Gift Card Redeemed: Once, Liars, and 23

I never had any presents this Christmas except for a $50 gift card for Best Buy...and that is more than enough for me. I was planning to redeem it for a DS or PC game but I don't know what to get since I already bought all the good ones. So I decided to get movies and music that I missed this year instead.

Once is an independent musical film, and the only musical film that makes some sense (too me at least). The characters here just don't burst out and sing without a moment's notice. The main characters (the guy and the girl) sings in appropriate scenes like when writing songs, rehearsing, or if are asked to perform. The songs here also don't tell or advance the story -like in most musicals- but rather tells how the characters feels. The stars in the film did an excellent job too. They didn't had trouble acting as an Irish singer/guitarist and a Czech singer/pianist since that's what they are in reality. As for the on-screen romantic chemistry between the guy and the girl...they didn't had problems with that either since they were actually falling in love while filming (and now they're a couple). This film felt real...is real. I actually don't know if I just watched a movie or a documentary. I highly recommend this movie for people who loves music and movies. One of the best movies this year.

I also got the albums 23 by Blonde Redhead and Liars by Liars. I haven't listened to the Liars yet but I'm really digging Blonde Redhead right now. Their music is really ethereal but is also thick as the same time. A real sonic goodness that reminds me a lot of Sonic Youth.


Demon Barber

I'm off for four straight days, yeah. So I finally got the chance to see, and be captivated by, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. I was disappointed by Tim Burton's last three films. But he returned strong this time. Everything in this movie is just stupendous. The cast, especially Depp, who looked like a grown up Edward Scissorhands with a Cruella DeVille streak, the catchy songs, and the dark imagery of the film. This is a must see.


The Gift of Music

This Christmas, I decided to give mp3 players to my parents and sister. So I bought 2 Sansa Clips during the Black Friday Sale and an additional one last Friday. I got all three of them on sale, and it was a good deal too ($25 off). Loading them with music was quite an ordeal though since I have to rip a substantial amount of CDs. I also ripped the CDs into wma files, instead of mp3, in favor of smaller sized files but without sacrificing much of the sound quality. Using wma files, I was able to cram at least 95% of my parents CDs into their players, and the music sounds good too. Now, that I'm done loading the songs. It's time for me to pack these things and put it under the tree.


Two Films

There are plenty of good films out this holiday and its really hard to make a decision on which to see, especially if you're not by yourself. So, today, my indecisiveness lead me to watch two movies, National Treasure: The Book of Secrets and No Country For Old Men.

National Treasure: The Book of Secrets was kind of a...meh but it was a fun adventure movie. The format of the movie somewhat follows the prequel, like hunting for clues in old historical relics and obtaining impossible objects/persons. But the movie seems unfocused because there was just too many historical figures and locations involved. The whole cast from the first movie are all here too, with the addition of Helen Mirren (who plays Cage's Mother), and are charming, especially Diane Kruger.

No Country For Old Men, however, is probably the best movie this year. What I like the most about this film are the different types of characters. Moss, a resourceful hunter and Vietnam veteran, who happen to find a case of $2 million drug money, is on the run. Chigurh (the most badass character ever created), a sociopath hired gunman, armed with an air compressed gun and a silenced shotgun, is on Moss' heels. Bell, a lawman and WWII veteran, is after both Moss (to protect him) and Chigurh (to turn him in). All of these characters are being pitted against each other on a "prey and predator, predator turns prey" chase, a survival of the fittest game, which is highly entertaining to watch.


Indie Albums

Just got two new albums "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga", by Spoon, and "Let's Stay Friends", by Les Savy Fav. They're great and I highly recommend both albums. Especially, if you're into indie rock.


Panchira Teacher

Just bought and watched the DVD, Panchira Teacher (or Panty Flash Teacher). It's about a gullible teacher that does "inappropriate" things, with good intentions, to help her sexually perverted students. It's actually the first adult anime that I liked. Mainly because there's nothing gross in it. Just an interesting plot, sterling art and animation, and good looking characters.


Witcher's Recipe

I got bored at work last night so I made a paper list of the potion/bomb recipes -for The Witcher- that I often use and the ingredients needed for the recipe. It really hastened the process of finding ingredients in my stash and inventory, and helps a lot by knowing of what ingredients to keep.

Recipe List
  • (H) = High Toxicity
  • (M) = Medium Toxicity
  • (L) = Low Toxicity
  • (A) = Albedo
  • (N) = Nigredo
  • (R) = Rubedo
  • Vi) = Vitriol
  • Ve) = Vermillon
  • R) = Rebis
  • A) = Aether
  • H) = Hydragenum
  • Q) = Quberith
  • (2) = Two ingredients needed
You guys are more than welcome to use it.


Old and Indie

I've been playing The Witcher for weeks now and I love it. Although a few days ago I've been itching to play an old 2d isometric game. But I didn't want to replay any of my old games. So I browsed around for a game that I haven't played yet. Hammer & Sickle was the first game to cross my mind but then I remembered Eschalon: Book I, an indie RPG that was released about a month ago. I went to the developer's site, Basilisk Games, read a bit about Eschalon and -boom- I was sold. It's a fun game that has an Ultima-esque feel to it. At of this moment, however, the game is on hold as my itch has been satisfied. But I'll eventually get back to it.


Magorium's Crapporium

Whether it's cheesy or epic, movies always invokes the holiday spirit in me. So I went out to watch Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium because I thought it's a perfect holiday movie. I mean, it's a film about a magical toy store and Natalie Portman is on it. But I was wrong. The movie is pointless and plotless, a bore of a film. Not even Natalie Portman can save it. The worst movie I've seen so far.


Gaming Grows...Again.

I forgot to post this but last month's issue of Playboy featured another set of naked female game characters, entitled "Playing Rough". This is Playboy's fourth offering since 2004 (you can also checkout the post I made in 2005). So I think it's a yearly trend for the magazine, to showcase this kind of set in their holiday issues, in participation to the "Games Rush". But anyways, here are two of the girls the was featured on the set.

On your left is Sarah Morisson, of Tabula Rasa, and the other is Morenn, of The Witcher. I didn't like any of the girls that were featured this year. Mainly because I haven't played the games except for The Witcher, and I'm still considering Tabula Rasa. Other girls are from the games The Age of Conan, Jericho, and Kane & Lynch. I wish they could've featured Kaelyn from Mask of the Betrayer or even replaced Morenn, from the Witcher, with Triss, Carmen, or Shani.