WORLD IN MY EYES

Archive for October, 2010

Owl City: Of June & Maybe I’m Dreaming

The moment I saw past albums of Owl City, I was speechless (and that is in a very good way). After seeing them I had to have a copy and once I listened to them, it really brings me to a happy place. Somehow that’s the underlying rhythm of Owl City, despite the electronic-pop genre and synthesized vocals. It may sound very redundant in most of their songs but it also gives a different feel for each one. Since both albums were done in 2007 and 2008, the funny thing is that it sounds very updated which somehow feels like an extension of their very popular album, Ocean Eyes in 2010. One thing I like about the group is the narration of the lyrics like a story being told as you enjoy the musical journey.

picture courtesy of amazon.com

Of June which came out in 2007. It does give me the impression that you’re traveling around the world, enveloped in emotions of either happiness or sadness of a personal experience. It’s reflective enough to have a imaginative visual of places and yet as if you’re a passenger while Owl City is the navigator. Surprisingly despite the album only has seven songs, if this was their debut album, it’s a good enough lift off of their music career.

Album tracks are as follows: #1 Hello Seattle; #2 Fuzzy Blue Lights; #3 The Airway; #4 Panda Bear; #5 Designer Skyline; #6 Captains and Cruise Ships; #7 Swimming in Miami

Note: Hello Seattle also came out in the Ocean Eyes album in 2010. Please read further for a brief explanation about this.

 

picture courtesy of amazon.com

Maybe I’m Dreaming came out in 2008. It gives me the impression of storytelling with lots of inspiration. It tackles a lot of emotions in an experience which makes it very relatable. There are a lot of build-up in the songs that makes you anticipate the transition and once it hits you it really takes you to a blissful place. I admit that sometimes, I’m so fascinated that I repeat the songs. Compared to the previous album, this one has twelve songs and they’re all great.

Album tracks are as follows: #1 West Coast Friendship; #2 This is the Future; #3 I’ll Meet You There; #4 Dear Vienna; #5 Sky Diver; #6 The Technicolor Phase; #7 Air Traffic; #8 Early Birdie; #9 The Saltwater Room; #10 Super Honeymoon; #11 Rainbow Veins; #12 On the Wing

Note: The Saltwater Room and On the Wing came out in the Ocean Eyes album in 2010. Please read further for brief explanation about this.

If you will notice that the songs of Hello Seattle, The Saltwater Room, and On the Wing songs was reintroduced in the Ocean Eyes album in 2010. The songs are basically the same but if you listen closely, the original songs were more acoustic and less electronified. Both versions still have their own appeals. It was good for them to do this because both previous albums were not as successful as Ocean Eyes. For those you who just came across these albums, you better get a copy and enjoy their early works – it’s very worth it.

The Secret of Kells

picture courtesy of mofilia.com

I first known of The Secret of Kells was in the Academy Awards when it was nominated for Best Animated Feature. From there I just feel the need to have a copy of this DVD. It took a while to search for this movie since it’s hardly known here in our country but with patience I was able to get hold of a copy. And true enough, I indeed affirm that it’s truly deserve a nomination.

The movie is quite interesting though the diction if a bit too much for me but then again it’s very Celtic-Irish in nature so I am very thankful for the subtitles. The story is based on Celtic mythology where adventure and magic coincides which makes it a great storyline. Though I am clueless with this type of mythology, it’s a great tale nevertheless.

One of the intriguing characters is Abbott Cellach (voice of Brendan Gleeson), the uncle of Brendan – the main character, on his issues about containing and restraining his nephew to stay within the bounds of the village and not wander around in the forest. But knowing the intense curiosity from Brendan plus the need to get something from the forest, that’s where he meets Aisling, a mysterious young wolf-girl who lives in the forest. Then the adventure begins.

I’m just sure if this is something I would recommend for the children. Though it’s a cartoon, it does come across as a bit too deep and dark. It still could be watched by kids but there should be some sort of explanation on certain scenes like “Why do they need five goose feathers?” or “Do they really need to go to the forest just to get the berry for ink?” But again, this would be a very interactive type of movie where you can discuss how and why things happen. But no matter what you decide, this movie is a very good movie – a magical, mystical, mysterious movie.

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse

picture courtesy of moviesbase.net

I don’t think that I will ever outgrow my fascination with cartoon or animation of superheroes. It doesn’t matter what company made it whether it’s from DC or Marvel. It’s a great simple escape into a world that good wins over evil, and the hero saves the day type of storyline.

I first came across this DVD from my partner. The thing is we were expecting something else. We were expecting that this would be the movie of the actual apocalypse between the battle of Darkseid vs. Superman and Batman. Don’t get me wrong, this movie has the components of the three but it is a different story. Despite the surprise of not watching that, we were entertained as well because it’s another one of those twists and introduction of a new superhero. I am referring to Supergirl. I must admit that I have no clue as to the origin of Super Girl and somehow this movie seemed to make sense. One of the interesting thing to know is that Supergirl is actually stronger than Superman but one of the boggling things is that if Kara (Supergirl) was able to escape the Planet Krypton just as Kal-El (Superman) when they were infants, then how come Superman is older?

It was a bit disappointing that Batman’s contribution to the story is a bit insignificant or forgettable compared to Wonder Woman. I mean Wonder Woman played a big role in the story from training Supergirl in Paradise Island also her role in fighting with Big Barda in defeating the Furies. I guess probably she’s more powerful with her power than Batman’s.

I particularly liked the battle of Wonder Women in apocalypse together with Big Barda, who was once the leader of the Furies but changed sides. It amazing to see the women kicking some evil women butts. I also liked the final battle between Darkseid vs. Superman and Supergirl. It was apparent that Supergirl did have stronger powers compared to Superman, which was great and all the more that she’s on the good side.

The movie was generally awesome and all the more I crave for more movies like this. Though honestly, I do not find this to be a General Patronage type of movie because of the violence and death scenes but for adults with child-like hearts this is a movie you should watch.

Signs


picture courtesy of popcritics.com

It’s been a while since I last saw Signs – thank god for HBO. I was lucky enough to watching from the start so I had good memories about the movie. As mentioned in my previous blogs, this movie is one of my favorites from M. Night Shayamalan. Though I heard some comments before that the movie was a but corny, I beg to disagree. The storyline is good, the connection of the aliens with the past is also flawless, the actors were great, a good combination of the suspense, drama and bit of comedy.

Other movies would really dwell on aliens and countless possibilities but this movie depicts the juxtaposition of the aliens with Rev. Graham Hess’ past. I love the connection which turns out to be a great layout for a movie.

The movie also showed the raw talent of the actors with their emotions. The sadness and doubtful emotions from Mel Gibson (Rev Graham Hess). The strength and skeptics from Joaquin Phoenix (Merrill Hess). The innocence and braveness from Rory Culkin (Morgan Hess) and Abigale Breslin (Bo Hess). Let’s also not forget the signature cameo role of M. Night Shayamalan (Ray Reddy). I really appreciate the vulnerabilities of Mel and Joaquin’s acting ability – totally believable. For me, this is the one of Mel’s peak of his career. He still looks great and it’s very unfortunate with whatever is happening to him now.

Though I do not consider this a feel good movie but it has a happy ending still but if you want to find yourself at the edge of your seat, then this movie will not disappoint you.

Bullying in my Eyes

picture courtesy of cherrygrrl.com

Just recently there has been numerous public service announcements (PSA) from America about the teenage suicides of kids being bullied in schools and fellow peers. I cannot help but reflect on my personal experience about this subject matter because I, myself, was a victim of this when I was still in grade school.

I guess I was one of the lucky ones who survived this pressure and torture way back and I felt the need to blog this in the hope that someone out there would read this and probably understand that it happens everywhere, not only in America. Here is my story.

During grade school, I was very timid and very aloof to my classmates. I was not sure why at that time that I decide to be that way but probably because I felt different and it was difficult to find someone to talk to about my deepest thoughts. Yes my tendencies to become a gay person started here. Though I have my so-called friends, it was not those type that you couldn’t really share who you are.  Probably because, at that time, it’s taboo to mention the word “gay”, not that I knew I was one at that time but definitely I felt different, with no one to share this with. Because I chose to be quite in class and shy away from any activities that would engage me to interact with other classmates, the bullying didn’t really start there. I recalled when it was Sportsfest in our school and each class is considered as a team and each student has to participate in a sport. Since I was quiet, my classmates decided to assign me to track and field. At that time, I was not into sports so I couldn’t care less but still I participated being part of the team. When it was our turn to do the track and field activity, it was a relay course. When my classmate was running towards me with the baton, I grabbed it started running. As stressed, I was not into sports so in other words I was not that fast and probably caused our team to loose the activity. Since my class was very competitive, they felt that they needed to blame someone. So for the track and field activity, I was blamed for our loss. At first I was called “loser” then eventually evolved being called “gay”. That was the first time I was called as such and I was very worrisome. I was embarrassed and couldn’t defend myself since the bullies in the class were overpowering me and the others were laughing, so I felt helpless. I was really stressed and troubled, especially I couldn’t talk to anyone about this. I kept this inside to the point that even my family doesn’t know that something like this happened in school. It was a no-brainer for me not to tell my family because I, myself, am still figuring out who I was.

picture courtesy of dashus.typepad.com

That experience has kept me from sharing anything to anyone to the point that I was in college already, despite that I felt I was gay already by that time. So the endurance and silence was something I had to bear all these years.

How did I survive this? It’s not easy but I went through my education by being quiet about this issue, still having no one to share my tendencies and inclinations with. I focused on studying and writing short stories, which was good therapy for me. Those short stories were not even close to my issues but other topics like an escape of some sort, a safe, productive escape.

Despite my rocky journey, we are a close-knit family (except for my father which is another issue for me). I remember I came out only 1996 when I invited all my siblings and mother in a coffee shop and told them about my true sexuality. I am truly blessed that this didn’t hinder my relationship with each one, in fact, they all took it well and supported me. If I had any regrets in telling them sooner? I don’t think so. By 1996 the maturity level of my siblings were intact and if I told them any sooner, the results might be different. From there, my life has changed for the better, knowing that my family still respects me for who I really am.

For those who are undergoing something similar to mine, do not loose hope. The anguish of words will pass and do not loose yourself in the torment. Know yourself and embrace yourself. We all have a place in this world and no once can take that away from us. The support system now is far better compared in the 80’s so there are ways and places where you can seek support. Be brave and know that this happens to a lot of people and you are not alone in this struggle. And I am not only referring to gay teasing and bullying but any inhumane form of degradation. All of us has the right to be who we are.

It really does get better… so hang it there…

PSA from Cris Colfer and cast of Modern Family:

A message from Ellen Degeneres:

A message from Neil Patrick Harris:

A message from Kathy Griffith:

PSA for The Trevor Project by various actors:

A very interesting discussion in Larry King Live from various actors:

It is unfortunate though that the PSAs are sourced from America but this is a global dilemma and for those who feel the need to say something about this, do your part in relaying the message of “No Hate” in your own respective countries.

Visit The Trevor Project or Give a Damn Campaign for more information and assistance… There is Help and there is Hope.

Clean House

 

picture courtesy of mystyle.com

I enjoy watching Clean House (My Style production). I like the process and transformation of a house. Sometimes I find it hard to believe the “before” house where everything is just too messy.  Too messy that it’s hard to think that this is livable. I started being skeptic about this since practically all the houses have the same extreme mess. I think this is done deliberately for viewing impact and effects but other than that, I think they do a pretty good job.

The comedic inserts are hilariously amusing. It does seem that they are having fun while doing the transformation. Also the yard sale is also fun to watch, letting go of stuff that you no longer need. Something we can all pick up from. Plus after the yard sale, the unsold items are automatically donated to charity so nothing goes to waste and helps charitable institutions. Basically everything in this show has good intentions.

I do, however, noticed changes in the cast but they all are great at what they do. Niecy Nash is a great host and very funny with her loud antics. I do have to admit that the combination of Mark Brunetz (designer), Trish Suhr (yard sale diva and organizer), and Matt Iseman (go-to guy) is just perfect for a team. They compliment with their personalities and antics as well.

Clean House is very entertaining and you will be blown away with the transformation. The objective is clear and they always fulfill and stay true to the show’s name.

Parenthood

picture courtesy of tvbythenumbers.com

Another good, entertaining family series. Parenthood is one of those series you would be skeptic at first, especially after the well-known series of Brothers & Sisters (B&S), but then eventually it’s does present itself independently, going outside of the shadow of B&S. One good thing about the show aside from the typical issues of family, it also tackles the issues of the children and the world they face. Like B&S, Parenthood is also a dysfunctional-functional family dealing with their own issues individually, as a couple, as families and as being parents (both macro and micro).

Setting aside the issues, there are comedic punchlines which adds to the appeal. I guess it makes them less abnormal and more normal as a family. In every crisis, you can surely go back to your roots to seek support and find comfort and balance to be able to endure and overcome the obstacles that comes their way. I think that is the true essence of a family.

The cast are also great, well at least some of them. Admittedly, it’s one of the reasons why I started watching the series. My favorites are Lauren Graham (Sarah Braverman), Monica Potter (Kristina Braverman), Peter Krause (Adam Braverman), and Sam Jaeger (Joel Graham). I am not totally convinced on the role of  Erika Christensen (Julia Braverman-Graham) – too artificial for me.  Dax Shepard (Crosby Braverman) plays a role of loser, black sheep of the family and I’m finding him hard to be connected to the Bravermans but then if that was his purpose then probably I can give that to him. And Craig T. Nelson (Zeek Braverman) is not so effective as the father of the whole family – some of his scenes and lines does fall short. I am not trying to discredit him but he’s better in movie roles and not just a father figure in this series.

For a purpose of pure entertainment, this series is ok and recommended. Somewhere along the way you can pick a lesson every now and then about family relationships. If I was to choose between the two shows, Brother & Sisters stands out more because it’s more relatable.

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