Posted by: chenster22 | June 7, 2011

X-Men: First Class review

Question: did you like X-2? I loved X-2 so much I watched the third one at the Cinerama in Seattle and stared aghast at the screen when the torture, I mean, movie was over. I was shocked at how ridiculous the premise, the story, everything. Everything about it sucked. X-3 did to me what Star Wars Episodes I-III (which never happened, in my own warped reality) did to my love of the original trilogy. I still loved X-Men, but X-3 did a good job killing a lot of enthusiasm I had.

I was dragged to see X-Men Origins, but besides Hugh Jackman’s amazing steroid-enhanced physique, it was pretty god-awful as well. A few months back I saw my first teaser trailer for:

It did nothing for me. Seriously, I’m a sucker for good trailers. I’ll watch a movie that will probably suck ass but if the trailer is amazing, I’m way more likely to see it.

The guy from Wanted who could curve bullets is Professor Xavier? Really? Couldn’t they just use Patrick Stewart again and used CGI to make him younger? Granted it seemed like a strategic way to regenerate interest in the X-Men series by rebooting it, but nothing in the trailer stood out to me. Reading more into it as the release date neared, hearing that the director of Kick-Ass (an enjoyable film) was behind the camera swayed me a bit. I went and saw it recently, as I heard a lot of good pre-buzz about it from critics and fans alike.

It was a very fun, good movie to watch. It had the right amount of character development, and the acting by the leads was splendous. It was a little odd seeing Kevin Bacon in it a first, but he walked the thin line between true villain evilness and “Dr. Evil Campy-ness” without crossing into an Austin Powers movie. Professor X was portrayed brilliantly by James McAvoy, with a slight arrogance and great screen presence. Very believable as a younger Professor X.

However, Michael Fassbender stole the show as Magneto. He commanded every scene he was in. His haunting, dark performance fully fleshed out the complex character that is Magneto and made him sympathetic to the audience. The beer scene (my favorite scene) was up there with Joker’s pencil trick in ‘The Dark Knight’ in terms of reaching boss level status and absolute bad-assery. It definitely induced a few hoots and hollers as well as “oh snap!” comments from the audience. (Yes, I’m a sick bastard that likes to cheer for villains in movies… sue me.) Fassbender was able to portray Magneto as the tragic villain that he is.

I don’t want to say too much to give things away, but I highly recommend this film. It’s brilliantly paced, well acted, and most importantly (while we go through a summer of CGI-Infested films) it made you care what happens to the characters in the film. This is one of the aspects of film that’s hard to juggle when our minds can easily tell something is fake and computer generated, and lose human interest in what’s going on. That is the point of movies: to feel, and escape reality and enjoy a tale told through moving pictures.

4.5 out of 5 Stars

I will eventually come up with a spiffy rating system, but for now, stars will do.

Posted by: chenster22 | January 22, 2010

my heart breaks

a friend has passed on to see her Father in heaven. a friend i last saw randomly at urbana 06. she had her smile which would light up any room, that calm gentleness and kindness to make anyone uncomfortable.

i went to her with my insecurities, the ditches along the way with my walk with God. she was willing to listen to me when i had pressing issues to talk about, when i hurt deeply.

words cannot begin to say how good a friend she was to me. she didn’t have to be there for me. i didn’t deserve such a good friend, i thought. my own insecurities made me feel like i wasn’t worthy of being her friend.

but no, she brought me up when i was down. encouraged me when i felt i couldn’t go on. i am saddened and broken hearted for allison, daniel, trevor, and her parents scott and leslie. i cannot fathom their anguish right now.

and yet i haven’t been able to fully process this. i’m still in a state of shock, a dream-like state. all i can think of is her family and her close friends. what i’m feeling is nothing compared to theirs.

for now, all i can say is everyone that’s met you will miss you dearly. may angels lead you in. may you enjoy our heavenly father forever. you left us far too early.

i’ll miss you, aimee.

Posted by: chenster22 | May 8, 2009

somewhere in between

i’m about to fly to louisiana tomorrow to go to a wedding of a high school friend. brings back a lot of memories. as well as evoking a lot of emotions. i haven’t seen a lot of the people i’m about to meet in about six years. i know the feelings of bitterness i’ve chosen to keep safe and locked away towards the high school times.

despite those emotions, i know what i felt during high school was real. the joy and the fellowship i had with these friends. as i’ve grown and matured, i feel like i’m entering a time machine to meet my friends at a point where i was back in high school. i’m meeting them at a place where they don’t know where i’m at, and i don’t know where they’re at due to lack of contact. and that’s nobodies’ fault;  i know leaving high school that we’d all be scattered around the US and around the world. i moved on. i enjoyed high school but i’ve grown up and learned a lot about myself as well as what went on in me during my high school days.

i feel like i’m just rambling. i’m anxious about this weekend. i’m very very anxious. but i’m also undeniably excited to see some old acquiantances.

Posted by: chenster22 | April 20, 2009

falling away.

i feel like i’m falling away from Him.

i feel like i don’t care anymore. i want to hear His voice but i’m too busy or stubborn to hear Him out.like i’m adequate to live this life without time spent with Him. like i’m self sufficient. such selfish words.

i do have past hurts and recent hurts, but are those reason enough to not engage in relationship with Him? people fail you all the time. no matter how good their intentions are, you will get hurt by them. why do i continually fall in this trap and am so naive to think something else will be different and for the better?

my views on everything has changed since high school and even since college. i can’t believe it’s been almost two hours since i took my last college course. i do miss it. i do miss the community in school. i have grown so jaded to worship music that i find it so hard to find Him even in songs i do enjoy.

today i gave Him another chance. no, not at church but at a worship practice. i searched for Him. desperately. my soul has been so empty and filled with fleshly desires.

i decided to look behind the repetitive, structured lyrics in songs. i needed to get past my own stubbornness and let His Spirit do the talking. this sick cycle wasn’t getting anywhere. it was tearing me apart. it gave me excuse after excuse to become melancholic and apathetic.

i felt that joy. it wasn’t just a feeling, it was me receiving, undeservedly, another second chance after second chance. it was me receiving His unlimited love that i do not deserve at all. even in all my self loathing and need for love, why is it so hard to accept?

please forgive me, Father.

Oh great and mighty one
With one desire we come
That you would reign that you would reign in us
We’re offering up our lives
A living sacrifice
That you would reign that you would reign in us

Posted by: chenster22 | December 12, 2008

that damn cat

i know it should be that darn cat.

damn doesn’t begin to describe so i’ll rant a bit.

so this weird door to door salesman came by today and i opened up the door, and talked to him, and closed it. surely my cat couldn’t have run outside during those two or three seconds, could she?

well i went back to work in my room, i noticed… i haven’t heard from her. i leave my door open so she can roam around the house. my roommate came home, and i asked if he’d seen my cat. we did a full sweep of the house, every corner, every room. every couch. nope, nothing.

mind y0u, it’s rainy, dark, and probably 30s outside. and my cat is black. doesn’t help the sitaution much. my roommate first went out cause i had to go back to work. i said a small prayer, realizing He’s in control in the midst of my frustration, anger, and urge to commit feline-icide if i find her.

i get a phone call a minute later and he said he found her wandering around the bushes in front of our house. it took a good 10-15 minutes of chasing her and baiting her as well as using flashlights to finally forcefully get her in the house.

that. damn. cat.

Posted by: chenster22 | October 10, 2008

“Flied lice? It’s fried rice, you plick.”

I remember watching Lethal Weapon 4 in Taiwan with my dad (one of the first R rated movies I’ve seen… yes I was quite sheltered prior to ’98) and getting so excited to see Jet Li in his first US film. I know he was a villain but I came out of the movie feeling we got jipped cause in real life he would have beaten the living @#%$ out of Mr. Gibson and Mr. Glover.

Mr. Benny was a memorable character in that movie, with a hilarious restaurant scene and even more hilarious dentist scene where everyone was getting high off the laughing gas.

Sadly, Kim Chan, the actor passed away Sunday. He also had roles in Shanghai Knight and The Fifth Element. RIP.

http://www.imdb.com/news/ni0581661/

Posted by: chenster22 | October 1, 2008

Nausicaa

i find it fascinating how the human mind works. as a kid, when you watch a movie or experience something and it sticks to your brain, you can’t let go of it. and you’ll never know what simple stimuli can transport you back. and just a simple “oh i remember this.” the feelings associated with it, the smell, the fear… i’ve been taking trips down memory lane by watching old animes i watched as a kid. first it was totoro, now it’s nausicaa of the valley of the wind.

has anyone else seen this movie before?

now…. i do remember watching this movie when i was 8 or 9… but i don’t remember all of it. there are several scenes that… strike me and that i can’t escape. so when i watched this last night, i was overcome with nostalgia and scenes that i barely remembered were right in front of me for me to experience all over again.

i always vaguely knew there were these giant bugs and there was this girl on a glider. i also remembered that it wasn’t exactly the happiest of movies. after watching it again after 14, 15 years… it’s not a happy movie. the movie beautifully portrays a bleak world many years from now affected by immense pollution, where characters have to wear masks to breath the air in certain places. and there’s also oversized bugs and insects everywhere. it’s like wall-e except… darker.

i’m a little puzzled at the pg rating, for there is a fair amount of violence in it. i also figured out why i’m so sensitive to blade/knives/cutting/katana/samurai sword violence in film/animation. i honestly believe it stems to this one scene. a scene i have forgotten about but just completely caught me off guard when i was watching the movie. in the movie, the princess is attacking several enemies with a sword and as she’s going in for a kill, the top swordsman in her village steps in front of her and uses his left arm to shield her sword from the soldier. the sword cuts into the man’s glove right below his hand… and you see blood flowing and dripping to the ground.

yeah. i think that traumatized me well when i was 8 or 9. great. but watching it again also reiterated why it made such an impact on me as a kid.

anyways… hayao miyazaki is one of the great directors that many american audiences haven’t had a chance to experience, minus spirited away and possibly princess mononoke. his movies show his love for nature and the struggle between that and mankind’s destruction of it.

nausicaa was made in 1984, but only a few scenes look dated. it’s a beautiful, mesmerizing fantasy/sci fi film with an incredibly haunting score. here’s a scene in the movie where the princess is able to read and feel the ohmu’s (giant bug’s) emotions. the kid’s voice singing la la la… gets me everytime.

Posted by: chenster22 | September 9, 2008

so… bill simmons admits a bit of karma

“Really, it wasn’t exciting enough for a diary. I was catatonic for about 20 minutes. I called my dad a few times. I thought about the bad karma from last season and all those Eff-You TDs that apparently came back to haunt the Pats.”

- bill simmons, responding to an email about what went through his mind as brady went down

i don’t root for injury. i just respond to it. and in this case, it’s karma for brady and the cheatin’ patsies. belichik’s gonna buy some more sony video cameras from best buy this weekend and put them to good use.

Posted by: chenster22 | August 23, 2008

deception

to be honest, i haven’t been able to fully worship to christian music for a while now. i’ve always wondered why i have taken this gradual closing of my heart to worship music instead of opening up to it. have i grown jaded? is something wrong with me, internally?

i’ve noticed that when i worshipped, the main parts of the song itself that touched me where the musical parts. how the rhythm was, the chords that were placed, the crescendos… yes, yes, they are all wonderful. but they were pleasing to my ear, and sometimes i would be afraid that i’d deceived my spirit by falling in love with the tune rather than the spirit behind the song, rather than the words in the song which should have meaning. i could make a lovely medley and have completely shallow words that are repetitive, which i feel a lot of contemporary christian music has become recently.

it’s also for this reason i’ve been listening to hymns a lot more, because (this is my own bias, can be unfounded) i feel a lot of the hit songs have pop-quality tunes to them, meaning they’re catchy and sound good. it’s impossible to look at every song and determine whether they were written to sell cd’s or to worship god. i can’t get over that. i know if they have good words behind them plus the melody, and someone is able to worship to just straight instrumental music, but i’m still wrestling with that.

now i’m highly disturbed and angry when i read this:

Pastor Michael Guglielmucci spun gospel of lies

@$^&$@!!! he sang with a breathing tube up his nose during a concert? wow. this is the danger of worship. this is the danger of popular music turned worship, and again, the temptation of being a christian celebrity (see Pastor Eugene’s post here, where i found out about this). while i myself never heard the song before today, my heart goes out to those who loved this song and have had this song impact them, and pray for their reconiliation with pastor guglielmucci. it pains me and angers me that this happens, although it doesn’t surprise me. afterall, we’re all human. all it takes “is a little push.”

yes, we should forgive him. i’ve forgiven him, but i’m still frustrated and angry at the fact that he had deceived so many with his act and song. again, i need to look to God for my only source of hope. we live in a society where celebrities are worshipped and looked up to. it’s the same way as christians. i hope i can get to the point where i can freely worship again.

Posted by: chenster22 | August 20, 2008

me chinese me play joke…

don’t know how many times i heard that growing up. and each time people would laugh. someone even wrote it in my yearbook. i was probably one of four asians in the class in fourth or fifth grade. it was also usually during recess when the teacher wasn’t around so they wouldn’t get caught.

i remember watching this segment a couple of years ago on sportscenter, and it rings true even to today. europe is incredibly far behind, and it’s disgusting how low people can reach just because someone looks different from you. you do those monkey chants at a rockets game, and artest won’t be the only one going into the stands.

the spain basketball/tennis and now argentinian soccer team members should be ashamed of themselves. out of curiosity, i did a search on “spain slant eye” on google, and the only news stories were the ones that first came out, a couple of editorials, and a mention that this is picking up steam in the blogosphere. too bad china doesn’t see the big deal in it (they don’t want any further conflicts since they’re the host) and there won’t be that big a major outcry. that’s also because if you’re a white person in china and do the slant eye thing, well… you’ll be outnumbered 1,299,999,999 to 1.

anyways, i was glad espn did a report on that. amazing how even the best soccer players, when they’re not white, can still get ridiculed. spain does not deserve an olympic bid. ever.

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