Friday, May 29, 2009

Back in the NBA Finals... If I was a Houston Rockets fan, I'd take solace in the fact my team was the only opponent to force a Game 7 against the Lakers during this postseason (so far). But I'm not a Rockets fan, so... Sucks for you, Houston and Denver! However, let's see who Los Angeles will be playing against starting next Thursday (June 4): King James and Company (in Cleveland), or that team the Lakers were 0-2 against in the regular STAPLES Center (I'm referring to the Magic, in case you're not NBA-savvy)? Hmm. Tough call.

Kobe Bryant squares up against Chauncey Billups of the Denver Nuggets in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals on May 29, 2009 in Denver, Colorado.
Garrett W. Ellwood / NBAE via Getty Images

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

WHAT STEPHEN SOMMERS needs to put at the beginning of his live-action G.I. Joe film (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, which comes out in theaters on August 7)...for me to pay to watch it...

"Cooobra... COBRAAA!"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

At a firing range for the first time.

LAST SATURDAY, I went to a firing range for the first time. It was pretty awesome... The gun that I used was a Glock 17 9mm, which has a strong recoil when you fired it. I heard that a 45mm pistol has a much stronger recoil (well obviously... It’s a larger caliber), so I should try that one next time. Oh and FYI, I had two targets that I used at the range...which is why the target in the pic above is black and the one I’m displaying below is blue (in case you’re legally color-blind).

Displaying my handiwork.

Me and my comrades in arms, haha...

Group pose.

Um— Only at a firing range!

What an odd way to advocate gun control...

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Martian northern plain, with one of Phoenix's solar panels and a portion of the lander's flight deck visible in the foreground.
NASA / JPL - Caltech / University of Arizona / Texas A&M University

ONE YEAR AGO, TODAY... The Phoenix Mars lander safely touched down on the Red Planet. Just thought I'd share... Oh, and F**K the Denver Nuggets. Just thought I'd share that too.

PHOENIX Blog Entries Archive:

May 8, 2007
July 28, 2007
August 3, 2007
August 4, 2007
August 8, 2007
October 25, 2007
April 11, 2008
April 25, 2008
May 1, 2008
May 11, 2008
May 18, 2008
May 24, 2008
May 25, 2008
May 27, 2008
June 18, 2008
August 4, 2008
November 10, 2008

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Optimus Prime in the heat of battle.

ONE MONTH FROM TODAY... Giant F**king Robots are about to return to the big screen. Along with...

Megan Fox as Mikaela Banes.

TRANSFORMERS 2 main cast: Megan Fox, John Torturro (Agent Simmons), Shia LaBeouf (Sam Witwicky) and Ramon Rodriguez (Leo).
Both images above courtesy of

Mikaela drops Sam off at his college.

Bumblebee in TRANSFORMERS 2.

Sam and Mikaela try to avoid Decepticons in Petra, Jordan.

Isabel Lucas, who plays Sam's college classmate, Alice (a Decepticon 'Pretender').

At least the folks of Sin City should know that revenge is coming...

A TRANSFORMERS 2 ad on the side of the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas.



Friday, May 22, 2009

DESPITE THE FACT Kaguya will meet its fiery end by crashing onto the Moon's surface around June 10 (after completing an almost 2-year mission mapping the lunar surface), just thought I'd share these photos of the two metal sheets containing around 413,000 names and messages that were installed onto the spacecraft. These names and messages were submitted as part of the Japanese Space Agency's (JAXA) "Wish Upon the Moon" campaign that took place via the Internet and snail mail between December of 2006 and February of '07.

Photos showing the aluminum sheets containing 413,000 names and messages that were installed onto the KAGUYA lunar spacecraft, prior to launch on September 13, 2007.

In other news, this June 17 will see the launch of NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to the Moon. I'll talk more about this mission when it launches.

NASA's LUNAR RECONNAISSANCE ORBITER prior to being encapsulated by the Atlas V nose fairing on May 15, 2009.
NASA / Jack Pfaller

KAGUYA Blog Entries Archive:

April 11, 2007
September 5, 2007
September 13, 2007
October 4, 2007
October 26, 2007
November 13, 2007

Thursday, May 21, 2009

TERMINATOR SALVATION... I've been reading nothing but negative reviews for this fourth installment in the evil-cyborgs-amongst-us franchise, but whatever. I'll still watch it this weekend...

UPDATE (May 23): I saw the film after work last night, and um...

The robots were pretty cool. Especially the hunter-killers and T-600s.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I HAD THE WEIRDEST DREAM... On Sunday night, I dreamt of something that would probably make the Department of Homeland Security frown (or laugh hysterically...and obviously not in a good way) if they read this entry. I dreamt that I was in the possession of small candle sticks, which were actually nuclear devices (neutron bombs to be exact) in disguise. Light the wick at the top of the candle, and it somehow activates the bomb— err, device. Toss the candle towards the target, and you have 5 minutes to get the hell out of there before it detonates. Of course, you had to be several blocks away to avoid getting hurt or killed in the explosion.

Wanna know why this dream was so intense (other than the fact it involved nukes)? In the first part of my dream (yep, it was like a movie), someone handed me a candle and I had to, um, use it at a school (I think it was a high school...the one I went to actually, haha). I was able to safely escape after deploying the nuke. Apparently, the only structure that can protect you from the bomb’s blast is a building that has lead walls in it (kinda like how Indiana Jones shields himself from that A-bomb explosion by hiding in that lead-laden fridge in The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Anyways...). The second part of the dream, though, is when things go awry.

While I was in that building where I sought safe haven from the first bomb’s blast, I came upon a girl (who, in real life, was a co-worker of mine at one of my old jobs. *cough-Paramount-Studios-cough*) who also had candles in possession. Unlike me though, she was reckless with them. She was gonna detonate the candles at a target that was less than a mile away (RE: A building next door). In a futile gesture, I tried to hide in a small room (can’t remember if it had lead in its walls) despite the fact I knew I was screwed. Before the candle detonated and I was kaput, I woke up.

Going back to sleep again, there were other folks who now had candles in possession. Like the girl mentioned in the paragraph above, they too were reckless. A nuclear candle (or neutron candle? Whatever) was about to detonate nearby, and I sought refuge in a wooden shack. Once the candle exploded, the blast caused the shack to roll around on the ground. And then suddenly, the shack was about to collapse on itself, with me in it. Right before I was a goner, I woke up again.

Now to the final part of my dream... Yet another neutron candle was about to go off...and several people and I sought refuge inside another building. Turns out this building was a college dormitory, haha. I recall following one of my old college classmates around the hallways inside the dorm...even going through hidden passageways and climbing up stuff. Turns out that the hidden passageway led to the girls’ side of the dorm. While my classmate went off in another direction, I found myself going into a dorm room where a blonde chick was waiting for me (from what I recall...that blonde chick was kinda hot. Not Charlize Theron hot or Lauren Conrad hot, but hot). Turns out this whole epic tale ended with me about to get some action by a college babe. Unfortunately, before I got some play, I asked the girl where the restroom was. She told me it was across the hall. This dream about nuclear candles and such ended with me wanting to take a leak right when I was about to get laid.

God, I hope I have this dream again... Near-death encounters and all...

Candles: Future weapons of mass destruction?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

An awesome shot that shows why Darth Maul dying in THE PHANTOM MENACE was a travesty.

Happy 10th Anniversary, EPISODE ONE!! In case you’re wondering why I’m honoring the 10-year release of what many call the worst film in the Star Wars saga, it’s just to validate the number of hours I spent online (in the computer lab at Long Beach State... I was a freshman back in the Spring of 1999... Just thought I'd share such useful info with ya'll...) reading up on spoilers for The Phantom Menace between September of 1998 [when the title was (infamously?) revealed to the public] and the movie’s release 10 years ago today. Of course, I didn’t really have to say anything about this at all...seeing as how I didn’t have this Blog back in ’99, and wouldn’t be in the position to make an ass out of myself if I posted so much coverage about the movie (just like what I’m doing with Transformers 2 right now) and later found out it was a stinker. Oh well. At least this journal entry gave me an excuse to post a random Darth Maul image here. Sith rule!

Naboo starfighters are cool too. Even when they explode.

Naboo starfighters look dope.  Though it looks like they could use better shielding.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A day before docking with the HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE, space shuttle ATLANTIS is seen crossing the Sun on May 12, 2009.
NASA / Thierry Legault

FOUR 'WALKS DOWN, ONE MORE TO GO... And by 'walk, I mean extravehicular activity. Nothing nerdy like the term 'spacewalk' or something...

Whatever, I'm justing coming up with an excuse to post these photos.

The HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE before it is docked with space shuttle ATLANTIS on May 13, 2009.

The HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE before it is docked with space shuttle ATLANTIS on May 13, 2009.

The HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE after it is docked with space shuttle ATLANTIS on May 13, 2009.

Astronauts work on the HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE during the first spacewalk of STS-125 on May 14, 2009.

All Hubble images courtesy of NASA

Sunday, May 17, 2009

ANGELS & DEMONS... I saw the film last night, and found it pretty entertaining. I’d compare it to The Da Vinci Code, but all I remember from that film (since I only saw it once, and that was when it came out in 2006) was that Paul Bettany played an albino assassin, and Jesus Christ knocked up Mary Magdalene. Of course, like Angels & Demons, I never read the book to that previous film, so my non-existent expectations made these two flicks fun to watch.

What made Angels & Demons amusing is that over the course of the film, it eventually explained certain trivial plot points that I found odd (I know, I know... DUHHH). One of them was why Tom Hanks’ character, Robert Langdon, didn’t carry any weapons on him when he knew he was involved in a case that involved Catholic cardinals being kidnapped and murdered. But later on in the film, the assassin explains to Langdon—after they finally meet face-to-face—that he had numerous opportunities to kill Langdon...but he didn’t ‘cause Langdon ‘was unarmed’ and the assassin wasn’t instructed to kill the ‘symbologist’ (a derisive nickname a Vatican security officer gave to Hanks’ character earlier in the movie). Still though, Langdon should’ve at least carried some kind of object to defend himself with. Unless he thought that flashlight he constantly welded would suffice against a gun with a silencer on it. Langdon got lucky this time around.

So Obi-Wan Kenobi almost became the Pope, eh? I’m referring to the Camerlengo played by Ewan McGregor. Most of the film’s twists and turns revolved around his character. In one instance you’re rooting for him to save the Catholic Church and defeat the Illuminati, and in another instance, you’re suspicious over his actions. That other plot point I referred to in the previous paragraph that I found odd: How fortunate that the helicopter McGregor used to dispose that (antimatter) bomb with in the movie's climax had a parachute packed onboard it. I can’t think of any choppers in real life that would normally be equipped with chutes. Pardon my ignorance.

While there were several twists involving the Camerlengo, it was still unsurprising that we find out that he was the main villain. The one thing you’ll notice about film thrillers: The character who acts very nice and is very helpful throughout a movie usually ends up being the main suspect. Just look at Al Pacino’s character in last year’s Righteous Kill. But all in all, Angels & Demons was still an interesting film. It carried the not-so-unique message about how religion and science can co-exist in the modern world, but that’s okay. Out of 10 stars, I give the film…an 8.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MEGAN FOX!! Not that she'd read this Blog in a million years. Or in an alternate reality...

She turns 23 today.

Friday, May 15, 2009

PRISON BREAK... So tonight was the 2-hour series finale of the hit TV show on FOX, and I must say... Rest In Peace, Michael Scofield... It was cool knowing ya. The way the series ended was done pretty well. Not only do we see the return of vital characters from Seasons’ 1 and 2 (C-Note and Agent Kellerman) today, we see that they play an important factor in gaining the freedom for all the characters who were seeking it since episode 1 of the first season. C-Note is the one who eliminates the hitmen who have been carrying out the evil bidding of General Krantz (That shot of him on the electric chair was— Wow. Didn’t know that a fate so deserving would still be surprising to see when it was played out) and the Company during most of Season 4, and Agent Kellerman—who ironically tried to make sure that Lincoln Burrows and Scofield either stayed in prison or died the minute they stepped out of the gates of Fox River Penitentiary—was the one who would eventually be in the position to have the brothers and everyone else exonerated at the end. And Christina Scofield was right: She IS the worst mom, ever.

Fernando Sucre... That’s what I call a true friend. As cheesy as that sounds. Too bad they didn’t show Sucre’s hot-ass girlfriend Maricruz in the finale though. So Don Self is a vegetable now, huh? And what happened to Gretchen?? And Lincoln’s son LJ? Anyways... That final scene showing Sara, her son, Burrows, Sucre and Alex Mahone visiting Scofield’s grave definitely brought closure to Prison Break (I know, I know... Ya think?). Even though it truly sucks that Scofield didn’t make it at the end, his fate exemplified all the sacrifice that he gave since he entered Fox River to free his brother 4 years ago. Michael Scofield died so that his family and friends may live.

Oh, and welcome back to prison, T-Bag. It looks like you’re still da man there.

UPDATE (May 16): In terms of nitpicking, there was a continuity error towards the end of the second episode last night. When Scofield gets shot by his mom, he gets hit on the left shoulder. But in the scene afterwards, when he is meeting up with Agent Kellerman to hand over Scylla, Scofield is putting a hand over his right shoulder. I wonder how the editors could have missed this? Oh well.

UPDATE #2 (May 16): Speaking of Kellerman, it's kinda interesting that he became a congressman. But how does he explain the deaths of those officers who were transporting him to prison when those masked gunmen freed him towards the end of Season 2? Did Kellerman rat those gunmen out before he ran for office? Hm.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A computer-generated image of the Kepler telescope in space.

KEPLER Update...


Let the Planet Hunt Begin (Press Release)

NASA's Kepler spacecraft has begun its search for other Earth-like worlds. The mission, which launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on March 6, will spend the next three-and-a-half years staring at more than 100,000 stars for telltale signs of planets. Kepler has the unique ability to find planets as small as Earth that orbit sun-like stars at distances where temperatures are right for possible lakes and oceans.

"Now the fun begins," said William Borucki, Kepler science principal investigator at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. "We are all really excited to start sorting through the data and discovering the planets."

Scientists and engineers have spent the last two months checking out and calibrating the Kepler spacecraft. Data have been collected to characterize the imaging performance as well as the noise level in the measurement electronics. The scientists have constructed the list of targets for the start of the planet search, and this information has been loaded onto the spacecraft.

"If Kepler got into a staring contest, it would win," said James Fanson, Kepler project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "The spacecraft is ready to stare intently at the same stars for several years so that it can precisely measure the slightest changes in their brightness caused by planets." Kepler will hunt for planets by looking for periodic dips in the brightness of stars -- events that occur when orbiting planets cross in front of their stars and partially block the light.

The mission's first finds are expected to be large, gas planets situated close to their stars. Such discoveries could be announced as early as next year.

Kepler is a NASA Discovery mission. NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., is the home organization of the science principal investigator, and is responsible for the ground system development, mission operations and science data analysis. JPL manages the Kepler mission development. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colo., is responsible for developing the Kepler flight system and supporting mission operations.

Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The crew of the USS Enterprise.

STAR TREK... I saw the film last Saturday, and needless to say, I was impressed. I’m far from being a Trekker, but J.J. Abrams totally pulled off a nice little comeback for the Star Trek franchise. The action sequences were awesome, the comedy was great (as many have stated, Karl Urban stole the show as Dr. "Bones" McCoy: "Spock, are you out of your Vulcan mind??), and it had some nice emotional moments...especially in the beginning. I must admit that I was close to becoming teary-eyed during the USS Kelvin scene. Damn those, Romulans! Speaking of Romulans, Eric Bana did a nice job as Captain Nero...despite not having much screentime in the movie. But like Darth Maul in, um, The Phantom Menace, that only added to Nero’s coolness factor.

Eric Bana as Romulan bad guy, Captain Nero.

It was a nice job of Mr. Abrams in getting Leonard Nimoy to reprise his role as Spock (Prime, that is). Nimoy still looks like the character he made so iconic...whereas William Shatner should not complain that he wasn’t approached to reprise his role as Captain James Kirk in this latest film. Unless the writers (Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who both wrote Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and its predecessor as well) wrote in a scene that explained how Chris Pine’s Kirk gained 50 pounds at the age of 78, it was good that Shatner wasn’t included.

Zachary Quinto as Spock.

My most favorite scene in Trek was when Kirk, Hikaru Sulu (John Cho, of American Pie and Harold & Kumar fame) and that other character whose name I can’t remember dove down towards the platform that was blasting that beam into the core of planet Vulcan. That’s what I call ‘extreme skydiving’. What a cool action sequence...though it makes one think: If that ship was used by the Romulans for mining purposes, then why does it have such friggin’ powerful weapons?? Oh well.

Zoe Saldana as Nyota Uhura.

In terms of the hot babes in Trek, there were only two: The Terminal's Zoe Saldana as Nyota Uhura and Jennifer Morrison (of the hit FOX TV show, House) as Kirk’s mom, Winona. All this time, I thought that that was Thandie Newton playing Uhura. My bad. I was about to say that Newton did a great job speaking with a regular American accent in this movie, but nevermind. If I was Kirk, I too would be pretty shocked that Uhura had the hots for a pointy-eared stiffneck like Spock...but I heard that’s how it was between the two characters in the 1960’s TV show as well. All righty then.

The starship Enterprise.

To end this Blog: Star Trek was a blast. I really do hope that Paramount makes a sequel (this first film should make bank since there’re good word of mouth and such awesome reviews revolving around it). And if it does, not one change should be made to the cast and crew. One more note about the cast: Simon Pegg (best known for Hot Fuzz, Sean of the Dead and working with Megan Fox in last year's How to Lose Friends & Alienate People) was hilarious as Scotty. One of my co-workers who I watched Trek with called Scotty's alien sidekick an Oompa Loompa. Haha. Anyways... Here’s another question I’m posing to ya'll: I wonder how the Star Wars prequels would’ve been like had George Lucas hired Abrams to direct the new films and Orci and Kurtzman to write their screenplays? Hmm... Could’ve, would’ve, should’ve. I now bid you all farewell. Live long and prosper.

Yes, I know... That was lame.

Will Kirk and Spock return for future space adventures?  We shall see.

Monday, May 11, 2009

HUBBLE-Bound... At 11:01 AM, Pacific Time today, space shuttle Atlantis launched from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida to start an 11-day mission (STS-125) to repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope. Godspeed Atlantis... Here’s hoping this voyage goes completely well...and that space shuttle Endeavour will find herself re-located to Launch Pad 39A a few weeks from now (for STS-127), instead of having to launch from Pad 39B on a rescue flight if the worse, God forbid, happens to Atlantis. And obviously, I’m looking forward to seeing some kick-ass imagery by Hubble once it becomes better than ever following the end of Atlantis' mission. That is all.

With sister ship ENDEAVOUR and Pad 39B in the foreground, space shuttle ATLANTIS is launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 11, 2009.
Canon / Scott Andrews

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The NBA Playoffs... So Yao Ming breaking his left foot during Game 3 last Friday was apparently a bad thing for the Lakers. Good one. F*ckin' Lakers... Get your s**t together and make up for today's debacle by playing some defense on Tuesday. And playing s'more defense in Game 6...whenever the hell that will be. Geez.

Yao Ming sits on the bench during the Houston Rockets' Game 3 loss against the Lakers last Friday.

Friday, May 08, 2009

OH, THE IRONY... So anyways, I’ve been driving the same car for, um, quite a while now...and it has obviously come to the point where I need to buy a new ride. However, since I was a film major in college, the only jobs I would be qualified for right now would be those located in Hollywood (which is 30 miles from where I live). The irony is... There’s a bit of wear and tear on my car (though the engine still runs pretty well, thank God) that I’m unwilling to make a long commute to Hollywood on a daily basis if I got a full-time job there. However, if I want to earn enough money to buy a new car, then I would obviously need to get a full-time job...and risk additional wear and tear on my current car. So wear and tear on my automobile is prompting me to try to get a new job that would pose a risk to causing the car that gets me to work to develop a potential problem, or even completely break down or something. Get it? I hope so. I’m too lazy to correct the grammar on that last sentence.

Of course, a lot of you are probably asking, "Why not just move to Hollywood or Los Angeles or something?" I could give my main reason for why I don’t want to move to those areas (specifically Hollywood), but that would make this Blog a lot longer than what it’s gonna be. A short answer would be that it’s freakin’ expensive to live anywhere within the proximity of downtown Los Angeles (or another big market city like New York)...and I had to be a genius and stick with the freelance job I currently have. I could’ve gotten a $13-an-hour gig (yes, I know...that's weak. But this being the entertainment industry, that's what being part of a union is for, haha) at a postproduction house back in 2004—the year I graduated from my alma mater, Long Beach State—but didn’t want to leave the job I have right now (since I got hired around the same time I got a call from that post house)...which just so happens to have a high turnover rate. That means employees continually come and go from this job ‘cause it, um, doesn’t exactly provide health insurance.

Back to my original point: I wish I got a new ride. I’m planning to do a bit of preventive maintenance on my car (such as "wash" the engine so dirt won’t get into critical parts, and replace the battery soon) before summer arrives...just so I won’t be screwed over when its 100 degrees in July and I’m making that 60+ mile trek to work in Westlake Village (which usually occurs once or twice a case you wanna remind me of that '30 miles to Hollywood' gripe I made earlier). Though I sure as hell wish I knew what was causing that scraping sound near my front wheels. It ain’t the brake pads (got those replaced last year), it isn’t the power steering (got the hoses replaced about three months ago)...and it ain’t the rack & pinion gear. Or maybe it is the rack & pinion gear... But that cost from $250 to $400 to replace. Son-of-a-bitch.

My 1998 Toyota Corolla...back when it was all new and spiffy.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

An alien ship hovers above an African city in DISTRICT 9.

DISTRICT 9... When I saw the trailer for this in front of X-Men Origins: Wolverine last weekend (no, I’m not gonna review that film), I thought it was for another Blood Diamond-type movie. Of course, with Peter Jackson as one of the producers, that was not the case. District 9 looks interesting... Might watch it when it comes out on August 14. Though one misgiving I have of this flick is of the aliens. That creature (despite its face being blurred out) resembles something you would see in a Men in Black film. Is Will Smith or Tommy Lee Jones gonna make a cameo in this movie? Probably not.

An alien is interviewed by government agents, and the alien spacecraft lurks above the horizon in DISTRICT 9.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Character posters for Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Starscream.

AS JUNE 24 fast approaches, more Revenge of the Fallen-related goodies will be publicly released (and I'll be devoting more journal entries to them, haha). Above are three character posters that showed up on Yahoo! Movies yesterday. My favorite one is the poster for Starscream...since he didn’t have his own character sheet for the first film. This obviously means ol’ Screamer will have more screentime in Transformers 2. Awesome. What are the chances that we’ll also see sheets for the new characters, like Sideswipe, Soundwave and/or The Fallen? One can only hope...if they’re lookin’ forward to TF2, that is... Which I hope they are. Yep.

Below is a fan-made poster courtesy of 'artisttheone' on the Don Murphy message board (Don is one of the producers for the Transformers films). Pretty cool...but where's Mikaela? On that motorcycle?

TRANSFORMERS 2 fan-made poster.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Megan Fox on the cover of ESQUIRE magazine.

GOD BLESS YOU, ESQUIRE... Ya like how I follow up on a space-related Blog with this entry?