Saturday, March 25

PLDT Sucks

I've been applying for a DSL connection at home for the past three weeks, but still nothing. No wonder, I'm applying with the good ol' PLDT. These guys are probably the most inefficient bastards to run a phone company. Three weeks and still 'no cable' available. FUCK THAT!
If I could, I'd get another DSL connection elsewhere. Already trying. Anyway, I've already heard tons of horror stories about PLDT DSL- long hours of no connection and downtime. Maybe it's a blessing that it's taking forever. Maybe this is a sign I have to get my hi-speed internet somewhere else. FEH.

Thursday, March 23

Tomb Raider Reloaded

Lara Croft returns in a big way this April.

I've been a Tomb Raider fan ever since the first game came out in the mid-nineties. It was a cool game, and the idea of having a female heroine in the driver's seat was pretty revolutionary at the time. Since then, I've played several of the games, seen both of the movies (both of which mostly sucked except for the casting of Angelina Jolie) and generally saw the rise and fall of a videogame icon. Yeah, Lara got her time in the limelight and is the object of admiration, affection and lust of countless gamers, but the games just got blander, the storylines more muddled and she just seemed to drift off into obscurity. The last TR game, Angel of Darkness, didn't do well and the failure of the second movie made plans for the third picture a bit unclear. Lara was on bad times.

But that all may change with the upcoming new game, Tomb Raider Legend. This time being produced by a new gaming developer, Crystal Dynamics, and backed by the original Lara Croft creator Toby Gard (who ironically was shut out of the previous TR games until now). TRL gives Lara a new coat of paint- she looks sexier and finer than ever, yet the designers still made it a point to give her a stylized look to emulate the original design instead of making her too realistic. The increased number of polygons also comes with a lessening of the bumpers- Lara's still hot, but the T&A isn't as blatant this time.
Aside from the cosmetic changes, Lara also comes with a whole new way of playing. Gone are the tank-like controls so Lara can now run, leap, climb, shimmy, swing and sneak with the greatest of ease. The gameplay is also now based on a new physics engine, and puzzles will supposedly be more puzzle solving than switch-finding. Also improved is the combat- Lara's fighting skills are improved with better targetting and even some Matrix-like moves to slow down time and target enemies even better. Slick stuff.

The new game also revitalizes/revamps the Tomb Raider story, starting from Lara's origins and taking the character on from there. The story will reportedly involve Lara's confronting an event in her past that has haunted her to the present day- the death of her mother. She will also cross swords with an old friend-turned enemy, and go across the world in a quest for a mysteirous artifact.
Stages will include actual tombs and ruins in Bolivia and Peru, as well as some urban settings. Aside from her usual Tombraiding get-up, Lara will slip into a sexy black cocktail dress to take on the Yakuza in Tokyo.

Tomb Raider Legend will be coming out early this April for the PS2, Xbox, PSP, Xbox360 and PC. I'll be sure to grab at least two of these versions (I'll try to grab a copy of the 360 game if I can) as soon as they become available. The game's already gotten a couple of top reviews in some game mags recently, so it looks to be a lot of cool gaming this April, and that's no joke. WOOHOO!!!!

Wednesday, March 22


WHY is there suddenly a proliferation of cowboy hats on the street these days? Is it all because of Brokeback Mountain? I saw a vendor hawking these black cowboy hats on the road a couple of days ago. This morning, a guy walked past me wearing one. So, is he being a cowboy or is he proclaiming he's gay? Has he even watched the movie and knows the significance of the new headgear? Hmmm.
But then again, it may be all just a coincidence and the appearance of cowboy hats is just a sign of the summer. Maybe. Right.

Tuesday, March 21


Out of sight but never out of mind. You never see him, but Hugo Weaving is all V.

Last Sunday I got to watch V for Vendetta, the film adaptation of the comics and eventual graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. I haven't yet read the actual comics, but I may soon thanks to the film. Set in a near-future England ruled by a fascist, totalitarian government that rules by fear, misinformation and brutality, V for Vendetta centers on two individuals. The first is, obviously, the masked freedom fighter known only as V (Hugo Weaving), a black-garbed avenger who sports a creepily ever-smiling Guy Fawkes mask. The second is Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman), a young woman V saves one night from the secret police. From their first meeting, V and Evey start a relationship that will rock their country and the cruel government that rules it.

This movie, despite being produced by The Wachowski Brothers is not an action-heavy film. There are about two or three scenes of pretty cool swords/knives versus guns action, but for the most part it's a film driven by plot and character. Nevertheless, I was glued to my seat from beginning to satisfying end. Since I haven't seen the graphic novel in its entirety, I can't comment on changes or improvements/faults based on the source material.

Despite this, I found the film to be an excellent watch, from production values to performances all around. Of note of course are Natalie Portman who redeems herself from her horrid Star Wars showings and Hugo Weaving, who seems to be one of my favorite actors now seeing that he's pretty much in most of my fave films. You never see his face, but it IS supposed to be him in the costume, which is odd but pretty cool. Also of note is a Hitler-esque John Hurt as the High Chancellor Sutler, Stephen Rea as the driven Chief Inspector Finch and Stephen Fry as Dietrich, the TV host who sympathizes with V and Evey with tragic results.

But aside from the enjoyment I got watching the film, I have to say that it's also a VERY apt film to watch in this point of our nation's history. Let us hope that we don't have to reach that kind of regime or ever need someone like V.

V for Vendetta is now showing in theaters all around the Metro. Watch it if you can.

Sunday, March 19

Home Theater

The past month had been a storm of construction at the house, but now that was all pretty much over. Our former terrace and outdoor dining area was now an enclosed room and extension of the main house, complete with tiled floor, airconditioning and, ah, big-ass TV with DVD library. Add to that several relaxing chairs, a bed and you've got a pretty slick home theater setup. Once the biggie speakers my brother left with his TV are installed, it'll be a BLAST to watch stuff there. Might be enough to make me actually watch movies there instead of in The Sanctum. Well, as long as the movies are for public viewing. Heh.