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Archive for December, 2008

Journalism I

Word Count: 791

Draft #1

The movie poster for Prince Caspian

The movie poster for Prince Caspian.

“The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Movie Review”

The epic fantasy film “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” and sequel to “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” grossed $19.3 million on its opening day.

When Narnia has been overran by Telmaranians, and Narnians are almost hunted to extinction, help must be sought. When the life of Caspian (Ben Barnes), a Telmarine Prince is in danger, he flees deeper into the woods of Narnia. There he blows the ancient horn of Queen Susan when he is in a dire situation and pulls back the Pevensie children­ Peter (William Moseley), Susan (Anna Popplewell), Edmund (Skandar Keynes), and Lucy (Georgie Henley)­, who left Narnia 1,300 years ago. Now, the four Kings and Queens of Old, along with Prince Caspian, must fight Lord Miraz (Sergio Castellito), Caspian’s uncle who connives to be king and who’s deepest desire is to crush Narnia into pieces. King Miraz, “There is still time to surrender.”

Andrew Adamson, who also directed and produced this film, wrote the screenplay of the movie. This film was distributed by Walt Disney Pictures and was based on the novel written by C. S. Lewis, part of a seven book series. The length of the movie was 142 minutes long.

The prequel, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” was also directed by Adamson. After watching the first movie, I highly anticipated the second film. Compared to the first film, “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” had a lot more action in it, which the prequel was found to the lacking.

In contrast to the book, there are many elements that differ from the film. But even so, the writers did a good job of still making the story flow and work. The elements of Peter’s hubris were not in the book, nor were the Pevensie children central to the first half of the story in the book. Even so, the screenplay writers wrote the film so viewers would not have to read the book, and this was done in a well-established manner.

While there were some parts of the acting that was stiff and awkward, the young stars have gone a long way from the first film, and improved their acting skills. The supporting cast is also more entertaining than the ones in the first movie. Reepicheep, “Choose your last words carefully, Telmarine.” Prince Caspian, “You are a mouse!” Reepicheep, “I was hoping for something a little more original.” There is a great balance between the comical and serious, whereas the first film had more of the solemn element.

Three factors contribute to this spectacular movie. First there is the design of the costumes and the portrayal of the Narnians. The armor for the Telmaranians was heavily influenced by the Spanish style, as are the castles. The Narnians in this movie are always wilder looking, as they are more barbaric, a necessity for their survival. The makeup is also done realistically and well, making the nonexistent creatures fierce and believable.

The location shots of the film also contribute to the overall satisfaction of the audience. For instance, the cove where the Pevensie children appear is very aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Most of the setting was filmed in New Zealand, but there are some scenes that were filmed in various places of Central Europe.

This movie had over 1000 special effect shots, and I must say that it was very well done. There is generally no feeling of fraud, which in turn did not make the movie seem ridiculous. It really brought the fictional characters to life, and made it seem as if creatures such as minotaurs actually existed in this world.

This movie has already won the Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Action Adventure and been nominated for several other awards.

I highly recommend this movie to others as there is much more action in the sequel. The quality of the acting has also improved and the special effects are superb! There are also many comical parts to this movie, intertwined with seriousness, making this movie a great family movie! I liked the action sequences of the movie, and the fighting was much more realistic, even if there is no gore. But it is exactly the absence of gore and blood that makes this film a family friendly one.

Anticipation for the appearance of certain characters is one of the most important factors that influence the audience’s judgment of a movie. The timing of a character’s entrance is crucial to build up the climax. In my opinion, this movie did not satisfy my expectations in that area.

I highly anticipate the next movie from The Chronicles of Narnia, as more of a childhood dream is brought to life!

My rating: B+

This is the first draft, so please forgive me for any mistakes!

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Journalism I

Word Count: 828

Draft #2

The book cover for Angels and Demons.

The book cover for Angels and Demons.

Angels and Demons Book Review

Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons is a mystery novel revolving around Robert Langdon, a professor of Religious Symbology at Harvard University. In this novel, Langdon is striving against one of the most cryptic societies of the past, the Illuminati. He has to stop the Vatican City from being annihilated by antimatter and save the four Preferiti who are being murdered, one by one, on the crucial night of holy conclave.

One night, Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol that is burnt onto the chest of a scientist. This symbol is a remainder of one of the most ancient and powerful underground organizations ever to walk the earth, the Illuminati. “Europe’s most learned minds…dedicated to the quest for scientific truth.”(p.32) Fearing that the resurging use of this symbol might spell out disaster for the Catholic Church, Langdon’s worst fear is realized when a powerful and destructive item called antimatter is discovered missing from the laboratory. Knowing that the Illuminati has always held a grudge against the Vatican, he races to the city with a beautiful Italian scientist named Vittoria Vetra, the person responsible for the existence of the antimatter. They work to assist the Vatican in a desperate bid to find this deadly artifact, before it implodes and causes one of the most tragic disasters in history.

The conflict between science and religion has always existed in the past, but it is even more prominent in this novel. The Illuminati was portrayed as an Enlightenment-era society that consisted of scientists, many of which were persecuted by the Church for their scientific findings. “[…] Physicists, mathematicians, astronomers […]. They feared that the church’s monopoly on ‘truth’ threatened academic enlightenment around the world. […]” (p.32) It is also ironic that the Church is in danger of being destroyed by something made from science, the very nemesis of religion is being destroyed by what it hates, thus making it seem that this struggle is still going on when the events take place in the book.

Once I started this novel, the plot made me want to keep turning the pages to learn how it would end. I kept on trying to guess who the culprit would be. At one point in the book, the identity of the villain seems obnoxiously easy to guess at, which disgruntled me. As I read on, it turns out there are twists to the book that made me guess incorrectly. Therefore, this book really made me use my brain to find clues in the story that might allude to who the villain might be.

Brown used many historical figures, such as Galileo Galilei, which helps us connect with the plot more. He also reveals to us that there is much more to the surface of seemingly innocent things, and that to find the truth, one must delve deeper, even at the cost of one’s life. There is also the element of misconceptions to many things that I thought was correct, but in reality, were not. He also refers to Altars of Science in Rome that were supposed to be the Path of Illumination, using the elements of Air, Water, Earth, and Fire. He uses many famous landmarks in Rome, which makes the plot seem more realistic and probable.

Robert Langdon is someone who really loves history, and that is evident when he shows his knowledge of the past. Yet this familiarity is also a double-edged sword. Because of his knowledge, Langdon’s life is put in danger. Langdon also has phenomenal problem-solving skills, thus enabling him to be the most suitable protagonist for this story. Armored by his knowledge and passion for history, along with his clever thinking, he is able to help the Swiss Guard, the protectors of Vatican City, find the four Cardinals that are being murdered by the antagonist.

Vittoria Vetra chooses to accompany Robert Langdon to Rome because she feels immense responsibility for the antimatter. This is because she was the one, along with her father to discover this extremely unstable matter. If she had not been compelled by her sense of duty to accompany Langdon on his journey, there would not have been any romance in this book. While that is not necessarily a bad thing, it adds more oil to the already roaring flames. She also helps Langdon solve the 400 -year-old clues that the secret brotherhood left behind, especially when Langdon’s deduction skills lead them awry. Her father was the scientist that was killed, resulting in Vittoria wanting to exact revenge, albeit indirectly, by taking back the antimatter. Also, because this was secret research, only Vittoria knows how to contain this matter, and there is also the stress of a time limit, before the bomb-like item goes off.

This book is worth the read, as it takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of mystery. With every turn of the page, the reader is one step closer to finding out the unexpected truth.

Alright. If there’s any more mistakes, then shame on me. This is my 2nd draft, and it’s a VERY good book.

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This Iz the Japanese Kabuki Rock album cover

This Iz the Japanese Kabuki Rock album cover.

雅~miyavi~

Jame World extract:

miyavi began his music career under the name miyabi in the band Dué le quartz. He was quickly noticed, not only for writing most of the songs and playing guitar very skillfully, but also for his rock star attitude.

He started his solo career by opening his website right after Dué le quartz had officially disbanded in 2002.

Miyavi as the Guitar Samurai!

Miyavi as the Guitar Samurai! (Sexy lip ring)

As he continued alone, he changed the spelling of his name to miyavi and asked that his fans write it like that when referring to him during his solo career, which, according to him, looked more like himself. The artist is still very grateful to Dué le quartz and even has the band name tattooed on his hand, but as a solo artist he was free from compromises.

miyavi's new look! (2009)

miyavi's new look! (2009)

He released his first album, Gagaku, a rather dark and experimental work, in November 2002. Before the end of the year, he had also released three singles, all with drastically varying sounds. It is also noteworthy that in the early stages of his solo career, miyavi performed all of the instrumental recordings on his releases, in addition to being a vocalist.

2004 saw the artist starring in his very own movie, Oresama, two more singles, and signed with Universal Music, going major in November, just two years after debuting as a solo indie artist with PS Company. Along with his major label status came a new nickname, MYV, and a complete change in appearance.

In early 2007, miyavi performed in the USA for the first time, showing off his skills in from of a small crowd at Tabu Lounge in Las Vegas, Nevada.

All those Tattoos. (:

On May 25th and 26th, he was in the states once more to perform at Jrock Revolution in Los Angeles, along with Merry, MUCC, alice nine., Vidoll, Duel Jewel, girugamesh, Kagrra and D’espairsRay.

Hitting more spots on the globe, miyavi also appeared at AnimagiC in Germany on July 29th.

That year also saw miyavi being named as one of the members of a “super group” called S.K.I.N., which consisted of himself, Yoshiki, Gackt and SUGIZO. The band performed only one show, for fans at Anime Expo in California.

miyavi has kept busy throughout 2008, releasing his miyavi-THIS IZ THE JAPANESE KABUKI ROCK album and AZN PRIDE -This Iz the Japanese Kabuki Rock-, a hits and rarities collection.

His next releases, due out on December 24th, will be a remix collection, showing his artistic evolution from his indie days through his work with the KAVKI BOIZ and a PV collection, THIS IZ THE ORIGINAL SAMURAI STYLE, as he prepares to start yet another exciting chapter in his musical career.

Now the playlist for his remix collection is:

Room No. 382 Remixed by teddyloid

Room No. 382 Remixed by teddyloid

[Room No. 382] Remixed by TeddyLoid (2008/12/24) [ Album ]
1. Ippiki ookami ron
2. 2 be wiz U
3. Jibun kakumei
4. Dear my friend
5. Kimi ni negai wo
6. Señor señora señorita
7. Rock no gyakushuu
8. Joushou gaidou
9. Girls, be ambitious
10. Ashita, genki ni naare

The Download link for this album is here:  http://www.mediafire.com/?mzmnnyzn1zd

I also have some of his other songs. Please e-mail me at visualkeirocks@gmail.com for any requests plz. Thanksu!

MIYAVI’s MARRIAGE

Miyavi has gotten married to former singer, now designer melody.

Her info, taken from keizou.blogspot.com

Profile
Birthdate: Feb. 24, 1982
Birthplace: Hawaii

Quick Facts

  • She began her career in Japanese music in 2003
  • Her songs have been featured in many Japanese commercials ranging from videogames to automobiles
  • Her first single, Sincerely become a major hit, reaching third spot on the Oricon charts
  • One of her most successful singles “realize” was featured in the J-dorama Dragonzakura
  • She had her first solo music tour in 2006

Interesting Facts

  • She was raised by Japanese parent in Hawaii so she can speak English and Japanese fluently
  • She’s the VJ for a new Japanese music show called J-MELO
  • J-MELO is recorded completely English and is about introducing J-music to the world.

melody. is pregnant, so miyavi will be a father soon! The two of them held a small ceremony with just friends and family in a shotgun marriage but miyavi is expected to make an official announcement on the 5th of April at Hibiya Open-Air Concert Hall.  No other details have been released, except that melody. has retired from singing the beginning of this year to pursue a career in fashion design.

melody. Miyavi's new WIFE!

melody. Miyavi's new WIFE!

Can't say that miyavi doesn't have bad taste. (:

Can't say that miyavi has bad taste. (:

In his blog, miyavi has stated indirectly his agonies in not being able to tell his fans about this fantastic moment in his life. It’s okay miyavi, we still love you!

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Outcry From My Soul

June 23rd, 2008. Monday, Sunny

“…What is there to say? No words can speak for me. Thus, my feelings will never be known, for it shall weigh my heart down, until I can no longer think clearly, until I loose my sanity.

Does my inner child cry now? Is she weeping, because of the mistakes that cannot be made whole? Sometimes, I wish you would leave me alone, leave me alone behind my wall. Stop trying to pull it down, for I know you have no intention to catch me when I fall. Instead, you will let my heart break on the floor, and let it shatter without a moments hesitation. You ask me why I don’t speak to you, why I never answer your questions.

What is there to say? Nothing at all. So why should I waste my breathe, trying to force you into my world, which you shall never understand? My world grows smaller and smaller, and it’s all your fault. Every time you unintentionally say something cruel, it hurts even more, because you didn’t know, didn’t understand.

Do you never see me cry? You won’t, because I refuse to cry for you, refuse to let you see me vulnerable, and mock me for it. Yet, I cry inside, everyday, even when I smile and laugh on the outside. You say I’m stupid and shallow, but why should I be smart and deep for you, when all you’ll do is scoff at me?

You will never see that tear, ever. I would rather be alone for the rest of my life then let you hurt me again. And you know what the worst thing was? I LET you do this to me. Without knowing, I have let you poison me and my soul. Even my laughter sounds fake, because it will never be pure, a carefree sound because it is held down by my sorrows.

I have been so blind. But now, I will set my heart free and forget because I don’t want to see, I don’t want to know. I want to isolate myself behind my wall and lock the door. I will throw away the key, and be alone forever, because I don’t need you, and I don’t love you. But it doesn’t mean I hate you… I forgive you, the only person I don’t forgive is myself, because it was all my fault, my own stupid decision in this choice… just know that… I don’t love you… at all…”

I just wanted to post that bit. I was so angry rite? Haha. It astonishes me how I can still be so eloquent when I was so angry, and how coherent is it, in such a poetic sense. Lolz. I leave it up to you to guess who I am directing this to. You? It just could be. (:

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Anger

Well I wrote this yesterday in my handwritten journal.

” Been a while since I’ve written a anything. Though it’s not cuz I’m at a lack of things to say, I’m just at a lost of words. This past week, I’ve been full of anger. Anger at my mom, anger at my circumstances and such. But I’m learning to relieve that anger. I don’t want it to swamp me, and occupy me, so much to the point that I’m depressed and so incontent with what I have. Sure, I might be mad at her, but that’s how she’s always been. I dunt even know if what I’m writing is to convince myself or not. But the thought that crossed my mind the other day is that no one is more aware of her flaws then my Mom. Even so, she still is unbearable as always sometimes. Goodness gracious.  Will you fuckin leave me alone in my own room? Even if there is slight irritation, this will make me stronger. I need to rebuild that mask of compliance while loathing myself, because I am doing so. I muse look upon this as a game. one that must be won, by me surviving intact mentally.”

So thus being said, wish me luck I suppose. (:

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Poem: Drops of Sin

Drops of Sin

I stare out the window,
droplets slide down the glass pane,
one linking the other finally rushing to oblivion.
The sky cries tears of forgiveness and cleansing,
the little whispers made by the onslaught of water,
all speak of caring.
Giving the Mother the only direct voice she can have.
Gently, gently,
they fall soaked into the Earth.
Born to renew the precious jewel,
to wash away our undesirable sins.
Blood will be washed away,
thunder and lightning,
our final judgment!
Forever and ever
to be born de novo,
a new era begins,
once again.

Note: de novo is Latin for anew; afresh; again; from the beginning.

Well this story was written when it was raining a year ago. You guys might be able to tell, haha. It was raining so hard and I just stared out the window and daydreamed, lost in the beauty of the pouring water. It looks like tears, I thought. The sky is so cloudy and thunder roars, sounding like desperate wailing and lamenting. And then I thought… Even though the sky cries, it’s replenishing and healing the Earth.

So this poem feels very fresh and very cleansing to me.  (:

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This is my first draft, so I apologize for any mistakes. I wrote this for my Journalism class.

The movie poster for Twilight.

The movie poster for Twilight.

Twilight the Movie

Directed by the same person as The Nativity Story, and based on the novel of the same name, Twilight was released in theaters November 21st . This highly anticipated film grossed $35.7 million just on its opening day.

The movie begins with a forest overflowing with greenery. A deer in the background is hunted down by an unidentifiable predator. Then the true story begins when seventeen-year-old Isabella “Bella” Swan moves from sunny Phoenix, Arizona to rainy and dismal Forks, Washington to live with her father. There she makes new friends and adapts to her new life. She soon becomes fascinated by the mysterious Cullen family, especially Edward Cullen. When it becomes apparent that Edward has superhuman abilities, which occur under bizarre circumstances, Bella is led by her desire to find the truth about Edward. The truth leads her to something unexpected and supernatural; the Cullens are, in fact, vampires. Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson): Say it, say it out loud. Isabella Swan (Kristin Stewart): Vampire…

Soon Bella finds herself falling in love with Edward, despite knowing his bloodthirsty nature. Edward Cullen, “Aren’t you afraid?” Isabella Swan, “I’m only afraid of losing you.” Bella’s life changes drastically when a sadistic vampire, intent on her destruction, begins to stalk her.

After reading the whole Twilight Saga, I myself eagerly wanted to watch this romance film, especially after watching many trailers of the movie and learning the cast of the characters. Bella Swan is played by Kristin Stewart, and the epitome of perfection, Edward Cullen, is played by Robert Pattinson.

I had very high expectations for this movie, especially when many people that I knew watched this movie. They all declared it so brilliant, that they had to keep on watching it again. As for me personally, I almost could not finish the film.

The actors in the movie did not do a very good job of portraying the romance between the two main characters. While the development of the relationship went as it might have in the book, the action itself seemed a little stiff and unrealistic. The interaction between Stewart and Pattinson seemed staged and not as natural as it could have been, which really threw me off. Because the acting seemed unrealistic, it made the romance in the movie seem a bit ridiculous.

The screenplay for this movie differs slightly from the plot of the book, as expected. There are many instances where Bella met people differently then she does in the book. The characters of the book also have a larger role in the movie, giving people who have not yet read the book more of a chance to learn about the basis of the side characters.

Even though the romantic aspect of the story did not measure up to my expectations, I did enjoy the action sequences in the film. The special effects were slightly unsettling to me at first, but after a while, they became an integral part of the story.

But alas, the action parts of the film were not enough for me to recommend this movie to others. The only time one should watch this movie is only if a person has already read the book and is mentally prepared for unsatisfactory acting with the  characters acting out of character. Another time one should watch this movie is if a person has nothing to do and is bored out of their mind. Even then, please do not waste your money by going to the theaters. But if you absolutely must watch this film then sneak into the theater… And be sure to bring a pillow.

My rating: 4/10

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