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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Pronounced SMAWUGH – No Spoilers)

The-Hobbit-The-Desolation-of-Smaug-2013-Poster-HDI am a huge Lord of the Rings fan, the books and the movies alike, so when I read the Hobbit I wasn’t really sure how it fits into middle earth. Yeah, it had the same characters, the same geography but the tone and feel of it was totally different. Given, both of them are adventures and they both feature hobbits getting out of their comfort zone to carry THE ring of power, the Hobbit felt a little bit like a childrens’ book compared to the depth of content that LOTR had. But despite that, I was still excited for the movie because it was still being made by Peter Jackson (no offense to Guillermo del Toro fans – I do love Pan’s Labyrinth).

I know a lot of people were a little disappointed with the Hobbit because they felt it was a little too childish but in The Hobbit’s defense, the book is a little bit childish. It’s filled with child type adventures and quests so you can’t really blame the movie for that certain feel. And I know, it was also a bit dragging but let me tell you now, Peter Jackson redeems himself big time with The Desolation of Smaug.

The movie starts off where the first one left off, literally. So the eagles left them at the mountains (SPOILER!) and they are being chased by orcs. The dwarves still want to go claim their homeland – The Lonely Mountain – and kill the dragon. And that’s basically it without spoiling anything.

Directed and co-written by Peter Jackson based on The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien (although I can say that Jackson completely took creative license in deviating from the book which I actually loved), the movie brings back Martin Freeman as Bilbo, Ian McKellen as Gandalf the awesome wizard, Orlando Bloom as Legolas not in the book but makes a good side story Elf-knight and the rest of the dwarves all of whom I can’t remember except for Thorin played by Richard Armitage as the King under the mountain. The story also includes Benedict Cumberbatch as both the Necromancer (guess who this turns out to be) and Smaug the dragon, Evangeline Lilly as cool and hot She-Elf Tauriel and Luke Evans as Bard, the guy who looks like Legolas.

The plot is great as I mentioned earlier, it is a lot different from the book but some of the main things that happen in the book are still there. The pacing is well done because the buildup is so tense then it slows down for a little bit but brings it right back up again. I like the side stories with both Gandalf and Legolas and am really excited to know what happens to them. Also, the love story is a bit cute without taking anything away from the epic-ness of the film. One of the things that took me so well was the subtle touch of Bilbo getting attached to his precious and the feeling that someone (maybe Thorin) is unto him with his whole disappearing appearing out of nowhere bit. All in all, the plot of this movie sucks you in that by the end you want more of it.

The direction is in the real Lord of the Rings fashion, huge set pieces, the set designs were awesome, you really did feel that you were back in middle earth with these guys getting into the life of LOTR once again. But the one off thing about this movie is the CGI. The CGI in some of the scenes were so obvious that it takes you out of the film at times. The orcs looked CGI unlike in LOTR when you know these guys are guys in costume with a ton of prosthetics that looked convincingly real. But compared to all the action that this movie had, you kind of just forget what the orcs look like and focus on how bad ass the elves are killing them. But to redeem the fucked up CGI of the orcs, the dragon was epic. That dragon looked so real that I wanted to touch its skin to feel what dragon skin may feel like, it really looked awesome.

The acting is wow. With the cast that they had, the actors definitely delivered an awesome film. I mean, of course you expect Ian McKellen to be awesome and of course he is. He is taking down orcs and facing evil again and you know he can and will end up winning. Martin Freeman as Bilbo was also amazing, he really became Bilbo in this film. He had his courage and his ring and his loyalty to what he promised and he really kicked ass. Orlando Bloom also in this film was amazing. It felt kinda weird to think that this movie is 10 years older than Return of the King but it looked like Bloom did not age a day (maybe he does have the real ring of power?). His fight scenes were awesome, almost as good as his LOTR scenes. Richard Armitage as Thorin was also great, he captured the greedy and the heroic dwarf perfectly. You really want him to do the right thing but you know he’s got greedy dwarf blood inside of him. Evangeline Lilly, Benedict Cumberbatch and Luke Evans were also great in their roles. It’s so hard to focus on how good they all were since there was a gazillion characters in the movie.

In the end obviously, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a MUST SEE NOW! It’s a great epic film, almost to the degree of epic-ness of the original LOTR trilogy. It has a great story, awesome acting and a fun-filled vibe with a lot of depth and action. I can’t stress enough that you should not miss this movie, heck, I’ll probably see it again this weekend.

The Problem with the Post-Avengers Universe – Thor: The Dark World (Spoiler Review)

Before I touch on the main point of this spoiler review, I’d like to take a stab about some other issues I had with Thor: The Dark World.

1. How much Aether do the dark elves really need and how does it really work? So Jane Foster got infected (?) with the Aether in the beginning of this movie, how much? But like a glass, but when Malicith pulled the stuff out of her, it was probably more than all the blood on her body. Which makes me wonder, is that the nature of the Aether? Also, what where they supposed to do with the big black rock that supposedly carried the Aether for thousands of years, was all the Aether gone from the rock and they can just dismiss that? Also, the Kursed elf guy, why did he say that he will sacrifice himself to become the Kursed and he doesn’t even die? Why the hell did he say that he will sacrifice himself if by sacrifice he mean taking a handful amount of Aether in your hand to make your body surge with the stuff and make you indestructible?

 

2. The love triangle. They hinted at this a couple of times in the trailer and some parts in the movie but it was never really addressed in the film. Not that Thor was really torn between the Asgard girl and Jane but more on why were people talking about it when it was clear that Thor like Jane, Jane liked Thor and the Asgard girl was happy to make Thor do whatever he wants? I mean don’t hint at things that don’t affect anything in the movie because it just makes the movie a bit dumb.

 

3. And now, on the good part, the post-Avengers issue. Obviously, any post-Avengers movie will take a hint that hey, New York got attacked by fucking aliens, we definitely have to talk about how all those powerful guys got together to fight off the alien invasion. And in both Iron Man3 and here, they did talk about it, but the problem is, where the fuck were the Avengers when you need them now?

 

In Iron Man 3, it was much more forgivable that no one was there when Iron Man got effing blown almost to bits by a terrorist trying to kill the president of America (yeah Captain America, it’s fine that you didn’t show up for something that is obviously right under your nose, or thanks Hulk to show up for counseling but not when I almost died when they blew up my home, or SHIELD for not detecting any suspicious behavior for the bad guy). But in Thor 2, the aliens were trying to obliterate EVERY FREAKING REALM. Meaning if they succeeded, everything will die and disappear which makes me question, why the hell did not no one care to drop by and help Thor get rid of the bad guys? I mean Iron Man and The Hulk would have definitely observed the convergence just as much as Jane Foster would have because you know, a disruption in the gravity field is not just a Jane Foster monopoly but other scientists would have probably noticed as well. Again, the aliens were trying to erase earth out of existence, you would think when Thor comes to earth, SHIELD would’ve called him to ask him, hey, are we in trouble because you know, a god will not pay us a visit if we weren’t in any kind of danger? And oh yeah, the British government could probably lend a hand with two freaking bombers, 2? After the world fucking witnessed what it took to get rid of the alien invasion, and it is probably worth noting that in New York, we only saw the small jet ski ships flying over New York, and what we saw land in Greenwich was a full ship, YES, a huge ass ship where little ships came from, the government decided that hey, two bombers can help with the problem. Because if the Avengers were not summoned to help out, why the hell should we bring in the artillery, I mean how much trouble can this ship really be, right?

The ways they weave the whole Avengers thing into the individual Avenger movies is at the very least uncreative. They can do better at trying to make a reason why the Avengers cannot help another Avernger out when he’s trying not to die or when an ancient alien civilization is trying to erase everything in the universe. Not that I have the answers but it really does take a lot out of the movies when t happens. Additionally, they way they address it is a bit clunky with a few mentions of it here and there but never really taken seriously. It’s more of a joke rather than holy shit, we almost got invaded. I just hope that the next Avenger movie can do this better which chances are it will since the next one is Captain America and according to the trailer, Nick Fury and Black Widow are there. And the most promising part of it is Captain America is just Captain America, so how much trouble can he really get into.

Thor: The Dark World Movie Review (No Spoilers)

THURS_003B_G_ENG-GB_70x100.inddAs what I feel to be an obligatory sequel to Thor because Avengers 2 has to come out, Thor 2 gets made and it’s not exactly spectacular. I am not an avid fan of Thor, but if they make another Thor movie, I’ll go see it for the sake of seeing it.

 

Directed by Alan Taylor (whom is supposed to re-boot the Terminator, gee, wonder how that will turn out) starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston. Anthony Hopkins and Idris Elba (There’s more people in the film I just don’t know their names), Thor: The Dark World comes probably directly after The Avengers where Loki gets caught and is sentenced and imprisoned in Asgard. And then, I am not sure what was revealed in the trailers because I did not see all the trailers so I don’t know how to describe the plot without spoiling it but as you can guess, a dark force seeks to unleashed something to destroy everyone (as most evil alien plot points go).

 

The direction was a bit uneven, there were slow parts in between the exciting parts which makes me wonder how I can get bored during the action. The plot was fine and the execution not memorable. I don’t know how to explain the plot of the movie  without spoiling anything as it is so simple so I’ll probably put this in the spoiler review but really, some things happen in this movie that are just plain stupid. They also had some teasing relationship issues in the trailer and in some itty bitty parts of the movie that were never discussed in the film.  The pacing was also off as I yawned through the 1st 30 minutes of this movie. This is basically the same tone as Iron Man 3 with less explosions but more aliens. The CGI was fine with nothing revolutionary to offer (yeah, I’m still hung over Gravity). The movie is funny, I can give it that but not funny rolling on the floor, funny laughter then move on until the next joke which make the movie border on being campy.

 

The acting for the most part was good. Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston really are Thor and Loki, two brothers who are also the nemesis of each other. For me, they are the most interesting part of the movie, without them, this movie would’ve probably tanked. Their usual banter does feel repetitive at times but I really did fall in love with Loki’s play on being the god of mischief because you are always waiting of what he’ll try to pull off next. Anthony Hopkins was fine as he always does but not as powerful as I thought he would be. Natalie Portman was also OK, I just am not sure how she survived all that she had to go through during this movie. For the most part, the cast were sufficient and in an OK movie, that’s just fine.

 

In the end, if you liked The Avengers there’s no reason not to see it. Also, if you like Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston as Thor and Loki battling it out with Thor’s strength and Loki’s words, this will be delightful. But if you’re a casual fan of superhero movie, you can let this one pass as I feel that it is not memorable at all. There were some plot points that I feel are not cohesive with everything that has been going on and the movie just wraps up so quickly that it make you feel, this isn’t Star Trek Into Darkness is it?

Movie List

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Being the obsessive person that I am, I tend to overcomplicate things. I thought reviewing movies would be a good hobby but I turned it into a job that pressures me to live up to my own stupid high regard standard.

I do this all the time, in watching movies, reading books, everything. I over complicate things to the point that it stops being fun.

Good thing today was a good wake up that the things that I love to do makes me happy and I do it because of that, not because I made an expectation that puts me in a position that makes it more of work than just plain fun.

To that, here is a movie that i’ve been compiling since the start of the year. I’m hoping that I see them soon as a form of therapy to my busy workdays. Hope this list grows from suggestions that i get from my readers 🙂

Upcoming movie review – Oblivion

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I have been neglecting my blog because I’ve started a small business and it’s taking a lot of my time. But i’ll be posting a movie review of Oblivion later tonight. Warning, it will be spoiler filled. But for now, i have to advise people that it’s not worth watching in cinemas.

Daydreaming Diary 1

I do like to travel. I really love discovering places that I’ve only dreamed of seeing in my lifetime. I love meeting new people and learning the history and culture of a place first hand. Truth is, if I was given enough funds, I’ll probably quit my job and just go travel, which I eventually plan to do after a gazillion payments I need to make (oh life, why must you kick me in the face so that I have to face reality).

For me there is really nothing like travelling, it makes you feel alive and it makes you feel unstoppable. It makes you feel like there’s no going back only moving further. Sometimes I wished I lived in Pandora where I can get those flying things and just go around the planet until I see everything. But there are no such things, and I am bound by financial and social responsibilities. Although I can dream, can’t I? And sooner (I hope) rather than later, I can visit the places I’ve so often researched about. I’ll get to experience what it’s like to be in that culture, to live another person’s life even for just a day.

It seems like such an ambitious dream to hope for. With all that is on our plate that we try to feed ourselves with, freedom is a luxury and no longer a right. We are now bound to a life of immediate pleasures and prolonged indulgences where we fail to see what is ahead of us. We come to a life where we settle than become content which are two different things. We are not people who reach for the farthest stars and be happy, we are a people who reach the nearest star and stay there. It’s kind of a depressing thought really, but sometimes in solitude, I do think about leaving it all behind to just be.

I imagine myself being on a train, a train I have no idea where it’s headed. But I’m excited to find out where it’s going. Then you step off the platform and feel the cold breeze on the back of your head and you feel tired but brand new. It’s a wonderful feeling to get somewhere you’ve never been before. You think to yourself, it’s a new adventure ahead of me, carpe diem as they would often say. You can see the new place with all its new colors and smells and you start to absorb it in every inch of your soul. You feel brighter but somehow stretched out.

Post Schedule Update – No movies, Just Food and Travel for the Week

Hello reader! Thanks for browsing through my blog. Unfortunately, I have bad news for the week. I won’t be able to post anything about movies for the week. I know, my movie related posts have the most number of views, but due to reformatting my blog post schedule, I won’t be able to post anything related to movies. I’ve been overwhelmed with watching old movies that I’m still having a hard time absorbing the content. To this, I decided to review more recent movies, which are movies that I’ve already seen. This could probably balance out my brain capacity to what I need to understand to what I can just enjoy. And what’s the best movies to see to balance this out? My top 20 movies of all time! But on another set back, I have not yet updated my top 20 movies of all time since 2010 (i think). So in order to make a credible top 20 to contrast against Hitchcock, Kubrick and Allen, i have to rewatch all the movies during the week before I post my top 20. Not only that, I have a work related endeavor in the coming weekend so my time is very very limited. To this, I’ll probably be posting my top 20 by Monday next week and will be posting my Siem Reap experience and a being vegetarian update within the week.

Thanks for your patience! 😀 Also, if you have any comments or suggestions, just let me know. Maybe you can help me solve my problem with scheduling the posts or what I should post in the first place. Maybe there’s a movie you want me to review or you want travel info or eating tips you want me to discuss? I’m very open to anything. Your feedback is very welcome and will be very much appreciated. Just leave a comment or send me a message. It would be nice to hear from the people who read my blog 🙂

Blog Revival

It has been a while since I’ve noted about the blog’s reconstruction, and due to my slight affliction of OCD, I’m still not able to make my blog up and running. To add to that, it’s been an EXTREMELY long while since my last decent post, but I’m happy to see that there is still a little bit of traffic on this blog.
So in order to address the little traffic on my blog, I think it’s about time that I revive this blog properly.

And in the spirit of that, I’m starting a new segment called, “How to be Interesting”. In addition, I’ll be committing to post a new entry every week. Although I’m still not sure on how to go about the entries, I’ll be uploading a more comprehensive set of posts that deals with movies, books, food, travel, events and just my random thoughts. Hope this makes somebody excited. 

I hope this would be a fresh new start on something that I truly like doing, and I do hope everybody else who reads it enjoys it.

So as a preview, this is a sneak peak on my new segment.

How to be interesting
In order to become pretty much anything, one has to become interesting. For example, a blogger has to be interesting, or else who would want to read their blog. They have to be either full of wisdom or at least just fun. Their words must speak to a lot of people and convey colors and music that only they can express. They have to write with heart and soul that can move emotions to any which way they please. Tall order for anyone who can type but it can easily be done with the right conviction and attitude.

So how does someone become interesting? Is it innate or do you have to earn it? Do you have to tweak it once in a while so you can remain interesting? All these questions can all be answered with some simple guidelines and considerations.

Part 1 – Self Image
As batman said in his reboot movie, it is not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me. Which makes a lot of sense, nobody can read your thoughts, it’s all on how you present yourself if you will ooze with charm and mystery. It’s up to you to intrigue other people so that they will get excited on what you do and where you are. It all depends on how you catch people’s attention so that they will stay glued to your every move. But how do you present yourself in an interesting manner, especially in a time when social media is rampant?

Site under construction

Due to work, travel and basically just plain laziness, my blog has been stagnant for months. I tried reviving it my I’m currently brain dead, work and planning trips have consumed all my time that writing has become a last priority. But still, I didn’t want to lose sight of my site. 😀 So now, this site is under construction and I’m up to my eyeballs in trying to understand how to structure it.

I’m planning not only to fill this blog with my random rants but to also post travel itineraries and tips to my fellow backpackers. But i’ve learning that this restructure is not as easy as I thought.

Lesson #1: a posts and pages are 2 different things. pages are static and posts can only be posted on your homepage – and that’s what categories are for!

Lesson#2: structure is hard to find when you are all over the place. i have no idea what pages to write or what kind of blog this is anymore. so i’m holding a candle in the dark hoping that the sunrise will come soon on how i should section my blog.

Lesson #3: It’s not easy to write a year worth of your life. I am now extremely thankful that there are people out there who blogged what they did so I can use that information.

I’m not sure how long this reconstruction would last, but I’m hoping I’d have enough patience to push through with than completely abandon my blog. I’m also hoping I don’t run out of ideas on how to do this. So if anyone can offer me a life raft, PLEASE DO:)

Self confessions – Teenage Advice

These are the things I want to tell the teenage version of me while thinking that I already knew what it meant to have a life.

1. It’s not the end of the world so stop being a drama queen! Life doesn’t end when you don’t get exactly what you want. There are worse things in life than finding out your crush doesn’t like you. Or that you’re friends think you’re weird. Get over it, you’re life doesn’t end when you break up with your first boyfriend. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move forward.

2. You don’t know it all. You think you know it all but you don’t. Stop pretending that you understand what you don’t. It’s bad enough that you think you know what life is but you will lose life lessons when you try to be something that you’re not. It’s cliché but what the hell, listen to your parents.

3. You are not misunderstood. Listening to rock or emo doesn’t mean that people can’t relate to you. Outcasts are outcasts but when outcasts form groups, you are no longer outcasts, it’s already a community. Being mysterious can only get you so far, if you don’t use that time to learn the things you need to learn, it’ll just hinder you into thinking that there’s nothing more than your stupid image.

4. Life doesn’t end at happily ever after. Life doesn’t end when you get married and have kids. That’s actually when life starts. Don’t believe the movies that you’ve seen, it’s a tainted view of the reality that life will always end on a good note. It doesn’t and you have to be prepared or you’ll end up breaking your heart when it’s not necessary.

5. Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up. There is still a lot of time to grow up when you’re grown up, just give it time. Enjoy being where you are in your life, stop the crap of trying to be an adult and be mature. Make the mistakes you’re supposed to make when you’re younger because it’s better to make them now than when you’re older. Nobody likes an adult making childish mistakes.