Saturday, January 31


Just watched the original Ju-on video. This feature is different from The Grudge movie that was recently shown in theaters here in Manila. Basically, it's the same premise; a haunted house reaches out to pull in unsuspecting people who are unfortunate enough to be living in the cursed abode. The film has a very Asian, very eerie feel to the horror, relying on sound, building suspense, edge of the screen creepiness to give you the chills. The video is made up of several segments, each one focusing on a different person, all of whom are somehow linked or involved. Instead of out-and-out horror, Ju-on uses some subtle itches to draw viewers in- itches that are of course commonplace, such as creaking sounds, cats and that weird bit of movement you sometimes catch in the corner of your eye. And THEN the ghost comes out to get ya... HAHAHAHAHA...

Anyway, while the various vignettes of fright are creepy in themselves, the movie in it's entirety is a bit on the cryptic side, and I really haven't figured out everything on the first viewing... still, it was pretty neat to see this original horror piece finally. Yep, Chiaki Kuriyama is in the original, as one of the unfortunates the spirits victimize.

I'll try to watch the theatrical version later and see how that version stacks up to the original.

Friday, January 30

For Weekend Viewing

I hope to get some time to just relax this weekend. Well, as relaxed as I can get while pencilling pages for K.I.A. and the next installment of Kunoichi Boy. that is. Anyway, I'll try to put a couple of DVDs or anime VCDs from the backlog of unwatched stuff that I have been stockpiling for the past several MONTHS. High on priority will be Battle Royale 2, JUON and Finding Nemo. It's just that it's really been a long time since I just put in a DVD or VCD and just sat or laid down to JUST watch... I usually put in a disc just to have it in the background while I surf or draw. Oh well... I should learn to focus again. FOCUS!
Also got to try and read the comics I've been hoarding; Batman HUSH, Superman/Batman, Elektra, Wildguard and Street Fighter. Lots more still untouched, like Ultimates and the latest POWERS Trade Paperback. DARN. I could just wrap all the comics, dvds and vcds I got and just give them to myself on my next birthday...

Hey. That's a good idea. Heh.

No butts about it: Ninja Gaiden for Xbox is one HOT game.

Last night I came home after leaving a ton of blood at Comic Quest. Got the latest issues of Newtype USA (which features Full Metal Alchemist on the cover), the latest Previews and the newest Official Xbox Magazine.
My favorite feature on the free DVD with OXM is a video on the much-anticipated Ninja Gaiden game for Xbox. Worked on by Tecmo's Team Ninja since last year, this game puts you in the toed-boots of Ryu Hayabusa, a superninja and warrior (and Dead or Alive competitor) who must take on the evil Vigor Empire in this latest hack and slash videogame. Featuring graphics and animation on par with the graphically awesome Dead or Alive series on Xbox, Ninja Gaiden has Ryu swinging and fighting with the grace of... well, a ninja... as he battles soldiers, other human ninja, undead, demons, cyborgs and other horrors. The game also features incredible CG cinematics which seem to be telling an epic tale- well, epic in the sense that there are tons of cool stuff to be seen like burning temples, mammoth airships, evil samurai-armored bosses, giant bat-winged demon babes and a sexy blonde ally in a corset. WOOHOO! Along with Dead or Alive Ultimate, BC and Jade Empire (a martial arts-themed RPG from Bioware, the same company that produced last year's Xbox game of the year, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic), Ninja Gaiden should be a MUST for Xbox gamers in a couple of months.
Now if I only had more time to PLAY these games...

Thursday, January 29

Quick Bites

Dead or Alive Ultimate is a 2-disc set for Xbox. Disc one will have a port of the original DOA Saturn edition; this means everything from the retro Model 2-board graphics to Lei Fang's string bikinis should be intact. Disc two will have a remade, remastered version of Dead or Alive 2, with character models and a graphic engine from DOAX (DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball). This should make DOA2 Ultimate look even better than Dead or Alive 3. The absence of Xbox cuties Christie and Hitomi sucks though. DOAU will see release in Japan this coming March.

Virtua Fighter 5 is in the making! WOOHOO!!! More fighting action from Sega.

Animax is cool. My only problem is... WHAT THE HELL IS TECHNOLYZE ALL ABOUT??!? I've given up trying to figure it out...

No more LOTR this Christmas... unless you count the Extended version DVDs of The Return of the King which will supposedly have at least an hour of extra scenes and footage. Saruman... Witch King versus Gandalf... Aragorn and company versus the Corsairs of Umbar...MORE Pelennor Fields... WOOHOOO!!!

The Elektra movie starring Jennifer Garner (reprising her role from Daredevil) should kick arse. I just hope they give her the sexy red costume this time...

Zombie flicks should take a chunk out of theaters this year. Resident Evil: Apocalypse will have nubile undead killer Milla Jovovich reprising her role as Alice. The last time we saw her she had just woken up in an Umbrella Lab after having her boyfriend taken away and injected with the Nemesis virus. Now, she's still walking around naked except for a lab coat and a shotgun in the middle of a seemingly empty city. Well, we know quite well that the city is anything but abandoned... This time around, Alice will be joined by characters from the game, including Jill Valentine and Carlos Olivera (the latter played by Mummy alumni Oded Fehr).

The other zombie movie is a remake of Dawn of the Dead. A ragtag group of survivors, including a pajama-clad housewife and a pregnant woman will have to fight off HORDES of rabid, flesh-eating zombies (are there any other kind?). Looks cool. This lurches into theaters in March.

I just saw XBOX versions of Final Fantasy VII, VIII and IX! Incredible. I am thinking that these are ports or conversions of the PC versions of these classic RPGs. I don't think I can dedicate as much time to re-playing these gems as I did before. It'll still be a kick to have these discs for posterity/archive purposes.

A videogame version of the comic 100 Bullets is coming...

An Angel Ace movie casting thought... Victor Garber would make a great Gregor. He's already a kick-ass agent as Jack Bristow in Alias, playing a stoic, stone-faced and formidable CIA agent perfectly (What clinched it for me was one episode where Jack fights his way out of an SD6-laid trap in a movie theater- this guy is bad-ass!). He could be a great fill for the role of our girl Angel's Rock of Gibraltar mentor and guardian. I wonder if he could speak in a Russian accent?

Later then!

Wednesday, January 28

Coming Soon to a Mangazine Near You

The adventures of the first male kunoichi are coming your way in 2004.

Here's a mocked-up Questor cover featuring my newest character, Kunoichi Boy. The artwork itself is real, and will hopefully be used when KB debuts within the next couple of months in Questor Extreme, the manga anthology series of the popular anime/manga magazine.
I thought up the idea for KB last year, throwing around the ridiculous title of 'Ninja Girl Boy', which is basically what it says- a guy with all the powers of a ninja girl. Though I first meant it as a joke, the idea stayed in my head and eventually an actual, engaging storyline began to form around the bare idea. Soon, character studies and sketches evolved, and the final title- Kunoichi Shonen, or simply Kunoichi Boy, was decided.
The title stars Jin Dragu (the name is a play on 'In Drag'), a soft-spoken travelling artist who, when trouble beckons, can change into The Pink Ninja, an incredibly skilled and boobsy ninja woman! Just WHY Jin has to turn into a female ninja, what his quest is, and how he gets involved with an evil force threatening the entire continent of Tao will be what KB is all about.
Can't wait to tell this story. And if all goes well, in a couple of months or so, we'll be ready to start.

Monday, January 26

KILL BILL Volume 2

It's not over till it's over.

In Volume 1, The mysterious Bride (Uma Thurman) took bloody revenge on two of those who wronged her. With Vernita Green (Viveca Fox) and O-ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) now cold and dead, the rest of the Deadly Vipers Assassination Squad (DIVAS),Bud (Michael Madsen) and Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah) are waiting for the inevitable strike. But suffice to say, they won't be content to just lay down and die. The Bride will have to go through Hell and High Water to reach the DIVAS' mastermind, Bill, and revenge's bloody end.
Volume 2 is set for release in the US in month or two, and it has me curious as to how they're going to top the first one. This considering that they cut out an entire subplot involving the younger sister of Volume 1 villainess Go Go Yubari from the movie. In the original script, the younger and even more psychotic Yuki Yubari was going to go after The Bride for revenge, her hunt culminating in a deadly shootout in suburban America. This whole character was taken out since the film was at that point deemed too long.
Side Note: Yuki was apparently supposed to be played by Kou Shibasaki, who played the evil Mitsuko Souma in Battle Royale (who incidentally kills the character played by co-star Chiaki Kuriyama, aka Go Go Yubari, in that controversial Japanese film).

The teaser trailer for Kill Bill Volume 2 can be seen here.
MADman with a gun

Now I've got a machine gun. Ho-ho-ho...

My pal Pot came around in the afternoon and we went off to Greenhills to walk around. I really didn't plan on spending after having such a splurgy time last week. So it was with total amazement that I found myself (it was like an out of body experience) handing over some money to a vendor selling BB guns. They were quite realistic-looking, cheap and could be used with regular BBs and paintball ammo. I got myself a lovely-looking assault rifle (with a working LASER SIGHT! HOW COOL IS THAT?!) and pretty much had to heft it all over Greenhills before we left. Eventually though, seeing me with my new toy irked Pot so much that he eventually got himself a weapon as well. So armed, we made out way back to our hideout, er, the Sanctum, taking care to avoid any checkpoints.
Having these BB guns made me feel like a kid again, when we ran around with our pointy-fingers going BANG BANG BANG; then we moved to peashooters for deadly monggo bean battles all over the place. Straws turned into those neat rubber-band pistols, and then into BB guns in college. I owned a BBBerreta once, a cheap toy compared to the gas-powered fully-automatic pseudo weapons real gunfreaks owned.
Ah. To be a kid again, totally innocent, worry-free and war-hungry. Those were the days.

Now if only someone sold Vanishing Rays...

Sunday, January 25


You. Are. Next.

Agent K lets her eyes do the talking in this latest K.I.A. artwork. It's brought to us by colorist and comic artist extraordinaire, Joel Chua.
Gallivanting: The Movie

Yesterday, the gang drove off to Enchanted Kingdom to celebrate Vin's birthday. We went in two vehicles; the oldies (me, Dean, Gig, Carl and Jason) went in the Dynati-Car, while the bagets (El, Camy, Andrew) went with young-at-heart Vin and Ralph. We had a laugh thinking of how it all seemed like we were like in one of those pinoy 'Berks' movies, complete with cheesy sing-song and cliche' dialogue.

We tramped through heavy traffic, finally reaching our destination after about two hours.

I was pretty excited, seeing as it was my first time at the much-talked about theme park. The place wasn't overly crowded, but there were people aplenty and the rides had long lines which required a bit of patience. After we paid a certain fee, we were inside and given the ability to go on any ride we wanted.
The first ride was Anchors Away (or is it Anchors Aweigh?), which is basically a pendulum shaped like an old sailing ship. Groups of passengers sit down and are held in place with a metal bar to keep you from tumbling off to your doom, and then the ship starts swinging from left to right. Simple, right?

WRONG. The darn ride almost tilts to a 90 degree angle, and despite the fact that you are pretty securely fastened into place... YOU DON'T FEEL LIKE IT.
I was yelling out loud to expend my adrenaline and terror rush. Had to close my eyes when we reached the peak, since I really felt I was going to DIE. The worst part is, after the first terrifying teeter, I knew with foreboding that IT WAS JUST THE BEGINNING. EEEEEYYYAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!

Well, I survived somehow. Me and fellow wusses Jason and El collected what pride we had from the floor and limped off with the rest to the next torture.

The Log Jam was a bit tamer. A ride on a car which would often go up a height and then send you hurtling down to a splashy landing. Me, Carl and Jason got into a car together, which was pretty fun since we were all goofing off and mouthing lines from Aragorn's speech in ROTK to allay our fears. Heh. My main worry was getting my nice cellphone wet. Luckily, while my shirt was drenched, my other stuff was fine. Vin got the souvenir picks which I vow to get and burn if I ever get the chance. Heh.

Next was a Flying Swing, which was again tamer than our initial ride. You get into a chair attached to a chain and then are sent spinning around. Now I know how Mike Rodriguez, my character in Angel Ace must feel every time he hangs onto his main girl Angel. But then again, he can put his trust into a beautiful, fearless, unfailing superheroine. All I had was a couple of chains. EYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!!

After three rides, we were getting pooped, and split up. While the others went off to tackle the park's most daunting ride, the Space Shuttle, Vin, El, Camy, Ralph and I went to the relatively calmer and more visually-appealing Rialto Theater, showing off the 7th Portal. A 3-D ride where you focus on events on screen while your seat rocks and gyrates in tandem, this was based on the webcartoon created by Stan Lee. Basically, the passengers are 'beta-testers' who find themselves sucked into a cyberworld after we are attacked by a sexy and evil birdwoman named Vultura. Now trapped in Darkmoor, we must try to find the 7th Portal to get back to our world. Along the way, we meet up with the good heroes and more evil villains. Basically, we're a little target, constantly slamming into something or getting slammed. It wasn't scary at all, but it was pretty cool to watch the CG animated characters and action. Not too much in terms of story- just one long chase sequence, but it was an enjoyable ride while it lasted. I actually got interested in 7th Portal, but unfortunately the website and comic are now defunct. Oh well.
After that last couple of rides, we went off to the long trek back to civilization. We eventually landed at Kaya restaurant for a delicious Korean dinner, and lots of laughs as we recounted our experiences.

Happy Birthday, Vin! And Happy Birthday Carl, who turns one year older today!

Some Enchanted Kingdom Pics Here!