Me and My Nine Iron

April 27, 2010

Copyright and registration

Filed under: For your pleasure — BJ @ 11:57 pm

Yesterday, I finally made the leap. The one to let go of the material you’ve been working on and thinking about everyday for the past seven months because if you want to make it, sooner or later, you’re going to have to.

Thus, the first, my first screenplay was finalized via copyright and registration.

On the copyright website, under type of work, screenplays fall under “Work of the Performing Arts.” There’s a certain sense of prestige attached to “performing arts.” But, I guess that’s on top of doing any work that requires being on the website to begin with.

Anyone want to write some songs with me?

On the contrary, the Writers Guild of America, or WGA, has a very simple registration for a site that takes in tens of thousands of new screenplays every year. Almost a little too simple. Two clicks from its home page, and you’re on the single-page registration form.

Here’s the website if anyone’s interested: https://www.wgawregistry.org/webrss/dataentry.asp

It’s a great feeling, but there’s a greater feeling. And, another journey begins in the quest to taste it.

BJ

April 15, 2010

Clash of the Titans review

I had the pleasure of being dragged into watching this in 3D while in Hong Kong. I didn’t expect much walking into it and thus, I wasn’t disappointed when it was over. Simply put, the storyline was uber-trite, highly predictable and nothing you’ve never seen before. With a whopping $125 million budget, it’s international suckers like those packed in my theater that’s made it more money than domestically and a huge box-office success.

Director Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk, Danny the Dog, The Transporter, Transporter 2) pushed the studio for a 3D conversion and said it wasn’t a gimmick. Well I’ve got news for everyone, if it isn’t in IMAX (even back home), it’s nothing but a huge scam. About the only thing that looked like it was in 3D was the Chinese subtitles.

The bizarre thing about the movie was the absence of a love story, almost like they went out of their way for Perseus to have no feelings toward Andromeda. This made the scenes between the two awkward, but when it was all said and done, the entertainment factor was still there, and thus, the generous rating. This, however, is not a movie I would recommend to action fans looking for an awesome movie.

Rating: 2 stars out of 4

In case you missed any of these 2009 flicks, here’s a list of films I gobbled up in the past two weeks.

Couples Retreat

One of the worst comedies that I’ve seen in recent memory, penned by Vince Vaughn (his first screenplay) and Jon Favreau no less, it’s another movie that proves big names and pretty faces can hand you $100 million (save the Will Smith bashing) at the box office. The laughs are too far and few, and Vaughn should stick to what he’s perfected – his adlib acting. If you haven’t seen it yet, definitely skip it.

Rating: 2 stars out of 4

Fantastic Mr. Fox

The highly-acclaimed animated film was regarded as the second-best in its genre in 2009, losing both its Oscar noms, including Best Animated Picture, to Up. For this reason, I had high expectations, and it didn’t disappoint. George Clooney‘s sharp, distinct voice as Mr. Fox definitely gives the unique puppet movie a boost, but perhaps the reason that it didn’t find an audience was because it was an 87-minute puppet movie. Not your visually stunning Pixar flick you might be accustomed to, but I loved it.

Rating: 4 stars out of 4

Revolutionary Road

The first movie in which Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and Kathy Bates co-starred since Titanic, it’s the very antithesis of a romantic film about 1950s suburban life filled with love affairs and marital spats. Nominated for three Oscars and on numerous top ten of the year lists (in 2008, where it was first in limited release), Leo and Kate are, as always, engrained in their roles as a couple, which includes a love scene shot by her very husband, director Sam Mendes.

Rating: 3 stars out of 4

Up in the Air

A timely movie about job loss in our current economy. Sad, cool, the story played up a lot of elements, and it worked out. Nominated for six Oscars in which it didn’t win any, before watching this, I wondered how it could have gotten a nod for Best Director. But the quick cuts and aerial shots made it as cool as Clooney. I’ve decided Jason Reitman is one of the people I would want to work with most alongside Judd Apatow, but like Apatow, for the most part, he only directs what he wrote (save Juno).

Rating: 4 stars out of 4

Youth in Revolt

Michael Cera‘s done it again. A surprisingly good comedy about a guy doing crazy things (e.g. breaking the law) to be with a girl, it’s a fun journey that sees Cera create another on-screen chemistry – this time with Portia Doubleday.

Rating: 4 stars out of 4

And for some 2009 music:

John Mayer – Battle Studies

A nice return from his stint at jazz (Continuum), he returns to No. 1 on the charts with some catchy hits and a good front-loaded album.

Favorite tracks: Heartbreak Warfare, Perfectly Lonely, Friends, Lovers or Nothing

Rating: 3 stars out of 4

BJ

April 14, 2010

Fast food review

Filed under: Food reviews — BJ @ 3:45 pm
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Today’s edition of Fast Food Review is dedicated to KFC’s new Double Down sandwich, which made its debut on Monday. Essentially a bacon sandwich with fried (or grilled) chicken in lieu of the bread, most consumers agree this wouldn’t be a bad way to go out, if one were to via eating.

Priced at $4.99 plus tax (or $6.29 for the meal, which includes fries and a drink), you get a decent amount of meat, with a price relative to those of other fast food combos.

First impression: Deceivingly big. I know I shouldn’t fall for that when it comes to fast food items, but the giant-looking fried chicken in the pictures is about the size of my undersized palms. Also, I have to open up my sandwich to find one or two measly strips of bacon. Already disappointed.

First bite: A hanging piece of fried chicken, which tasted soggy and drenched in oil. As I’ll come to learn, it’s much better with the melted Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheeses.

Verdict: Despite all the knocks, I can’t deny that I enjoyed dunking the fairly thick filets in ranch and gnawing away. The portion is surprisingly content for a “sandwich” and is an item I would recommend for those needing some assurance before trying it for the first time.

Up next: Taco Bell’s Tortada and Beefy 5-Layer Burrito (for $.89!).

BJ

April 13, 2010

Diary of a Wimpy Trip

Filed under: For your pleasure — BJ @ 5:43 pm
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I’m back, folks. Having slept an impressive 30 hours in a 39-hour stretch since I’ve been back, I think I’m finally working on Pacific time again.

Diary of a Wimpy Trip

April 4, 1a
Boarding gate, LAX Airport

Scruffy man in Saints jersey sits next to us, snoring so loud that he draws attention from the packed room.

April 4, 1:20a
In plane, waiting for takeoff

Should we really be surprised that Saints man ends up sitting next to us? This is a 15-hour flight. FML.

April 4, 8a
In plane, flight in progress

Allow me to cheat and say that the Saints man actually doesn’t snore the entire flight but that two crying babies the row in front of us are on the verge of making me strangle some infants. I swear, one of them cries so loud that your eardrums hurt.

My Cathay Pacific plug: it truly is one of the best in-flight entertainments

offered with movies, TV, music and games on demand. I’ll review my list of 2009 movies and music seen in another post. My one knock: the chairs don’t recline. Only the seat moves forward, if you can imagine that, which doesn’t help.

April 4, 3p
In plane, flight in progress

My second No. 3 in as many hours, but again, nothing hardly comes out. Constipated with diarrhea the entire flight, no bueno.

April 5, 7:45a
Exiting plane, Hong Kong

You know you could feel the outside weather in that small segment from the plane to the connector? That’s when I first felt the 95% humidity I would come to enjoy for the next seven days.

April 5, 6p
Hotel room, Hong Kong

Everyone sleeps in twos and because I didn’t bring my imaginary girlfriend, I have to spend the next six nights with my brother-in-law’s cousin. Nice guy, but I’ve never seen two twin beds closer together than the ones in these rooms. Having entered our room for the first time together, I go about pushing my bed to the wall while complaining of the proximity aloud. I hope he wasn’t offended.

April 6, 2p
CityPlaza, Hong Kong

Shopping.

April 8, 10a
Outside, Hong Kong

“Japanese Steam Massage Bath” sighting.

April 8, 4p
Flea Market, Hong Kong

More shopping. My mom’s a lowballer. She also makes unreasonable demands after making a purchase that gets her kicked out of a store. She’s awesome.

April 8, 10p
Hotel bar, Hong Kong

I sip on some rum and cokes, as I become obsessed with one of the female singers from the band. Unfortunately, this is my last sighting of hot girl.

April 9, 10:45a
Hotel breakfast, Hong Kong

BIL’s uncle reports seeing no women go into said Japanese bath. Suspicions confirmed.

April 9, 2p
Mini Great Wall, Cheung Chau

If this is comparable to a 5k and a marathon, I could care less for the real thing, with the uphill marches endured.

April 9, 7p
Outside, Hong Kong

Another shopping opportunity. I disrespectfully decline.

April 10, 11p
Hotel room, Hong Kong

BIL’s cousin gets sloppy on me on the last night, farts in bed as we watch TV.

April 11, 1:10p
Boarding gate, Hong Kong Airport

Hong Kong Immigration stops me just before I board for a random passport check. The questions asked are completely irrelevant. For example, what stops everyone from saying the purpose of the trip is for pleasure?

April 12, 5:50a
In plane, flight in progress

I can seamlessly go for days without a bathroom break but can’t make it past a flight without doing the same. Flight attendant knocks on the bathroom door to tell me to sit down, as we’ve made our descent and are four minutes from landing.

April 11, 3:40p
Customs, LAX Airport

Official asks me how old I am.

April 11, 3:45p
Baggage claim, LAX Airport

Security dog sniffs wildly at a bag owned by a man standing next to me. He tells the security lady there’s chocolate in the bag, to which she asks if he has a meat sandwich in there. He says no, and she moves on.

April 11, 3:50p
Exit line, LAX Airport

Bobby Lee sighting in the next line over and a few back. BIL confirms with

Imagine this with a thicker 'stache and a black jacket.

voice recognition. No one seems to know who he is. I turn into a giddy school girl at my whole family.

April 11, 3:55p
Outside LAX Airport

A security official stops me for a random check and then proceeds to ask me for a donation for “Feed the Children.” I leave, thinking “Fuck the Children. I just got off a 13-hour flight.”

April 11, 4:05p
Outside LAX Airport

More Bobby Lee stalking before he vanishes into a parking garage with cute girl who comes to pick him up. Unable to locate parking garage exit, as I leave the airport.

BJ

April 3, 2010

Pre-Hong Kong trip

Filed under: For your pleasure — BJ @ 11:09 am

Tonight, I embark on a seven-day trip to Hong Kong for my sister’s second/international wedding reception. Apparently, my parents don’t care for their daughter’s homecoming celebration of their own. But seriously, this is more dragged out than people trying to celebrate their birthday for the entire month. She got married back in October.

Unlike my family, today’s the first day that I’m actually excited for the trip, being the stoic person that I usually am. I find the “dreadful” 13.5-hour flight the most exciting part of the trip, forcing my sister and brother-in-law to spend some overdue time with me, where the only asylum for them is the heavily undersized lavatory. (Speaking of which, I really hope I don’t have to take a shit in there like last time. It’s more uncomfortable than going in a public restroom and having the crack in between the door so big, you might as well forego closing the door, as the creepy dude locks eyes with you in the mirror with one hand on your crotch.) I’ll have lost the entire day Sunday “Up in the Air,” hoping for a flight attendant to ask me if I’d “like a can, sir.” To which I’ll reply, “I already have one.” 😀

When we arrive Monday, the forecast is showers with scattered thunderstorms, with a high of 78 and humidity somewhere close to the current 83%. Sucks like Florida, I know. In fact, that’s the forecast for the entire seven days we’ll be there, but fingers crossed, that won’t deter us too much from doing what we want to do.

Much thanks to Charles for taking us to and from LAX, especially tonight at 11p, despite the fact that he’s unaware of the existence of my blog.

BJ

April 2, 2010

Mammoth Mountain trip

Filed under: For your pleasure — BJ @ 1:41 pm
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I went to Mammoth Mountain last weekend for a three-day cabin trip with the guys. Tough to justify the $87 lift ticket for the day; Mountain High offers the all-day pass for $39 at Ralph’s, but I know, you can’t compare. But, it was fun. I don’t know what’s good snow or not–honestly, I feel like what people would agree is good, I find icy–but right when I stepped onto the base, I could tell the quality was so much better than Mountain High. Obviously, I know, but hey, it’s almost April. And then you got the countless more trails and wider space. It truly is mammoth.

I’m no expert snowboarder; I can’t carve my way down at blazing speeds but can mostly leaf my way down the steep slopes. So, I decided to ride the gondola to the highest point of the mountain with my more experienced friends. Black Diamond – something I only kept hearing from people. And when I got to the windy top, I come to find out this one’s Double Black Diamond or some shit like that.

Let me be the first to tell you, shit ain’t no joke. I was beyond terrified at the ridiculous incline, only then fully understanding the red “Expert” sign posted at the top. I seriously considered assing my way down the entire slope, and this was before I saw my two friends on either side of me slide down about thirty yards helplessly. I assed down to about the middle of the slope when I saw my one friend almost collide into me, as he slid headfirst on his back down the mountain. Moments later, my other friend was doing some violent tumbling more commonly seen in wipeout videos, which I have to admit I enjoyed witnessing. Diagnosis seems to be a sprained shoulder, although we do hear a popping sound from time to time.

Luckily, I managed onto my feet somehow and made it down, vowing never to ride the gondola up to the top again, as that almost humorlessly became the butt of our jokes the rest of the day. Damn, Black Diamond.

BJ

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