Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Double Yehey From Yehey! (Yet Again!)

My apologies, but you will be seeing a wall of text here...

.:Surviving The Amazing Race: The Island Cove Challenge!:.

Six teams of five bloggers each came together for a day filled with lots of running around and good-natured competition, and by the end of it, none of us cared who won, because the whole affair, held courtesy of Yehey and Island Cove, was just that fun.

It started off early in the morning, with the Blogventurers getting together at Bonifacio High Street before heading out to Island Cove. We got there and had a very hearty lunch, then proceeded to have a tour around the island, supposedly providing us a general idea and even clues as to how we woul approach the multiple challenges we would be undergoing.

By some twist of fate, I ended up being drawn as one of the six team leaders, along with Jonas, Tita Noemi, Dante, Jennifer, and Carl. I actually made this prediction at the start that elicited a look of surprise from Jonas, actually. With my ragtag team of Azrael, Fung Yu, Zee, and Omar, we were ready to take on all comers except for the fact that two of us cannot, under any circumstances, get wet. Which kinda assured us we wouldn't win. But hey, we were in the top 5, after everything!

So we started from a search for our adventure kit in the hotel, which turned us into the white team, then proceeded to the pseudo sack race challenge that I ended up doing twice because I started doing it before I even got the instructions. Afterwards, we had to go look for a half mask in the pavilions, and after a bit of a struggle there, headed off to what could only be termed as a "Fear Factor Eating Challenge", resulting in Omar's unenviable task of having to eat frog legs then downing a shake made of ampalaya.

From this point on, things got progressively crazier. We went to the pools to do the water challenge, but Zee and I couldn't go into the water, so we were signficantly slowed down, then we rushed off to a chess challenge where we moved the King piece once, and then we were done with it., had to sing "Gold" by Spandau Ballet, and I had trouble with that since I didn't know how the stanzas went. For some odd reason, I was constantly confusing the song with "You Can Do Magic" by America.

From this point, we headed out on bicycles to go to Animal Island, where Fung had to shoot a target. It was safe to assume that being a VR photographer, Fung was likely the most accurate shot in our team, and we weren't mistaken. At some point while headed to the crocodile farm, my bike ended up getting busted, so I had to hoof it to the farm, where we thankfully had a simple photo opportunity with a baby crocodile, which was certainly no problem for us.

Finally, we got to the fishing village, where the winners were awarded, but really, it felt like everyone was a winner there. We had the time of our lives, learning what it meant to literally hop, run, and skip our way past challenges, and there is no doubt in my mind that this esvent will go down as one of the most exciting ones we ever participated in. We can't thank Island Cove and Yehey enough for making this possible, and I must say, the moments to be had there were nothing short of splendid.

One of my funniest memories of the event was when Azrael was vlogging about the food-eating contest, he asked Hannah what she was eating, and she was clearly miffed at him because she was doing pretty fine not realizing she was actually eating pig's brains. Az was completely clueless to the fact that he was unintentionally distracting Hannah at that point.

Afterwards, we then headed home, but the day wasn't over for some of us, because we still had...

.:Film Review: The Watchmen:.

Needless to say...


The Watchmen
Watcha gonna do, brother?

Fans of the beloved graphic novel waited (or dreaded) this film for years. With Zach Snyder at the helm, you knew this was going to be quite a romp, and his penchance for stylized violence and amazing shot choices was bound to play quite a part in this film, and if anything, definitely lent some life all its own apart from the original graphic novel's spirit.

The film was faithful to the graphic novel to a fault, making only a few changes here and there, the most major of which are either necessary to the flow of the film (such as changing the ending somewhat), or were excised due to time constraints but most likely will be reinstated for the extended versions.

Anyways, if you never read the graphic novel, it follows a seeming mystery, as the retired masked hero named the Comedian was murdered by an unknown assailant, and the only active vigilante, Rorscharch, believes a "cape-killer" is on the lose. In a world where vigilantes are outlawed, he was the one active crusader left, and he warns his ex-partner, Nite Owl, and does more of the same for Silk Spectre II and the only actual superhero (as in, one with powers), Dr. Manhattan. Nite Owl also looks into the matter and warns Ozmandias, the one hero who parlayed his career into a multi-billion enterprise.

As the plot unfolds further and further, things unravel at the seams for our heroes. Contrary to the pictures we may have in our minds of heroes as being heroic, we see a bleak reality that all of these people are messed up in their own twisted ways, from Rorscharch's uncompromising and ruthless demand for justice, to Dr. Manhattan's dehumanized nature due to his powers, to Silk Spectre II's mommy issues, to Nite Owl's sexual fetishization of being a hero, to Rorscharch's sheer insanity, to Ozymandias's Machiavellian leanings, this is not a triumph of the superhero story at all.

In fact, given the ending, it asks the question that some people who didn't read the comic may miss, sadly: did these "heroes" not cause more harm than good, in the end? And the answer seems to be a resounding "yes".

What the comic medium can aptly convey given its very nature, Zach Snyder attempts to recreate. A noble effort, but a failed one in that respect. While this may scare away the purists, some risks seem to have been necessary to make the film stand out on its own, exploring its own nature would've been a start, since Alan Moore, in the comic, stretched out the limits of the comic book medium, perhaps Mr. Synder would've been better served to stretch out the limits of his own medium, the way he initially seemed to promise to do with the opening credits. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case, but ultimatetly, this didn't make the movie a bad film. It just kept it from becoming an excellent one.

Ultimately, the Watchmen was influential for its time, but its impact on comics in general is either no longer noticed or merely taken for granted. And for all of its impact, it also unfortunately conveyed the wrong messages, if the people glorifying Rorscharch's "bad-@$$edness" is any indication. Nonetheless, the film tried to compensate for its natural limitations here and there, but in the end, it just had to realize that at some point, it needed to take some risks with the material to get it to the level it got to in the comics back in its day.

For the life of me, I can't understand why "mature" has to mean sex and violence. I find that fewer things are more juvenile than a petulant desire for sex and violence. Ultimately, this was a good film, but while the graphic novel "Watchmen" eventually wore out its novelty of being "influential", this film is unlikely to even yield comparisons in that regard. It lacks the oomph that the book had that put it to that level.

However, I can say this much. Given the nature of film, it was arguably a more fun experience watching the film than reading the comic. This does not make it better, by any means, but this comparison is a necessary distinction to make.

This film is not meant for kids. Neither is meant to be viewed as a traditional superhero story. It requires you to think and to understand what the issues at hand are. If you don't want that, then you might not like this film at all... otherwise, give it a shot.

Fun Evaluation: A+
Critical Evaluation: B+

.:Your Moment Of Zen:.

Taken by Karla Redor, this is proof how awesome "Petting Zoos" can really get...

Petting nga!

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