Friday, April 18


Out in September.

If I told you anymore about this DVD set, I'd have to kill you.

Thursday, April 17

Virtual Luminol

Grissom decides what color toe tag will match the victim's pedicure.

I finally got to play the CSI: Crime Scene Investigations PC game. I'm a big fan of the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced series about forensic experts. Now, you too can join Grissom, Catherine, Sarah and the rest of the CSI team as they investigate several cases of murder whose secrets are just aching to be uncovered.
The game is divided into cases; like mini-episodes in the show. Each case starts with the familiar panning shot of nighttime Las Vegas (like the TV series), and then you go into Chief Grissom's office. You're the newbie, a rookie dropped into the middle of the action thanks to some manpower shortage. Soon enough you're poking at dead bodies, examining virtual crime scenes for clues and evidence and consulting with the other CSI crewmembers for likely suspects. Of course, the TV cast lend their voices to the game for added authenticity.
As a game, CSI isn't all that. It's pretty much a matter of finding clues and fitting them into the appropriate lab machine, expert or option. Correct choices will unlock more locations, suspects and evidence. Get enough to incriminate a suspect, you'll be able to call on Captain Brass to pick up the perps and close the case. It all depends on how sharp-eyed, precise or just plain meticulous you are with looking through the crime scenes.
Unfortunately, the 3-D crime scenes where you are supposed to be able to range through and search aren't as deep or as detailed as I expected. It's all pretty shallow, and not too interactive. And as a result, once you finish the game perfect once, it's over. Done. End. Finished.
On the good side, the game DOES have the real actors voicing their virtual counterparts; Grissom's penchant for mouthing out obscure facts is spot on; some voices just sound pretty funny, particularly Greg Sanders in the lab ("You can't put THAT in the microscope.").
The game looks great, though the CG models and scenes are pretty stiff but adequate. Of course, the game comes complete with the zippy zooms into the dead bodies demonstrating particularly chunky revelations like breaking vertebrae caused by strangulation, and misty re-enactments of the crimes. Too bad though that the game just isn't as deep or as playable as it could have been.
Still, it's a cool little activity for fans of the game. Try it out if you want to carry out your forensic fantasies for a couple of short but sweet cases.
Lackluster Trailers

Speaking of trailers that don't get my blood moving, there's Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Now, a couple of years ago this would have been something; female terminator T-X (Terminatrix?) locking horns with the once-virile but now only venerable T-800 (Ah-nuld Schwarzenegger for those who've been in stasis all this time). However, it just doesn't look great. The T-X is a blonde model in tight brown leather who sports that same shark-like expression Robert Patrick used well in T2... but it just comes off as weak. The action doesn't look particularly cool or groundbreaking, and really... it all just sounds like a bad idea. Now, maybe T3 will at least be a good ending or at least have enough action to satisfy me eventually but... the trailer, like Tomb Raider 2's... isn't helping convince me.
Ah, I remember that old Cliffhanger trailer (Sylvester Stallone movie) which was SOOOOO great, it was tons better to watch that looping than the actual film. They don't really make trailers like that anymore. Is it a vanishing art? Maybe. Sigh. Well, I'm saying that now. Perhaps I'll change my tune when the next LOTR trailer appears.

Anyway, the X2 trailer has got me pumped for the next Mutant movie, as well as the Matrix Reloaded spot, which just kicks butt. May is looking to be the great Summer movie roundup. Then it's all downhill to the second half of 2003.

Wednesday, April 16

Dusty Tombs

Ah, love the vacation. I am still debating on whether I should venture out or just remain indoors. I've already started pencilling new pages for Angel Ace, for an ashcan-segue issue I want to release before Angel Ace Next. I should strike while the iron's hot, so to speak. But then again, I should also try to pass by Comic Quest for the weekly bloodletting before everything really closes down by Good Friday.
Anyway, the TV's on HBO showing Tomb Raider while I am writing this. Now, while I love the character and the games, the movie is just... boring as hell. The action's good when it happens, but that's like only a few points scattered throughout a whole lot of lethargic sequences where nothing exciting or compelling happens. Really, the only reason I like it is just because of Angelina Jolie. Heh.
Sad to say, the Tomb Raider sequel, Cradle of Life, doesn't seem to up the ante any bit. I've seen the trailer, and was NOT impressed at all. I just hope that this has a reverse effect of meaning that the 2nd TR movie is actually pretty good... otherwise, it's strike two. I'd like to see Angelina continue to wield those twin guns though... Sigh.

Tuesday, April 15

Holy Week Agenda

Everyone and their next-door neighbor is headed for beaches and resorts this long Holy Week break, but of course I will be staying in the Sanctum for the duration. Which I feel is the best, after all.
No long, carsickness-inducing trips. No nightmarish luggage mishaps. No sparsely-furnished rooms or accomodations to worry about. No need to spend on mundane stuff blown overpriced by ambience. No danger of SARS from foreigners. Heh.
Nope. For the Holy Week I will be enjoying the Sanctum's cold, climate-controlled snugness. With the opportunity to sink into the Bean Throne and finally finish Suikoden III. Or play more DOAX. Or play Soul Calibur 2. Or any of the dozen or so PS2 and Xbox games I have accumulated and have not even broken the surfaces of.
Or I can finally get to view the pile of VCDs and DVDs of both anime and live-action films that have gathered on my tukador; Full Metal Panic, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Earth Girl Arjuna, FLCL, Hellsing, Zhang Yimou's Hero, So Close, Shaolin Soccer and more... lots more.
Darn. How did I get all those things together? Well, it's not like there won't be anything to watch thanks to cable... At the very least I can watch Kim Possible...
Or, I can also get down to finally starting and hopefully finishing the next Angel Ace comic... need to do more pages and art. Hmm. This may be the crucial time for my manga-baby. Gotta decide now.

Ah. Time. Time is all we have.
Ninja Napkin Girl

A ninja girl of the Kotex Newtex clan girds for a mission.

By now my latest TV commercial, a spot for Kotex Newtex feminine napkins, has been shown (and is showing) on Philippine TV. The ad starts with a pretty but sad and slow-moving lass dressed in vaguely oriental themed attire inching her way across a college walkway to her waiting friends. When her friends ask her why she's so slow, she says it's because of her period. Of course, her pals give her the new Kotex Newtex napkin and in no time, she's zipping like a ninja all over the place.
The ad features a very pretty model named Nicole Hernandez. Not only does Nicole bear a striking resemblance to HK actress Zhang Zi Yi (in some angles she brings to mind local star Claudine Barretto), she can also move quite gracefully. She actually wasn't our first choice; we already had set our sights on another girl when we were given a tape showing the models in action, doing runs and jumps. Nicole struck us with her natural grace and athleticism, and she was our girl right there and then.
Later, she did excellently especially during the running sequences, where she really gave the impression that she could give ninja (or at least Jennifer Garner in Alias) a good chase. Heh. Anyway, we shot for two days at the campus of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, using every bit of sunlight and most of the night. In the end we came out with a fun, cool ad, which I really love seeing. I just hope it makes the sales for our client go up. That will make them do even cooler ads in the future.

Well, that's that. On to the next job...

Monday, April 14

Matrix Stuff

If you guys haven't already seen it, head on over to The Matrix website to download the exciting final trailer for The Matrix Reloaded. For those who haven't been on the Net religiously monitoring this series, Reloaded continues the adventures of Neo, Trinity and Morpheus (Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss and Laurence Fishburne respectively) and the few free humans battling the machines both in the blasted future world and in the imaginary/virtual world of the Matrix. Despite finally discovering he is The One and gaining superhuman abilities within the Matrix, Neo still has to fight some dangerous foes, including more Agents and evil programs (like the mysterious albino twins who seem to have some teleporting/phantom abilities) including a returning Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving; whom we expect now to greet Neo with "Welcome to Rivendell, Frodo Baggins...") who has gained the ability to 'clone' himself, and more.
As chronicled in the Animatrix episode Final Flight of the Osiris, the machines have discovered where the humans' city of Zion is, and are laying siege to the stronghold. The only hope lies in Neo... but can even his powers defeat the seemingly unstoppable machines?
New to the Matrix movie are of course the characters of Niobe (Jada Pinkett-Smith) and Ghost (Russell Wong), who will be making their debut in the Enter the Matrix videogames.
It all happens this May!
And of course, Matrix fans will probably want to download and watch the latest Animatrix episode, Detective Story, from the Matrix site as well. Yet another excellently-animated short, this one has the extra bonus of having Trinity play a role in the story. See it now!

Sunday, April 13

Rice Burger not too nice

Yesterday I had to go to WORK yet again, doing some revisions on a rush-rush radio commercial. Luckily I was able to take a break and walk around the mall at Makati Cinema Square. While there, I decided to go into the nearby McDonalds and taste their latest schtick food offering; The Rice Burger. Yep! A patty of meat and barbecue sauce in between two rice cakes.
Well, it sucks. I'll tell you why.
First of all... it's HOT! As I held it in my hands, I felt like Otto from Raiders of the Lost Ark when he grabbed a red-hot amulet. AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!! I guess it needs to be hot since the rice buns have to be kept soft (if they grow cold, they become hard and not presentable). Need to wrap another layer around it when you hold it, like a napkin.
Second, it's messy. There's sauce traces all around the wrapper insides, and it doesn't look anything like the neat, perfect product shots in the TV commercial or print ads. It looks like a dirty sushi. A big dirty sushi. And unlike bread, which you can touch without effect, the rice leaves a sticky mess on your fingers.
Third. The meat isn't too tasty. At least not enough to offset the slightly burnt flavor of the rice.
Overall, the rice just doesn't feel or taste too well. It IS like having puto (rice cakes) with meat, and it's not too delicious or pleasing. There's a reason why we use bread for sandwiches, and rice for meals. This little gimmick just doesn't work.

Well, the rice burger came with a combo, so at least I had a softdrink and a sundae cone to take away the taste. I finished the radio commercial, sold it to client and had the usual Saturday Night Out with the gang (which was basically sitting at Chili's making fun of the UFC on TV). Ah. Holy Week is coming with the long vacation. Finally, rest. That's gonna be good.