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Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Dark Knight.

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES... As mentioned in this previous journal entry (though you probably didn’t read it and ended up just staring at the photos instead), the third installment in Christopher Nolan’s über-successful take on the Caped Crusader franchise is set to begin filming next April. Here are other bits of info—some confirmed, most rumored—that we know about Batman 3...now known as The Dark Knight Rises:

- Batman 3 will officially have filming take place in New Orleans. Whether or not principal photography will also be done in Chicago—where Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were shot—is currently unknown. Though it should probably be a given.

- Tom Hardy, who recently starred as Eames, a.k.a. The Forger, in Nolan’s latest blockbuster film Inception, was cast in Batman 3. Whether or not he plays a good guy or villain is unknown.

- Marion Cotillard, recently known for her role as the psychotic dead wife of Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception, reportedly refused to be in Batman 3. Reports say that she would’ve been up for the role as Catwoman. It’s all good that Cotillard won’t be in the movie. I prefer Emily Blunt instead...or Minka Kelly (but as Talia al Ghul, not Catwoman).

- Rumored/favorite bad guys are: Killer Croc, Hush, Deadshot, Scarecrow and Black Mask. The Riddler will definitely NOT be in the movie, according to Nolan. There are even online rumors that Two-Face might return. After stumbling upon this awesome artwork below, I prefer Black Mask. If not, then Bane and Azrael.

- Ed Norton of The Italian Job (I reference this movie because I saw it again on DVD two weeks ago... Great film) was rumored to play The Riddler. He has denied that this is true. Which is obviously the case since this villain won't be in The Dark Knight Rises.

- The film will NOT be shot in 3-D (Thank God!). However, it should be safe to assume that Batman 3, like the two previous flicks, will be shown on IMAX.

And last, but not least:

- The fact that Christopher Nolan officially returned to direct Batman 3. This franchise, to borrow a line from Commissioner Gordon at the end of The Dark Knight, will finally get the awesome film trilogy that Batman fans deserve. None of this Joel Schumacher and nippled Batsuit crap. Can’t wait till 2012...

The Black Mask.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Waiting for the Lakers game to begin against the Houston Rockets, on October 26, 2010.

LAST TUESDAY, I attended the Lakers’ opening game of the 2010-’11 NBA regular season at STAPLES Center. It was a good game (overlooking the fact I sat in the nosebleed section...as shown above, haha)! Not only did Kobe and Co. get their championship rings and raise their new title banner after defeating the Boston Celtics in last June’s NBA Finals, but Los Angeles was able to make a comeback from a 15-point deficit after the Houston Rockets gave a good fight during the game (thanks to punks—err, players like Kevin Martin, Aaron Brooks, Luis Scola and um, Chase Budinger...whose name sounds like something out of a comic book. Or a character on The Simpsons). The final score was 112-110, Lakers. For more pics from the game and the ring ceremony, click on the link below. Later.

LINK: Photos I took at the Lakers' 2010-'11 Regular Season Opening Game & Ring Ceremony

With a Laker Girl, Jeanie Buss and NBA commissioner David Stern looking on, Lakers head coach Phil Jackson addresses the STAPLES Center crowd during the ring ceremony, on October 26, 2010.

Jeffrey Osborne sings the national anthem before the Lakers game, on October 26, 2010.

Pau Gasol shoots a free throw during the Lakers game, on October 26, 2010.

A night shot of STAPLES Center after the Lakers won their first home game of the season, on October 26, 2010.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

10 YEARS AND COUNTING!... Just as a quick FYI, today marks a decade since I posted my very first (and brief) journal entry for this Blog. Time suuure goes by fast...


PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2.

Anyways, I saw Paranormal Activity 2 yesterday, and as expected, I thought the film was pretty darn scary. Every time that ominous rumbling sound was heard in the background during a scene, you know that something freaky was obviously gonna happen inside that house—whether it was at night or at day. Of course, it would’ve been more frightening if most of the shocking moments in the movie weren’t seen in the TV ads [though it was showing shots from these scary scenes that obviously got me and every other person who saw this film to wanna watch Paranormal Activity 2 (or PA2)...DUHHH]. In the first Paranormal Activity, the most intense scene in that flick was the moment Katie was dragged out of her bed and down the stairs in her house by an evil unseen entity. A similar scene occurs with Katie’s sister Kristi after she is dragged out of her son’s nursery room in PA2...but for me, the "been there, seen that" attitude after seeing the first flick diminishes the impact of this scene. However, I have to give the filmmakers credit for nicely tying the story of this film with the first one. Paranormal Activity 2 is a prequel to the 2009 surprise hit (which was actually shown at the Screamfest Film Festival in 2007 but released nationwide in the U.S. on October 16 of last year).

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2.

If there’s one gripe that I have with Paranormal Activity 2, it’s that the backstory seemed like it was ripped off from an episode of the hit TV show Supernatural (the whole "making a deal with a demon to live a more prosperous life" bit). I’m surprised Jared Padalecki and/or Jensen Ackles (who play ghosthunters Sam and Dean Winchester on Supernatural) didn’t make cameos in the movie. Or at the very least, the daughter in PA2, Ali, tried to find out via her laptop computer how to contact a ‘crossroads demon’ (a recurring character/villain on Supernatural) to deal with the haunting of her family. Anyways...

Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) talk about time travel outside the Twin Pines Mall in BACK TO THE FUTURE.

I also watched Back to the Future at the theater yesterday. The 1985 sci-fi adventure classic was shown during a special 12:30 PM screening at the AMC theater in Puente Hills Mall (which served as the Twin Pines Mall in Back to the Future). Needless to say, it was a sell-out crowd...as lots of other people wanted to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of Robert Zemeckis’ hit film. Everyone in the audience got free theatrical posters of the movie afterwards. Would you guys chew me out if I said this was actually the first time I saw Back to the Future in its entirety? Would you chew me out even more if I said I never saw Back to the Future 2 and only bits and pieces of Back to the Future 3 as well? Great Scott! Quit hurling tomatoes at me!



Outside the Twin Pines Mall, Doc Brown and Marty McFly stare at the after-effects of the DeLorean traveling back in time in BACK TO THE FUTURE.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sara Rue.

RANDOM BABE BLOG #15... Today’s entry goes to actress Sara Rue, who’s been in such hit TV shows as The Big Bang Theory, and summer movies like Pearl Harbor and 1998’s Can’t Hardly Wait. If you watch television as much as I do, then you’ll know that she is also the current spokeswoman for the Jenny Craig weight loss company.

Sara Rue.

Doing research online, I notice that there’s an equal amount of photos of Ms. Rue as a beefy redhead as there are pics of her as a slender, curvaceous redhead/blonde. Maybe that’s why Jenny Craig hired her for the new commercials: Ms. Rue ‘presumably’ makes it look easy to lose weight (despite the fact it actually took her around 40 weeks to do so)...and thus makes the Jenny Craig workout routine look like it completely works. But that’s just my opinion. Either way— I salute you Sara...for looking as sexy a redhead as Scarlett Johansson did in Iron Man 2, and Rachel Nichols did in last year’s movie G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Oh, and let's not forget the lovely (and now deported) Russian spy Anna Chapman. That is all.

Sara Rue.

Friday, October 15, 2010

SO LAST NIGHT, I had a dream where I was celebrating my birthday (which was 11 days ago by the way... Happy 31st B-Day to me), and I was gonna grub at some pizza restaurant for dinner. I was going with Susie, her brother (who’s still one of my co-workers in real life) and one of his friends. At the last minute, it was Susie who ended up driving...despite the fact it was my car that she was using (which was a blue 2005 VW Beetle in the dream, not a Toyota Corolla). What made this dream um, noteworthy, was that during the entire drive Susie was getting angry at me for things that I don’t remember, and I think we were embroiled in a huge argument. For much of the trip, we were driving around looking for the pizza restaurant. I thought it was in Orange County, but then I started to think that it might be closer to where I live (somewhere between Walnut and La Puente). So I ended up calling one of my high school friends (Sarina... If you’re reading this, hi Sarina!), who started to randomly speak in Chinese (and Spanish too, I think. Haha) as I asked her where the pizza joint was. I don’t think Sarina ever told me where the restaurant was located (in real life, she and her boyfriend treated me to a birthday meal at Buca di Beppo—an Italian restaurant that obviously serves pizzas—in Orange County in 2007), and the dream ended with Susie, her brother and I still driving around looking for the restaurant. Her brother’s friend randomly disappeared from the car.

The gist of this journal entry? I was shocked at how bitter Susie was towards me in this dream. In real life, I haven’t spoken to her in person since last April...and before that, May of 2009 (she did respond to a comment I posted under one of her status updates on Facebook two months ago). I think she may be peeved at me for no longer keeping in touch with her since she left the company we were co-workers at 2 years ago (random Facebook comment notwithstanding). Would I want to be co-workers with her again? Um...nay.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The curvature of the Earth...as seen by a video camera attached to a weather balloon flying 100,000 feet off the ground.
Luke & Max Geissbuhler

VIDEO OF THE DAY... Check out this awesome footage taken by a video camera that was attached to a weather balloon sent up into the sky by 7-year-old Max Geissbuhler and his father Luke. The balloon didn’t technically reach space—it flew 19 miles above the ground as opposed to 62 miles (designated as the Kármán line...a.k.a. the ‘official’ boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and outer space). Click here for more details on this 'homemade spacecraft'. For those of you who have iPhones and some free time on your hands, you should try this too. I only have a measly Verizon LG phone.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Minka Kelly.

SEXIEST WOMAN ALIVE... Back in 2008, I posted a journal entry devoted to Friday Night Light’s lovely Minka Kelly, and even posted another Blog the following month about how she should have a role in 2012’s Batman 3 (which is scheduled to begin filming next April). Esquire.com has declared that Ms. Kelly (I don’t want to fathom if/when she becomes Mrs. Jeter... Ugh) is the Sexiest Woman Alive for 2010. I definitely don’t disagree with that. Get back to me when the day comes that she’s declared the Sexiest Single Woman alive (err, just because)... At least John Mayer has been long out of the picture. That dude annoys me.

Minka Kelly.

Minka Kelly.

All images courtesy of Yu Tsai

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The VSS Enterprise conducts its first manned glide flight above the Mojave Desert in Southern California, on October 10, 2010.
Mark Greenberg - Virgin Galactic / Scaled Composites

PHOTOS OF THE DAY... The VSS Enterprise, a.k.a. SpaceShipTwo, conducted its first solo flight above the Mojave Desert in Southern California today. Click here to read more. Now if only I had $200,000 to make this historic commercial spaceflight news relevant to me...

The VSS Enterprise is released from the VMS Eve to conduct its first manned glide flight above the Mojave Desert in Southern California, on October 10, 2010.
Clay Observatory - Virgin Galactic / Scaled Composites

The VSS Enterprise conducts its first manned glide flight above the Mojave Desert in Southern California, on October 10, 2010.
Mark Greenberg - Virgin Galactic / Scaled Composites

The VSS Enterprise lands at the Mojave Air and Space Port in Southern California after successfully completing its first manned glide flight, on October 10, 2010.
Bill Deaver - Virgin Galactic / Scaled Composites

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Jesse Eisenberg in THE SOCIAL NETWORK.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK... I saw the film two days ago, and thought it was pretty good. Definitely not the piece of crap that the teaser trailer made it out to be. (PUNK... PROPHET... BILLIONAIRE... STFU!) Jesse Eisenberg—of Zombieland fame—was amusing as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg...though it’s funny how little Eisenberg sounded like the real Internet billionaire [Zuckerberg made a guess appearance on last week’s episode of The Simpsons...and the dude has a pretty deep voice. Of course, The Social Network is based on events 7 years ago, but I doubt Zuckerberg sounds any different than he did when he was a hated(?) Harvard computer nerd in 2003].

Rooney Mara and Jesse Eisenberg in THE SOCIAL NETWORK.

Justin Timberlake did a notable job as Napster founder Sean Parker...though I wonder if Parker is anything close to acting like the somewhat douchey and cowardly partygoer that Timberlake portrayed him as. I don’t know much about British actor Andrew Garfield except that he's gonna play the next Peter Parker, but my hopes for 2012’s Spider-Man reboot have gone up a little after seeing his commendable performance as Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin.

Jesse Eisenberg, Brenda Song and Andrew Garfield in THE SOCIAL NETWORK.

The actress who plays Saverin’s girlfriend, Brenda Song, looked so friggin’ hot in the movie. Seeing as how Song is credited on IMDb only as "Christy" in The Social Network, was her character fictitious? Just kidding... Upon further research, I know that her full name is Christy Lee. It's Erica Albright, the girl played by Rooney Mara who is the reason why Zuckerberg created Facebook in the movie, that doesn't exist. Supposedly.

Malese Jow and Brenda Song in THE SOCIAL NETWORK.

Before you ask... No, I didn’t post a status update about The Social Network on Facebook after I watched the movie. But I did tweet about it on my Twitter page (I’d provide a link...but I’ll probably end up deleting my Twitter account a few months from now...only to create a new profile on the same day. Just because). I wonder if the origins of MySpace and Friendster were just as dark as that of Facebook. Probably not. Otherwise, we would have already seen a Friendster movie...and Tom, the creator of MySpace, wouldn’t have been relegated to a cameo in last year’s unfunny flick Funny People. That is all.

Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake in THE SOCIAL NETWORK.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

An Autobot 'Wrecker' drives past the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Michael R. Brown / FLORIDA TODAY

TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON... This will be the full title for Michael Bay’s third Giant Alien Robots movie when it gets released in theaters next July. Before folks here begin criticizing this new moniker for Transformers 3 (for syntax and otherwise), I found this interesting explanation for Dark of the Moon on this website:

"The Dark of the Moon is traditionally the last three days of the Lunar cycle, immediately preceding the New Moon, and the time when the night sky is notably absent the presence of the Moon."

If the rumors I’ve read for Transformers 3 since it started filming last Spring is any indication, then Dark of the Moon does make sense. (Apart from the fact Dark of the Moon has been a title used for several books and plays dating back over half a century; not to mention a term used in ancient Greek mythos.) TF3 will reportedly focus on the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union...and how the Transformers had an impact on the two nations’ famous race to send astronauts to the Moon in the 1960's. Also, humans will supposedly turn against the Autobots in TF3, with some prodding by the Decepticons, so it would make sense that Shockwave and Co. (and even Megatron before he ended up taking an Arctic ice nap) sneak onto Earth under a dark, Moon-less sky to wage war on the Autobots and mankind. That, and the Decepticons may have a secret base on the far side of the Moon, heh.

However, I DO think that another title—like Transformers: The Dark Moon—would’ve sounded better...but the last thing I need while watching TF3 is to think of a f***in’ Twilight movie when I see this title. Anyways, here are a couple of pics of the Autobot cars and actor Tyrese Gibson at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida...where Michael Bay was filming TF3 since last weekend:

The Autobot vehicles gather at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Courtesy of NASASpaceflight.com

A Kennedy Space Center security guard checks out a Wrecker.
Michael R. Brown / FLORIDA TODAY

Optimus Prime shows up at Kennedy Space Center.
Red Huber / ORLANDO SENTINEL

Actor/rapper Tyrese Gibson poses in front of space shuttle Discovery at Launch Complex 39A.
Courtesy of AceShowbiz.com

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A satellite dish at the Goonhilly Earth Station in the United Kingdom.

ONE LIGHT-YEAR...AGAIN! August 27 marked one year since the Hello From Earth signal (which contains 25,878 goodwill text messages—including one by me) was transmitted from NASA’s Deep Space Network in Australia to the exoplanet Gliese 581d 20 light-years away...and today, it has been 12 months since another message I typed was relayed into space via the Sent Forever website. I wanted to send another personal greeting to any extraterrestrial being out there (yes, I say that with a grin), but unfortunately, Sent Forever has been out of action since early this year because the webmasters were unable to renew their transmission license. Oh well.

All I’m wondering is...after the recent discovery of another potentially habitable world orbiting Gliese 581, will another Hello From Earth message be transmitted towards this red dwarf star sometime in the near future? We shall see. The current message already zooming through interstellar space still has 19 years to go before it reaches this intriguing solar system.

An artist's concept of the Gliese 581 star system.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

PHOTOS OF THE DAY... The U.S. Navy of old...

The battleship USS Iowa.

And the U.S. Navy of new (or of late)...

The 'Littoral Combat Ship' USS Independence.

The Littoral Combat Ship USS Freedom.

All I can say is, if I was a Somali pirate, I would totally be sh*tting bricks in my pants if I saw either of these two vessels (officially known as Littoral Combat Ships) barreling across the ocean towards me! These ships can travel at a top speed of 50+ mph...which maybe slow for a car, but very fast for sea-going capital warships. I love being an American.