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Thursday, September 30, 2004

THIS SITE HAS EXCEEDED ITS MONTHLY TRANSFER LIMIT. PLEASE RETURN AGAIN LATER! In case some of you are actually clicking on the links at the top of this page (or at least the 3 links that are visible. Thank you very much, Blogger) to go to my main website, you'll have to wait till 11:00 PM (um, Pacific Standard Time) pretty much each day to be able to gain access to my site. Ever since March, my site has quickly been exceeding its bandwidth limit...making it unavailable for pretty much the whole day. WHEN will I fix that problem, you say? I dunno... Not for quite a while. As to why my site has been exceeding its bandwidth limit, it is because of my Artwork and Autographs section. Type in Spawn, Batman, Spider-Man, The Matrix, Predator, Darth Maul, Eric Gagne, Jasmine Mai, Francine Dee, Alley Baggett, Aubreylyn (or pretty much the name of ANY well-known import model!), Vladimir Guerrero, Derek Fisher, Rick Fox or even Greg Foster as a keyword on Google, and chances are you'll stumble upon the links to those and other sections on my page. Anyways, that's all. Sorry for the inconvenience. Fortunately, Blogger doesn't have the same problem! Um, yet. Here's a random quote:

"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn't exist."
-Kevin Spacey from The Usual Suspects (Great film!)

EDIT: Hmm... As of this writing (12:12 AM, PST), my main website is still down. Well, I guess that means you can ignore pretty much everything I wrote in the post above. Oh well. This entry was originally posted up about a week ago... I just felt like re-posting it to remind you guys of the situation with my Crosswinds site. Maybe I should've checked to see if my pages were up and running after 11:00 PM before I uploaded this message again, hahaha.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Here's something to piss you off...if you're cat lovers. Someone posted this up on an online message board. It doesn't get any more tasteless than this, hahaha.

Free cat, hahaha

Friday, September 24, 2004

A random tidbit: I think the one parent whose personality traits mine are similar to is my mom. Which, um, kinda sucks. Though the quick-to-anger trait and loud voice is definitely from my dad.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

You know I need to put more effort into sending out job resumes when I was able to spend the whole day yesterday watching ALL 4 discs of the Star Wars DVD set. Combined, the DVD set and the new Battlefront video game earned around $115 million in sales on Tuesday. ONLY $115 million?? I guess the movie series just isn't that popular anymore. Hahahahaha.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

The REAL Emperor Palpatine

Well, since today is the release date of the most anticipated DVD set ever, I just felt like doing something extremely geeky and posting up screenshots from all of the Original Star War Trilogy DVDs. If you’ve never seen any of the films before (no matter how good The Lord of the Rings trilogy is, it is no where as iconic as the Original Trilogy), then you’ll no doubt be confused and ask “What the hell are these?” to the images below. The first montage of photos is from A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. The second montage includes images from Return of the Jedi. And of course, the third montage includes images from all 3 films. These images should pretty much answer a very lame question one of my friends (who's never seen any of the 3 films) asked me a long time ago: Are the original Star Wars films in black & white?

...



Eww.

FIRST OF ALL...What does the average person who's never seen a black & white movie before have AGAINST black & white films? What-- 'Cause they're OLD?? Whatever. You're not gonna become blind or suffer a heart attack (or turn gay, but I don't want to go there since that statement's politically incorrect, haha) or anything if you watched a film with no color. Again, whatever!

Disgruntled Citizen Kane

What was I talking about again? OH YES...that facetious question about the Original Trilogy being shot in black & white. If the NEW FILMS are in color, HELL--not only in color but shot IN DIGITAL [with a High Definition (24P, or Perfs) camera provided by Sony and modified by Panavision...but the average Joe or Jane obviously wouldn't know that...'cause he or she is average. Just kidding, heheh.], what makes you FREAKIN' think the old films would be in black & white??? Then again, some people were crazy enough to think the prequels were remakes of the old films, and that Jake Lloyd was a young Luke Skywalker in The Phantom Menace. Boneheads.

BELOW: Look-- They're in COLOR! (No wait, they always were!)

“Screenshots
“Screenshots
“Screenshots

Anakin Skywalker: Mr. Badass. These behind-the-scene shots below are from The Return of Darth Vader featurette on Disc 4 of the DVD set. As you can see, Hayden Christensen is pretty much gonna spend the most of next year’s Revenge of the Sith looking all pissed and homicidal with his lightsaber. From a fan’s standpoint, can’t wait! ... What? You don’t expect someone who acts like Corky Romano or Screech to become Vader, do you?

“Screenshots
Hooded Anakin

Monday, September 20, 2004

Fullscreen is for monkeys. I don’t even know why people continue to buy this butchered version of a film on VHS and DVDs. What— Is it because in widescreen versions you obviously have the two matte lines at the top and bottom of the movie frame? Well BOOHOO, you’re breaking my heart. "Hey, I don’t want the widescreen version of The Passion of the Christ... Those two black bars are on the screen!" Loser. People who prefer the fullscreen version of a film (A.K.A. the film with a 1.33:1 aspect ratio format...A.K.A. "pan-and-scan") over widescreen are just as lame as people who don’t like black & white films ‘cause they’re “old” (more on this diatribe tomorrow). Think about it… What would you rather have…the two matte lines on the TV screen or an image that is only half the size of what is on the original theatrical version? I prefer the two matte lines on the screen anyday. Now, if the reason why you’re holding off on buying widescreen-formatted films is because you want to buy that nice-ass, WAY-expensive High Definition 16:9 Widecreen TV from Best Buy first, then that’s different! As long as you let the fullscreen version go the way of…um, I dunno, all those species of insects in the burning Brazilian rain forest (8-track tapes and the Dodo bird are clich├ęs), then it’s all good. If you wanna see a pan-and-scan film, watch a broadcast of it on network television!

Widescreen RULES.
(Images courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox)

Now, what got me to dislike the 1.33:1 aspect ratio in the first place was me buying the fullscreen VHS version of the film Independence Day (above) in November of 1996. I showed my dad the movie when he got back home from work, and while watching it, I noticed that he wasn’t as into the film as I thought he would be. Of course, it may have obviously been that ID4 is a big pile of sci-fi crap (though I still enjoy the film), but I also attributed it to the fact the full splendor of the images (especially during the action sequences) wasn’t showing on the TV screen. From there on out, I vowed that every film I bought would be in widescreen. Of course (I like saying that), I didn’t really practice this till I began buying DVDs. I bought Gladiator and Saving Private Ryan in their fullscreen incarnation on VHS…and I, um, cough-cough (how ‘bout them USC Trojans?), bought Titanic in fullscreen VHS as well. Of course, James Cameron is a genius in the sole fact that the way he framed the images during filming actually allowed everything that you see in the widescreen version of the movie to be visible in the fullscreen version AS WELL. If you’re watching the fullscreen version of Titanic, you’ll notice that there’s considerable empty space at the top and bottom of the images, and that’s because those spaces were matted off (a.k.a. covered by the two black bars) for the theatrical release! Pure genius, Cameron!!

Titanic comparison shots.
(Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox and Paramount)

Anyways, where was I? Oh yes… Fullscreen SUCKS. I urge my readers out there (ALL 10 of you. Just kidding… Look at the hit counter at the bottom of this page, haha) to forsake the ghetto “This film has been formatted to fit your TV screen” version and go with the “So what do you prefer? The 1.85:1 or the 2.35:1 aspect ratio?” version. Me? I prefer 2.35:1. But I shot my short films The Broken Table and Envious in 1.85:1, haha. Oh, and using the Final Cut Pro editing software program, I matted my first student film, a BLACK & WHITE cinematography project (creatively titled Cinematography Project), with BOTH 1.85:1 AND 2.35:1 matte bars. It’s SO COOL that that film, which was shot in fullscreen, was framed well enough for the other two aspect ratios to be compatible! Parno rules!! Just kidding. That is all.

Dumb & Dumber.Dumb & Dumber.
Dumb & Dumber: One of only a few films enjoyable in both the fullscreen and widescreen formats!

(Images courtesy of New Line Cinema)

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow... Yesterday, I watched that film at Paramount Studios (my friend who works there was able to get me in for free). Fun movie. The visuals were really great, and it was obviously clear that Writer-Director Kerry Conran was inspired by 1930s and 1940s adventure films and comic strip serials up the wazoo. On the other hand, however, I don't know if I would wanna see it again--at least in the theater. As I said, the visuals were really great. Maybe TOO great. I would mention plot, but I'd only be pointing that out 'cause movie critic Kenneth Turan pointed that out in his Los Angeles Times review yesterday. Hell, I watched Pearl Harbor TWICE at the theaters in 2001...obviously I don't mind watching a film again even if the plot isn't on the same level as that in, say, The Usual Suspects. As for Sky Captain, it's sensory overload staring at all the images in the movie, haha. Anyways, that's all.

The final scene with Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow was pretty funny. Their on-screen bantering reminds me of that between Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood (played by Karen Allen. Do I EVEN need to tell you who played Indy??) in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

...

And WHY the heck was I talking like a snooty movie critic just now?

Sunday, September 12, 2004

"Cocaine's a helluva drug." I don't watch TV often, and when I do it's usually a rerun of The Simpsons, I Love Lucy or that Ron Howard show Arrested Development (on Fox). If I had cable TV in my room, imagine all the shows I'd be watching... Sportscenter, um... Sportscenter, err...any MTV show that has babes with big breastesses on it, any cool, not-so-nerdy show on the Discovery Channel, and... Chappelle's Show! I went to my one of my friends' house last night, and he had some downloaded clips from the show saved on his XBox (lousy bastard! Then again, he works right now, unlike me. Haha)—like the episode where Chappelle and Wayne Brady are doing a skit inspired by the film Collateral, another hilarious skit spoofing the NBC show Fear Factor, and Charlie Murphy (Eddie Murphy's brother) recounting his encounters with the late, great, intoxicated music artist Rick James...impersonated by Chappelle.

"I'M RICK JAMES, BITCH."

Now, I'm pretty sure most of you have seen this episode before, but yesterday was the first time I saw that skit...and I thought it was FREAKIN' hilarious! Rick James bitchslapping Charlie Murphy at a bar, Rick James lying on a couch and wildly dirtying it with his shoes—which he still has on—while the REAL Rick James denies the shoe incident in an interview, only to casually admit literally two seconds later that he did mess up the couch. But the funniest part of that skit was that line. Sure, it's demeaning, but it's a crack-up. I'd have to find a way to post up a video clip of it here so you can watch it every time you visit this page. Later!

I'm Rick James, bitch.

Update: That cocaine line was by Rick James himself. Haha.

Update #2: Nevermind. I'd have to do a great deal of HTML sh*t in order to get that video up and running here. Instead, click on the link below (Right click is disabled unfortunately...for you) to view a brief clip of the video on your comp:

I'm Rick James— AH, forget it.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Is it morally wrong to have profound resentment towards a family member? I’m pretty sure it is, but who cares. That’s how I feel towards one of my siblings (who'll obviously go nameless), who I feel I’m becoming more like each day because of the way I approach things…which really, really sucks.

That sibling has already reached an age (as of right now, 15 years away from the half-century mark) where that person should no longer be living with my parents. But that person still does…and while that sibling maintains that he (oops, I’m getting too specific) doesn’t have enough money to move out, he was able to buy (actually lease, but what’s the friggin’ difference?) two nice-ass cars. You can’t move out of the house and yet you can buy a BMW and lease a Nissan 350Z? Um, something’s wrong here.

And that sibling complains about how one of my other siblings and I (four of us total in the family) don’t talk to him much whenever he’s home. It might be because he’s worn out his welcome at home, and we, to put it subtly, can no longer stand being next to him. He tries to start up conversations for the sake of starting conversations, even if the topics are the most inane, lamest things ever heard (one conversation involved this sibling being amused by the design of gas pumps at this one gas station in Diamond Bar, while another conversation involved a “lively” observation about West Covina being a lot smaller city than Walnut and Diamond Bar. Well woopty friggin’-doo).

So when did this resentment begin? Why, in high school of course. Sophomore year to be exact. I used to like hangin’ out with this sibling, till one day I went on a delivery with him (he used to work with my dad at his pharmacy). I was just contemplating to myself, being quiet, when he casually brought up a question…and then suddenly broke out in a tantrum ‘cause I wasn’t talking to him. I said something to start a conversation, but he thought I was being a smartass and gave me the finger. So all was quiet on the way home, and this is when my disgust for this sibling began. Later that night, this sibling came home trying to make amends by buying me the newest VHS edition of the Star Wars Trilogy (the digitally remastered edition that came out in August of 1995… This incident took place later that year)—I know, I know...here I go mentioning Star Wars again in my Blog—but that made things WORSE. In all honesty, I really wasn’t that bothered when this sibling cussed me out earlier in the day. But when he came home, with that VHS set in hand, I was thinking “dude, don’t kiss ass now.” I wasn’t looking for an apology. I learned at that minute that the nicer you are to people, or the more nice things you do for them, THEY’LL RESENT YOU…‘cause they think you have an ulterior motive. And in this sibling’s case, there always IS an ulterior motive.

This sibling didn’t find out that he got on my nerves till senior year in high school. Since then, he tried not to bother me as much. But the memories remained. I remember how he would come home from work late at night and the first thing he did was run upstairs to my room to chat. I would be in my room, doing my own thing, and suddenly hear footsteps quickly going up the stairs, and would think “G*ddamn it!” And next thing you know, this sibling is in my room, closing the door behind him, and beginning to chat. Now, many of you are probably thinking, “But this is your sibling. He just wants to talk to you. You’re family.” That was the case till that 1995 incident I mentioned in the previous paragraph…and while you guys are now thinking, “Dude, that’s in the past, MOVE ON”…there’s more. And it involves the present.

Since junior high school, this sibling would occasionally make a remark about how he “hates girls” because of the things they did (or didn’t do, but I DON’T want to think about THAT) to him, and how he would stay single for the rest of his life ‘cause he didn’t want a woman to tell him what to do. I don’t need to hear that. It just pisses me off that this sibling would decide to be a loner forever. For good, bad and DEFINITELY WORSE, he’s the one sibling who made the most impact on me in my family.

The way I write, the way I got interested in things when I was young (such as video games and the military; that sibling had a grip-load of jet books he used to buy), my interest in drawing… That all came from that sibling (though I’m unsure about the drawing part). Unfortunately, the anger that I now have...the fact I’ll get angry right off the bat if my mom asks me to do something or says something…that came from that sibling…since he would get pissed off all of a sudden. And the little things I do today, I realize that that sibling does as well. Almost every night, that sibling would go out into the backyard and stand there looking up at the stars or whatever and pondering to himself…probably about all the negative things that happened in his life. I would go out into the backyard during some nights, and ponder to myself as well…ALSO thinking about the sh*tty things that happened in my life. And then I would think, “F*ck, this is what that sibling does too!” So it really feels like I’m following the same path as this person. WHICH SUCKS.

What REALLY makes me resent this sibling is the thought that the way I feel about him is the way other people might feel about me. My sibling gets on my nerves because he brings up the lamest topic in order to start a conversation… Do other people get annoyed at me because I’m unwittingly bringing up lame topics just to start a conversation? I wish I knew. Each time I talk to someone, and they seem to be giving off a vibe like I mentioned something that’s awkward to them, it makes me feel even angrier at that sibling. And the WORST FEELING about this is when I feel that vibe from a girl I’m talking to who I really like (I have a picture of one of those girls on my website). And what makes me even MORE FURIOUS is that that sibling won’t be moving out of the house for a very long time (a part of that being attributed to my parents doing something that screwed every one of us—except my sister—at home. Won’t go into specifics).…and since people are influenced by their immediate environment and those around them, I’m ROYALLY SCREWED. Unless I move out of the house soon…but I haven’t exactly been doing a lot of job hunting recently, have I?

I feel that the only way I could probably regain respect for this sibling is if he acts his age and moves out of the house, away from my parents…and away from me and my other sibling. Ever seen that one Washington Mutual commercial where that one guy, suddenly inclined to tell the truth, tells this woman at a bar that he “still lives at home with his mother and never had a girlfriend”? That’s like my sibling, though he’s had girlfriends before. But he’s still the butt of jokes about almost-middle-aged guys still living at home with their parents.

The one sibling who I really respect (though I’m probably jinxing it now) is my sister…who not only lives out of the house, but is engaged. Sure, I’ve never been to her or her fiance’s theater shows whenever she invites me, but you can obviously blame me on that. My sister is too busy prepping for her wedding next year, whereas my other sibling continues to order crap from these military surplus catalogues he gets in the mail. A few weeks ago, he showed me a pair of hand-cuffs that he ordered from a catalogue. HAND-CUFFS!! Okay, my sibling’s NOT a police officer…NOR does he have a girlfriend (okay, I’m feeling nauseous typing hand-cuffs, sibling, and girlfriend in the same sentence)…so what the f*ck are you gonna do with those hand-cuffs?? Did I also mention he has a blue NASA spaceflight suit hanging in his closet? Okay, my sibling’s NOT a police officer…NOR does he have a girlfriend… and he’s WAY too G*ddamn short to fly onboard the space shuttle. Damn…

What obviously sets me apart from my friends is that they seem to enjoy hanging out with their oldest siblings. But here's something I notice about them: One of my friends occasionally goes to the bar with her oldest sister—who’s been married since 2001. One of my other friends usually invites his younger brother and sister out to places—but this friend is the boyfriend of one of my other friends, who I’ve known since sophomore year in high school (Go here to see a picture of them). One of my other friends usually hangs out with his younger and oldest sister. The youngest sister has a boyfriend and the oldest one was engaged a few years ago, but now is with another guy. Notice the trend here? My friends like hangin’ out with their oldest siblings who are acting their age and found companionship. Whereas the sibling I’m talking about is downstairs performing his usual nightly routine of cleaning around the house, even though it’s 12:46 AM as of this writing.

Sh*t, I could write more…but I think you guys got the point. The sibling I talk about is a bad example to me. Not because he smokes cigarettes. Or does drugs. Or is an alcoholic. But because of the way he approaches life. Like he’s resigned himself to a life of being single, of being predictable, of spending his time going to the mountains alone on most weekends and/or vacations and acting like a hermit, and of buying the most inane items to make up for such a pitiable (RE: sad) life. And guess what? I feel like I’m heading towards the same direction... Unless I try not to allow myself to be influenced by this sibling, or he finally becomes a role model and acts his age. ‘Nuff said.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

From the TIME.com article previewing the upcoming Star Wars DVDs:

...And the frail 32-year-old (George Lucas) with a galaxy of ideas in his head seems near implosion. As Mark Hamill recalls, "He really looked like he was ready to burst into tears."

As a recent film school grad who had to endure a main actress walking out after the first day of shoot on my senior thesis film Envious last December, forcing to cut short the shoot on the third and supposedly final day of filming because it began raining (and I was filming outside), and being forced to dish out a thousand dollars more for my pick-up shoot (which I couldn't do till 6 weeks later because of winter break and legal reasons with the film department), I think it was that comment made by Hamill which convinced me why Lucas should do everything he could to have these films meet the vision that he originally had for them.

The TIME article points out that the 1977 version of Star Wars was a joy for fans but a reflection of the anguish Lucas went through to make it. While most of my actors and close friends say that they (supposedly, heheh) enjoyed my film after I gave them copies, I myself am reminded, when I watch my own film, of how pissed I was (and don't ask me about the tears part) when it began raining during my shoot...and of other things I wish I could do to fix my film (such as stick to using ONE film stock as opposed to two because of continuity reasons, and not having a main character wear something drastically different from what they wore at the start of the film since the audience won't know that that's suppose to be the same character from the previous scene).

So more power to Lucas. Don't let the nostalgia of people who obviously weren't on set to help you get this movie made (but those are the people that made Star Wars popular!! Well woopty-friggin' doo) prevent you from fixing something that you struggled to make in the first place.

The bottom line: Creating a film is a highly emotional process that most non-filmmakers can't completely appreciate.

Update: And yes, I found a replacement for that actress...6 HOURS before I was to begin Shoot Day #2!

Update #2: 1,000 U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq as of today, and yet there are online articles about Kerry being behind in the polls. We Americans sure are stupid.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

This is a bit random...but there are a couple of people I'd sure like to get revenge against [not (necessarily) by packing heat a la Tom Cruise in Collateral. Good movie by the way]. Won't elaborate though, since this is one of those entries that I thought up at the spur of the moment...while I was lying on my bed thinking about the intricacies of life. Not really.