph didn't go in the direction that I was fearing -- having crossovers as the meat of the movie instead of the original main characters. If it went that way -- yes, it may still be a good movie... but at that point, the crossovers may be there just for the sake of being there. And then the movie may be watched just for the crossovers, which to me implies a lack of confidence in the integrity of the original characters and story (to keep us interested). The way it is now, the original characters and story shine. Very brightly.

The movie's explanation for some video game technicalities (like how a First-Person Shooter works or what happens when a game is unplugged) is amusing and neat.

My favourite video game crossover moments and references will be listed in the "Spoilers" section.


ANIMATION
The computer animation is awesome. Emotions are displayed on a character's face with subtle yet strong, telling expressions. The characters also move in very telling ways. Even though all the characters are in 3D, one could tell that some of them are from 8-bit era games because of their mannerisms and the way they move. Everything is very smooth and wonderful.

3D VS. NON-3D (THEATRE FORMAT)
So I watched Wreck-It Ralph in theatres two times -- one with 3D glasses; one without. Honestly, there wasn't much difference between them. The characters stand out a bit with 3D glasses, but it's pretty much it. So if you can and want to save a bit of money, watch the non-3D version.


VOICE-ACTING/CHARACTERS
The voice-acting was spectacular. John C. Reilly was great as Ralph. Sarah Silverman was absolutely PERFECT as Vanellope. Silverman's voice fit perfectly with Vanellope's mannerisms and character. Everything was great here.

CHARACTERS
The characters are everything in Wreck-It Ralph. If you don't care about the characters and their struggles, I don't think you would enjoy this movie very much. For having a fairly standard plot, it's the characters and world that would determine its... uniqueness.

Despite being video game characters (who exist to, you know, drive a video game forward), there are moments of character development. In terms of character backstories, they only have what they were programmed with. However, each character has their own "history" -- their memories of their surroundings since the existance of their game world.

My favourite character is Vanellope. She is just adorable. Ralph is a close second. I like that Ralph still has faults. He's not portrayed as a perfect good guy who just got saddled with playing a bad guy role. Ralph tends to break things when he's angry; he can be a little thoughtless, too. And he's a thief. But in the end, he's not such a bad guy.


MUSIC
To be honest, I didn't realize that there was so much music in this movie until I bought the soundtrack and listened to it. I think that says how well the music fit with the movie (very well). The game themes are memorable. The music for those tender or sad moments can move one to tears (at least, they did for me).

Listening to the soundtrack, there are a lot of orchestrated pieces. The theme for Fix-It Felix, Jr. is 8-bit like. The theme for Sugar Rush is bright and poppy... and in Japanese! When I first heard it during the credits, I thought, Wow. Disney's got balls to include a Japanese track as a major theme song. I mean, they didn't have to. They could have just went with a poppy song with English lyrics -- more people would understand the song if they did. But no, they didn't. Simply, I'm impressed.

And just to say, I LOVE the first song that plays in the credits ("When Can I See You Again?"). I think it is the perfect sendoff song when watching it in theatres.


CLOSING THOUGHTS
Wreck-It Ralph is awesome. Watch it. Bring some tissues just in case. ;) I'm going to list my favourite moments in the "Spoilers" section.

Thanks for reading! If you want some more input about something I didn't cover, feel free to ask. :)

Now I'll do the scrolly thing so you don't see the "Spoilers" section right away. Then I'll add some more scrolly things after the "Spoilers" section in case anybody wants to comment, but not see the spoilers.

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SPOILERS

Favourite game crossover moments

- I love the Ryu and Ken moment right when the arcade closes, and Ryu's asking Ken if he wants to go to Tappers. Their gruff voices and their movements are just so hilarious.

- I like it when Ralph's going through the Lost & Found and finds the "!" from Metal Gear Solid. It really makes me wonder how it got there since Metal Gear was never an arcade game (or was it?). I also loved it when Ralph found Zangief's underwear.

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Favourite game references

- The advertising shown in Sugar Rush's world was funny. I didn't realize there was so much until just now. There were... oreos (can anybody tell me where that "O-re-o O-reeeeeeeee-o" came from? I don't remember)... twinkies... mentos.... Nesquik (haha, Nesquik-sand...). The funnier thing is that it makes a lot of sense. Racing games tend to have a lot of product advertisements.

- I liked it when Hero's Duty character said that Sergeant Tamara Jean Calhoun is so intense because she's been programmed with the most horrible backstory. A movie with video game characters poking fun at video games. It's amusing.

- I liked it when Vanellope says she can feel it "in her code" (her driving skills). It's a cute touch.

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Favourite moments

- When Vanellope hugs Ralph at the end and tells him that he could stay in the Sugar Rush world, I thought her expression was so touching. Her voice didn't quiver or anything, but you could see her eyes slightly water, telling us how she really feels. Wow. Just thinking about that scene made a tear fall. Hahaha, I'm such a dork.

- Sergeant Calhoun's flashback with "dynamite gal" is just hilarious.

- Ralph licking Sour Bill and then putting Sour Bill in his mouth was hilarious. Sticking Sour Bill to a lollipop and telling him to "stick around" was great as well.

- I loved the bit where Felix and the Nicelanders were going crazy in their game, looking for Ralph.

- If I remember more, I'll list more favourites crossover/references/moments. :)

If you read my spoilers, thank for reading! Now to finish with more scrolly things. If you disagree with anything or just want to say something, feel free to comment :D

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Sunday, 11 November 2012

BLOG -- My Vacation (Nov.1 - Nov.11)

So, right after Hallowe'en, I started my vacation. This is the first time I've ever taken such a long vacation. More as a reminder to myself in the future, this blog will be a brief recapping of each day.


DAY 1: Thursday, November 1st
I listened to the movie Clueless and then X-Men while scrapbooking. I was listening to those two, 'cuz I was wondering if I should still keep them in my DVD collection (they passed, heh). Scrapbooking is a personal project I started maybe around Grade 10; I wanted to keep a record of my school years -- from Kindergarten all the way to at least the last year of high school. Back then, school was really enjoyable for me. Sometimes, it felt more like home than my actual home.

DAY 2: Friday, November 2nd
I did more scrapbooking while listening to one of my all-time favourite movies: Adaptation. I love that movie to bits. It just has so much insight into Life. And one of my favourite quotes comes from there. Later on, I met up with my sister to shop for Hallowe'en candy. Then we went home and played some more of the PSN game, Tokyo Jungle.

DAY 3: Saturday, November 3rd
I did a bit of shopping with my sister. I'm on a quest for good, casual pants. It sounds easy, but it's not. I'm very picky when it comes buying good, casual pants. When I got home, I watched a pile of episodes from Scrubs. I like that show. It's really funny, and it can be quite touching and sweet sometimes.

DAY 4: Sunday, November 4th
I met up with a friend and we went shopping for a bit. I bought a skirt (why am I buying a skirt in this kind of weather? Lol). Later on, I went to the LCBO and bought a can of Kronenbourg 1664. One of my co-workers recommended that beer so I was curious. I tried it out when I got home. My first reaction was, "Bleh!" After a few more sips, it was fine. I got tipsy, arg.

DAY 5: Monday, November 5th
Around Noon, I went to Mad Batter Bakers and bought a whole bunch of cookies (two bags' worth of cookies). I lugged them home and then I went out again. I was celebrating two of my friends' birthdays today. It was really fun! We're so loud. I ordered a chicken chow mein and a pint of sangria. The chow mein was okay. The sangria was pretty good (I've never had it before).

DAY 6: Tuesday, November 6th
Today, I felt like being a couch potato. I watched parts of God of Gamblers and God of Gamblers 3: The Early Stages (a Chinese movie series) while I was cleaning my messy, messy room. I haven't seen those movies in such a long time. They are kinda cheesy nowadays, but still pretty neat. After that, I met up with my sister and we watched Looper in theatres (finally!). Joseph Gordon-Levitt... wow! What a bada**! *heart heart* I have an issue with Looper, though -- the same kind of issue I have with Terminator.

DAY 7: Wednesday, November 7th
Today I was out of the house since 7 AM. I went to my workplace really early and dropped off some cookies (the ones I bought from Mad Batter Bakers). Some of my co-workers saw me. Then I had breakfast at Fran's. After that, I did a bit of shopping while waiting for my next thing: having lunch with a friend. Then I wandered around different shops while waiting for my thing: going drinking / having dinner with another friend.

That evening was awesome. My friend and I shared a pitcher of sangria. Then at some point, she spiked our drinks with whiskey. Then, we ordered a shot of j├Ągermeister (mixed with cola). The sangria was really good (much better than the one I had on Monday). When I had a sip of the sangria spiked with whiskey, I was hit by its strength. Then I was fine. The j├Ągermeister was really good.

I had a mean headache when I got home. After napping for about an hour and then having a conversation with my sister about random topics, my sister and I finished watching Corpse Princess, an anime series. It had a lot of potential, but kept falling short.

DAY 8: Thursday, November 8th
My paper shredder arrived (I ordered it online a few days ago), yay! I've wanted a paper shredder for years now. Then I went out to do a couple of errands. Then I went home and started cleaning my room (it is such a mess). When my sister got home, we watched two episodes of The Wire (cannot watch too many episodes in one sitting). Then I tried out Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for the PS2. It was meh....

DAY 9: Friday, November 9th
I went out to do a couple of errands. At home, I continued cleaning my room while listening to episodes of Case Closed, this awesome anime series. The English dubbing is pretty good. Then I continued reading a manga series that I have been reading on and off: One Piece. I'm trying to reach chapter 600 so I can play One Piece: Pirate Warriors without being spoiled. I'm currently on chapter 300.

DAY 10: Saturday, November 10th
I stayed at home and cleaned my room. I have too many things!! Arrrrggg! Well... too many things I have yet to experience; books, video games, anime, movies, music... While cleaning, I listened to some more of Case Closed. I also did some household chores.

DAY 11: Sunday, November 11th
Today, I was supposed to meet up with my sister and her fiance to watch Wreck-It-Ralph, but it got cancelled (her fiance wasn't feeling so good). Then, about an hour after the cancellation (I just started playing Tokyo Jungle and listening to Case Closed), my sister called and asked if I still wanted to watch it (her fiance was feeling better). So we rushed to the meeting point and watched it. Wreck-It-Ralph was awesome. I cried so many times while watching it.

Now I'm at home, just finishing up this blog. I foresee myself listening to more episodes of Case Closed while playing some kind of video game.


My vacation was busy, but not that busy at the same time. I still wish I had more time -- there's still so much I want to do. Thanks for reading! :)

Here's a pic of me from my drinking night (with the bar over my eyes, of course):

I like that rosy glow. Can only get that from drinking ;)

Sunday, 4 November 2012

BLOG -- Happy One Year...!

In two days, it will be the first year Anniversary of me blogging here. Yay! Haha, did you think I meant something else?

I'm glad and proud of myself that I actually stuck to it and blogged once a week (I was late a couple of times, but I still blogged). I'm usually horrible when it comes to routine-like activities -- especially when they take a good amount of time (which blogging does for me).

This week, I'm gonna cut it short and celebrate this Anniversary. Haha, I'm just kidding. I'm actually blogging for next week. I'm currently on vacation and I want to briefly recap what I've done each day. This is just a "stay-cation", but I still want to know what I did. Next year, if all goes well, I would really like to take a week or two to Japan.

Now I'm thinking back to all my blog entries (because I am a reflective person, lol). There's so much for me to read in future years. 

Here are some entries that I take a lot of pride in ('cuz I think I wrote them very well) or entries that I had tons of fun writing. I would list more, but I'm in a rush to "celebrate", haha.

Battle Royale movie review  
I think I went into a lot of detail here. I often enjoy re-reading this.

The Hunger Games Trilogy book review 
Same comment as above. I put tons of thought when writing this.

Boxing Week Spoils/Aftermath 
What could be more fun than blogging about a massive shopping week? Haha.

Fan Expo Canada 2012  
Even though I lost a lot of sleep blogging this, I had a lot of fun writing this.

Final Fantasy Symphony
I had a lot of fun blogging about this.

My Birthday week blog  
No s*** I'd have fun blogging about my birthday ;)

Video Game Preferences 
I will probably make another blog like this in the new year (when I get myself all the new handhelds and systems).


Thanks for reading and have a great week! :)