Analog Thoughts on a Digital Age

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Happy Anniversary Bon and Annie

It my Parents' Anniversary today. 28 years na silang mag asawa. My Dad was 27 when he married my Mom, same as my age now. She was 25.
I just wish for them to be happy now as they were during the past 27 years. Less headaches than like what they had since they had me. And less white hairs since when they had Justin.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

My Favorite Animated Films

Animation has a certain magic that keeps us watching, pondering, dreaming and wondering what really is in the end of the rainbow. It also has the ability to make us grit our teeth as we see clashing steel and spurting blood. In any case (since you don't read this part ANYWAY and would like to just go on with the pics), here are my personal favorite Animated features! Enjoy.

"The Animatrix"

This series of animated shorts compiled by the Wachowski Bros. were the finest works of the best Japanese, American and Korean animators in the biz. Squaresoft, makers of Final Fantasy, made the CGI short "Final Flight of the Osiris" ( my favorite part), which was a critical plot point for the succeeding Matrix sequels.

"Beauty and the Beast"

There is a reason why this was the first and ONLY Animated feature nominated Best Picture by the Academy Awards.For some reason, the emotions conveyed by this Disney classic were more realistic that that of their other features. The ballroom scene was a pioneering feat in the animation world as that it was the first CGI-generated "room" where the camera seemed to be swooping from one side of the room to the other. Plus, Belle was kinda cute too.

"Princess Mononoke"("Mononoke Hime")

My friend Joach of introduced me to this movie and told me how great it was. Of course, I had to look for a copy of my own. Just like all of Miyazaki's animated masterpieces, this one deals with the effects of modernization to the environment, with a touch of demon-gods and spirits to add into the mix to make a freakishly-terrifying and wonderfully magical experience.

"Wonderful Days"

Before the "My Sassy Girl" madness swept the Philippine teen and young adult market. Anime enthusiasts were already familiar with the most elaborate animated feature Korea has ever produced, "Wonderful Days". This wonder ful depiction of how the skies were clouded by immense pollution to be used as a power source was 7 years in the making! The motorcycle sequences are enough to get you hooked!


This is Disney's guy movie! If Mulan has it's appeal lean more towards teenage girls. This one appeals more to the dudes who dig the sky-surfing, bungee jumping, ninja-flying moves of the buff, toned, longhaired king of the jungle! Plus Jane is the most "curvaceous" of all Disney chicks! Move over, Ariel!


I saw this one in WOWOW Japan TV. Even without subtitles, it's still a treat. This violent cartoon feature about a "Vampire Slayer" in an American military base in Okinawa featured the most realistic physics established in a cartoon at that time. Plus a lot of blood!!!

"The Prince of Egypt"

I'm always game for anything biblical. Being practically raised in our Sunday School room my whole life, I always tried to imagine visually how miracles were wrought about by ancient prohpets, the most spectacular of which would be the parting of the Red Sea. By today's jaded standards, this scene will probably be considered crude and "unrealistic". But it capured the potential of God's power through the hands of a chosen servant.

"Final Fantasy:The Spirits Within"

When I was watching this movie with my friend Mhayet, she didn't think that she was watching a CGI animated movie, she thought she was watching "actors" playing in real life!
My favorite scene was the battle sequence in the desert where they were looking for the "sixth" spirit found in a soldier's backpack.

"The Transformers: The Movie"


This is the defining animated movie of my life.
As a boy, I was all about the Transformers. I looked up to Optimus Prime as a leadership figure. To see him banged up and
damaged like he was in the movie made me want to cry. (hey, I was 9 ok?) Then came Hot Rod, this cocky, immature, irresponsible Autobot, who was put in the mix to save what was left of the Autobot legacy and battered and bruised by the trials that beset him in the process. He proves himself an individual of great potential and rose up to become the Autobot he was supposed to be...the next leader of the Autobots. Its a coming of age tale with microchips and photon chargers.

The succeeding episodes of the transformers destroyed this magnificent premise, of course, by reviving Prime and turning him into a zombie. However, this remains the most influential animated feature for me.

"Spirited Away"

To anyone who hasn't seen "Spirited Away" I beg you. Go to your nearest Muslim bangketa and get the DVD.
Watching this movie is like drifting into a dream and going into a very long, long ,long adventure (its a 2 hour plus animated movie!), so long that you get to know the characters like close friends and get familiar with the sights and sounds (and smells, even) of the place. Then suddenly, you wake up and wonder where everybody was and thinkhow much you miss them. "Sob!! If I could have dreams like that every night" you wonder. Now you can. Just plug it in.
The train sequence is probably going to be a cinema classic. It's very nostalgic and trippy at the same time.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Waiting for our Hero to come...

Today, when I was 6, my family and I waited outside the Greenfields Country Club facing the Mac Arthur Highway for a caravan to pass by. Me and my Mom and Dad and my Sister Aie and brother Justin. I didn't know who we were waiting for at that time. It turns out, we were waiting for Ninoy's caravan to pass though Pampanga en route to Tarlac. His plane had just landed and was set to go home to his hometown of Concepcion and possibly set up a Press Conference on his much awaited return from exile to face the Dictatorship of the tyrant who was Ferdinand Marcos.

Needless to say, his caravan never showed up.

He could have been a good President, if not our best President, ever. He turned out to be something more.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Stalking Chona

I was walking along the walkways that run along ayala avenue when I came upon the idea of being Chona's first stalker. "Hmmmm, every superstar should have a stalker", I thought. I mean every great star has a stalker. Britney had that japanese guy he placed a restraining order for. Jolina had one who gave her loveletters written in an notebook that had her for a cover and at one time, gave her his day's earnings (P200) as a gift enclosed in one of his letters. Angelina Jolie was stalked at one time by a Colin Farrell (who probably had a staker of his own too. And then of course there was Jodie Foster stalker John Hinkley, who emulated DeNiro's character Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver who, in the movie,tried to murder a Senatorial candidate, and actually attempted to shoot President Ronald Reagan (bless his soul) in an attempt to win Jodie's love.
I came upon this girl waiting in the greenbelt gardens. She sure felt like she was a Chona. She looked like she was a Chona. She acted like she was waiting for her Ma'am Tess to finish up her movie in G3. She looked like she was thinking of Romblon, perhaps Sir Jeff?

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Movie Review: "Van Helsing" (2004)

Bad Story. Bad Concept. Bad Acting. Cheesy Special Effects. Hands down, probably the worst blockbuster movie of the year!

I didn't really have any expectations for this movie, which is probably why I never saw it in the cinema. I had borrowed a couple of my cousin's pirated DVDs last monday for a more worth while day off that just slouching around like a limp stalk of celery. Turns out, I could have spent my time better that way.
Van Helsing, as we all know was an integral character in Bram Stoker's Dracula. This was heavily exploited and commercialized and turned into another corporate franchise by making him younger (if you recall, it was Anthony Hopkins who played Van Helsing in Coppola's version of Dracula) giving him a semiautomatic crossbow and those buzzsaw thingies. Throw in a pretty girl in the mix (why is Kate Beckinsale always taking these vampire-related roles, she's never good in them. She should stick to romantic comedies) and a myriad of impossible silly stunts and million-dollar special effects sequences, youv'e got yourself an instant money making machine.
Mary Shelley must have been rolling over in her grave once they got Frankenstein's monster in the story. Sure, the story of a mutated creation of human hands conflicted with innocent human desires and the inherent love for the master was a nice touch, but not worthy for this tripe.
Its a good thing she playdates for this movie are over, because I would beg you not to see it.

Rocketboy's Rating: * (1 out of 5)

Saturday, August 14, 2004

For that "special" Someone....

Introducing the "Fart Detector"

It actually detects methane/fart gas. When gas is detected, you will hear:

"Warning! Fart detected!
Whoop! Whoop!"

Do you dare to bring it with you the next time you ride an elevator?...

A "Fart Detector"huh?....uh ok. Well...can it tell you WHO farted?

You Go, Girl!!!

My long-time crush Julia Stiles recently publicly denouced Hollywood Producers encouraging or even forcing young Hollywood stars like her to have bigger breasts.
She said "she is fed up with film producers who keep leaving fake boobs in her dressing room in a bid to get her to increase her chest size."

That's my girl.

Im not a boobs type of guy.

Friday, August 13, 2004


A little eye candy for all the dudes out there.
Aya Ueto, as you probably already know, plays Azumi. The spunky samurai who can cut you with both her blade and her smile.
Born 15 September 1985, she is a regular magazine model and "Pop-idol", (the japanese version of "kikay" actresses in my book.)
Azumi 2 is scheduled for release in Summer 2005 and joining the cast is no other than the equally gorgeous Chiaki Kuriyama of Kill Bill Vol. 1.

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Thursday, August 12, 2004

"Chona in The City": Blog on the rise

If you haven't heard of Chona Mae of Valle Verde by now, either you are actively staying away from it or you are not really into blogging. The Chona in the City blog about a maid from Romblon living in Valle Verde is only a few weeks old but is gaining popularity like wildfire. Her profile was visited 4613 times as of today, pretty good considering her account was created on July 26. If any of you can see my hit counter (I can't see it right now, site must be down) I probably have a little under 200 hits for the whole month from a few close friends.
Chona's story is the stuff of telenovelas and romace booklets. Whether it is true or fiction does not really matter. Its's amusing, funny and addictive. You can't wait until her next blog. Her little anecdotes on her "Mam Tess" and "Sir Jeff", and her run ins with Reynante, her annoying suitor and The new helpers Aling Choleng and Myrna are enough to get you hooked.
With her popularity,she needs no introduction.
As Chona would say in her own words...

"I'm chona mae banaag but you can call me chona for sure".

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Album Review: Steve Vai "The Ultra Zone"(2003)

I have owned this album for some weeks now and I am waiting to get tired of it. Truth is I can't.

Steve Vai 's latest studio album is still in the works. I got a hold of his live album DVD "Live at the Astoria" a month ago. I can't get enough of this guy. His music sounds like it comes from another visceral plain, a totally different universe.
When I was still 13, my standard for good music was if it sounded like the theme songs of the cartoons I was watching. Whenever I listened to Steve Vai, It somehow reminded me of robots and spaceships, aliens and warships. I used to do very well doing his songs with air guitar (with my left hand too, mind you), but when I finally learned how to play, Iwas frustrated that I couldn't do his "simple stuff".

The album is a more culturally diverse mix of melodies and rhythms. "Blood and Tears" has a dominant hindu flavor all throughout. "Ultra Zone" is african, "Asian Sky" which is Vai turned J-pop, sounds like either an airline commercial or the theme song for Dragonball.
Vai described the name "Ultra Zone" as being the musician's state of mind where everything he plays is perfect and cannot make a mistake. Michael Jordan expressed the same idea when playing basketball. Any which way, it is easily understood.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Another Chinese Epic

Here are some screenshots of the visually breathtaking "The House of Flying Daggers" by Zhang Yimou of "Hero" and "Raise the Red Lantern".

If you thought the colors on "Hero" were awesome, check these screenshots out. I restrained myself from posting a shameless amount of Zhang Ziyi pictures, so just check them out here.

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Can't wait to see it.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Movie Review: "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind" (2004)

Here's an example of a movie that exceeded all my expectations.
Imagine two hours thinking you're watching a pretty linear movie and less than halfway through turns into the biggest headtrip you'd ever experience awake.
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind is another screwed up (and with it I mean brilliant) creation of Charlie Kaufman of Being John Malkovich and Adaptation fame. The first two were made with director Spike Jonze who himself is a borderline film genius/psycho. This time Michael Gondry (Human Nature, also with Kaufman) takes the director's chair. And with brilliance, I may add.
Jim Carrey plays Joel, an out on his luck introvert who has enough self confidence issues to make Woody Allen look like Fabio. He meets Clementine, played by Kate Winslet, an impulsive, free spirit who makes rash decisions as often as she changes the color of her hair. Clemetine and Joel's relationship hits the rocks and decide to break up. Clementine has all memories of Joel erased from her mind through a company called Lacuna Inc. Joel is devastated as he meets her again, but Clementine doesn't remember him. He was advised by his best friends to take the treatment as well and be better off. Joel, although only half decided, takes the plunge. The Lacuna guys, headed by Dr. Mierzwiak (Tom Wilkinson) and his assistants Stan (Mark Ruffalo) Mary (Kirsten Dunst) and Patrick (Elijah Wood) and make a map of his brain to find which memories to erase. During the treatment he is asleep and sees each memory zapped out. He feels his love still undiminished and decides to call it off IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TREATMENT! He chases his memories around his head trying to save what's left of Clementine in his head, giving the Lacuna treatment a run for its money.

The film contains Kaufman's trademark trippy scenarios. Extremely eccentric characters, entering a person's mind, taking a peek at their embarassing memories, inferiority complexes and outlandish, trashy settings.

The film kind of has a seventies feel all throughout, mostly because of the outated costumes and grainy 8'' film used for most of the scenes. Fans of the Blair Witch Project may feel familiar with some of the memory chasing scenes.
A great headtrip with an interesting premise, what if we could erase the memory of a lost love, do we also lose what's in our heart?

I hear copycats typing already.

Rocketboy's Rating: **** (4 out of 5)