Monday, July 4, 2011

A Broken Heart and Contrite Spirit

Hello Readers, I just want to first off say, sorry for not keeping any posts up for some time. I have merely been struggling a bit, with some things. Physics was kicking my butt, taking my time, and in the end I had to withdraw from the class just so I can take it next semester. I'd rather have a "W" than a big "F" on my report card. Another thing that has been going on, was my mother who had brain surgery in June, and then there were some personal problems I had going on within myself that I needed to fix.

Be forewarned, this next upcoming post will be about some life lessons that I have and some heavy spiritual themes. If you're the kind of person who doesn't believe in this stuff, I would advise you to consider no longer reading from this point, if you feel you can't respect my beliefs.

Let us begin...

I have been born and raised a Latter Day Saint, for those who do not know, you may also have heard the name "Mormon" used for them. If that is how you know of us, then that is what I am to you. I prefer the term Latter Day Saint though, because the term "Mormon" implies we follow the man Mormon, not God. That is not true, so from here on, I'm going to call myself "LDS."

My life to me has never really been questioned. I'd say being an LDS is without a doubt, the best thing ever to happen to me and my life. I say this, because being LDS has taught me so many valuable things that made me this amazing person I am. I know that I am not perfect. I am selfish sometimes, stubborn moreso, and I have a tendency to lose myself to some uncontrollable desires. I am human, and so are all LDS people, and anyone out there.

I know some people out there, know of a trouble that has bothered me lately. I suffered from a broken heart long ago. I wish it was so easy for me to get over, because I've had my heartbroken before. It isn't the first time I've been lied, cheated, or had something bad happen to me. Most people could forgive and forget and others would just hate and despise to move on. I was in between both.

I am one who does bottle up his emotions, it's terrible but true. I have always done this for the longest time, because I wish not to trouble or alarm my friends and loved ones. It's foolish, and I am working to correct the situation. I never wish harm on people, I never try to get "revenge" or even bother to waste my time and energy "hating" someone.

When I learned that I had been cheated on, I was actually not as angry as you'd expect. First I felt upset, bothered, and deeply saddened. Then... when those emotions passed, I began to feel sorry for her. I wanted to sincerely believe this was just a mistake that would never happen again. I ultimately didn't want to lose her, because I truly believed she was still the one for me, and that I would not want to lose my greatest friend. I felt that forgiveness would be the easiest thing I could do, but man did I not realize how much that would hurt me later on.

I admit... when we smoothed things over, I almost forgot about it. It would not return until we got into really bad fights though, and sometimes I brought it out as an ultimatum to gain control over the situation. I had never realized how much angrier I slowly began to feel, how much no longer being able to trust someone would weaken my spirit and cause me so much worry.

A few nights ago, I had something hit me. I won't disclose the entire story, but ultimately... I learned of what I really was to her. Perhaps this is just something she said out of emotion at the time, but in the end... I feel like this truly was the biggest waste of time. I looked at it emotionally and not spiritually. I had a long sleepless night, of evil thoughts, malicious intentions, and never felt my heart so heavy with evil, that I could not feel it beating. I thought about nothing but how much I wish I could go back and take it all away, how I wish I could see her face again just to see the pain and sorrow I would inflict upon her. I felt like I had slowly begun to lost control of myself, and it was into the hands of the devil himself.

The next day, I had been up early in the morning. I was up from 7:00 AM and did not return home until around 1:30 AM the next day. I was out with some friends, we were enjoying our time. It was here, that I begun to learn that in my life, to have peace I would need compassion, be able to forgive, and have a broken heart and contrite spirit.

I was not perfect in the situation that happened to me, and I know that I paint myself as the victim, which I may be, but I also know... that I too was wrong in some situations. To say anymore would just not matter at this point. I do know though, that I will learn from this life lesson and hopefully not repeat the same mistakes.

So, what is it that I have learned? Well here it is...

I have learned that I will not hate her. I will not feel that same evil malicious intention again. Hate is too strong, too corruptible, and it destroys you as well. I will admit she is not someone I care deeply about, because that is something I need work on. I do know, that her, and everyone else in my life, are people I need to love again. Not the love you have for your friends, for your family, for that special person... No, I need to learn to love on a level with Christ, I have to show compassion, I have to endure the heartache, because I know this is what my Heavenly Father expects of me.

God sent his only begotten son, to come down and teach us how to live and how we should treat others. Christ sacrificed himself, and suffered for all our sins. I know he suffered more than I ever could, and it's this knowledge that makes me know I cannot hate those who wrong me. It doesn't bring me peace because it destroys you from inside.

So do I just forgive and forget what she did? Yes and no. I will forgive, but I won't forget. I won't dwell on it either. I shall remember this always, because I know now that more than ever I need to have compassion. She, along with many other troubled souls I know, be it friends, family, or acquaintances... I want nothing more than for those people to someday return again to our Father in Heaven. I don't believe in these things, I KNOW in them. I have the faith that one day, we'll all return to Heaven, that someday this world will die but our souls live on. The reason I want to feel compassion for those who wronged me, those that are lost, those that are even my closest family and friends, which also are lost, is because I want them all to return to Heaven someday.

I say this, and you may think I'm crazy. You could choose to not believe what I have said. You could call me what you want, but in the end I know I will be right. I don't have to "prove" anything. Proof is just for the weak of heart, those who cannot trust, those who cannot have faith, those who believe in cold hard "facts" and when something unexplainable happens they disregard it entirely. The faithless are not terrible people, they are just souls lost, wandering without a light.

If anything in this world is true, it's that we are all better off helping one another, having compassion for one another, and learning love one another. I know I'm not perfect, I know there are many things in this world that aren't perfect, yet I won't give up on those that I love, have loved, or will love in the future.

I have said many times, my ultimate goal in life is to be remembered for the good that I have done and those that I have touched. Someone special one said I had a "heart of gold." I know those who love me consider me a "wonderful" and "amazing" person. I am human, but I will try my hardest to live above the expectations of "human nature." It's not impossible, it's not unreal, it just takes a little faith, a broken heart, and contrite spirit.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

E3 2011 - Day 1

Today was an exciting time for me today, I finally got to go to the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in LA today. It was a real treat, and a great thing to experience. I must say that I was really happy with the whole event, and look forward to more.

My day first began, with me walking into the West Hall, where I got to see Microsoft, Konami, Tecmo Koei, Square-Enix, Sega, and other booths.

In the beginning, I went to EA's booth, to gander at Battlefield 3, but the long hour wait for a single game turned me off. So I decided to walk around, where I encountered Anarchy Reigns, a game by Platinum Games(Previously Clover Studios, before they left Capcom). This game was one on my radar, mostly because Platinum Games is a game company I really love. They always try something new, their games are really fresh and creative, and mostly I've been left with nothing but happiness and joy with their games.

The game is an online action/hack and slash game. It seems to me, this game is mostly about going online and pummeling your foes. The idea to me really sounds scary, because I just don't know how you can make it work. After playing with the game, I felt a little less worried about the game being fun, and if polished up it should be solid, but I am not sure if this game will really hold my attention for online play long.

The game is setup around four players, beating each other to the death, scoring points in the process, until the timer runs out. Our demo session let us choose from about 5 characters, and I chose the lovely Ice Queen lady, who's name I forgot. Every fighter has two attacks, weak and strong, then a grab, and the ability to jump, dodge, and perform a special attack. (I couldn't figure this out in my demo.)

When fighting characters, you can lock on to an opponent, and mix up your attacks of light and strong (square and Triangle respectively) attacks, until you end off with a finishing blow. Continue to pummel with weak attacks, and you're foe will block, so mix in some strong attacks, to keep them stunned. After the strong attack finishes, you'll usually blow your opponent to the ground, where they'll have a chance to recover with an ukemi or attack right back at you from the ground.

In natural fighting game lore, an attack can be guarded against, but are weak to throws, and throws are generally not quick enough to be beaten by a quick weak attack. When grabbed (circle button), you can break free of the grab, but if you do grab your opponent, you're able to connect with some comb attacks in the end, and most of these throws are also pretty powerful. Throws seemed to be based off the position of where you grabbed your opponent; side, front, or back throws will vary, and are equally strong it seems.There are also items like rocket launchers and guns to pick up, so you can attack from a distance and hurt your opponent, or find health items to heal you up.

The game ended, and I got second place. I was 1 point behind my opponent, but overall I must say, this game was fun. I think it would be fun, but I can't say I feel confident about this game yet. The combat seems too button mashy, not enough depth yet, and I worry the game won't have many different modes or gameplay styles to keep it fresh for long.

Next stop, was the Tecmo- Koei booth. I played Ninja Gaiden 3 there, which was a really fun game, despite being really rough. The demo was kind of long enough, but the action really felt incomplete. It's more of Ninja Gaiden action you know and love, but the game feels more brutal and bloodier.

Ryu Hayabusa is back, and he now has a glowing infected demon arm, which he can use to assimilate multiple opponents at once. His sword still can cut guys up in half, but the action feels a little slower now, and the sword play feels heavier, bodies have more weight to them, and cutting through someone isn't always as clean as it was in past games. It sometimes requires you to press the attack button again (initiated by a button prompt) to kill off the opponent. When you slice up an opponent, the sword may get stuck, so you have to press a button again, and Ryu will pierce the body harder, the bones will shatter and crackle, and you see your foe is cut in half, and know very well it had to hurt... a lot.

After playing NG 3, I moved on to the Square Enix booth. Here I played Deus Ex and Final Fantasy XIII-2.

Deus Ex: Human Revolutions was a fun game. I won't bother with the story, cause frankly I really was not paying attention. You have multiple options on how to dispatch your foes, and before the demo, I was given the choice to go in quitely, or guns blazing. I chose Stealth, then I chose up-close stealth, as opposed to sniping from afar, and had a stun gun and elbow blades.

Moving around the environment, I was able to hide behind cover, wait for my opponent to be alone or open to an attack, then swiftly move in and knock them out or kill them. Killing them would make them scream in pain and generally wasn't quite, which would alert guards nearby. So going for a stun kill was more important. The game feels good, the controls are responsive, and overall I enjoyed my time with it. I think if it can keep multiple play styles balanced, it will be a great game for anyone.

Next up, I played FF XIII - 2. This game was really not mind blowing as I was hoping. I believe that's because the game really is just more of the same. FF XIII has come and gone, and I've played it to death. I knew what to expect, and yet at the same time I was hoping for more surprises.

There wasn't a lot new in this game, perhaps they will show some more stuff later on, but what was new aside from characters, locals, and the bizarre soundtrack (more on that in a minute), was a few tweaks to the battle system.

In the game, you're able to activate pre-emptive strikes much more easily. Enemy encounters are now random in a sense, because they'll just spawn from almost nowhere essentially. I'm not sure if the demo explained it, but these enemies just spawn out, like they're from another dimension, and then in this moment of spawn time, you're able to run up to an enemy and smack them (by pressing A) to initiate battle. When enemies are spawning, there will be a meter, that goes from green, yellow, then red. When the meter is in green, the enemy will not know you're around, thus enabling you to activate a pre-emptive strike. Activating this, means your enemy is near a full staggered gauge, thus you'll be able to stagger them completely really easily, and finish them off quicker. Yellow will mean the battle starts normally, and Red means you're going to be ambushed instead.

The battles themselves play out pretty much the same. A timer bar, known as the Active Time Battle (ATB) gauge, will fill up. It's divided into segments, which can allow you to initiate attacks, once that segment is filled, or you can wait for the whole bar to complete and allow your stacked attacks to flow through in order. For the most part, everything works the same now, except Noel, the hero you control, can control enemies. In battle, I had two allies, he was controlling. They were always beside me, however the ally I had in my team would change depending on my paradigm deck.

The animals in my control was a Flanbango (Fire Flan) and Behemoth. The Behemoth was in my Three COM deck, relentless assault, and he was also a sentinel for another deck. My Flan was a RAV for two other decks, and only came in to help build the meter, where my behemoth would help smash opponents with my Relentless assault attack.

My feral partners, would then build a "synchronize" meter, where I could have them unleash a powerful combo attack, with damage being dealt through some Quick Time button presses. These attacks worked best when the opponent was staggered, allowing me to really deal out a ton of damage. The demo itself was short, and frankly I must admit the voice acting leaves something to be desired. Noel's voice really leaves a lot to be desired, and Sarah really needs to stop whining over everything. Also, I must say Mog, the moogle, really is kind of  out of place I feel. His or Her voice is... off putting. Having a moogle talk seems weird, even though they do talk. I just feel having someone say "kupo" over the "kupo" cry Square has given it's moogles, is just wrong and feels creepy.

Next I moved on to the Nintendo booth. Here I played the new Wii U system, along with a few 3DS titles.

The line for the Wii U, was a really long wait. An hour and half to be exact actually.

On the Wii U, they had a bunch of tech demos out. Really I could write paragraphs about each on I played, so I'll be posting that later on my technical marvel, and when I have more time to play with it. Hopefully I'll have the chance to play it tomorrow.

The controller itself is interesting. I found it very comfortable to hold, the controller was ergonimic even, and I really didn't feel like it was a burden to hold. It was light weight for it's size, even with the added padlock on the system, that prevents anyone running more than 4 feet away from the station. The system has a BEAUTIFUL 6.2 touch screen, I believe it's OLED, I'm not sure, but it's bright, crisp, and looks amazing. The system has a D-pad, A,B,Y,X, buttons, ZL, and ZR buttons on the top shoulder, and L and R buttons on the bottom "triggers" with two nub sticks (similar to the 3DS's slider) on the top right and top left.

My thumbs fit perfectly onto the system's slider, and to be honest these sliders were not terrible at all. The worry I had, was they wouldn't feel as responsive as a analog stick, but in fact they feel just as good. The motion controls in the game felt responsive and fluid, more fluid than the Wii Remote, and about the same as a WiiMote Plus.

I think the controller is really neat, but it really leaves me wondering... What can I do with this, I can't with a iPad? It's a table essentially, and if it relies on the system to only be able to play games, it will be really weird being tethered (wirelessly) to a system within a short range. If it can access Wi-Fi and allow me to play games from coffee shops or other wi-fi locals from my system at home, THAT would be interesting. I like the concept, and the tech demos show some interesting and fun gameplay mechanics that can be had, but I can't say i feel sold on it yet either. I need to see actual games.

Overall E3 was a fun time. I look forward to more E3 madness tomorrow. Can't wait to see what's in store for me.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My First Real Blog - A Little Tale About Me

Someone once told me, that I'm too kind. That I'm one of the kindest people out there, and they weren't telling me this only as a compliment, but what I believe was also a warning and message to myself. I also know, that it has not been the first time I've heard those words. All my life, growing up, I've been told that I'm "too nice, too good, too kind." Whether or not one could consider this a compliment only, or criticism, depends on how the person looks at how they have their kindness treated by those they give it too.

I believe that I am kind, and I know that I'm not perfect too. Sure, like anyone else, I do get angry. I'm not a pacifist, but I have patience and the will to stop myself in almost any situation. I have never been able to hate any single individual, I almost feel that is energy being wasted of the mind and body. To hate something, is to think of it, to acknowledge it's existence and continue to expend the time and energy thinking about it.

There are things I dislike, and those that I even strongly dislike. When I dislike something, I just do not acknowledge it, I ignore it, and I TRY to move on. See, I'm not perfect, but I think the people who call me kind, and think I'm too nice, are acute in their observations about me.

There have been many instances in my life, where I was taken advantage of this kindness. I told myself that in those instances, I should not care and ignore it. I should move on, and I should try to forgive and forget. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. That's how I'd think of things. I wag my finger, say "that wasn't nice" and forgive and forget. If it happens again, I then consider it a problem, and try to remove myself from the situation.

For all the things that have ever happened to me, I ignored them and moved on quite comfortably. I considered these obstacles to be a trial, for me to learn from my mistakes and grow a little strong. I do not take it fully out on the person, because if I were to consider their the sole absolute reason for this situation, then I would acknowledge their presence, and I would expend the energy and time thinking about how they wronged me, and thoughts of how I could do the same back to them would circle in my head. Ultimately, these choice to move on is hard, but the ultimately life will move on again and so begins a new day.

Today, I'm beginning to feel a little lighter. That's because, there was something that I foolishly did a couple of years ago. There was something I should have changed, but in all my time doing what I shouldn't be instead of doing what I should have, I was blinded by something so powerful, something so frightening, and something I thought was truly the REAL deal... Love.

There is a person I thought who I could forever be with, a person I thought who was my equal, and a person who was imperfect yet as perfect for me as anything would ever become. In the beginning, things were great, the feeling of joy and happiness was endless. Life was never the same, I had felt there was nothing more I could have in the world than that one beside me forever. I showered this person, with all my kindness, I let them in the chambers of my heart, and offered them all I could, because I thought.... I knew this was it.

Yet, it didn't last forever.... Sadly, it didn't even last a year... It did last longer, but what had happened just short of 1 year into that relationship, was something that I should NOT have forgiven. There was an event that occurred, where a person of my kindness shouldn't be able to forgive either. No person should have deserved what I went through, no person should be forgiven for such a crime. After all I had given this person, they betrayed my trust, broke my heart, and threw me down a pit of despair with no remorse.

I knew then, I wasn't the same... But I felt maybe that I had done something wrong at first. That this was my fault. I also began to make up stories of why it was ok. I began to think, this wasn't as bad as it could have been. I also wasn't sure if I could trust her word too, but slowly I tried to again. I tried to accept them, I never did though... In fact I never could, but yet I somehow convinced myself that things were ok... This was the person I was going to be with, right? This was it? I was committed I though, surely she would be the same.... I wouldn't turn back on anyone, I wouldn't give up anyone, I would forgive and forget, and all would be fine.

Sadly, I am NOT fine... I am NOT ok, and I know deep down I have trouble with somethings that I can't help, because I let this person destroy that piece of me that I valued so much, and everyone else sees in me. My trust in people, was no longer the same. Even though I know, the ones who wronged me should be on my "TRUST NOT" list, sometimes...  question the motives and answers of people I know and love. I don't do it willingly, but subconsciously, a piece of me thinks maybe they aren't telling the truth.

This happened, because I allowed one to take advantage of me and ruin me. I love and cherish my friends and family. I also trust only a small number of people now. My family I trust, and there are a handful of my friends that I know I can rely on. What I fear is, that I will subconsciously be unable to fully trust anyone I willingly give myself to. The one who I will cherish and love unconditionally like the last one. The one who I believe would be the only one for me.

Today, I look back and think about the situation... I have thought about the things I wish I could have done differently. I think about the things I wish I could have said to them, the things I wish I could say now. The person who ruined me, the person that took advantage of me. The things I allowed them to do, and put me in the place I am in now, because I gave you the level of kindness they will NEVER have from someone else.

I know that I'm one of the rare kinds, that is good and pure. My intentions are never in the wrong place, because I always will help those who need me. I never will be mad, because I have a near endless patience. I never will harm you, because I am far beyond any normal being's capacity to love and cherish someone. I am perhaps the greatest kindness you would ever see.

To the one who damaged me this way, thank you for letting me know that you were never the greatest thing for me. Teaching me that love can truly blind us. Showing me, that my morals were always right and I should hold onto them. I also have to say, that I don't hate this person. No, I could never. I tried... I thought if anyone deserved it, this would be the one. Yet, in the end... I found myself just unable too. It's not in my nature, it's impossible for me to do.

I know, you probably think I'm being too kind right now. I should say, that you're right. I am too kind, but that's because my father in Heaven taught me to always love one another, and to be like him. I hope that one day, I will not be afraid to shower that special somebody with the kindness and love that the Lord has blessed me with to give to someone else.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Insidious - I'm Not Sleeping Easy Tonight

Today, I watched Insidious, a film by James Wan (Saw), and had one of the most enjoyable and frightening experiences watching a horror movie I had ever this year. I urge anyone who loves a good horror movie, to watch this movie. I must admit, I hadn't heard of the movie before, but when a friend of mine decided we should watch it together, I could only tell you that manly screams of terror were heard in the quiet silence of the theater room. It's ok though, because I love to get scared, that's what horror movies are about, and manly screams and jumps of terror means this movie delivered!

So if you have not heard of the movie, I'll give you a quick summary of the plot. A young boy goes into a coma, and his parents realize this is no ordinary coma. Now they are trying to save their child and prevent an outside entity from taking over his body before it's too late!

If this summary doesn't entice you, I apologize for not sounding original. That's probably because the idea has been heard before, right? However, I must mention that this movie isn't a typical exorcism movie, in fact it's not really about exorcising demons, but if I gave away what I truly meant, it would ruin part of the surprise in the movie. Needless to say, we're not bearing crosses, having children speak in tongues, and vomit all over their room. Insidious is a terrifying movie, that takes some themes from many great classic horror films, and implements its own ideas and executes them perfectly!

What got me the most about this movie, is that it brings terror to people not through blood and gore, because this movie is actually PG - 13 (and it's FREAKY!!), but instead it brings the chills and tension through wonderfully produced scenarios, settings, and a little imagination. Also, I must say the sound design and soundtrack are really fitting.

I never like to talk about things I can't quite word or because I don't know the correct terms, but the sound design in Insidious is really excellent. The soundtrack uses a mixture of more classic horror movies, with the long reverberating strings echoing as the scene builds up for a next scary scene, or how the music and sound begin to gradually descend and deafen into a near silence audible that creeps along the back of your spine. Also, the sound of a crackling tree branch will perhaps never sound the same to you again. The movie executes a perfect mixture of audio and silence that it never feels like you know what to expect, just because something begins to "build up" or "slow down."

Now, the horror movie isn't just scary because the sounds make you think of the things you don't see behind the door, but also because the movie does have some original creations and mixes them with some classical horror elements that truly give the movie a nice unique and chilling world. We're not dealing with mutating corpses, viral infected zombies, raging menaces, or other things. Insidious retains a bit of a classical horror feel that feels more in modern day.

Let me just say, that this movie does not start off slow. It starts off from the beginning, and does little in introducing us to the characters to make us "know them" better. However, the horror is still strong, because this movie doesn't waste much time by prolonging scenes with explicit background details, or motives beyond simple survival and fear of the unknown. Insidious gave me chills running up and down my body all throughout because it focused on simple ideas and settings with perfect execution and timing. It moves along at a great pace, never letting down the tension long enough, but never over staying its welcome too.

To wrap this up, I implore you to watch Insidious if you haven't already. It's a great movie that scared this viewer more times than once, and made me love every second of it.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dexter- I'm in Love with a Killer

Television has produced many great shows throughout it's life, and while I've watched everything from Anime to Sitcoms to Reality to Drama, I have NEVER been so satisfied and so engaged in any television show, as I have with Dexter. While there have been many great series and shows that I love (The Simpsons, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, X-Files, Pokemon, Bleach, Death Note, Desperate Housewives, and so many more), and shows or genres that I have strongly disliked (Mostly any reality television from Real Housewives of ____ to Sweet 16 and so forth), there has never been a show that has gripped me and had me in it's bind as strong as Dexter.

This show gets my blood pumping, my heart racing, my fists clenching, and my physical and mental being a complete workout. Dexter, a Showtime series, has made me love television again. What I love about Dexter is probably that it does so many things so well and keeps me entertained through the very end. It's hard to pin just one thing about it, but I'm going to tell you what I really love about this series, and why YOU should be watching it, if you already haven't. 

For those of you who have just started watching, or haven't watched yet, I won't spoil anything in this blog. Also, if you love Dexter, perhaps you'll agree with me on why this show is amazing. 

In the Beginning

Dexter, is a show about a forensic blood spatter analyst named Dexter Morgan. He also has a bit of an issue, see our protagonist here, LOVE to kill. He enjoys killing people, and really has no remorse for doing so. You may wonder, "Why am I going to watch a show about a guy who kills people, and is crazy?" 
Well if I had to tell you that answer, I would kill the entire first season for you. So to avoid that, here's why you'll love watching him kill. Dexter, doesn't kill people without reason. He has a code he follows, and a purpose for killing people. Needless to say, Dexter really does have a heart and he is human still. There's just a part of him that is a little messed up, and for good reason too!

Before you continue to doubt that you'll love watching a serial killer murder people and that you can't get behind the idea why he does what he does, the first season will answer your questions and you'll be engrossed hopefully within the first few episodes! 

Killing Isn't Just the Only Way

What makes this show so great, is that I personally fell in LOVE with the characters, and HATED the characters that were meant to be hated. That's not all too, when there were some twists that happened where you learned something about character you had no clue whether they were out to hurt or be hurt, I had literally gasped in shocked many times over the revelation of this character's true purpose, many times. 

Dexter tells the story and life of all it's main characters and side characters so well, that you begin to feel for these people. I could not help but love how some of the characters turned out through the first season, that season 2 really pulled my heartstrings more when many of these characters had more prominent roles and mishaps or success following them throughout. 

Dexter gives us interesting characters the remain grounded in reality. These characters don't seem to ever do things that just have a purpose of trying to shock the audience, or trying to make them sad, or any of that. When these things happen, it feels like a natural progression through the consequences of their actions, that whatever may happen can leave you sad, happy, nervous, bitter, etc. The writers almost strike the perfect balance with every single episode and scene, that even if something stands out as a little cheesy or messed up, you can't fault them for being so near perfect with their execution.

Of course, that's not to say we don't see lots of Dexter, killings, and other misfortunes happening to people or Dexter. No, there is plenty of that, but it never feels like the show relies on some kind of standard frame of things, that everything begins to feel thin and worn out by the second or third season. What keeps Dexter strong, is how many of these events that trouble him really affect Dexter Morgan. Dexter thinks he can't be accepted, he won't ever be normal, or that he won't be able to love someone and be loved back. 

Dexter's motives are constantly changing, and every season it's great to see what those motives are! Is Dexter just killing to be a vigilante? Is he killing for revenge? Will he ever be able to stop killing? 

Dexter and Me

What I also think makes this show so engrossing, is that these characters are people that you can almost relate to. On the other hand, I think Dexter speaks about us and our inner desires that we keep secret. 

What I mean is we aren't serial killers. That's not the point of it. Sure, I love seeing Dexter kill someone who gets away with some heinous crime or something totally heinous, but at the same time it's the fact that Dexter has secrets. Secrets he fears anyone else knowing, because he fears how they will treat him. Does that not happen to everyone? Do you not put on an act for everyone you meet? Are you truly the same person? 

I'm not saying we all lust to kill people or have to kill people like Dexter Morgan does, for the reasons he does. However, Dexter speaks a bit to us, in that we too hate seeing injustice. We too have morals and codes we live by, and most importantly we may have deep dark secrets we don't tell everyone, for fear of how they'll look to us or if they'll even accept us.

Dexter is a bit of me that hides from the world.

Will You Join?

I could tell you that Dexter is many things that I love in a great television show. It's got great acting, and Michael C. Hall is so perfect and fitting as Dexter Morgan, that he made me fall in love with a killer. I could tell you that the shows are some of the best drama and suspense I've ever seen on television. I could tell you that Daniel Licht's musical score is a masterpiece at how it conveys the right emotion for the scene, it creates the perfect atmosphere and every note strikes the right mood and tone perfectly. These are just samples of the technical things of why I also love Dexter, but in the end of the day.... 

I love Dexter because it's just damn good t.v.! If you haven't started, I URGE you to watch it now! You can stream it on Netflix as of this writing, the first two seasons, and rent the rest! I implore you to watch this television series, because I know without a doubt you too will be hooked!

Friday, April 8, 2011

What Drives Me?

I've lately been trying to decide, what it is that drives me to live each and every moment I have on this Earth. I have long-term goals, short-term goals, and undefined goals. For some short-term goals, I hope to graduate from my school, earn an education that will help me obtain a career (long-term), and ultimately be married to that one woman who'll make me feel like I'm on top of the universe (undefined).

I know that deep down my goals in life are not just to ultimately be happy here though. In the end, there's only one solution, one ultimate goal, that I hope to obtain. I know the path that I will take to reach this goal is not easy though. I know the struggles that I will have to endure, the trials that I will be tested on, and the chance that I could easily fail forever if I don't keep focused is real.

Before I begin, I would like to say that there are some things right now that greatly drive me and ultimately make me proud to be here today.

First off, my family is without a doubt the greatest motivator and inspiration to me. I know deep down that without them, I would not be the kind, caring, free-spirited, honest and loyal (to a fault even), benevolent protecting person that I am today. I have learned the meaning of patience and have an abundant supply of it. I realize the importance of a strong family bond and how a healthy and happy home is the most important thing here on Earth. Money, power, and material things cannot bring this kind of happiness and security that you have when you're in a happy home.

Perhaps the next best thing to family, is the friends I have. Many of my friends are important to me, and I love all of them. There are some of those friends I have too, that I could never live without, and they hold a place in my heart that makes them feel like family. For me, the friends I have and the drive inside of me is determined by how I look to these friends.

I have friends that support me and keep me enlightened. There are friends who I want to impress, and friends who I want to show what I can do. They also are my friends because I want to see the same. Then there are the friends that I look up to. These friends show me things that I want to obtain in life, they share with me their knowledge and in return I also feel that I contribute some important part of their life on the same level, than just being a great person to hang out with.

The friends that I have and consider family even matter the most. These friends are the rare kind that uplift you, motivate you, and want to see you do nothing more than succeed. When you fall, they'll pick you up, when you are troubled they'll lend a hand, and ultimately when you need them, they are there.

So family and friends, they motivate me the most. I know that they are the strongest support beam to my life. These are great reasons and all, but they aren't just the only motivators. While there are many other things that motivate me and want me to succeed, the ultimate motivator is without a doubt the only reason why I cannot back down from the trials I face. My friends that support me in this and keep my faith strong know very well what I'm referring to. They hold me up, they build my faith, and they help me overcome the ways of the world that I have to endure through.

My driver is my Savior. He does exist, and he keeps me focused on the ultimate goal; to live with him again.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sucker Punch

Good day readers!

I want to apologize for anyone who was looking forward to my Sucker Punch review, or rather just my thoughts on the movie. I would have loved to released a blog post more in time with the movie, but sometimes my time is short because of work, school assignments, and finding the time to make a blog.

To start, for those who've already seen the movie, what did you think?

I can say I understand the mixed reactions, and I think there are likely more people who may have not loved the movie, and maybe some who did. Isn't that great though about opinions? Who is right? Well frankly no one is wrong, when it comes down to it.

So, was Sucker Punch a great visual masterpiece on the silver screen, or was it a convoluted disaster and waste of time?

Well, that is something I can't answer for you because I enjoyed the movie, but I admit I didn't love it, and I only "liked" it. There was some glaring problems with the movie, some issues I had, and I even got a little lost inside the movie, albeit I also had fun, enjoyed the visual eye candy of the movie (more on that), and ultimately I came away pleased but not excited as I would have liked.

The first big flaw I had about the movie was the story. Now I'm going to admit I wasn't hoping for much a story in this movie. I was only hoping to watch some pretty girls beat some Samurai statues around, kill a few dragons, and fight a bunch of Steampunk soldiers. In that regard, I came away pleased, but it's hard to ignore the story was losing itself a few times and even confused me a bit. The problem I had going on was deciding if Zack Snyder was trying to give me a great action movie or deep "psychological" thriller of some sort. He really did bring some great enjoyable imagination scenes that made me have fun with the movie, but his storytelling was really off beat and at times it just seemed like characters were going from place to place without any smooth transitions.

 Pick your flavor.

The characters I felt weren't well developed, and at times I felt the movie was trying to get me to be emotional about the characters and their situation, or should I just say Baby Doll's story. We know why she's in the insane asylum, although we don't learn anything else relating to the other crazy girls inside there. Baby Doll and her "crazy" inmates don't even seem like people that should belong in this nut house, so why are they there? Did their evil step fathers throw them in there too? Well, forget about knowing any of these ladies, because most of them seem to be just there to fill the screen with sexy ladies. A shame really, it would have helped me care for the characters more when the movie wanted me to.

That is perhaps the biggest gripe I had with the movie, and while anyone will say the action, fantasy, and eye catching scenes can more than make up for it, the problem was that it helps soften the blow, but it doesn't save the film sadly.

To clarify, the movie's greatest moments were these high fantasy scenes, where Baby Doll goes into her imaginary world, fights Samurai Statues come to life, totting machine guns, giant swords, and other weapons. When Baby Doll gets battered around the floor by these statues, and the stone floor shatters and breaks beneath her, yet she comes out with nary a scratch, you feel like you're watching something from a video game. When you see the gang going around shooting some Steampunk mechanized soldiers, and the camera goes into this almost First Person view like a video game, it's pretty exciting and looks cool. All of these little touches makes me feel like Zack Snyder was trying to make a movie for gamers, fantasy lovers, and people who don't care for story.

Who loves hot girls with guns and machine gun robots with Rabbit faces?

That would have been great. I also appreciate the movie doesn't just sex up the girls; in fact I can see how it shows "empowerment" towards females. These girls sure look pretty, and while they wear some really stylish and beautiful wardrobes, the movie does retain a bit of classiness that keeps it clean. I enjoy that, because it makes the characters a little more human, normal, and believable, yet at the same time we don't get that human story we had hoped for in the movie. So sorry anyone who had hoped to see panty shots and other degrading shots of the girls. There's no sexy shower scene and never do we see the girls even topless from the back.
Overall, I have to say be cautious about this movie. I believe renting it may be best, because not everyone may be able to justify the price of admission for this movie. I would personally watch it again, because there have been movies where I expected one thing and came away unhappy or not fully satisfied, but when I watched them again, knowing what to expect, I had found them more enjoyable. Also thank you again for reading my article. As for my next subject, I have a few ideas around, so hopefully I can post one soon within the week.