Saturday, September 23

Cast 10

The latest issue of Nautilus Comics' Cast is out. Even if you haven't been following this comic about the trials and travails of a group of friends trying to put together a play from issue 1, if you're a local comics enthusiast, this is something to check out. Why? Simply because the art chores for this particular issue are by Arnold Arre, that's why. And if getting this issue initially just for the art gets you interested in the story, then all the better, right?

Cast is available in magazine stands, comic shops and bookstores all over the Metro. Check it out!
Never Say Die

The next and perhaps last entry in the popular Die Hard series of films is coming. As expected, Bruce Willis will reprise his role as John McClane, a New York cop who has a knack for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. He was up against Euro-terrorists/hi-tech crooks in the first one, renegade US military troops in the second and an army of rogue German special forces in the third. What has the fourth film have to offer to McClane? ALIENS. McClane will be riding the space shuttle and battling an evil presence which has taken residence in a newly-opened space station.

Just kidding.

Nope, the only space that Die Hard 4 will be entering will be Cyberspace- McClane will be taking on Internet Terrorists who are out to destroy the United States's electronic superstructure. Of course, while they're classified as hackers, the baddies will no doubt have real-world nasties to throw into McClane's way. Also slated to star with Bruce Willis is Hong Kong beauty Maggie Q., last seen alongside Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible III. Q will play a world-class hacker who will be at odds with McClane.

The 4th Die Hard film will be titled Live Free or Die Hard, and will come out sometime in 2007.

Thursday, September 21

Taxi Heaven

A couple of days ago, I saw this feature about taxi cabs in Japan. Apparently, even there in the Land of the Rising Sun, hard times in the economy are causing people to scrimp a bit. To attract people back to using taxis, several operators have decided to offer additional services aside from the standard 'take me from point A to B' service.

One big new service is the use of prepaid cards for use with taxis. The cards can be used with pay phones to call a cab, and then used to pay for the cab itself. No more hassle about exact change! Boy, would that be a big help here.

Another operator specializes in providing taxi drivers who also function as your personal bodyguard. The police-trained cabbies carry large, powerful stun guns (rifle-shaped tasers) and will escort their fares right to their door. This is supposedly very popular among single women who have to go out in late hours.

But the coup de grace is a special 'Nanny Cabbie' who services senior citizens. Not only will the cabbie drive the people to the mall, he'll also recommend the best places to go, show you around to the sights and make sure everything you need is provided for.

All these services are provided at the same usual taxi fare.

DAMN! That's a first-world nation for you. Here in the good ol' RP, we'd find as many cabbies who would put one over on you as there are good, honest taxi drivers. But them's the breaks I guess. Man, I could use one of those big stun guns...

Tuesday, September 19

Like Water for Avatar

My Avatar snippet series continues... you gotta love Youtube.

One of the coolest things about Avatar is that as the series goes along, the characters develop and grow stronger. Katara, the series' lead female heroine starts off as your usual sidekick (along with her brother Sokka) to the main hero, Aang. In many other shows, she'd probably stay that way forever- always a cheerleader or sideline support. But not here in Avatar. An aspiring Waterbender at the start of the series, Katara has little power or skill when we first see her. But towards the end of the first Season, she learns more stuff and DARN... becomes a force to be reckoned with in Season 2. The things she can do with water are simply awesome.

The clip above is from the later Season 1 episode, "The Waterbending Master", and has Katara challenging the somewhat chauvanistic Master Paku to a duel when the latter refuses to teach her since she's a girl. More amazing elemental action that is just a taste of the awesomeness that is Avatar.

Monday, September 18


I don't know if it was the success of Discovery Channel's Mythbusters (which is on it's 3rd season at least) that spawned the X-testers. This new Discovery Channel show has another pair of Special Effects wizards going around and looking for various supernatural phenomenon. Their goal is to look for evidence of UFOs, ghosts and monsters and then try to replicate the supposed proof- in order to show whether it's possible that the supposed supernatural event is a hoax or not.

It's an interesting premise, I have to say. I love the supernatural and these things just keep me glued to the screen. However, I find the two leads in X-testers to be a bit over the top in terms of humor- or attempted humor. Both guys try so hard to be goofy and funny and hilarious with every single line they say, and it just comes off as annoying. Very annoying. One thing is for sure, the X-testers aren't as good or as interesting as the Mythbusters' Jamie and Adam- I don't even remember their names. All I know is one of them seems to have come from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and the other looks like a thinner, dorkier version of James Cameron. I hope that as the show goes on they just tone down the jokes a bit and act more naturally. Or if that's the way they really are, that they tone down and try practicing being less talky. Heh.

Also a bit much are recent episodes of A Haunting, another Discovery Channel show which re-enacts various encounters of the supernatural experienced in small town America. Where the first episodes were low key haunts which were quite creepy, recent episodes have graduated to encounters with demonic apparitions that seem to have stepped through a Gate to Mordor. And every new episode seems to end with an exorcism now. I know there's a need to dramatize stuff, but come on... a lot of the things shown onscreen are just made to scare the viewer... cheap scares that just seem off for a serious supernatural show based on real-life events.

Still, complaints aside I'm still hooked on these shows. There's not enough good stuff to see on the box, so I'll take what I can. Flaws included. Oh well.
Sweet Nothing

Yesterday, me and my college bud Pot went on our usual post-payday gallivanting in Greenhills. Both of us kinda felt under the weather, but we went on the motions as we did in past trips- going around V-mall, heading towards Theater Mall, milling with the crowds at Bridgeway, then going to our pre-ordained circles in Shoppesville. Still, I wasn't as hyped up on this trip since I didn't really have anything in mind to shop for on this particular week.

When we passed by the Promenade, I saw the Bizu gourmet cafe and suddenly was in the mood for some hot chocolate. Bizu's pretty pricey- in fact, it's downright expensive. But I really just needed a cup of choco- and you don't get is much creamier or richer than at Bizu. So, I prodded Pot in and offered to treat him to the place since it was my craving. The funny thing is, I guess we got a bit of confusion... he ordered the exact cake and cup of hot chocolate I did, while I had intended only getting one cake to split between us. In the end, I ended up paying 800 pesos for a couple of tiny cakes and two cups of hot chocolate. OUCH! You'd think I was on a frickin' date to impress some girl rather than just having a lakwatsa with an old college friend.

Well, to be fair the cakes were rich and lovely, and the chocolate was really rich, thick and creamy... and I think it did both of us good since we were both infused with liquid feelgood after that. I'll just have to make sure to avoid such a thing next time to keep my wallet from hurting. In any case, I got several relatively new Xbox magazines (with DVDs) for cheap so that kinda balanced it out. A short drizzle that followed in the early evening cooled down the stuffy air and that was nice.

What a way to start the week. Heh.

Sunday, September 17

Avatar ROCKS

Avatar: The Last Airbender is my favorite animated show right now, and one of the reasons why is shown in the video above. Since local Nickelodeon still only shows re-runs of like, five or six episodes of Season One: Book of Water, many Filipino viewers don't realize how awesome this show is, and just how more cool it gets in Season Two: Book of Earth. So I just wanted to share this cool video of some Season 2 action.
Well into Season Two, we get introduced to a new member of the main cast, Toph, a 12-year old blind girl who also just happens to be one of the strongest Earthbenders on the planet. The scenes above are from her debut episode and shows some amazing elemental action. Toph just ROCKS. Enjoy!