Saturday, January 08, 2005

G2 Con

I was there last Friday and the place seemed spacious, thanks to the fact that there were few people. Most of the stalls comprised of video game retailers and magazines, with the occassional deviant shop. There was also a catering service at one end, and at the other end was a display of cars and motorcycles.

The cosplay was quick and painless, but then again, there were only around two dozen of them (kudos though to one group who tried to come out with all of the Getbackers characters). Perhaps the most striking character in costume that day was the Valkryie from Robotech/Macross. We'll see how thinks will turn out later.

Too Short of a Life

Yesterday was one of those days when the night seemed young, and I just wanted to hang out with my friends (my current gaming group) even though it was already past midnight. But alas, there's always the next day and the day after that, along with all the obligations and responsibilities that come with it. Sometimes, I wish there was no tomorrow, and that time would stand still at that moment; why bother thinking about work the next day when you can have fun today? Even as I woke up this morning I didn't want to get out of bed. True, life has so much to offer, but it also has the possibility of causing disappointment or pain.

But I think the important thing is to continue on since life will always have its ups and downs.

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Thursday, January 06, 2005

Kung Fu Hustle directed by Stephen Chow (movie review)

I like the Chinese movies Stephen Chow stars in (perhaps the most notable one in the Philippines is Shaolin Soccer). Of course there were two things that worried me when I heard about Kung Fu Hustle. One was that Stephen Chow was directing it (well, when actors turn into directors, I have my doubts, although there are obviously people who excel in both). The other was that it was a serious kung-fu comedy. My qualms with the latter was that Chow's previous films weren't serious although they were definitely comedic. Why mess with a tried and tested formula? But the trailer seemed great and I had high hopes for the movie. So once the Manila Film Festival was over and film imports was once again available to the public, the first movie I watched was Kung Fu Hustle. All I can say is that it's the best movie to start off the year!

First, on the comedy-side, Kung Fu Hustle is actually great. Some of the gags remind me of local comedic acts, but unlike Filipino comedy (or even anime/manga-like comedy) wherein the characters laugh or have exagerrated reactions at their own antics, this one goes on without the slighest smirk. It's a serious movie. And it works. It's the best work of Stephen Chow I've seen so far, and what I liked about the film is that there's actually less of Chow and a lot of the screen time is given to his co-actors. Speaking of co-actors, you'll see some familiar faces (from Chow's other movies) but in Kung Fu Hustle, they're taking on different roles in terms of comedy, but just as successful in making us laugh.

As an action-movie, it's also great! The cinematograph is superb and while there are a few subtle CGI scenes, most of it looks like the classic kung-fu movies. There's also a retro-feel at the start and the background music lends to that. Right now, the temptation in most action-movies is to do something like The Matrix. This movie avoids that and shines on its own. If you're a martial arts fanatic, well, can't say there are any new moves in this movie but for me, action movies has always been about style. And Kung Fu Hustle has it in spades. And it can make you laugh as well.

Surprisingly, the romance motif was downplayed in the film, which actually isn't bad. There's also a couple of twists and turns in the movie that make it different from all other martial-art films. To me, Kung Fu Hustle is like an Asian-style Kill Bill with comedy mixed in. It's unique (as a whole), it's fun, and it even has depth. What more can you ask for?

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Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Death and Nostalgia

Perhas one of the surprises today when I opened my email was finding out that legendary/veteran comic creator Will Eisner just died. And at times like these, I can't help but think, which would be more painful? Learning that an aquaintance (not a friend but someone like a relative you never talked to, someone you see at school often, etc.) of yours just died (thankfully not applicable to my situation in the past few months) or someone you looked up to or touched the life of millions (i.e. Christopher Reeve, FPJ, etc.) just passed away?

On something brighter, here's a link to a site that I've been visiting for the past few days. It has most of the songs from your nostalgia days, whether it's Super Robots (i.e. Voltes V, Daimos), Henshin (Masked Rider Black, Masked Rider Ryuki), Tokatsu (Ultraman, Ace, Tiga, Dyna, Gaia), Metal Hero (Shaider), Sentai (Bioman), Mecha (Mospeada, Macross), and even a few anime songs (Shaman King, Captain Tsubasa).

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Monday, January 03, 2005

Last Call for Book Orders

I'll be making my book orders hopefully by this Thursday. Here's your last chance to place any book orders you might have. Tentatively, these are the paperback books I'm ordering (* are conditional book orders) and they'll be arriving hopefully by late February:

Veniss Underground by Jeff VanderMeer

Seduced by Moonlight by Laurell K. Hamilton (do you want a copy Liana?)

Beast of the Heartland by Lucius Shepard

*The Jaguard Hunter by Lucius Shepard

Cobralingus by Jeff Noon

Kirith Kirin by Jim Grimsley and Doug Beakman

*The Chosen by Ricardo Pinto

*Stealing Some Time: Books 1 and 2 by Mark Kendrick

Sojourn 4: The Thief's Tale by Ron Marz

The Black Company by Glen Cook

Shadows Linger by Glen Cook

White Rose by Glen Cook

The Silver Spike by Glen Cook

Soldiers Live by Glen Cook

Shadow Games by Glen Cook

Dreams of Steel by Glen Cook

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New Year's Resolutions

1) Make a new friend every month (or 12 new friends by the end of the year).

2) Exercise for 150 minutes a week (or 30 minutes worth of exercise for five days a week).

3) Read five books a month (or 60 books a year).

4) Put P4,000 ($72.00) into my savings account every month (or P48,000 a year).

5) Learn a new "skill".

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Sunday, January 02, 2005


Hopefully, this year will be full of excitement, discovery, and change. Right now, I'm saying farewell to two of my favorite hangouts. One is CCHQ. The other is Virra Mall. Strange because for the latter, the rumor has been going on for the past four years that Virra Mall would be demolished and renovated. Well, now it's finally happened. Of course by now, I'm not as attached to Virra Mall as I used to be, with my favorite gaming/anime shop up in flames several years ago, and too many pesky porno vendors.

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