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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Must've been a lot funner than building a snowman.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, EVERYONE! Since I'm too lazy to write a new, original Blog here... I thought I'd just re-post this list from two years ago. Of course, it's only interesting if you happen to live in SoCal:

The Toys ‘R’ Us Ghost of Johnny Johnson in Sunnyvale, California.

"Some" Haunted Sites In Southern California:
Anaheim – House of Blues
Buena Park – Knott’s Berry Farm
Chino – Chino Hills
City of Industry – Puente Hills Mall, AMC 20 theater
City of Industry - The Sheraton Hotel (now known as the Pacific Palms Hotel)
Covina – "Zelda’s Legend" about an underground tunnel
Diamond Bar - Brea Canyon Road
Diamond Bar – Diamond Bar High School
Disneyland – The Christmas Shop
Disneyland – The Disney Gallery
Disneyland – Fire Station
Disneyland – Haunted Mansion
Disneyland – It’s a Small World
Disneyland – Matterhorn Mountain
Disneyland – Pirates of the Caribbean
Disneyland – Space Mountain
Disneyland – The Star Trader (4th floor stock room)
Disneyland – the old “People Mover Ride”
Disneyland – Tom Sawyer’s Island
Disneyland – Tomorrow Land
Fullerton – Cal State Fullerton dorm
Hollywood - El Capitan Theater
Hollywood – Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Hollywood – Mann’s Chinese Theatre
Hollywood – Hollywood Sign and Griffith Observatory
Hollywood - Roosevelt Hotel
Hollywood – Universal Studios
Huntington Beach – Bolsa Chica Wetlands
Irvine – University of California Irvine – Campus Dr.
La Puente – Hurley Elementary School – Tetherball courts
La Puente – Nogales burgers
La Puente – Nogales High School
Long Beach – The Queen Mary
Los Angeles - Dodger Stadium
Los Angeles - The Coliseum
Los Angeles – Loyola Marymount University
Pasadena – abandoned asylum
Pasadena – Angeles Crest – Old Hotel
Pasadena – the bridge of Fair Oaks exit
Pasadena – The Castle Green
Pasadena – Green Street Hotel
Pasadena – Haunted forest
Pasadena – The Haunted mansion
Pasadena – Rose Bowl parking lot
Pasadena – The Colorado St. and Scoville Bridges
Pasadena – The historic State Landmark Theater
Pasadena – The Pasadena Playhouse
Pasadena – The Ritz Carlton (this is where I had my high school senior prom in ‘98)
Pomona – Lanterman Developmental Center
Rowland Heights - Rowland High School
San Diego – Coronado Island - Hotel del Coronado
Walnut – Haunted Church (once abandoned) off Nogales and Amar Road
Walnut - Lemon Avenue
Walnut - St. Mary's Catholic School
West Covina – Galster Park
West Covina – South Hill Elementary
Whittier - Turnbull Canyon Road

For an UPDATED LIST, go to TheShadowlands.Net

The (supposedly) haunted church in Walnut, CA.
The (supposedly) haunted church in Walnut, CA

The infamous Turnbull Canyon Road in Whittier, CA.
The infamous Turnbull Canyon Road in Whittier, CA

Diamond Bar High School, CA.
Diamond Bar High School, CA

The Pacific Palms Hotel in City of Industry, CA... This particular pic obviously doesn't help give the notion that this resort is haunted.  Though ironically, the part of this complex that is supposedly haunted happens to be the golf course in the foreground.
The Pacific Palms Hotel in City of Industry, CA... This particular pic obviously doesn't help give the notion that this resort is haunted. Though ironically, the part of this complex that is supposedly haunted happens to be the golf course in the foreground.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The mission logo for STS-120.

SEND A PERSONAL MESSAGE TO THE CREW OF SPACE SHUTTLE DISCOVERY! Courtesy of Space Center Houston and Lucasfilm, the film production company of Star Wars creator George Lucas, you can send a personal greeting to the 7 astronauts currently onboard space shuttle Discovery. Discovery launched from Florida on mission STS-120 a week ago...embarking on a 14-day flight that involved installing a new pressurized module (known as Harmony) to the International Space Station last Friday. Today, an old set of giant solar panel wings (known as the P6 truss...which was launched in November of 2000) will be relocated to the port-side of the orbital outpost. Here is where you can submit a greeting:

http://spacecenter.org/message.asp

This opportunity comes at the same time a lightsaber film prop used by Mark Hamill (as Luke Skywalker) in 1983’s Return of the Jedi is riding onboard Discovery. The prop will be put on exhibit once the orbiter safely returns to Earth on November 7. In terms of the personal messages, they will be imprinted onto a compact disc and presented to the shuttle astronauts during a de-briefing at Houston’s Johnson Space Center after the flight. Hurry before it’s too late!

LEFT PIC: Space shuttle Discovery launches from Florida on flight STS-120 on October 23, 2007.  RIGHT PIC: Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in a production still from STAR WARS: EPISODE VI - RETURN OF THE JEDI (1983).
Reuters - Scott Audette / Lucasfilm Ltd.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

For those of you who sat through and watched Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace years ago, do you remember that one scene where Anakin Skywalker asks Padme if she’s "an angel"? Well... That line isn’t so lame if you think about it. Hmm, actually, it is— But Anakin’s young naiveté in thinking she’s a perfect, um heavenly creature isn’t so farfetched. Back when I was in 6th grade (yup, here’s my life story. Sort of. Haha), I met this one girl named Jacquelyn who was one of my brother’s classmates in 8th grade. When I first got to know her, I thought she was perfect; really pretty, and a sweet personality (note to self: This entry can get REAL sissy-ish pretty fast). I had a major crush on her, which all of my classmates who teased me about her the next two school years could attest to. Then in one afterschool moment, I was sitting next to Jackie on a brick wall near the school's basketball court, and she started to go off on a profane-laced rant about her boyfriend. And then suddenly...the perfect, um angelic (note to self: This entry can get REAL sissy-ish pretty— Oh wait) point of view I had of her shattered. Overlooking the fact Jackie was the first girl I ever hugged (Didn't think this life story could get any more pathetic, eh? Proved YOU wrong), I still became disillusioned...about Asian girls that is. Haha.

That’s probably why it’s a lot easier for me to talk to non-Asian ladies than ladies of my own ethnicity (even mentioned this in a previous blog). That disillusionment, which I know sounds pretty lame (along with the rest of this entry), lingers today...and somewhat made me acerbic (look that up on a thesaurus) towards females of the Asian persuasion. When I first get to know an Asian girl, she’s really sweet and all that. And then she develops an attitude and starts to curse more than George Carlin. Of course, be realistic: No one’s perfect (learned that in 6th grade!) and everyone cusses now and then...either vocally or in their thoughts. But some of that may also be my fault. With some Asian gals I met recently, I would randomly cuss here and there in a conversation before I ever heard them use foul language. Basically, I went on a preemptive, profane-laced rant before they did. I mean, heck— Get them disillusioned about how I really am before they do the same to me, ya know? LOL. But anyways... Just thought I’d get that out. Another reason why it’s hard to talk to most Asian girls is because I put them on such a high pedestal in my mind since I was young (like, um, 4th grade. Or did that start with Jackie as well? Or is this the very same theme as the one I’ve been talking about throughout this entire friggin' post? Whatever). It’s like what someone told me recently: There are more than 3 billion females out there in the world... Why should one of them be treated so differently? ("‘CAUSE SHE’S F**KIN' HOT!!") That is all.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A shot of Kaguya's high gain antenna with the Moon in the background.
JAXA

KAGUYA Update... Seven days after the spacecraft settled into its primary science orbit on October 19, the Kaguya mission has now shifted out of its "critical phase" of operations...and the various science instruments onboard the probe are being checked out. Regular operations are scheduled to begin in December. Below are several photos taken as Kaguya approached and settled into lunar orbit on October 3. The first two images show the Earth as a small white speck to the upper left-hand part of the photos, above the Moon's horizon. Can’t wait till the HDTV camera onboard the spacecraft begins shooting video footage of this awesome sight!

Kaguya lunar images montage
Kaguya lunar images montage
JAXA

KAGUYA Blog Entries Archive:

April 11, 2007
September 5, 2007
September 13, 2007
October 4, 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

This image marks the path traveled by the Phoenix spacecraft as of 11:37 PM, Pacific Daylight Time, on October 25, 2007.  It has flown a distance of 147 million miles since launch...at a speed of 70,300 miles per hour.
ABOVE: This image marks the path traveled by the Phoenix spacecraft as of 11:37 PM, Pacific Daylight Time, on October 25, 2007. It has flown a distance of 147 million miles since launch...at a speed of 70,300 miles per hour. Click here to view the official webpage showing where Phoenix is in space.

PHOENIX Update... More than two months after launch, all seems to be running smooth as the Phoenix lander continues its voyage towards Mars. On September 12, a photo was released on the mission's website showing the Robotic Arm scoop as it laid encased inside a protective barrier shielding it from Earth-born microbes that may have hitched a ride onboard the spacecraft. What makes this image unique is that it is the first pic taken in-flight. Phoenix was 57 million miles away from Earth when this photo was taken a week before its release. The next time the camera that took this shot will be used is next May...after the lander hopefully touches down on the Red Planet successfully.

An artist's concept of the Phoenix Mars lander.  The small photo towards the bottom right shows the Robotic Arm scoop.  This image was taken in early September...when the spacecraft was 57 million miles away from Earth.
This pic shows the Robotic Arm (RA) scoop prior to launch.  To the right of the scoop (towards the upper part of the photo) is the foil-like protective barrier that shields the RA from microbial contaminants that may have hitched a ride onboard the spacecraft.
NASA JPL / University of Arizona

PHOENIX Blog Entries Archive:

May 8, 2007
July 28, 2007
August 3, 2007
August 4, 2007
August 8, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

WHY THIS YEAR REMINDS ME OF 2003... This is a facetious entry, but I just wanna point out certain events that took (or are taking) place this year that reminds me of a few moments four years back.

The Anaheim Ducks celebrate after winning their first NHL championship in June of 2007.

JUNE 2003:
The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim reach the Stanley Cup Finals but lose to the New Jersey Devils in 7 games.

JUNE 2007:
The Anaheim Ducks reach the Stanley Cup again...and defeat the Ottawa Senators in 5 games to win their first NHL championship.

The Mars Exploration Rover SPIRIT.

JUNE/JULY 2003:
The Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity are launched on what would be very successful missions exploring the surface of the Red Planet. As of this entry, both of them are still up and running well. I could’ve had my name on two DVD’s that are currently onboard the landers they touched down on...but I wasn’t aware of the online name submissions campaign when it took place in 2002.

AUGUST 2007:
The Phoenix Mars Lander is launched on what will hopefully be a successful journey to the north polar region of the Red Planet. The lander is set to touch down on May 25, 2008. My name is on a DVD that is onboard the spacecraft. Go here for more details.

A structure in Malibu, California, is destroyed by fire (October 2007).

OCTOBER 2003:

A series of wildfires plagued Southern California and took the lives of at least 13 people. I remember I was working on a film shoot in Long Beach one day...and the set was completely covered in ashes. We were filming out on the parking lot for an elementary school.

OCTOBER 2007:
A series of wildfires once again plague Southern California...with more than 1 million people displaced from their homes and 1,155 houses destroyed (as of this entry). The situation is so bad that I woke up one morning this week and saw red light shining through the window of my bedroom and reflecting off my walls. That red hue was caused by smoke as it obscured the rising Sun. Keep in mind I live more than 30 miles away from the nearest blaze.

FALL 2003:
This entry is pretty amusing...to me, that is: I met Teary- err, Sherry during a film shoot in September of that year...and would go on to work two more productions with her over the next two months, before she finally did make-up work on my film Envious that December.

FALL 2007:
Go to this entry to know why Sherry is in my thoughts again! Her, along with Susie, are actually the two Asian girls on my mind right now, haha.

Just thought I’d share these with y’all.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

AS IF HALLOWEEN COULDN’T COME SOON ENOUGH!!! So anyways, I was browsing through my MySpace buddy list on Sunday, and saw that this one girl I know—let’s call her "Sherry" (though if you really want to know what her actual name is, go here, here, here and here)—was dressed as Elvira (Mistress of the Dark, if you want me to elaborate) in her photos. And you know how Elvira, or the ladies who play her in pop culture, shows major cleavage in her outfit? Well... Sherry nailed that down to a "T"! Use your own imagination as to what "T" stands for. MY GOD!!! Keep in mind that when I first met Sherry (four years ago in college), she was very camera-shy. Point a camera at Sherry and she reacts as if you’re aiming a Glock 9mm at her. This is despite the fact she is one of THE most attractive ladies I’ve ever met. She’s a make-up artist...and yet she’s more photogenic than most of the actresses and models she does make-up work on.

All I can say is...expect her to post even more photos of herself in that costume till Halloween. And that damn holiday is still 8 days away!!! Ugh... What’s scary (don’t really think that’s the right word to use) is if Sherry really starts to flaunt her stuff on MySpace from now on. The reason why I say it’s scary is because of the fact there’s a difference between seeing provocative and/or nude or semi-nude photos of a gorgeous woman I’ve never met or have feelings for, and seeing provocative and/or nude or semi-nude photos of a gorgeous woman I’ve known personally for a couple of years... She knows that I like her (though I haven’t seen her in person since the summer of 2006)...and now she’s starting to post these kinds of pics online. Can you say...hot and bothered???

When I first added Sherry to my buddy list two years ago, all she had on her profile was a bunch of artwork (nicely painted, I might add...assuming she’s the one who painted ‘em) and not one photo of herself. Then for some odd reason she deleted her profile earlier this year, and a few months later, created a new one. I knew something was amiss when I saw that the default pic on her profile was of her! Not some obscure painting...but of her! I heard that Sherry broke up with her boyfriend earlier this year, so I wonder if that had something to do with her deleting her first profile and having a sudden change in, um, choosing which photos to post online? Dunno... But it sure makes my heart beat fast when I think if Sherry will post up sexy, non-Halloween-related photos after October 31st. Let’s wait and see...

I'd post a pic of Elvira here to illustrate my point, but you know... The last thing I want is to get the urge to log onto MySpace right now and admire those sexy photos of Tear— err, Sherry. Calm yourself down, McParno.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The green line marks the path traveled by the New Horizons spacecraft as of 12:00 AM, Pacific Daylight Time, on October 22, 2007.  It is 784 million miles from Earth.
ABOVE: The green line marks the path traveled by the New Horizons spacecraft as of
12:00 AM, Pacific Daylight Time, on October 22, 2007. It is 784 million miles from
Earth. Click
here to view the official webpage showing where New Horizons is in
space. (AU stands for Astronomical Units, in case you're wondering.)


NEW HORIZONS Update... More than 21 months after launch, New Horizons continues to perform well as it travels at least 1 million miles per day on its way to Pluto. On June 8 of next year, New Horizons will cross the orbit of Saturn...and eventually take Cassini’s place as the most distant spacecraft that is currently at or heading towards its primary science target. For some interesting stats, it has been 640 days since New Horizons launched on January 19, 2006, 236 days since the Jupiter flyby on February 28, 2,728 days till Pluto close encounter operations begin on April 12, 2015 and 2,822 days till the closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015. I got these factoids from the main website. Below are some notable photos that New Horizons took when it flew past Jupiter in February...

PIC 1: Jupiter looms prominently as Ganymede (whose shadow is cast near the gas giant's north pole) and Io (to the bottom) orbit to the right of it.  PIC 2: Europa emerges from behind Jupiter's disk.
PIC 1: A composite image of Europa (bottom left) and Io (upper right).  PIC 2: Another composite image of Jupiter and Io.
NASA / Johns Hopkins University - Applied Physics Laboratory / Southwest Research Institute

NEW HORIZONS Blog Entries Archive:

September 26, 2005
December 19, 2005
January 7, 2006
January 17, 2006
January 19, 2006
April 12, 2006
June 15, 2006
February 27, 2007
October 22, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

An artist's concept showing Dawn traveling in deep space.
NASA JPL

DAWN Update... It has been 24 days since the launch of the Asteroid Belt-bound spacecraft, and all seems to be going well as it continues to undergo checkouts. Dawn's ion propulsion system was successfully tested more than a week ago, and the probe’s various science instruments have recently been turned on for health checks. On Thursday, an interesting blog was posted on The Planetary Society’s website talking about time-lapse photos showing Dawn streaking into deep space. The animation consists of two 14-minute exposures, and was photographed by Bill Dillon...using a 61-centimeter telescope at Sierra Stars Observatory in California. Emily Lakdawalla, the head blogger for The Planetary Society, posted this nice little line regarding Dawn and the images: "It may just be a fuzzy blob (in the two photos)—but that fuzzy blob is a functioning robot, out in deep space, exploring places we can’t go." Dawn was 600,000 miles away from Earth at the time these pictures were taken.


Bill Dillon / Sierra Stars Observatory

Friday, October 19, 2007

I WAS ORIGINALLY gonna post an entry talking about the Cleveland Indians reaching the World Series after a 10-year hiatus (when they lost against the Florida Marlins in ‘97), but that will have to wait after the Red Sox won, 7-1, in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series last night. Damn you, Boston. Anyways, I’ll instead mention that I was able to see in person today a life-size replica of Bumblebee at a Hollywood shopping plaza (the West Hollywood Gateway Center, on the corner of La Brea and Santa Monica Blvd). 18-feet tall and weighing about 8,200 pounds, this is the actual film prop of the Autobot spy that was used in Transformers (during the scenes where he is captured in the river channel by Sector 7, and when he is transported into the Hoover Dam onboard a railroad car). Pretty cool. Now if only I had the chance to see the actual vehicles that were in the movie...like the Peterbilt truck that filled in for Optimus Prime, the Pontiac Solstice that the late Jazz transformed into, the 2009 Concept Camaro used for Bumblebee in car mode, and the Saleen Mustang that the Decepticon known as Barricade transformed into. So what did happen to Barricade at the end of the film? That’s a story for another day. The Bumblebee statue will be at the Gateway Center till this Sunday (October 21), for those of you who live in or near Los Angeles.

Posing with BUMBLEBEE outside a Hollywood shopping plaza (on the corner of La Brea and Santa Monica Blvd).
Photos I took of BUMBLEBEE standing tall outside a Hollywood shopping plaza.
A photo I took of BUMBLEBEE standing tall outside a Hollywood shopping plaza.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Box cover art for the TRANSFORMERS DVD.

TODAY, Transformers comes out on High-Def and regular-format DVDs. Unlike the film score, which is mostly available online right now (I bought the very last copy at a Borders book store a week ago after the local Best Buy ran out, or didn't even have the CD in stock. Dorks), the DVD should obviously be available at retail stores everywhere. Major outlets such as Target, Wal-Mart and, um, Best Buy will give away exclusive stuff if you buy the DVD at any of them (go here for a complete listing). Anyways, here's a review (with some updates) I posted back in July. No need to write a new one, haha...

Bumblebee in the city.

BRING ON THE SEQUEL! Really— I haven’t been to a film this fun (Note: I said fun...not good. But Transformers was good!) since Independence Day in 1996! You heard right... Despite liking Revenge of the Sith, and Spider-Man 2, and Batman Begins, and The Mummy, and Pirates of the Caribbean (the first film), I didn’t enjoy a movie this much since the alien invasion film 11 years ago. Well done, Michael Bay! Again, you heard right! This flick should really make up for the flack he got for Pearl Harbor and Armageddon. Especially considering the fact a lot of the shots in Transformers actually lasted for more than 2 seconds on screen! Good God!

Anyways, Transformers rocked! Jon Voight did well. And so did Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson (though I don’t think we need to see their characters again if there is a sequel, which there should be...though it's gonna be hard to top this one)...and Anthony Anderson and Bernie Mac were crack-ups. Rachael Taylor is hot. Last, but not least... It might just be me...but I really dug the romance between Sam (Shia LaBeouf) and Mikaela (Megan Fox... WOW). LaBeouf and Fox, in my opinion, had really nice chemistry together. People in the audience actually cheered and whistled during that last shot (not to spoil the ending for y’all) where Mikaela is mackin’ with Sam on top of the Camaro— err, Bumblebee. You da man, Sam! I think we should definitely see their characters again in Transformers 2...which is currently set for a June 26, 2009 release...though that date is obviously not set in stone. Especially considering a writers strike will be taking place in Hollywood sometime next year.

And finally, another reason why I dug Transformers, other than the KICK-ASS special effects (award Optimus Prime and Megatron for a Best Visual FX Oscar next year!), was the music. Steve Jablonsky (Desperate Housewives, the first Pirates of the Caribbean, Tears of the Sun... He composed additional music on that last one. Hans Zimmer was the main composer) created a very epic score that reminded me of the work Hans Zimmer did for Gladiator or David Arnold with Independence Day. Very adventurous-sounding. And the U.S. military should really be giving kudos to Bay right now. Add real F-22 Raptors and MV-22 Ospreys with giant robots and Megan Fox, and you have a summer blockbuster that’s also a great recruiting film for kids wanting to join the armed forces (Hmm... I probably shouldn't have said that one out loud). Just wait till the Iraq war is over till you do so, 'kay folks? ‘Nuff said. No wait— One more thing... Starscream escapes at the end??? NOOOOO!

Bring on Galvatron, the Constructicons, Soundwave, Dinobots and Headmasters in Transformers 2 (currently, the Constructicons, Dinobots and Soundwave are actually rumored to be in the sequel)!! Oh, and don't forget Fortress Maximus and the Aerialbots. I'm such a geek.

5 out of 5 stars. *****

Sam and Mikaela (or should I say Mikaela and Sam).

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The DECEPTICON logo.

TRANSFORMERS 2 Update... Well, this isn’t really an update. I’m just talking about what will most likely be one of MANY supposed treatments for the sequel that you’ll see online between now and 2009 (when Transformers 2 is scheduled for release). Sources for this treatment are too numerous to mention (actually, I’m just too lazy to create links to them here. Well okay, here's the main source), but the story goes that two unrepresented writers with Hollywood ties were responsible for coming up with this treatment. Unfortunately, it never reached Michael Bay or any other folks involved in the production...and in fact, a new writer was ACTUALLY hired for the sequel around the time this treatment was submitted [the real screenplay is being written by Ehren Kruger (The Ring, Scream 3) and the team of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (the first Transformers, Alias, Star Trek 11)]. Anyways, read on...

Starscream.

"Now that MEGATRON is out of the picture, STARSCREAM returns to CYBERTRON to take over the DECEPTICONS and become their leader, which most are cool with; MEGATRON was getting a little too tyrannical for their tastes.

With the ALLSPARK destroyed, CYBERTRON is headed toward certain doom. An energy source has been located on Earth that can save their world...and STARSCREAM and his DECEPTICONS are determined to rob Earth of it.

MEGATRON still has a loyal faction with SOUNDWAVE as the leader who are determined to resurrect MEGATRON, head off STARSCREAM and get the energy source for themselves.

There is a spy amongst them. HOT ROD gathers intel and returns to Earth to report to OPTIMUS PRIME and the AUTOBOTS about the plans of the two DECEPTICON factions.

SOUNDWAVE and his army gain control of the NEMESIS and escape the battle with STARSCREAM. They head to Earth.

Back on Earth, SAM WITWICKY has gone off to college in New York with BUMBLEBEE in tow. MIKAELA is still in California with Prime and the other AUTOBOTS.

SOUNDWAVE and the NEMESIS arrive on Earth and plunge into the ocean. An aircraft carrier is capsized from the force and the NEMESIS scans and transforms into a carrier with the DECEPTICONS on board transforming into various military vehicles.

SOUNDWAVE is a high priest in MEGATRON’s court and is a healer of sorts and will be the one to bring his lord MEGATRON back to life. They find him in the ocean’s depth and the resurrection begins.

HOT ROD has returned to Earth, he gives PRIME and the others the lowdown on the plans and tells them the coordinates of the secret energy source located on Earth. It’s none other than Las Vegas.

After a quick street race, with BUMBLEBEE and SAM being the winners (of course), SAM is notified of the imminent invasion and heads to Las Vegas. SAM’s Asian dorm roommate named SHIGE, who is with him, is unknowingly in for the ride of his life!

We are given some background on the First Seven here…who were introduced in the first film. Apparently, they managed to harness the energy of the ALLSPARK into a secondary source that will provide energy for generations. This energy orb is located underground spanning from Las Vegas to the Hoover Dam. This is what the DECEPTICONS are after.

In Las Vegas, MIKAELA finds Agent SIMMONS at the Luxor, the access point for the energy orb located beneath it. An evacuation plan is put into action for Vegas and the military is called in. They meet up with ELLISON, a descendent of one of the original seven who knows more than he should.

Next, we are given some details on how the giant robots are brought to life. The ALLSPARK gave them their life but something called The MATRIX gave the robots their soul. That’s why the cell phone little robot (the "Nokiabot") in the first one was evil to begin with, it hadn’t been given a soul after coming to life. It has been passed down through the years with the ORDER OF THE PRIMES and OPTIMUS is the one currently in possession of it in his chest.

Though SOUNDWAVE has brought MEGATRON to life, he needs the energy of The MATRIX to make his resurrection complete. For now, MEGATRON is dependent on SOUNDWAVE for his energy.

SAM, BUMBLEBEE and SHIGE are the only ones headed West-bound to Vegas as people are pouring out due to the evacuation. Up ahead are six construction vehicles that begin to transform. They fit together to form one, DEVASTATOR. This monstrous robot begins to chase after SAM and his crew.

Help arrives in the form of ULTRA MAGNUS and his team, who help SAM get away and get to Vegas where the other AUTOBOTS and the US military have gathered to stop the invasion.

STARSCREAM and his army are seen dropping to Earth. They are headed off by some AUTOBOTS in the sky. They fall to the ground fighting.

The DECEPTICONS continue to attack and they have a new force field around them that the military's high-heat sabot rounds have no effect on.

ULTRA MAGNUS, SAM and the team arrive in Vegas. Magnus and his crew join the fight. SAM heads down into the bunker where MIKAELA, SIMMONS, ELLISON and others are hiding.

SKORPONOK returns and burrows his way into the underground tunnels/bunker where they are hiding. This is also where the energy orb is located.

The military is awaiting reinforcements, and they arrive in the form of jets and what not. The pilots are about to start dropping bombs when their aircraft begin to transform. They have been compromised and MEGATRON and his loyal army are on the move.

With the war turning badly for the AUTOBOTS, ELLISON and SIMMONS know there is only one thing left to do. Atop the Stratosphere is a Sector Seven EMP that is waiting to be activated in times just as these.

ELLISON and the EMP team, escorted by AUTOBOTS, are headed to the EMP to activate it. SOUNDWAVE intercepts the plans and heads out to stop it. The EMP team is struck down and only ELLISON is left. But he is in no condition to get to the top of the tower. SAM and MIKAELA go it alone; getting instruction via walkie-talkie from ELLISON.

A DECEPTICON tries to stop SAM and MIKAELA and creates a gap that SAM cannot get over; MIKAELA must go to the top by herself. MEGATRON then unleashes a missile attack on the Stratosphere and there is a huge explosion. MIKAELA and everything including the EMP are gone.

SOUNDWAVE lets out a pulse that blows everyone to the ground, including OPTIMUS PRIME, and quickly rips Prime’s chest open to unveil the MATRIX. He takes it and heads to MEGATRON. MEGATRON is given the MATRIX and the resurrection is now complete. MEGATRON turns his sights to STARSCREAM who needs a serious ass kicking.

Robot on robot action at it’s best, jet on jet, MEGATRON vs. STARSCREAM. MEGATRON quickly defeats STARSCREAM and makes an example of him by dragging him through the streets by his wires and crucifying him for all to see...all the while he narrates a call to STARSCREAM loyalists to come and avenge him and fight MEGATRON’s army.

AUTOBOTS are on the retreat. STARSCREAM loyalists on CYBERTRON rocket off to fight MEGATRON on Earth and the DECEPTICONS surround the energy orb. Things are looking really bad.

SAM blames PRIME for MIKAELA’s death and is shattered. Prime is being carried on ULTRA MAGNUS’ trailer...alive, barely. HOT ROD, feeling the blame, heads back to the Stratosphere to see if there is anything salvageable. Luckily... When MIKAELA fell, she fell on top of a DECEPTICON and his force field, which saved her. As he dies and the field goes away, she wakes up and sees the destruction. The journey has just begun..."


****

Hmm. This sounds somewhat similar to the treatment I posted here.

Artwork depicting Sam and Mikaela in the heat of battle.

Friday, October 12, 2007

PARNO'S (TOP 30) PERSONAL MUSINGS:

1.) Everything in life happens for a reason.

2.) I believe there’s a God... I just don’t respect most of the religions that acknowledge Him. Buddhism seems okay.

3.) Skydiving only gives you confidence to go skydiving again.

4.) If you’re a person who always likes starting conversations for the hell of it, leave me alone. Chances are you’ll either bring up a ridiculous and completely irrelevant topic to waste my time with...or mention something you did in the past that’ll piss me off.

5.) I try not to jinx my future plans by talking ‘bout them before I do ‘em. But I don’t mind jinxing your plans by asking ‘bout them in a conversation.


6.) Being too nice to people can piss them off as much as being a jerk to them.

7.) How do you get back at someone who wouldn't even care if you tried to spite 'em?

8.) Don't ask a bullshit question if you know you're gonna get a bullshit answer. (In other words, don't try to be smart and ask me a tough question if you know I'm just gonna sugarcoat my response and blow smoke up your ass. 'Cause I will.)

9.) For those of you who know me in person, you’ll notice that I tend to smile a lot. Most of the time, I’m actually UNAWARE that I’m smiling. How is that possible? Beats me. Inside I’m actually peeved. Really, really peeved. But I'm just indifferent right now.


10.) Being love-sick blows.

11.) So does being heartbroken. Um, obviously.

12.) Never fall for a girl who’s already in a relationship. Or at least a girl who’s in a relationship and posted semi-nude pics of herself online in the past. Kinda makes it hard for me to get her out of my mind.

13.) As an Asian dude, it’s a lot easier to talk to non-Asian girls than it is Asian girls. And that’s because Asian girls generally think you’re trying to make a move when you’re talking to ‘em. And they’re usually right.


14.) Apparently, I either need to be Caucasian, African-American or Latino to have an Asian girlfriend (or wife). Or all three. But DON'T be Asian. Or at most be PARTLY Asian.

15.) Latino girls are sexy. Glad I’m Asian. (I'd elaborate, but I don't wanna)

16.) Filipino TV shows—particularly game shows—are extremely lame (for starters, they’re incredibly melodramatic). But the Pinays on them sure are hot.

17.) I don’t like hanging around people who remind me of myself. So if you’re single and slackin’ in life, go away.

18.) Non-Asian parents stress independence once you’re 18 and off to college... Asian parents stress medical school and then a high-paying nursing job afterwards. But be sure you come home on time or else your mom will leave countless voicemails on your cell phone asking where you are.

19.) I was born in the U.S., so excuse me if I don’t really express my Pilipino Pride (yes, pronounce Pilipino with a ‘P’).

20.) I have no intention of going back to the Philippines. If I wanted to go to a warm, tropical climate, I’d go to Hawaii. At least I'd still be on U.S. territory.

21.) I'm left-handed. Of course I'm odd.

22.) I just realized I’m only ‘slightly’ interested in filmmaking right now (but still love going to the movie theaters and watching anything but laughably bad horror flicks and "torture porn"). Although... I still enjoy the cathartic effect of writing scripts about the crapfest that is life. That, and I enjoy editing someone else’s footage and posting it on my MySpace video page. And then claiming it as my own.

23.) Don’t date a co-worker. Or if you do, at least wait till you get fired to do so.

24.) In order to hate someone, you had to love 'em first. Totally sappy and lame, but true.

25.) You can't control who you develop feelings for. The actual line is "You can't control who you fall in love with"...but that is also totally sappy and lame.

26.) One-sided love leads to ruined friendships. I should know, haha.

27.) Vietnamese/Chinese girls. It just wasn't meant to be... (See Musings #11 and 22)

28.) People who send group texts on their cell phones piss me off. If your text message wasn't meant for me directly, then don't send me one. Douche.

29.) Be cautious about venting your problems to people. By doing that you’ll make sure you don't confide too many things that might make them lose respect for you. Kinda like saying how I place Buddhism in such high regard when I'm actually Catholic. Okay, lousy example.

30.) Ignore the musing above. Savor the rest.

Monday, October 08, 2007

TOMORROW, Steve Jablonsky's music score for the hit film Transformers will finally get released...after three months of waiting and signing online petitions by the fans. Can't wait!

TRANSFORMERS Original Film Score cover.

WHERE’S STEVE JABLONSKY?? Part I
WHERE’S STEVE JABLONSKY?? Part II
WHERE’S STEVE JABLONSKY?? Part III


UPDATE: A review by Chris Knight, who created the petition above, can be found here. Great stuff! Looks like the wait was well worth it.

UPDATE #2 (October 10): Like my review for the movie, I give the film score 5 OUT OF 5 stars! Well done, Steve Jablonsky! Most of the tracks, most notably "Autobots" (Track 1) and "Arrival to Earth" (Track 12), sound a whole lot better than they do in the movie (and the versions in the movie already sound great). A chorus was added to parts of the music where there weren't any in the film, and it gives the tracks a haunting and beautiful feel. You gotta hear 'em. And the most intense track, "Skorponok" (Track 10), sounds just like it does in that memorable action scene in Transformers. Definitely as fast-paced and catchy as "Duel of the Fates" in The Phantom Menace and "Battle of the Heroes" in Revenge of the Sith. That's a good thing. No need to change what already works.

Another noteworthy track is "Optimus" (Track 6)...which employs the flute/panpipe at the beginning of the piece, which gives the music a serene feel. What’s kinda ironic is that Optimus, as well as "Bumblebee" (Track 7) have a romantic tone to their music...and it, for me at least, sounds more appropriate dealing with the relationship between Sam and Mikaela more than it does the two Autobots the tracks are named after. "All Spark" (Track 3), Optimus and Bumblebee sound so significantly different from their cinematic equivalent that these themes could probably be used again in the movie’s sequel (due for release in 2009). If that were the case, only people who didn’t buy this film score wouldn’t recognize that the sequel’s music was from this current album, haha.

A lot of people say that the Transformers score sounds familiar in most parts to the music in Batman Begins. Maybe so...but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery (if you want me to go one further, parts of the TF score also reminds me of the music played during the climax in Last of the Mohicans. That’s a good thing). Steve Jablonsky is one of Hans Zimmer’s protégés. I could care less if the music is reminiscent of someone else’s work—just so as long as it sounds good. The Transformers score sounds good, and what Jablonsky presented not only fits nicely with what we see in the movie, but it adds depth to it too. Music has obviously been around a lot longer that movies, folks. If something hasn’t been tried yet, in either music OR cinema, it’s because it was a completely moronic and ridiculous idea that only an insane person or someone experimenting would deal with. That is all.

Megan Fox and Shia Labeouf.

Friday, October 05, 2007

THE "FILIPINO COMMENT" ON DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES... Last night, one of my friends told me that other Filipinos are upset over a comment that was made on Desperate Housewives last Sunday. In that episode (I don't watch the show), Teri Hatcher was getting a checkup and asked her doctor to see credentials to make sure he didn’t get his diploma from "some med school in the Philippines." And now there’s controversy brewing over that. Being Filipino-American, all I have to say is... "WHO FREAKIN’ CARES?"

People usually get offended when what’s being said is actually the truth. Sorry, but based on personal experience, there are quite a lot of Filipinos I know in person who ARE in the medical field and studied medicine in the Philippines. And I could think of other TV shows that poked fun at Filipinos in the past:

"Married...with Children" (still a hilarious show 10 years later):
-Al Bundy was watching the news on TV when the commentator remarks "And we now go back to Filipino slapfighting."
-Al’s friend Griff makes some remark about going to prison and having a Filipino boyfriend.

"Family Guy":
-Brian’s cousin comes over one weekend to tell him he’s getting married...to some dude he met in the Philippines.

TV shows poke fun at everybody, folks. It’s stupid to get all pissed over that. Just look at South Park... It poked fun at all the religions (especially Catholicism), and yet the guy who voices Chef (Isaac Hayes) said nothing about that. Only when Scientology was mocked that Hayes (a fellow member of that cul—err, religion) left that show. Did he come back? Dunno. That’s not the point. And while it’s satire, you would think that Indian-Americans would get offended at Apu in The Simpsons, or Latinos would get mad at Bumblebee Man, and African-Americans should constantly be raising hell at all the "token" black folks depicted on TV and films. Of course not. But when they do, it’s through hilarious monologues given by comedians like Chris Rock or Dave Chappelle. And Family Guy had a long song about Jews...and even depicted Optimus Prime as being Jewish. (That last example wasn't really an example. Just brought it up 'cause that scene was friggin' hilarious! Seeing Prime wearing a yamaka...)

My friend told me that one of her friends went on Fox News last night to talk about the Desperate Housewives comment. GREEAAT... So not only are Filipinos gonna be depicted as effeminate bastards with medical degrees in the media, but they’re gonna be depicted as overly sensitive ones as well. Political correctness bloooows.

UPDATE: Just went to Youtube to check out a video of that scene, and it's pretty funny! Teri Hatcher feels old...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

An HDTV camera onboard the Kaguya spacecraft took this image of the Earth on September 29, 2007 at 9:46 PM, Japan Standard Time.

KAGUYA Update: At 2:20 PM, Pacific Daylight Time yesterday, the Kaguya spacecraft successfully entered orbit around the Moon. Since its launch on September 13, Kaguya has spent the last few weeks refining its trajectory as it prepared for insertion into lunar orbit. It will still be more than two weeks—on October 19—till the satellite settles into its final circular orbit 100 kilometers (around 62 miles) above the Moon. Shown above is a still image taken by the high-definition television camera onboard Kaguya. The HDTV camera is the first ever to be sent as far as 110,000 km (or 68,350 miles) into deep space, and is expected to beam back crisp video footage of the Moon and even the Earth setting and rising above its surface. The Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) provided the TV camera.

The Earth footage was taken on September 29 at 9:46 PM, Japan Standard Time. It was transmitted back to the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on September 30. Below is an image of the HDTV camera prior to being installed onto the Kaguya spacecraft during the assembly phase.

The HDTV camera prior to being installed onto the Kaguya spacecraft during the assembly phase.
JAXA / NHK

KAGUYA Blog Entries Archive:

April 11, 2007
September 5, 2007
September 13, 2007

UPDATE (October 9): JAXA released this cool little animated gif showing Kaguya approaching the Moon prior to lunar orbit insertion (LOI) on October 3. Pretty awesome.


JAXA

UPDATE #2 (October 13): JAXA also released this animated gif of Kaguya deploying its two mini-satellites, Okina (on the left) and Ouna (the one on the right) on October 9 and 12, respectively. Also cool.


JAXA

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

SPUTNIK: Half a century later... Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary since the Soviet Union launched the very first manmade object into space—prompting the United States to send a satellite of its own (Explorer 1) into orbit a year later, making a declaration in 1961 to send a man to the Moon before the Soviets did (wish fulfilled by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in July of 1969), and thus launching the Space Age. Tomorrow is also my birthday... I turn 28! I’ve always wondered why I’m SO into space exploration (the last two dozen journal entries might give you a hint about this)... The fact I was born on the same day humans began the exploration of the final frontier is a nice little rationale for that. I actually got into spaceflight and astronomy in the 4th grade...while I got into filmmaking during the 5th grade [after watching The Hunt for Red October at the theater that year (1990), and wanting to draw storyboards and plot out my own Tom Clancy thriller-like film]. So as you can see, I’ve had a much longer interest in space exploration than I did cinema. Somewhat. Despite the fact I got a 'D' in astronomy during my first year in college, and spent more than 2 years in film school studying moviemaking, haha.

October 4, 2007 marks the 50th anniversary since the Sputnik satellite was launched into space.

Anyways, it’s gonna be interesting to see how the next 50 years in space exploration play out. Will the U.S. return people to the Moon by the year 2020? Will China land its own astronaut—or should I say, taikonaut--on the lunar surface before then? Will America send astronauts to Mars by the year 2037 like what NASA Administrator Mike Griffin said in a recent speech (I’m too lazy to link to an article mentioning that speech)? Will we eventually send unmanned spacecraft to explore Jupiter’s moon Europa, Saturn's moon Enceladus (which may both harbor life-supporting oceans underneath their icy crusts) and/or Saturn’s other moon Titan? We’ll just have to wait and see...