Saturday, July 10

Extra Cheese

I just watched U.S. Seals 2: The Ultimate Force on AXN.


This probably is one of the most hilarious turns for a title, considering what kind of film the first US Seals movie was. Whereas the first movie (starring Charlie Sheen and Michael Biehn) was based more or less on real-world Sea-Air-Land commandos, this cartoony sequel brings together elements of The Dirty Dozen with The Magnificent Seven, adds in a load of camp and produces one cheezy laugh-fest of a movie.
Basically the drama is about an ex-SEAL guy who is tapped by an army major to bring back a kidnapped nuclear scientist. Of course, ex-SEAL doesn't care... at least until he learns that the kidnapper is his old army buddy-turned to the dark side, played by Damian Chapa, who smirks his way through the movie. Chapa, who played Ken in the live-action Streetfighter movie, is a clear hint that this is really a B-movie fest at best. Anyway, despite being about US SEALS, the movie actually has no real SEALS in the team... the good guys consist of an ex-SEAL and a rag-tag band of martial artists... who in true Magnificent Seven action die off one by one as the film chugs along.
It would have been a serious, heroic-violence flick, but US SEALS 2 takes out any sense of seriousness by adding super-exaggerated 'Whoop' sound effects with every characters' movements- be it a glance to the side or a quick hand gesture. Then there are the funny HK-style fights with dozens of token baddies, weird martial arts weapons like chains, metal sticks, Japanese katana, fencing rapiers and an acid-firing paintball gun being brought into play. There's even a red-haired oriental bad guy with a killer scarf who never says a thing but looks pretty badass. That's pretty cool. Oh wait- awkward love-story thrown in... uncool. Oh well.

If you see this on reruns on AXN, give it a shot. It's a hilarious turn-off-your-brain martial arts riotfest. Now I wonder if they will ever show Mortal Kombat Annihalation again sometime...

Friday, July 9


MY GOSH! Is this true??!

I'm taking a vacation?!?!

Yep. I'll be off from the grind not just this weekend but the whole of next week (crossing fingers that nothing from work comes back to haunt me during then). Considering that I've been here in my present job for about 10 months straight without any real break, I think I deserve (and definitely need) it.

But of course, I'm really not the vacationing type. My idea of RnR isn't packing my bags and going off to some secluded wilderness, like some people. No, I'm a homebody and just having time off, private time where I am most comfortable, being able to do stuff I want to do and being able to relax, chill and vegetate is enough for me.

So I'm gonna be chilling like an ice cube in the Sanctum unless I need something that can't be delivered.

But of course, I will be working on my comics- that's fully half the reason why I even applied for the leave. Siglo: Passion in particular, needs to be FINISHED at the end of my break. I'll also try to take out the remaining K.I.A. pages within this time frame.

Well, I got my time off. Let's see me use that time to the fullest.

Thursday, July 8

Spy Fiction

PS2 gamers out there who are also anime enthusiasts may want to check out the new espionage action title Spy Fiction, which features the art and character designs of Range Murata. Murata is well known for designs of character from the OAV Blue Submarine No. 6 and most recently, the popular GONZO anime series Last Exile.
Total Apocalypse

Jill Valentine is ready to splatter some zombies in Resident Evil: Apocalypse!

A new trailer for Resident Evil: Apocalypse is now available online!

The sequel to the first RE movie sees the return of Alice (Milla Jovovich), former amnesiac and special forces operative for the Umbrella Corporation, and one of the only two survivors from the first film's undead and mutant hordes. At the end of the first movie, Alice finds out that the T-Virus plague has escaped from the confines of the secret lab and into the wide world. The Umbrella corporation, the creators of the virus, are meanwhile working to take advantage of the virus and to protect their secrets instead of working to stop the plague. I guess they're not a very civic-minded company.

Anyway, finally arriving into the RE film scene are characters from the actual game that spawned the franchise.

Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) is a sexy, take-no-crap officer of the elite S.T.A.R.S. unit, which is quickly thrust into a mutant and zombie-filled cityscape. Lucky for Jill and her buds, Alice soon arrives and joins up with them, bringing with her some new superhuman abilities, courtesy of Umbrella's experimentation. Apparently, Alice can now fight and do stunts like she stepped out from The Matrix or got taught by Kill Bill's Pai Mei. Jill herself is no slouch when it comes to butt-kicking. Bringing up the rear to our two heroines is STARS member Carlos Olivera, another character from the game, played by Oded Fehr from the Mummy movies
The good guys will need all the firepower they can get since Umbrella has taken the other survivor from the first film and turned him into the pulp-faced, trenchcoat-wearing, rocket launcher-bearing Nemesis, a killer mutant that's out to make sure no one escapes to tell on Umbrella. So now it seems that it's a race for survival as humans, superhuman, mutants and undead battle to see who comes out in one piece at the end.

As with the actual games, the emphasis on the Resident Evil movies really isn't on horror, but more on action-oriented sci-fi/monster-fighting suspense. While that was a bit short in the first movie, the sequel looks to have amped up the pulse tenfold. Plus, having two femme fatales taking names in miniskirts and fishnet shirts doesn't hurt either.
Aside from the Nemesis, the whip-tongued Lickers are back, as well as hordes of bloody extras- er, zombies. With more bang for the buck and a lot bigger scale, I'm actually pretty excited and looking forward to RE: Apocalypse, which should be hitting theaters by September.
Future Obsession

Okay, I know quite a few of my friends will not believe this, but I believe that I have gotten past my Phone Whore fever. Really. I mean, I have the best phone that I could ever want, so there really isn't anywhere to go from here. Heheh.

Anyway... I am saying this because by next year I may be entering a new era of gadget lust. The gadget is the Playstation Portable or PSP. It's Sony's first handheld gaming console and it has just surfaced to the world in the recently-concluded Entertainment Expo (E3) 2004. It's not yet on sale, of course- but at least the real thing has finally been seen and there are a lot more details revealed.

The PSP itself is flat and roughly the size of a man's outstretched hand- which makes it light and handy enough to carry on neckstraps or to fit in large pockets or small pouchbags. There's a gamepad on the left and buttons on the right and shoulder buttons on the front corners- making the whole thing look like a large funky controller. But then, no controller has a lovely, lovely screen in the middle of the thing.
The screen is huge at 4.3 inches, with image quality good enough for crystal clear games and movies. Yes, movies- aside from playing specially-made PSP games, the console can play dvd-quality movies recorded on the proprietary UMDs- Universal Media Discs- produced by Sony. The discs are small and hold about 1.8 Gigabytes of data, and go in at the back of the PSP.
In terms of games, the PSP has the usual Sony lineup of ports, sequels and spinoffs- nothing that particularly jerks my chain, but a PSP Tekken or maybe even a Dead or Alive title may not be far off. Final Fantasy on the go? Bet on it. Wow, just thinking of playing an RPG or fighting game I love wherever, whenever is just soooo cool.
The PSP supports Sony's Memory Card Duo, and will probably have onboard memory as well. The thing will also have WiFi capability, and you'll be able to use the PSP with accessories like special PSP cameras, USB ports, keyboards and other peripherals. This pretty much makes the PSP not just a gaming console, but an-all around media device. The only thing missing is... well, telephony.

How much for this wondrous device? Some say as low as $150. Some say as high as $300. Which means it will probably be as expensive as a full-sized PS2 or Xbox when it comes out here eventually in, oh, mid-2005. That's a lot of time to save up the moolah. And on lustful thoughts. Hoho...

Wednesday, July 7


When I got my Apple Powerbook several months ago, I had to purchase a bag to go along with it. Then I bought a nice black shoulder bag which fit the laptop nicely along with a bunch of other stuff. It was snug at my side, and I liked it.
Well, months later my right shoulder hurts like hell. I favor it since I just feel off-balanced when I hang the bag from my left. I guess it really just isn't good for me so I started thinking of getting a new bag. The option of course was a backpack, and I was actually eyeing the hardshell-backpacks used by hikers. Two of my friends at the office had them, and when I tried them on it felt quite light and easy to move with it... the opposite of what I thought it would be. My only problem was that the shell backpacks are pretty bulky, and it takes a darn too long a time to open up the thing... which will be a pain when passing by checkpoints in malls and buildings.

Tonight at the Cyber Zone in Megamall I passed by the Apple Center and looked over proper backpacks. The first bag I saw was big and had a good price... but then I saw a smaller and more compact bag which captured my desire. The price wasn't as small as the bag, but I got it anyway. Now my laptop fits in snug as a bug in a rug, and it hugs my bod like a monkey in heat. Vin says I look sporty now. Gah.

Anyway, now I've got bag-euphoria. I feel like I can take up my new backpack and walk ANYWHERE! Do ANYTHING! I can accomplish ALL that I set out to do!!! It's amazing what something new and fresh can do to your outlook.

I wonder if I'll feel like this in a few months of lugging the bag around? Oh well. Live in the moment, I always say. Heh.

I'm doing what I can't do in the office... Blogging without a shirt on.


No doubt you are scarred forever by that image. Anyway, the phonelines are back here at The Sanctum and now we can blog and surf again from the comfort and privacy of my abode. This time I hope that the subdivision enacts some sort of special security to make sure the phone cable theft NEVER happens again. Ah. Life is good.

Tuesday, July 6

Final Fantasy the Musical

Okay, no, you won't be seeing Cloud Strife or Squall Leonhart on Broadway anytime soon. I just read an article on IGN about the recently-held concert featuring music from the best-selling Final Fantasy games. Entitled Dear Friends: Music From Final Fantasy, the concert features the classic tunes from the many FF games performed by a full-piece orchestra and choir. As an added treat, FF composer Nobuo Uematsu himself graced the occasion.
A huge part of the emotion and the effect that Final Fantasy has on it's fans and players are due to the wonderful music that accompanies every moment in every game. As a fan of the games and music, I wish I could have been there. Well, reading the article almost gave me a bit of the experience, and maybe it will for other FF otaku out there too. Maybe it will make you break out those soundtrack CDs after you read it. Heh.

Anyway, for IGN's report on the Final Fantasy Musical Concert, click here.

Monday, July 5

Stark Raving Review

This review should have been up a lot sooner, but the darn phone lines went dead and stayed dead at my place. Anyway, last Friday me and the guys caught Spiderman at The Podium. Again, I have to reiterate that I am hardly a Spiderman fan. I know the general storyline and the rogues’ gallery, I watched Spiderman and his Amazing Friends, but I have never really been an enthusiast in the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler.

That said, I have to say that after watching the second film in the franchise, I have to say that Spiderman 2 is so far without a doubt,the BEST superhero movie I’ve ever seen. And a damn great movie, period.

There are tons of stuff to rave about in this superior sequel; the performances of the now-familiar cast, with kudos to Tobey Maguire for playing hero Peter Parker note-perfect with the right amount of sensitivity, restraint and comedic timing. I also have to note the wonderful performance of Rosemary Harris, the actress who plays Aunt May Parker- if you don’t want to give this pure-hearted lady a brand-new toaster after seeing the whole bank scene, you have a heart of stone.
The rest of the cast is still in fine form- J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons) is still as obnoxiously hilarious as ever. Harry Osborn (James Franco) looks like an Anakin Skywalker in the making, while Kirsten Dunst fills out her ‘damsel in distress’ Mary Jane Watson role with a nice bit of spunk.
In fact, I think the whole cast from the first movie (including a couple of guys who DIED in the preceding film) come back for repeat performances.
But of course, I have to say that the clincher performance belongs to the brilliantly-realized Doctor Octopus, played by character actor Alfred Molina. He invests the character with humanity and intensity, making the comic book villain more real than he’s ever been… and the awesome special effects that bring to life his fearsome, A.I. empowered tentacles don’t hurt either.

Speaking of special effects, the literally breathtaking action sequences and thrilling fight scenes in Spiderman 2 definitely surpass everything else I’ve yet seen for a film of this type. On one level, they truly capture the kinetic energy, ferocity and violence of the comic book battles… one another though, they TOTALLY blow the comic medium away. Damn magnificent.

I have to commend Director Sam Raimi for doing almost everything right this time around; from the relentless ordeals of Peter Parker to the dramatic scenes between him and the people he loves the most, to the way Spiderman is treated by the people he protects. Even a pivotal subway scene which could have been played with patriotic overacting (as in a parallel scene in the first film) was executed perfectly. So I think it’s great that Raimi gets to throw in a groovy homage to his Evil Dead films, complete with ‘Evil Cam’ and chainsaws. Hail to the King. Heh.

But I have to say that the best thing about Spiderman 2 is that, like another recent favorite film of mine, the action never takes over the movie. There’s a great story with a lot of heart moving behind it all. A story about an underdog (that’s sure to click with Pinoy audiences) who sacrifices everything for the good of his often uncaring world. It’s heartbreaking at times to see loveable loser Peter Parker get hammered AGAIN and AGAIN, but you’ll surely feel uplifted and satisfied when the film reaches its many pay-offs at the end.


Catch Spiderman 2 in theaters NOW. NOW NOW NOW!!!!

Over the weekend the gang got treated to each bringing home a PILE of free comics from comic-monger Vin as part of Free Comic Book Day. The cool indie comics included in the giveaways mirror our own local releases, which is great to see. There are also a lot of little gems, and in particular Tokyopop wowed all of us with a mini-graphic novel sized-free sampler of their upcoming releases.
So much stuff to read and peruse and appreciate. And I'll need them since I've started finally on my Siglo Passion story and I need the inspirations.

Thanks, Vin!

Over the weekend I was pretty much up the creek without a paddle... or to be more exact, stuck in the house without internet. For some reason, the phone lines at my subdivision went DEAD and have stayed dead. No phone lines, no connection, no web, no surfing, no blogging, no LIFE! Well, I found out today that apparently someone STOLE the darn PLDT phone cables. SOMEONE STOLE THE FRICKIN' PHONE CABLES!!! My gosh. I've heard of stealing cable, but this is ridiculous.

So now, I guess it's all a matter of waiting for the darn phone company to replace the stuff. But who's to say this won't happen again? GAH!!!