Friday, May 21

What Now?!?

My cousin, US-based designer, illustrator, comic book artist and all-around nice guy Jeremy has finally joined Blogger! You can check his new blog, What Now?! at my links section. Or, you can just click here. Blog away, Jeremy!

Enjoy the day before you miss it completely.

Ah. Breathe. Count to ten. Enjoy a cup of Joe. Stare out the window and enjoy the view. Or just sit back and stretch.





That's better.

Okay. Pause over.
Pocket Theater: The Sequel

It's been about a week since I got Smartmovie, and I am still having fun with it. I've solved a problem about videos having no sound, and have more or less found my comfort level for video clip quality. The thing is, the higher the quality of your video, the poorer the frame rate and movement. So you have to find a balance between how your movies look and how they move.

So far, I've been encoding and loading stuff like fight scenes, anime excerpts, movie trailers and game footage into my phone. I always have the Kill Bill fight between The Bride and Go Go Yubari loaded, as well as the striptease swordfight from Final Flight of the Osiris (I could actually load that entire Animatrix episode, but why waste the space?). Another fun but heavy clip is the short film George Lucas in Love, a clever fictional work that never fails to bring a smile to my face. And new, better fight scenes are coming up all the time.

How about that funny zombie-fighting gunfight from Versus?

Or that cool ninja attack from The Last Samurai?

The Rohirrim charge in The Return of the King, and the battle with the Mumakil.

The Hector-Achilles duel in Troy.

The Burly Brawl from Matrix Reloaded. Or perhaps the freeway chase.

The possibilities of what I can put in and bring with me are endless. I'm also thinking of encoding a whole movie... but what? Perhaps the whole Ninja Scroll movie would be nice. I should start building a library of encoded Smartmovie movies. Or perhaps several episodes of my fave animes? We'll see. Perhaps I should get myself a 256 MB MMC Card already. Yes, yes... that's the ticket. Yes...

Hoho. Not just a phonewhore, I'm a videophonewhore! MWHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
Window Shopping the Weekend

Ahhh. It's been a long week. Perhaps it was because I came off an even more exhausting time last week and I spent all this time recovering from it. Yesterday, I spent half the time half-asleep, feeling like there were Yale padlocks attached to my eyelids. At one point Joey caught me snoozing while sitting up. That little catnap had the effect of a teeny bit of expresso though.
Anyway, it's great that the weekend's arriving, and I can finally take a breather. Still, there's stuff to do like artworks and pages and whatnot, but I really have to make it a point to relax.

Shrek 2 is already showing in theaters today. Gotta make it a point to see it this weekend, with the gang if possible.

Maybe I can pass by Greenhills on Saturday. I missed going last week and maybe new stuff has arrived since then. Stuff meaning the latest DVDs, games and anime.

Alternatively, I can just stay home and encode more videos for my phone, to play on Smartmovie. Hey. That's also nice. Heh.

Ah. I like it when the World is at my Oyster. Or something like that.

Thursday, May 20


Posing with Cthulhu.

I had a busy day, writing scripts, meeting clients and running here and there. I was half-asleep on the bus, nodding off to mp3s. My right eye felt sore and swollen, and I just felt worn out. Perhaps, I thought, I'd get refreshed with the batch of new comics and magazines at Comic Quest.
And it was to my pleasant surprise to find two friends that I hadn't seen in the longest time right there in the store! The last time I had seen Arnold and Cynthia Arre was on their wedding day. Now here they were, in the flesh! We tried as best as we could to catch up in the short time we had- having dinner with Vin at our new favorite restaurant, Lemon Grass and then later meeting up with Carl (another friend long MIA recently) at Cinnzeo's at Pearl Plaza.
Over cinnamon rolls and strawberry milk, we talked about everything from the advertising business to recent movies like Troy and Milan (Yes, the pinoy film), what Arn's new phone should be and other knicks and knacks.

Cyn shows off her new PDA.

Now that was refreshing. Don't let months pass by again till next time, guys. Later!

Monday, May 17


On the comics front, things have slowed somewhat.

K.I.A. is about 70 percent done. A couple of contributors are still working on their stuff, and aside from my own unfinished pages I have to work on fixing other artists' pages. As I expected, K.I.A. won't be seeing release this June... we'll probably be delayed a month or two, but I have no doubt we'll see Kai's new adventures in due time, soon.
I will probably have to put K.I.A. on hold in any case as I have to start work on my pages for Siglo: Passion. I'll be doing the art for Jason's story, a 12-pager about the country in the 1960s. Have to start thinking up a new art style again.

Disappointingly, Questor is working out some issues, causing it and sister mag Questor Extreme to be put on hold for the time being. So it means we'll have to wait a bit longer for the adventures of Kunoichi Boy. Not altogether bad since I haven't actually worked on the succeeding installments as much as I should. Yikes. Oh well.

Gah. Irritating but this should all work for the best. Once we top the crest of the hill that is 2004, it should be all downhill. Hope, hope.
Rainy Day

Monday seems to be the day for rains. It rained last week, during Election Day, and it's raining now on Makati Day. Which is probably a bit inconvenient for the many hundreds of participants in the Makati Day parade. Traffic, floats, marching bands, confetti... just add rainwater for a heck of a mess. Gah.

In a way though it's also refreshing today... the long haul of a pitch we were slaving on from last week into this morning is finally over. I hope we get it.

Wanna get some shut-eye. Have to keep chugging along on the comic pages. Gotta encode more phone videos. Should pick up my Xbox magazine from Comic Quest. Lotsa things to do. Well, the saying is true- when it rains, it pours.

Sunday, May 16

My Big Fat Greek Invasion

The last time I read anything about Homer’s Iliad was back in high school, reading the tragic tale of war, kings and god-cursed love from Edith Hamilton’s Mythology book. I had already read the much shorter versions/excerpts from encyclopedias when I was much younger- I was already fascinated by the story, the fighting, the Trojan horse myth and so on. And so, when I heard about a big budget Hollywood film on the epic, I was excited.

Well, last night I, Vin, Gig, Dean and Ralph went to Podium and watched the 11 PM showing of Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy.

Everyone knows the story of course- Trojan prince Paris (Orlando Bloom) steals away Helen (Diane Kruger), the wife of Menelaus (Brendan Gleeson), King of Sparta and the brother of the powerful Greek empire-builder, Agamemnon (Brian Cox). This of course results in the launching of a thousand ships to take back Helen from Troy. Joining the fight solely for glory and the prospect of immortality is Achilles (Brad Pitt at his buffest), a supposedly invincible, masterless warrior.

Going into this, I already knew that it would be worlds away from the myth. There would be no gods joining the fight for either side, the whole Trojan war would be compressed into a matter of days (it lasted more than a decade in the myth) and characters’ parts would change dramatically. What we have here is a period war movie with political maneuverings, family drama, man-to-man combat and lots and lots of killing. Now, while I’m kinda disappointed that this wasn’t going to be another LOTR (despite having Legolas and Boromir in the cast) and there weren’t any Amazons in the film, I actually liked it.

The movie looks gorgeous, for starters. The mammoth armies are impressive to look at, and the first couple of battles were well-staged. The cast generally do their parts well- Brad Pitt is pretty bad-ass as the original bad-ass, Achilles, a masterless warrior who leads his own private army of professional soldiers and fights wars simply for glory. Achilles has mastered combat like no other man, and that shows in some quite exciting fight sequences.
Eric Bana RULES as Hector, the dutiful elder prince, defender of the city of Troy and loving son and brother. Seeing him here is a huge difference from his role as Bruce Banner in the boring Hulk movie, and it was a revelation. While he leads the Trojan defense, I actually seemed to feel the city was safe- he was that convincing as the story’s actual hero. And his duel with Achilles is a sight to see.
Evil Agamemnon is played with hammy glee by Brian Cox, who has moved on from hunting mutants in X2 to killing Trojans. Dignified actor Peter O’Toole plays the sympathetic but far too religious King Priam, who figures with Achilles in one of the most impressive scenes of fatherly love I’ve seen in recent films.

Orlando Bloom plays the somewhat wussy Paris, a far cry from his valiant, perfect elf warrior Legolas in LOTR, and I found his performance quite good, and the slow development of his character quite effective. Fellow LOTR vet Sean Bean finally gets to play a character who doesn’t die, as the crafty but sympathetic Odysseus, the mastermind behind the Trojan Horse.
It has to be said as well that the women of Troy- handmaiden/royal cousin Briseis (Rose Byrne) and Hector’s wife Andromache (Saffron Burrows) are portrayed as solid foundations to their husbands/men, in contrast to the more flighty Helen.

High Points- the first battle, the Trojan counterattack, the Hector-Achilles duel and the climax.
Hand-clapping Moment of the Night- when Agamemnon gets his.
Best reasoning of the night, from Gig- Aeneas is shown being entrusted with the care of the remnants of Troy, and goes to someday build Rome. Since Paris seems to survive as well, does he go on to build… Paris?

As I said, there are many deviations from the original myth, and I unexpectedly found myself rooting for the Trojans, but in the end the story told is clear, rational and in the end, satisfying. So troop down to theaters and join the siege yourself.