Late Night Rant: University, Raptors Watch and Star Wars

The last one of these got quite a few views so I’m inclined to do another. They’re pretty fun, right? I thought so. Just random stuff that I like to talk ro rant about. Here’s what’s on the agenda tonight:

1. University

wilfrid_laurier_universityIt is coming to an end really, really quickly. Well, I don’t mean completely. I’ve still got three more years after this one, but Friday will be the last day of my life as a freshman at the wonderful place I called my home for the last several months. Laurier has been an amazing experience so far and residence was unreal. I met most of my friends here and had a bunch of fun times with roommates and floor mates. I can’t imagine having lived anywhere else but the building I’m typing this post in right now. If you have the opportunity to live in residence when you go away to school, I highly recommend it to you. It’s just brilliant. I can’t believe I’m going to miss this place so much, but I really am. Strange, how things work out that way. Year one was somewhat of a roller coaster but I enjoyed the ride, even though it had its ups and downs. In the end, I suppose, I got the A+ where it really counts; in friends and being welcomed. 

2. Raptors Watch

cropped-raptorswatchSo, if you haven’t heard yet, then where have you been?! I am now the proud co-owner of Raptors Watch and work alongside Kiyan Sobhani to try and keep people updated on all things Raptors while also adding a little spice of my own. I love writing for this site, since I love the NBA to death and the Raps are my hometown team. We had a lot of shakeups this year but next season is looking good for a playoff run, which means more views on the site. Hopefully, as the site grows (and it is doing so very fast), more people will see my writing and more people will read what I have to say about Toronto’s NBA squad. The guys who write for RW are great people and I’ve had a lot of fun doing what I do for them. I hope that I can keep improving the site and making people enjoy reading articles that are posted. The site is also going to be getting a huge upgrade soon and will look very professional; hopefully in time for tip-off next season. I can’t wait to see that.

3. Star Wars

starwarsYou didn’t think I’d do this whole thing without something totally wacky and chuckle-worthy, did ya? Well, if you did then shame on you. 

You know that song by Gotye that people kind of liked and was sort of a big hit? Well guess what. That song has a fan-made version that is all about Star Wars. Yep, it’s exactly what you’re thinking. The song is done very well and the lyrics are hilarious. The video in general is fantastic and is a solid few minutes of entertainment that’s worth checking out. I must say that I had more than a few chuckles myself.

If you wanna see the video, and I don’t know why you wouldn’t, here’s the link. 

I know it was short, but I’m not really supposed to have time to do any of these remember? I’m “studying” for exams. 

Stay frosty.

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Late Night Rant: New band, NBA and Gilbert Gottfried

So I’m doing another one of these. Here’s what’s on the agenda:

1. Imagine Dragons

imagine dragonsThese guys are a band I just came across today when my roommate showed me their music. I must say, it has taken me aback with how much I like it. It’s the kind of stuff where you think you like it the first time you hear it, but you want to hear it again a few more times just to make sure. After I heard the original song that got me, Radioactive, I sought out more of their tunes and found that I enjoyed almost all of them; which is weird for me. I don’t know anything about this band at all except that they’re good and you should check them out if you’re looking for someone new to listen to or give a chance.

Their music is also the kind that, if you’re like me, brings up a lot of things to think about. Just the sound and the way the lyrics are sung strikes something within me that makes me smile and delve into deeper thought. It’s one of those things that’s hard to explain, so you just kind of have to listen to it, y’know?

Click here if you’re interested.

2. Miami Heat VS Milwaukee Bucks

heat vs bucksGame 2 was played tonight at the American Airlines Arena and the Bucks sure showed up to play. It’s strange though, it was much the opposite type of game that they played in the previous one. Before, they leaned heavily on Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis to provide scoring. Tonight, not so much. Instead, their entire team got involved except those two. It gave the Heat a bit of a run for their money for most of the game until they got into the fourth quarter, where the Heat spouted off a 12-0 run in just over two minutes.

Yikes.

As for the Heat, they took the game and now lead the series 2-0. But they still haven’t played great in either of the games they’ve played. They have looked strong at points, but never for the entire game. I’m hoping that part of it is the fact that they’re playing the Bucks, but who knows? As the series shifts to Milwaukee, perhaps they’ll play with a bit more intensity for more of the game.

Right now though, it’s looking like this series really will end in a sweep. Sorry Bucks, just bad luck.

3. Gilbert Gottfried 

gilbert-gottfriedOne of my roommates (a different one than the one who introduced me to Imagine Dragons) showed me this absolutely hilarious video tonight that is just Gilbert Gottfried reading from the novel 50 Shades of Grey. It is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Mixing his voice with the mature subject matter of the book is simply hysterical. If you don’t laugh at stuff like this, then you’re not human. I suppose it would be even more funny if you’ve actually read the book (I haven’t and never will), but nonetheless it’s the best video I’ve seen on the internet in a long while. The dude’s just got a classic voice.

Click here if you wanna see the video. But be warned, the book he’s reading from contains explicit content… Duh.

Well, that’s it for tonight. Hope you guys enjoyed this! I’ll be doing more of these in the future for sure.

Stay frosty.

Late Night Rant: The Future and Emotion

writing quoteHow should I start this post? I dunno. Let’s see… Maybe like this:

I’m an author. I’ve been published for two works; a poem and a novel. Being a published author has been my dream for most of my young life and I succeeded when Relik broke through.

I’ve sold all of the original copies of that book. It’s great. The support has been fantastic from my family and friends.

I’m also in university. I have 3 exams to go before I call it quits on my first year and head into the “academic offseason”. Basically everything about my first year was great. And yet… There’s always that “but”.

I was visited by a successful Canadian author in my first semester of school, who announced that to be so successful by just being an author is very difficult. He said something like 1/100 writers get to be what I like to call “big time”.

So there are the questions. Am I big time? No. Could I be big time? Maybe. Maybe not.

I’m no J.R.R. Tolkien or Mark Twain. The stuff these guys have come up with baffles me and every time I try something of the like, I end up crumpling paper and tossing it away in frustration.

I’m only 18, but so what? I’ve had a novel published, but so what?

I need more. And I’m afraid that maybe I don’t have any more in me. What if this is as good as it gets, hmm? The expectations that every one puts on me and that I put on myself are high and usually I revel in it.

But not tonight.

I’m usually bursting with confidence about writing. It’s what I do. It’s what I’ve always been good at. I love words and I have a knack for making them flow well and bringing stories to life; hopefully stories that people enjoy. I usually feel like I’ll be able to stack up with anybody some day because I was given some form of literary talent.

But not tonight.

This has been bothering me for a while now. I’m not sure what to think. My confidence will come back, I hope. Even the most beautiful flower wilts, right? Yet it grows again. The leaves fall from the trees, but that doesn’t stop them from being trees.

I can only hope that who I am and what I’m about is enough. I’m not like anyone who has come before me, but I’m not trying to be. Will my skills develop still? I’ve got 3 more years of university left.

The only thing I know in truth, isn’t even about my writing. It’s simply about my character. I will not give up or become a quitter. You may find me in the gutter someday, not worth a dollar, but you’ll never be able to say that I didn’t try.

Well…that’s enough of that. The only other thing I wanted to talk about in this post is what I’ve been trying to achieve for a while now in my writing.

Namely, placing the feeling of extreme loss into a character so much so that it appears to be seeping out of their very pores; visibly, so the reader can feel it.

I want to make a character that is extremely relatable. Those feelings of hopelessness, anger, despair and just being lost are so hard to bottle and put into words. Just so hard. I’ve been trying to do it and I’m not sure I’m getting it.

I want a character that when he says things or acts in a certain way, the reader will be able to think, Hey, I’ve felt that way or I’ve done that. Most importantly, I want to be able to place my own feelings into words. Surging emotion is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever tried to write about because just when you think you have it, it slips through your fingers like water.

Everything in my writing lately seems a bit confusing. This is what I’m trying to do in my latest short that I’m releasing on my writing page in parts, called Broken Wings. I’ve never done something as intense as I’m trying to in this, even though it’s just for fun.

I’m sure this post has been depressing enough! I may as well end it here. I don’t really expect too many people to read this one. It’s just sort of a rant, in fact, that may be what I’ll put in the title of this post.

Until next time, ta ta.

P.S. I’ve got another film review coming soon. Stay tuned.

Movie Review: Olympus Has Fallen

Originally, everyone wanted to see this after the post with Morgan Freeman on it. C'mon, don't lie.
Originally, everyone wanted to see this due to the poster with Morgan Freeman on it. C’mon, don’t lie.

I had high hopes for this movie going into the theatre. I’d heard good things about it and even one professional film reviewer who gave it 4/5 stars. Don’t forget, I just do this for fun, my opinions are rarely the same as the legit reviewers. That said, mine are a bit more fun, right? Right?! I’ll take that as a heavily assumed yes.

Moving on, the movie was about North Korea (and some of South Korea, sort of) infiltrating and taking over the white house of the United States of America by following the orders of a Korean terrorist named Kang. As if North Koreans needed another excuse to attack the U.S… Oh well. Good thing they don’t have television there, huh?

As an action film, this movie was pretty well done. It kept the audience interested and had lots and lots of explosions to make sure that all eyes were glued to the screen. Even the first few minutes were pretty action packed and there was constant tension throughout the entire film, as though something could happen at any second, which isn’t always easy to pull off.

The acting was solid, nothing Oscar worthy but nothing The Room/Spring Breakers worthy either. I mean, when you’ve got a movie that has Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart and Gerard Butler as your leading characters, you can’t do too much harm. Butler was easily believable as the butt-kicking Mike Banning and Freeman was strong as always in his leadership role as the speaker of the house.

I’m still not sure about Eckhart as president though. It’s just sort of weird now. The first thing that popped into my head when I saw him on the screen, and I knew his role in the film, was “You’re not Obama! YOU’RE NOT THE PREZ!” But I managed to calm myself down quicker than a kitten with Whiskas when I looked into that soul-sucking stare that Eckhart always has. Scary stuff.

Now, continuing on to the things that were not so well done…

To start off, I know one is allowed to take liberties with an action movie but having an enormous North Korean plane enter the United States and somehow not be noticed until it reaches Virginia is stretching it just a tad. If that weren’t bad enough, this thing manages to make it all the way to the white house and shoot down loads of people before the Americans manage to dispose of it.

Are you freakin’ kidding me?

If North Korea or anyone else tried sending in something that threatening to American airspace, they’d be blown to smithereens before you could say “Gangnam Style”!

Near the start of the film, the president’s secret service macho-men are transporting the prez and his family from one location to another. They are hit by a snow storm while on a bridge and then a random branch falls from above, smashing into the windshield of the lead car and sending all of the others into a frenzy. The prez’s car is the only one, of course, that breaks through the side of the bridge and ends up plummeting over the edge.

The prez is saved; however, his wife does die. I understand that this is so that the audience will have some sort of emotional relationship with Eckhart’s character and his son, who witnessed the death, but I mean, honestly, why were the cars driving so closely together during a snow storm anyways?

All it takes is one squirrel to run out in front of the first car. What if the driver hit the breaks? It wouldn’t have mattered if the other cars saw it, they’d be slip-sliding into each other faster than the roadrunner on rocket-skates.

As for Butler’s character, you expect the hero of the film to survive at least one ridiculous incident during the course of the movie. Banning survives two.

The first is when he is hiding in the hollow walls of the white house (I want my house to have those, by the way), while protecting the prez’s son, and is suddenly shot at by about five men with fully automatic weapons from outside the wall. Banning makes a break for it, while awkwardly holding the kid with one arm and blindly firing off the pistol he’s holding in his free hand.

Somehow, he not only manages to avoid all of the bullets (as does the kid), but he also manages to take down two of the Koreans. Just think about this again: he took down two Koreans, shooting through the wall that he was being fired at through, while avoiding all bullets and doing so without even looking.

Kudos, Mr. Banning. I now understand why you’re on the secret service.

The second (and probably more ridiculous) incident that Banning survives is when he takes to the roof of the white house while holding an RPG (which is a missile launcher, basically) in his hands and blows up a weapon located at the center of the roof, which is called Hydra. Hydra has been shooting down American helicopters that are trying to drop navy seals off onto the roof and has just managed to take down another right before Banning destroys it.

The helicopter then proceeds to come spiraling down right into the roof of the white house. Banning makes a leap through a hole in the roof, avoids the initial explosion of the helicopter and half of the house, falls until he hits the floor, breaks through that floor and then smashes through a table in the room below where he lies for several minutes to catch his breath and rip some annoying shrapnel out of his body.

Those are the basic complaints I had, but overall the film really is fun to watch and has your typical American hero who cannot be killed and always does the right thing; leaving you feeling patriotic and willing to go run into an exploding building to save your friend’s son… Or something.

Now for the unfortunate ending of this review. This is only in here because my friend hoped it would be. So here you go, Andrew.

Immediately after the film finished and I was absorbing it still while watching the credits begin to roll, the lights of the theatre switched back on. A man a few rows ahead of where I and my two friends were sitting stood up.

And that’s when my friend and I slowly turned our faces to look at each other. We each had a similar look of horrific shock plastered on our mugs and I think even our left eyes twitched at the same time.

It was due to this: the man who had stood up in front of us had to pull his pants, and his underwear, up after he stood to his full height. But by then the damage had been done and the image of the man’s buttocks still haunts me; it probably will forever.

The last time I saw a crack that big was in a picture of the Grand Canyon.

Now, excuse me while I go curl up into a ball in the corner of my room and suck my thumb…

Rating out of 100: 73

Movie Review: The Room

Wiseau seriously needs a haircut.
Wiseau seriously needs a haircut.

I’d heard things. I’d seen clips. I’d seen those creepy websites where people make t-shirts that have sayings from the movie on them. But I never could have been fully prepared for what I saw. I didn’t think there was a film that could contend with Spring Breakers as the worst piece of cinema I’d ever seen until I watched this…thing in all of it’s, erm, glory.

Let us begin.

The music at the beginning of the film is used way too often throughout the whole thing and after a while your ears start to bleed and plead to be left alone. The music used in all of the sex scenes is also awful. It just reminds you that you’re watching an intensely low grade film.

And oh, yes! The sex scenes. There are, I think, five in total if you count that extremely weird scene in which a random couple you have never seen before breaks and enters the main character’s apartment and proceeds to have some sort of sensual, chocolate-filled love making session. Out of the five, the same footage from the first is used repeatedly and makes you want to scratch your eyes out since it takes a solid five minutes to go through it…again.

The acting is something else. And by something else I mean it is laughably bad. So bad that every time Tommy Wiseau laughs, somewhere a baby punches itself in the face. His acting is the worst by far. He has absolutely no expression at all and that laugh of his never changes and seems to be forcing its way out of his throat like a held in cough. He slurs his words together faster than a cheetah on chocolate and never really looks like he’s speaking, since his mouth rarely opens to its full extent; unless of course he’s emitting that horrific chortle.

In other words, I think my favourite scene in this movie was every scene in which Wiseau wasn’t present.

Moving on to the leading lady. Was it just me, or did her eyes change colour from green to blue several times? They sure seemed to. And although she was a decently attractive woman, she did nothing for the movie.

Oh, I forgot. That’s not true. She did have the same conversation with her mother about hating/not loving/not liking/not wanting to sleep with/not wanting to stay with Wisaeu’s character about 6000 times. Also, when her mother told her that she had breast cancer (which is completely forgotten after the point in which it is said and has nothing to do with anything), her daughter, Lisa, brushes it off without even blinking.

That’s cooooold, girl. Ice cold.

All of the supporting characters in this movie are garbage; they have no life to them, are one-dimensional and appear to have a contest to see who can keep making the dumbest facial expressions. That’s all I’m saying about that. Hmph.

However, I guess I will bring up Denny, the kid next door. He is one freaky kid. He’s just creepy all of the time. I mean, there’s a scene where he tells Wiseau’s character, Johnny, that he thinks he loves Lisa. Johnny gives him one blink, doesn’t appear rattled in the slightest and asks him how it’s going with this other girl, to which Denny replies that he thinks he’s in love with her.

That’s just… I don’t… I can’t… Ew.

Near the start of the film, the audience is told that Johnny and Lisa have been together for a five year period. Sure, whatever. Then, near the end of the (wait, this is a movie right?) story, the half-asleep audience is told by an angry Lisa that she’s done putting up with Johnny and that she’d already given him seven years of her life.

Those extra two years must have been the time spent having the same sex scene repeated over and over.

There are only a few locations in which the movie takes place: Johnny and Lisa’s apartment, a flower shop, a field, outside Johnny and Lisa’s apartment and the roof of the apartment building in which Johnny and Lisa live. Oh, and the constant shots of the city they live in (San Francisco?) that act as transitions betweens scenes.

Here are the major things wrong with these settings:

1. The backgrounds get boring.
2. Which room is the title referring to?
3. The shots of the city are about 30 seconds too long… (Wait, they’re only 7 seconds?!)
4. Wiseau tried to recreate the running-up-the-stairs scene from Rocky.

5. Everywhere they play football is a dumb place to play football.
6. The ugliest dog ever is chillin’ in the flower shop.
7. The background of the city while on the apartment rooftop is clearly green-screened. And badly.
8. Everything.

Since I can’t take much more of this, I’m going to now go ahead and talk about the final scene (and my personal favourite, even though Wiseau is in it) of this independently made movie. Johnny goes bonkers after Lisa tells him she is leaving him/hates him, and proceeds to smash every breakable thing that he owns. Then, after having a completely necessary shot in which he emits several twitching, pelvic thrust-like movements, Johnny finds a small treasure chest lying around on the floor and opens it to reveal, you guessed it, a gun!

Thank cats for random treasure chests. This is my favourite part because I assume that the gun in the chest is the audience’s prize for having to watch the entire movie, and that what Johnny does next with the gun is the icing on the metaphysical cake.

In probably the most anti-climactic ending ever, Johnny shoots himself in the mouth and dies in what I’m really hoping is the room which the title wishes to associate itself with. Lisa, her new lover-dude and Denny suddenly come storming in; all cry, lover-dude leaves Lisa randomly with a final line that makes no sense and the creepy Denny kid screams at the other two to leave him alone with the dead Johnny. Which they do. For about a good five seconds.

And then…credits. Sweet, sweet credits. This is also the point at which it’s best to check and make sure that the person beside you didn’t fall into a coma.

Let’s never speak of this again.

Rating out of 100: YOU’RE TEARING ME APART, LISA! (0)

Note: Wait, this film was made in 2003? Bahahahahahaha!