28 June 2010

A Passive Art

Normally Monday is my least favorite day of the week, but now I am sure it will be Wednesday this time. Sure it's the middle of the week then, but this time, it'll be my last day in my home until late July. Dear reader(s), if you exist, I am excited to say I will be in Europe with a group of kids my age for 21 days! However, i will have no ability to have access to my blog and the internet in general. No cell phones, no laptops, no smart phones, no Jesus Tablets (aka, the iPad). But I keep my iPod! Yay! :) I will have a journal to write down what I will be experiencing there. But perhaps the free space will be used for ideas to write about when I come back. My mind is as restless as ever, but I have no will to write things down. What kind of artist am I?

As of now, I know I'm more of a critic than an artist. Isn't it easier to point out the flaws in something than it is to actually attempt to create the same product? I can diss Splice as much as I want from the last entry, but writing a better story, playing one of the characters, or directing the film is something I'd never have the stimulus to even make a simple effort. Perhaps this part of the logic behind why people find it pointless to "hate" something. You know you can't do the same thing as good; therefore, you are just hiding your jealousy and denying it.

This is one of the many techniques some people use to defend the very thing they cherish as fans. But they can go so far as to not only defend it; they attack those who have anything less than appreciative from others. As common as these people are, really, most of them aren't very overbearing about it. Some genuinely don't understand why something can be disliked and can be offended by that fact. Some misunderstand what the "hater" is stating in his opinion, and they will snap back, assuming the original comment was very offensive. And there are some who just don't have anything to say but say "can you please stop being so mean," when clearly the "hater" isn't.

But my favorite fans are the zealous ones, who blow up and use any method to scare or harm you. These people tend to be single-minded and can often be seen as ignorant. Don't get me wrong, I do not hate these type of people, dear readers! However, if one goes at me for no reason and with not even an ounce of integrity, I lose respect for him or her. Anyone else would do so, right?

Sometimes I sound like a formal, indifferent person when I present my views (this applies more online), but I do my best to hold some regard for others, no matter how radical. Sadly, I am known for my having strong opinions and having a blunt nature; these two make a nasty pair when I express myself. However, I'm not one to offend someone and ignore it. Oftentimes I do apologize if I confuse someone or say something out of line. Other times, although rare, I don't hold back when I say someone is downright rude, immature, or just running in circles with his/her points in an argument.

For the opinionated me with strong opinions, perhaps the art I am working on is that of debate. Since I'm a fairly quiet, nervous person, actually reaching out and doing something without thinking is not for me. In that regard, the military and other forms of service are not on my alley. Those kinds of jobs require hard work and determination for a cause for the betterment of the world. If I wasn't so disorganized, lazy, and hesitant, perhaps I might have the momentum to turn off my computer, get dressed, and drive over to the local soup kitchen. Really, I'm not that person. Since barking comes easier to me than biting, I might as well make enough use for it so I can make a difference. Writing and having strong convictions are my virtues, and can be used for the better. They can be used well if time, research, effort, and motivation are key factors. Thankfully, if it's something I enjoy, I love to research both the black and white sides of something. It feeds my brain so it can do its work and give me something worthwhile to say. Telling people the facts and encouraging them to work things out to solve problems. See, barking does have its uses!

Maybe that's my dream career: to examine a concept or issue in many ways possible; appreciate both sides; logically pointing towards one over the other with reason; encourage others to help resolve the issue; and shed light on something that one might not have ever known. Traveling can help with that by seeing the world in different places and varying perspectives. Writing everything I have learned and turn it into a speech or a book can make the information known. Debating reveals what I know and what I don't know from being with other people. This sounds pretty fun... but that sounds like a job for a politician. Oh, no!

But being in politics might not bas as bad as being in the media (although the line continues to blur). The last thing I want is to write for a senseless rag controlled by the paparazzi. I would rather be an international ambassador trying to seek a peace treaty with a Middle Eastern country than write about Lindsay Lohan's millionth time in jail for spinning her car for fun in the middle of a major highway while drunk. What will be more likely to start World War 3: the Middle East or Lindsay Lohan?
(If you picked the latter... *shakes head*)

This entry is quite disorganized! I guess I needed a bit of a rant this week from all the stress of my trip. Since I'm leaving this Thursday, this will be the last entry until late July. Maybe I'll post a picture of where I was when I get back. Depending on what it is, I might ramble about something I always wanted to write something about. For now, I'll stay silent. If my experience in Europe is as beautiful and amazing as I think it will be (or even better), maybe I'll write about it. My only hint will be this lyrical excerpt from a John Mayer song:

"I'm writing you
To catch you up on places I've been
You held this letter, probably got excited
But there's nothing else inside it

Didn't have a camera by my side this time
Hoping that I would see the world through both my eyes
Maybe I would tell you all about it
When I'm in the mood
To lose my way
With words"

That is my only hint. I will remain silent. Until I return, take care of yourselves! Fangirl's Asylum will be open only for those who are interested in the notes the patient has left behind. And this time, you are free to leave without much difficulty until I return...

20 June 2010

Want 'Splice' in Your Life? Don't Bother: It's Not Worth It.

My life as been very hectic lately, and I regrettably am neglecting my blog. For this, I am very sorry. Gomenasai. :'(

The other week, I posted an entry that talked a bit about a movie called "Surrogates." I didn't get into much detail, but it was part of a long entry of me typing random things at the top of my head. This time, I want to make a semi-lengthy review of a movie I saw just yesterday.

My cousin was over for the day and she, my parents, and I went out to eat lunch. We are fairly close and it was nice to catch up, even though the last time we saw her was in April. As we finished up our meal, we discussed what movie we wanted to see. I had nothing in mind because I was not interested in anything after seeing Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. Nothing else looked good. My cousin already saw The A-Team, so that was a no. My dad proposed Karate Kid, and we all agreed until we saw that we'd have to wait a while for the next showing. So, the only movie we could see that we could catch was Splice.

At that moment, I remembered watching movie critics on Youtube (The Schmoes and JeremyJahns to be exact) and what they had to say about the recent movies. I heard from them that Slice was a bad movie overall. Jeremy did not recommend it, and the Schomes said to check it out and say if you agree with the critics. After I read that the movie received positive reviews, something told me that they would be wrong. Seriously, if those "critical" people claim Lady GaGa is the best and Robert Pattinson is sexy, I have every reason to guess that they might be sheltered and ignorant.

I didn't say a thing about it to my parents and cousin, so we all went to the theater and saw the movie. One hour and forty-four minutes later, I came back with a blank mind. ... Ladies and gentlemen, I forgot how to form an opinion from the moment the film ended to when we finally got home. And by that time, I forgot 75% of the movie's content except the last twenty or so minutes of it. All I can say is this: if Jurassic Park was Jesus Christ then Splice was Lucifer.

This movie had a great premise, and good head-start into being an enjoyable story with interesting characters. But really, it feel flat on its face in the most disappointing way possible. This film has to be the Twilight of all science fiction: characters with poor interaction, poor sense of logic and morals; a dark mood that was so well done that everything failed to meet up to it; and a very small, unconnected world. I felt as if nothing mattered in the whole story but the two scientists, Clive and Elsa, flirting every five minutes and having the common senses of Romeo and Juliet: they had none. And the mutant, Dren. Don't get me started with IT.

WARNING: There may be spoilers!

How about I start with the plot overall. As I said the premise was a great one: What would happen when you slice parts of DNA from animals and humans? If I made the movie, I would have added 'Is it moral?', but clearly this film did not consider it. Splice showed everything that could happen: you have a new idea; your company refuses to help you; you make the idea happen illegally; the idea works; you hide the idea; someone finds out; and shit happens. The last twenty minutes of the film was so full of disgusting cliches and predictability that my experience was ruined. It was also full of too much information. I might be 16 and okay with Rated R movies, but the scenes I saw were just not needed.

Basic enough, right? It could have worked if there was a smart or wise character who is the voice of reason, brings ethics on the table, and argues it throughout. Sadly, there are only six characters in this story. SIX. Two of them are stupid, one is distant, one is a mutant, and two are business people and are irrelevant. Who would be the reasonable one? Maybe the distant one, Clive's younger brother, but he gets about twenty minutes of screen time overall before he is killed. The business people get even LESS time than the brother, so they aren't candidates either. Clive and Elsa are too blindly in love to even consider logic, and how can Dren tell us in the beginning that creating itself was a bad idea?

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what I had to endure for 104 minutes.

When it comes to deciding how much I like a movie or story, I need to find the plot interesting and the characters likable. Splice had unlikeable characters and poor development along with the failed ultimate twist at the end. I could only like Clive because the man who played him, Adrien Brody, was the only one who acted well. Clive could have been the reasonable one, the potential was there, but he couldn't stand up to his selfish, headstrong girlfriend. He was the most human character in the story, who had to face the mutant Dren and mutant-brained Elsa. Really, I could not stand Elsa because she was too much like the Bella Swan of Breaking Dawn. Too single-minded, too headstrong, and not having any touch of reality. I felt bad that Clive had her for a girlfriend. And what pissed me off the most was that she remained unchanged from beginning to end.

Speaking of which, the character "development" in this movie was laughable. For most of the film, Clive hated Dren and Elsa loved Dren like a mother. Then when most of the movie was over, the feelings reversed, and reversed back to before when the movie started to go down the toilet! But when I think of it now, Clive's was more natural; everyone can change over time. Elsa's was just so radical for almost no reason.

Also, I didn't understand why the filmmakers showed us glimpses into Elsa's childhood, but never got into specifics. All we ever got was that she was abused by her mother. What kind is unknown, and how long it happened is unknown. My question is, why bother to mention a character's aspect and leave it hanging? You people could have cut out all those sex scenes and actually NOT leave plot holes everywhere!

Ah, yes. Those sex scenes made me lose it. Why do you have to add sex to make an impact? From the commercials and adds, Splice is supposed to be a horror film, not Sex and the City meets Jurassic Park with Down Syndrome! Add more scares and not lovemaking on a couch or out on the snowy ground! Saying Splice is a horror film is like saying The Notebook is a tragedy.

Splice is rated R for "horror violence, language, and some sexuality." I would rate it R for "some violence, language, sexuality, rape, and whatever you can call 'sexual attraction for creatures not-quite human or animal'." Most of this stuff happens near the end of the film, and if I could add "stupidity" to the rating, that would make my day.

I should have listened to JeremyJahns and the Schmoes; they were right. This movie is horrible and I cannot comprehend how it received a 74% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes! Splice was a waste of 30 million dollars to make, and I cannot believe it ever receiving ANY awards this year (except maybe Adrien Brody, the only good actor in this film). I have to give this film a 3/10; it had so much potential, but it ultimately fell flat on its face for preferring sex, shallow relationships, plot holes, and other Twilight-esque materials rather than common sense, logic, ethics, and talent.

Without further adieu, please, wait until it is released on DVD so you can rent it. Otherwise, please avoid this movie.

Unlike me, my cousin and my parents liked the movie. I have nothing against anyone who has seen the movie and likes it. But please tell me why you liked it.

Anywho, now that this is done, I will not think of this film ever again. Excuse me as I listen to some Cradle of Filth so I can rid myself of the filth Splice left behind.

04 June 2010


I can't believe I missed two weeks! But school is finally over for me and I might be able to catch up!

This time I finally have something to write about... but I can't think of a title! Everything I could think of only brought some form of negative, saddening feeling that can make the heart heavy. But a pessimist who depresses people via a blog is not my intention despite the fact that I'm a pro at being negatively realistic (which my friends call me out on all the time). Sometimes, I'm just a bit sentimental, and I can't help it. One reason why this might be is because I tend to drift off into my imagination, or memories, and leave the real world behind. Being an only child and being able to know how to amuse yourself can often lead me into having nostalgic feelings.

Now on to what I want to talk about.

Right across the street from my school, there is a family whose kids I babysit about twice a week. I'd go over after school, keep an eye on the two boys (a seven-year-old and a four-year-old), have free dinner, and get paid. They are very nice people (but the boys... are boys), and I enjoy my "job" very much. But anyway, they live in an older neighborhood, where the many trees are tall and old, the houses are were built in the 60's or so... I think. They have a big backyard with a nice deck, a vegetable garden, a hammock, and a swing set. Before I continue, I will say that as much as I prefer being indoors and that I hate the ungodly humid summers of the East coast, I love swings. Back many houses ago, my parents and I lived in a townhouse in Maryland. We only lived there about three years, but, I vividly remember that the community had an open field, where dad and I played catch once, and a nice sized playground. And what is a playground incomplete without? Swings.

Last Thursday, the boys were very irritable and they were separately playing with their toys. I decided to spend some time outside, and I sat on a swing and started to move. It must have been a little past five o'clock because the green grass and tree leaves gave off a soft yellow-orange glow. It wasn't sunset, but that golden radiance from the sun's shining on the earth gave the budding sensation of the end of day. The sun's kissing on my side of the world goodnight to sing morning cheer to the other side. From light to dark. From yang to yin.

I suddenly remembered my afternoons at the playground when I was younger. Maybe it was because I was swinging, or maybe it was because it was a late afternoon. The most vivid memories of the playground all seemed to occur in late afternoon, when the world grew golden-orange. I also remember seeing my shadow in front of me, which is no nowhere as small as it used to be.

Remembering the past, my swings slowed down to sways as I meditated to myself and took in the environment. Nostalgia filled me up, and suddenly a few songs I know were stuck in my head. They didn't seem to help me feel better, but they made the scene more beautiful and more poetic to fit the mood. One of the songs was "Field of Innocence" by Evanescence; "I still remember the sun always warm on my back, somehow it seems colder now" spoke the most to me. Even now, I still miss going to the park with my parents and having them push me as high as I wanted. Time didn't matter, school didn't matter, college was still many years away, and I was still happy, smiling, and naive.

I don't think there was ever a time when I wanted to stop swinging; it was my endless entertainment.

The other song that was stuck in my head was "Circle of Fear" by HIM. Part of this might have been because the color of the sun's glow reminded me of the gold heartagram on the over of the album which the song is a part of. No lines stuck out, but it was the instrumental introduction that fed my nostalgia. The guitars and keyboard in the song brought a sense of being stuck in some form of an intricate design that you can't see, but you understand what it is. It's not like a trap, but it's more of a state of mixed and intertwined emotions that you can't seem to separate. It's frustrating and confusing, and it can be saddening. Despite that, I find it beautiful. I might go into this later, but I'm just rambling.

"Circle of Fear" might have brought out as many emotions as the swing did. As I just finished half of my high school career, I feel caught up in an emotional hurricane. I feel as if my childhood is ending; most of my favorite TV shows are either off-air or no longer have new episodes, I get letters from colleges all the time, several of my friends have had at least one boyfriend, and time just won't slow down anymore. I'm still shocked that my huge discovery in my music taste was three-and-a-half years ago! And it doesn't help that I'm still a serious person, a wallflower, and a pessimist; sometimes I think I missed out on too much fun, especially with friends. It seems that Harry Potter, music, Naruto, my HIM fan merchandise, and my family and friends might be the only connections to my childhood that will survive.

I'm sorry if I cannot fully explain myself, but that might prove as to how far out in La-La Land I was. It's not a bad thing and we all need it every now and then. Maybe this further proves I'm insane. But I take it as a compliment! I love to daydream, and listening to music is one of the biggest keys to unlocking the door to my imagination (the other is solitude in a small, healthy dose.) It's only a shame I have so much inside but I don't know the best way to express myself. Writing helps, but I never receive much praise in return. It's nice when family and friends do so, but I can't help to think they only do that because they support me and love to watch me grow. But I need some constructive criticism every now and then! I might not feel happy at first, but in the end, I'll learn how to better my art.

Until I find the medium between thought ideas and the final project, I guess I'll continue to be a hopeless dreamer. At least with having thoughts and feelings of good and bad, happiness and sadness, my imagination will be well-rounded and balanced. Nostalgia might heavy my heart, but I have things and people that I love in the present bring light and happiness.

Maybe I'm not such a huge pessimist after all.
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