Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Unfortunately, I Think I'm Coming Down With Something...

.:I Don't Feel Very Well Right Now...:.

I feel rather under the weather, but I can chalk it up mostly to an allergy to fair-weathered friends.

Good riddance, and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

I seem to have an annual emotional spring cleaning, so this looks to be right on schedule. Now go away.

What a way to prepare myself for my 10th year of blogging.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Tale Of #fap2012 (Or How NOT To Tempt The Fates Of The Internet)

.:Let's Give A Big, Hairy Hand To #fap2012!:.

Yesterday, a little thing I found myself involved in ended up going viral.

Gee, has that ever happened to me before?

It all started with an innocent question I noticed on my Twitter timeline...

Really? Really?!?

So after looking at the hashtag incredulously, I realized that it was a real thing: Franchise Asia Philippines 2012 is apparently a huge international convention about franchising, which, of course, holds a lot of value for local and even foreign investors in the Philippines. I mean, all things considered, it's actually a pretty cool endeavor, and there's even an important segment there about social media and digital marketing, with some of the most credible experts in the country today.

Unfortunately, for the people behind this, their credibility comes into question when they forget about the first and most basic rule about the internet: if you set yourself up for the lulz, then lulz will be had.

Well, no, it's obviously not rule 1 of the internet, but it does undermine credibility somewhat for a supposedly net-savvy and net-inclusive event to be completely oblivious to the unfortunate implications of calling your Franchising seminar "FAP 2012."


No, really, guys. Unless this was deliberate, it was a misstep that betrayed a lack of familiarity with the internet. Thankfully, you had speakers who were not necessarily dense to the implications of the hashtag, but the organizers did themselves a major disservice by being completely oblivious to opening Pandora's box. Furthermore, the fact that shortly after trending, you had to change your hashtag only indicates that you really had no idea what you were doing in the first place. It's sad that #franchiseasia had to be used, instead of riding the (unfortunate) wave of your popularity (for all the wrong reasons), which is the very same mistake BaYo did when they scrapped their campaign altogether.

Why can't more people be as savvy as Christopher Lao, who played off his infamy into a crowning moment of awesome. That's how you make lemonade out of lemons, and sadly, the people behind FAP 2012 didn't quite get that.

Which is too bad, really, because the hashtag trended long enough for people to notice, which is more than can be said for the #franchiseasia hashtag. There was very little discussion past yesterday, and you could see that nobody was pseudo-transcribing the goings-on at FAP 2012 anymore. No wonder it wasn't too difficult to actually hijack the entire hashtag the first time around.

Come one, come all! We're all classy people here.

Sad, but hey, I'm sure that the seminar was still a success, no matter how much their credibility took a hit. By now, spambots have all but overtaken both hashtags, so it's practically moot at this point. Rico Mossesgeld and Carlo Ople were very quick to make blog posts about the misadventure, while I was still quite busy on Twitter, trying to make a case study out of the whole thing, and of course, giving the whole social experiment a hand. And yes, you will pardon the pun. Because you've been inundated with a whole bunch of them from the get-go.

It'd be interesting what they plan to do for FAP 2013, and what the Winter Armada of North Korea plan to do in 2012 as well.

Well, I guess that's all the hard news we could indulge in for a day. Next time something like this comes on the internet, you know we'll be there to prematurely make comments about the sticky situation we'd be immersed in.

But really, they should've seen this coming.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Project 52 (30/52): On PNoy's SONA (And Why It's Such A Mixed Bag)

.:Project 52 (30/52): On PNoy's SONA (And Why It's Such A Mixed Bag):.

Damn You Gloriaaaa Part 3: The Legend Continues

So another year, another State of the Nation Address, and considering the awesome (in a horrible kind of way) irony of the fact that after taking shot upon shot against GMA in the speech, she has actually posted bail and is (at the moment) a free woman, this SONA is yet another mixed bag in my book.

I simply cannot have a strong opinion on PNoy either way, and to me, that's arguably worse than absolutely loathing GMA in contrast. Indeed, Kring was right when she pointed out that we shouldn't expect miracles from PNoy, and it was also certainly absurd to expect that he would bring up every single pet cause we have, or thank every single person in this country, the way people who weren't listening to his speech actually went and lambasted him for "not thanking the OFW's." Except he actually did.

During his speech, he received raucous applause, a standing ovation, at his mention of "Responsible Parenthood". This was pretty surprising, since he just snuck it into the middle of his speech and never bothered talking about it again. He did the same thing with the Ampatuan massacre situation, and never even brought up the Freedom Of Information Act, which seems to be a hot-button topic for a lot of the people keeping an eye on him.

It really was a mixed bag, to say the least: people cheered him on for emphasizing education. People picked on the fact that he took shots at GMA again, but praised him for taking shots at Marcos in his opening. He was cheered for making a clear but pacifist stand against China, but was derided for wishy-washiness on other issues.

It was really the RH Bill where he caught flak from all sides, though, in spite of the massive applause he got during the speech.

You see, when he uses "Responsible Parenthood" as a euphemism or Bowdlerization of "Reproductive Health," and then clearly makes no further mention of it, the hardcore advocates of RH recognize this as a move to pander to them and nothing more. He said something that has all the plausible deniability in the world if ever the backlash proved too much for him to take. He was half-@$$ing it, quite bluntly. For the pro-RH people, it was do or do not. There was no try.

On the other hand, the mere words "Responsible Parenthood" were enough to make the hardcore anti-RH advocates throw up their arms. They are wildly offended at even the most benign attempt to couch the issue, which only explains why arguing against them will always get you dismissed as being "too uptight" or "too invested" or "too aggressive" or "too oppressive" against their beliefs, because clearly, no amount of tone would soften the blow for them: it's all or nothing.

And that's really the whole point of the RH Bill debate: it's all-inclusive or nothing doing. When religious people register their disagreement with the policies in the RH Bill, they do so in accordance to their religious beliefs. What they fail to realize is that not only do a lot of people not share their beliefs with them, but even their fellow believers actually use contraception, to begin with, whatever the CBCP says be damned.

However, RH Bill benefits less you and me reading blogs on the internet and more the people who need to know their options and need to be able to afford these options afterwards: the ones who have ten mouths to feed on a 50 peso-a day take. The ones who don't know how to even properly put a condom on, or know how their menstrual cycle works.

And yet, at no point does the RH Bill say "you, poor people! You will use condoms now, and be happy about it!" Instead, what the RH Bill says is, "you may use condoms, but you may use these other methods," which is the whole point of educating people in the first place. A combination of options and education would mean that people do not take additional risks just because they have condoms, much in the same way education would mean people don't assume seatbelts will always save them while they drive like maniacs.

And yet, at no point does PNoy delve into this. Which is fine, really. He could just be another one of those guys reneging on promises he has made in the past. He certainly can do that. But that doesn't spare him from the repercussions of half-@$$ing a cause worth fighting for, because he ended up hurting his standing on both sides of the fence by being wishy-washy, rather than actually playing it safe.

Well, onward first world status in 2020, I guess? I hope P Noy does grow a spine at some point. In the meantime, I recognize that he cannot do it alone, so those of us who support basic yet life-saving legislation are going to have to keep on fighting the fight rather than giving him the middle finger and missing the whole point of this cause.

Friday, July 20, 2012

SPIT Rookie Night Recap!

.:Off The Cuff:.

The Maldives were sinkiiiiiiinnnnggg!!!

And with that image, I managed to capture the sheer insanity of being a part of SPIT's first-ever Rookie Night. It was a night to remember, and certainly something I am exceedingly proud of.

Last Tuesday, we had a pretty intensive crash course to get the hang of the basics for improv, and I have to say, it really made me realize a lot of things about improv that I previously never got.

So there I was with Jay-R, my fellow Rookie, and the first thing we realized while we were sitting in Quantum Cafe last night was: plan? What plan? The scripts are thrown out, and the only thing standing between a good and a horrible improv performance for the both of us was our willingness to make it up as we went along.

So I sat there about an hour and a half early for the whole thing. I looked like a deer staring blankly at the headlights of the ATV that was about to run me over as the German film festival went on in Quantum, which was going to precede SPIT. Jay-R arrived shortly past 8 PM, and then the SPIT members asked us to join them for a few last-minute tips and a bit of warm-up exercises. When it comes to rhythm-based exercises, yes, I am still way off-beat.

In any case, things started off easily enough. They did a reggae song, then proceeded to the first game the Rookies were going to take part in: What Are You Doing? This game scared me back in the day, when me and my co-nuffies were playing it at random times of the day, and I actually won the game, although they did give a lot of extra consideration for us Rookies.

From there, we had several more games, and Jay-R got to demonstrate his skill at a murder mystery game called LCD. Needless to say, a lot of stuff was lost in translation, especially the part where Barney had to be played by Chal, who would never have understood that Barney was strangled by his own... member.

By halftime, Jonas was there, but Chino and Xeres actually came in and watched the second half of the performances. The next full-cast game came into play, and we did Eh Di, which was a joke-making game. Surprisingly, Jay-R and I managed to make a couple of solid contributions. Then came the Add-On Story, which is pictured above.

The Add-On Story is one of my favorite improv games, because it's a story built line by line from four different players, with each new line being preceded by the player actually repeating the whole story first. The comedy comes in how people forget details or actually create impossible situations then let the next person come in and pick up from there. Our story was entitled "Sticky Maldives", and we managed to spin a pretty interesting story that inadvertently turned into an Aladdin commercial because Happy saying "afar" reminded me of "Jafar".

At the end of the show, Gabe gave us some sage advice, and we eagerly await to see the next few rookies in the coming months. This should be an exciting time for improv comedy, if you ask me.

Xeres and I ended up having dinner at Behrouz in Metrowalk after the whole thing, though, and we even ran into Rendhl. What a small world.

All things considered, this was a night to be happy about, even if a lot of people flaked out on me at the last moment. Hey, at least, I had three friends actually show up to support me, and I was very honored that SPIT graciously took me and Jay-R under their wing last Tuesday and gamely encouraged and constructively critiqued our output last night in a way that encourages us to keep at it and improve as performers.

Thank you, SPIT, and thank you to everyone who watched a couple of people make fools of ourselves with the best of 'em - because we've been dreaming of doing just that for years.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Random Life Updates

.:The Sweet Taste Of (Third Place) Victory!:.

Third place! Third place!

Yup. For the second anniversary of Geekfight, we managed to come up with a third place showing, and actually won prizes for it!

Not complaining at all, and the fact that I managed to get Xeres into it at the same time is pretty cool, to say the least. Watching Magic Mike the following night was just icing on the cake, although for some strange reason, I can't muster up the energy to write a review.

I did like the film, though.

.:SPIT This Thursday: It's Showtime!:.

Talk about a dream come true.

Last Tuesday night, I took part in a crash course with the members of Silly People's Improv Theatre, in preparation for Thursday's show. In a new initiative, SPIT has decided to have Rookie Nights once a month, where up to three non-SPIT members will join SPIT onstage to be a part of the show and to play improv games with them.

I remember how it was three years ago when I sat in Mag:Net Bonifacio High Street, watching these people perform improv and just elicit laughs off the top of their heads. I remember playing improv games with my officemates, and being awful at "What Are You Doing" and struggling for words during the Reggae song.

And yet, when I went through the crash course and saw that indeed, I was really awful at "What Are You Doing," but I am surprisingly competent at the Reggae song, I realized how true it was that you really never know some things until you make a legitimate effort at them.

So after conquering my fears of improv and talking about losing hope during Reggae, some topic I can't quite remember during Old School, and CEO's during Neighborhood, as well as some weird LCD stuff involving Pilita Corales, Space Shuttle, and Harry Potter, not to mention a foray into being born from monkeys and walking around naked in the master's bedroom, I felt like my head was going to explode from the information overload.

But there's still so much more to learn.

And I'm willing to keep at it, because you know what? Whenever I managed to entertain people, whether while doing magic, mentalism, standup, or improv, I can't help but feel that I'm being an agent of positivity. And that can't be a bad thing.

That being said, I hope you guys can drop by Quantum Cafe in Bagtikan Street tomorrow night, around 9PM. Catch me as I make a fool of myself for your entertainment as one of the featured rookies this Thursday's SPIT Rookie Night! I promise I will do my best! :D

Project 52 (29/52): On CD-R King (And Why They Will Someday Rule The World)

.:Project 52 (28/52): On CD-R King (And Why They Will Someday Rule The World):.

I swear! It's really a "massager!"

It's official: CD-R King is selling pretty much everything.

Diving equipment. Televisions. USB Flashdrives. USB Mouses. USB Keyboards. USB Fountains. USB Lamps. USB Refrigerators. USB USB's. You name, it, if they can put a warranty sticker on it, you got it.

And the amazing thing about these products is that they are ridiculously cheap yet perfectly serviceable. Obviously, you don't expect the sun and the moon from a 32GB flashdrive that costs under a thousand bucks, but it does what it's supposed to do, and it does it well.

In fact, their product selection is so spectacular, their prices are so insanely low, that they can afford to hire the surliest of salesladies to man their stores! And by surly, boy, do I mean surly. I've seen more smiles during the Pope John Paul II funeral. It's pretty amazing, really, because in every single branch of CD-R King, all their personnel act the exact same way. You would almost begin to believe that they were all trained to be as grumpy as possible or something.

Despite the horrid service, people still come to them, because the prices really make that much of a difference. It's just that damned cheap, really.

So imagine my (non-)surprise when I found that CD-R King now sells, ahem, "massagers." These 150-peso marvels come in many colors and in two settings: normal, and orgasmic. I mean, turbo. This is no mean feat of technology, folks: they have created a fully functional "massager" that is bound to give plenty of relief to all those who need it.

A surprising sight greeted me upon making my purchase, though: the salesladies were smiling at me. I don't know if this was a freak occurrence, or they were being judgmental as I held the, ahem, "massager" in my hands.

Yet all sophomoric jokes aside, there's no question that as CD-R King's inventory of random items grows, so will the need to patronize them. Their roster of items for sale is so robust they actually have some items on display that have "price to be determined" labeled on them! How's that for marketing?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Project 52 (28/52): On Dolphy (And Why Everyone Seems To Connect With Him)

.:Project 52 (28/52): On Dolphy (And Why Everyone Seems To Connect With Him):.

In my life, I've only run into Dolphy once. I never spoke to him, was never introduced to him, never shook his hand, and seeing as I ran into him while he was shopping at S&R, I never asked for a photo with him, or his autograph. It didn't seem like he would have been in the mood for any of those. In short, I've pretty much never interacted with Dolphy in a single meaningful way.

Yet why is it that I feel like I lost an old friend yesterday?

The thing is, while I may have not impacted Dolphy's life in any meaningful way, it's undeniable that he has impacted mine in many meaningful ways. I don't think it's a stretch for me to say that this holds true for a lot of Filipinos as well. I mean, how many of us can truly say we really were close to the King of Comedy? Not very many of us, I'm sure, yet here we all are, friends and strangers alike, writing eulogies for a man whose 83 years on this planet were spent meaningfully.

He managed to touch people from all walks of life. He was the everyman, yet in embodying the everyman the way only he could have, he became a great man.

As a fan of comedy, I have seen how the evolution of comedy has allowed for so many different forms to be viable in this country today, and Dolphy was indisputably integral to that entire process. As one of the key players in the showbiz industry, the man proved to be an amazing and professional talent whose title as the King of Comedy belies the fact that he has a range that encompasses comedy and even far beyond it. He could make you laugh, he could make you cry, he could make you think. His talent and his prowess was one-of-a-kind.

As a child, I remembered loving "Espadang Patpat," and idolizing Dolphy as I grew up. He got me started into loving comedy. I watched "Home Along Da Riles" for as long as it was on during Thursday nights in ABS-CBN. Even during the latter years of his career, with lackluster films like "Tataynik" and "Fr. Jejemon," I figured he gets a pass for probably phoning it in because y'know what? He's earned it. I'm pretty sure even those films entertained quite a few thousand people in the cinemas, and maybe millions of people riding buses. That's more than can be said for a lot of people's best nights.

You see, it makes a lot of sense when you think about it: Dolphy's "phoning it in," his worst nights, would probably still far outstrip the best nights of many of the people who turned their nose up at him, and now suddenly act all contrite because taking shots at the recently departed is just so tasteless.

But enough about comedy snobs and zealots who protested Fr. Jejemon: this is about Dolphy, and the fact that as a human being, his complexity and his passion embodied the best of us. He, like anyone else, had his frailties, yet his ability to grow far beyond them, and the fact that his lovelife comprises the alphabet from A(lma) to Z(sa-Zsa), who all speak very highly of him, speaks volumes about a life well-lived.

I can't speak for the man, certainly, but if I can't believe, then I certainly hope that his passing yesterday marked the departure of a man who shuffled off his mortal coil on his own terms. I guess those fortune tellers would be out of a job now.

We mourn the loss of Dolphy not because we feel sorry for him: the man is not a tragic figure. Instead, he is the epitome of a man who passed on after a long, rich life. Despite being 83 years old, the man's wisdom was far beyond his years. He knew so much, yet he also knew when he did not know. It's why he never ran for public office: he was afraid he would win.

Instead, we mourn the loss of Dolphy because the world just got a little funnier when one of the pillars of Philippine comedy has left us. Is it a little selfish of us? Perhaps. And yet, wouldn't any of us who are affected by his loss be willing to give so much just to have one quiet moment to have conversed with him? To even just... thank him?

Sure, some people might awkwardly mention how his passing coincided with their 50th month as a couple, but it was a simple moment of reflection: where were you, what was happening to you, when the King of Comedy passed away? There are just some big moments where you end up asking yourself that very question. I remember that I was in Strumm's, doing comedy and hosting when the news hit me, and it hit me hard. It was a comedy show: and the King of Comedy was gone.

Admit it to yourselves: even for this couple the public seems to revile, it was clearly a sad moment for them, and that was their way of mourning our loss. It certainly was a sad moment for me, and this entry is my way of mourning our loss.

And I never even met the man.

Yet, despite all the sadness, I console myself with the fact that the man's legacy will last far longer than any of us ever will. He was a great comedian. He was a great performer. He was a great icon. But most importantly, he was a great human being, and he shared himself with us so unselfishly for give or take six decades. What more could any of us say, really?

Thank you and farewell, Tito Dolphy. We will miss you.

Rodolfo Vera Quizon, Sr. 25 July, 1928 - 10 July, 2012
He started a joke, which started the whole world living.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Been A While, So It's Good To Be Back On The POC...

.:About Bloody Time!:.

Been doing a bit of soul searching for a while, but I finally managed to find the time to come up with this article... God To Believe In Magic!

Yep, I decided to go back to doing a satire about religious freedom, but at some point, I'll probably talk about it again straight-up, albeit not in Project 52, seeing as how I recently did that already.

.:In Other News:.

So much work to do, but I'm happy things are slowly falling into place for me in that department. I'm slowly recovering from the recent mishap I've encountered, and doing everything I can to not do a Taylor Swift and just give 'em the what for.

But yeah, I'm angry. I really am. I think I'm beginning to understand more how Denise felt in general a few months ago, because I feel like I'm going through nearly the exact same thing.

Well, maybe not exactly, but close enough. Here we go again with this passive-aggressive cryptic codswallop. Unfortunately, I can't really help it. I know I'm not supposed to feel this way, but knowing it and not actually feeling it are two radically different things.

So yeah. I can't write an unsent letter right now, but I really feel annoyed. I feel like I've been given the runaround, but ultimately, I'm at a point in my life where I no longer have any intention of sitting and smiling and just taking all of that again and again.

I'm tired already. I think I've been tired for the past three years, and I've only really come to terms with how tired I have been just now.

Let's take it one step at a time, then.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Comedy, Comedy, More Comedy...

.:Overdosing On The Best Medicine!:.

Tuesday nights, Tomato Kick has open mic nights in Katipunan.

Thursday nights, I get to catch SPIT in Quantum.

Friday nights, Chihuahua has open mic nights in Makati Avenue.

This Saturday, I open for Mike Unson in Gweilo's in Makati. Is this awesome or what? It's a week of comedy overload, and I'm not complaining at all!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Project 52 (27/52): On The Manila Improv Comedy Festival (And Why You Had To Be There)

.:Project 52 (27/52): On The Manila Improv Comedy Festival (And Why You Had To Be There):.

Arrest these people!

So. The Manila Improv Festival has come and gone,and in its wake, raucous laughter, massive applause, and a million and one memories that could only be encapsulated by "you just had to be there." Not a bad haul, if I do say so, myself.

I had the pleasure of being there for two of the four days, but had I been just a wee bit more patient, I'd probably have missed only Friday. It was pretty cool, really. The opening night during Thursday was practically a warmup night, as three groups, Xiamen, Tai Chung, and SPIT, all tried their hand at entertaining the crowd.

And entertain, they did. And like any good moment of improv comedy, you just had to be there. Describing what they did couldn't even begin to do justice to the whole thing. I was enjoying my whole time there, and then I found myself mustering up the courage to volunteer for one of the improv games from Tai Chung Improv.

Next thing I knew, I was onstage with them, and I was shaking like a leaf in a breeze. It was a murder mystery game, and I managed to pull it off with them.

Yeah, Ryan, Amanda, and Josh were all brilliant.

I love improv comedy because it really thrives in the moment. I've been thinking about all the things that puts it apart from standup comedy or even other forms of comedy, and I realize that I definitely love the things that make it unique: the fleetingness, the immersion, and that inexplicable rush that has a different flavor all to itself. I should know. I've experience the magic rush, the debate rush, the standup rush, and for once, the improv rush. They're all different, and like some crazy kind of junkie, I can't get enough.

And so after a brilliant opening night, where we had multiple fun games, coupled with an amazing story-making game and an improvised blues song, the first day of the festival was a success. I wanted to go and catch the experimental long form night on Saturday, which would have featured a one-act improvised play, but they ran out of tickets and I went back home, dejected before I found out that People's Liberation Improv actually let my standup comic friends in, and I could've been part of that. Ah, well. It happens.

Come Sunday, I got to the venue ahead of time, and I was stoked because I was going to see every group who was part of the festival, from Kinenkoy to Xiamen, to Tai Chung, to People's Liberation Improv, to Farnan and Landry, and of course, SPIT. It was a veritable smorgasbord of laughs!

And again, you just had to be there.

I will keep saying that, because that's really the essence of improv comedy right there to an observer such as myself: you live for the moment, and you enjoy it for what it is and what it inadvertently becomes. You enjoy it for all its idiosyncracies, and realize that this art form has stood the test of time, as has SPIT for all of ten years, simply because whenever someone said "you had to be there," people actually ended up being there. And they were all the better for it.

So again, thank you to everyone who was part of the Manila Improv Festival! It was an enriching experience for me, as an observer, and I, for one, just had to be there, and am glad that I was.

Aren't they the cutest?

Monday, July 02, 2012

Film Review: The Amazing Spider-Man

.:Film Review: The Amazing Spider-Man:.


The Amazing Spider-Man
A reboot worth making.


I caught this film twice: once, thanks to Nuffnang and Energizer, then a second time with a few new friends I've made.

So yes, Sony continues to hang onto the Spider-Man franchise by releasing a new movie, preventing any hope of ever letting Spidey cross over with the Avengers and the like. That's okay, though, because this was a good way to restart the franchise after the rather low note it ended with in Spider-Man 3.

I don't need to explain The Amazing Spider-Man's setup to you, because the general blurb says it all: bitten by a radioactive (or in this case, genetically engineered) spider, Peter Parker gains the proportional strength and agility of a spider! When his uncle, Ben Parker was shot by a petty thief whom he failed to stop earlier on, he realized that with great power comes great responsibility, and he becomes... the Amazing Spider-Man!

The villain of the hour in this reboot is Dr. Curt Connors, also known as The Lizard, and in place of Mary Jane Watson, Spidey's love interest is Gwen Stacy, which leads to an interesting dynamic between Peter and Gwen's father, Captain Stacy. No sign of J. Jonah Jameson, but the supporting cast including Aunt May, Uncle Ben, Flash Thompson, and Captain Stacy all prove very capable of bringing Spidey's new origin story together.

To compare Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire would be very unsporting, but needless to say, Amazing Spider-Man hit all the right notes to bring Spidey more in line with the Lee-Ditko conception of an everyman hero who's also a hilarious wise-cracker. Spider-Man was making funny quips, being all science-y, and even making actual web shooters instead of being gifted with organic ones.

As a character, Peter Parker really stood out in this one, and his dynamic with Gwen Stacy was perfectly paced. There was no silly back and forth over his secret identity, as he ended up being rather cavalier about it, in fact, which lent to the aura of him being new and completely uninitiated to this superhero thing.

It was good to see that they kept Norman Osborn completely in the shadows for the first film, but I think it was pretty hilarious how his face was obscured even in a presentation in his own highly public, very high-profile company. Does he really have pictures taken with his face in the shadows? Huh. I didn't know that was even a thing.

It looks pretty badass for Bill Gates, though.

I was thoroughly entertained by the movie, and a lot of distinctly McFarlane-y poses were included during the swinging scenes that just showed you a certain level of homage to the source material. With Peter and Gwen having a very sane, level-headed kind of relationship that's relatively free of drama, with Gwen being a very strong and capable woman who isn't really a helpless victim, there is just so much to appreciate in this film.

With the seeds properly planted for a sequel or two or three, there's just so much to look forward to with the franchise, but there's no question about it: Amazing Spider-Man is a great reboot and well worth watching. Just don't bother with the 3D, though, because there's barely anything worth the additional hundred fifty bucks or so for it.

How does this compare to the avengers? To be honest, I find it very hard to outright say that the Avengers was the better film, even if the scale of that film was just much greater. There's just something about Spider-Man that appeals to me so much that if I see them one after the other, I might actually end up giving the nod to Amazing Spider-Man over the Avengers when it comes to which film I liked better - yet I'd probably give the same grade to The Avengers as I'm about to give to Amazing Spider-Man...

Fun Rating: A+ (It's a super-hero romp with the right amounts of comedy, drama, and action.)
Critical Rating: A+ (Well, with strong characters, a great cast, witty writing and pacing, it's hard to find any fault with this film.)

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Like I Said...

... though things might seem to fall into place sometimes, it's more likely for them to actually just fall apart instead.

These are one of those times, and I saw it coming a mile away.

And yet, it never gets any easier, walking wounded, even if it's a case of walking away before one gets in too deep. After everything has been said and done, you learn to hate yourself just a little more, even if you saw everything you needed to realize what the answer to your question would be before you even asked it.

Some things just aren't meant to be. Some people just aren't worth your time and effort.

And quite frankly, some lives just aren't worth living out.

No, You Idiots. This Isn't Racist. At All.

.:Are You Serious?!?:.

So apparently, this following segment is "racist":


Now, first, a backgrounder: KFC in the Philippines had this brilliant idea of moving the cheese from the middle of the sandwich to the top, and decided to call it a day afterwards. It was stupid, and no matter how great it would have tasted, you can be sure that whether the cheese was, it would have tasted exactly the same way.

I mean, it's not even practical. The whole point of having two buns is so your hands would stay clean while you get to the meat and cheese of your standard burger. Putting the cheese on top of the sandwich kinda misses the point, and actually makes it functionally worse than the run-of-the-mill cheeseburger.

So Jimmy Kimmel beat Bubble Gang to the punch, and poked fun at the Cheese Top Burger with a spoof commercial, pointing out what all of us already knew: it was a patently ridiculous idea. The way they made the commercial even seemed to get a certain style for commercials that's distinctly Filipino, especially since the real KFC Commercial is nothing like the spoof.

Pretty clever, pretty comedic, right? He made a pretty funny joke at the expense of the burger, and even managed to give an inadvertent shout-out to the Philippines, since apparently,the Cheese Top Burger is available only in the Philippines. I seriously though that like the Double Down, it was something that came from America, too. Apparently not.

And then this happened...

Innovation? Really?

What is it about more than a few Filipinos that just makes them so butthurt about the silliest of things? I can go through a shopping list of issues that we've cried racism about, and more often than not, they're actually not examples of racism. Desperate Housewives. Alec Baldwin on David Letterman. Conan O'Brien. Chip Tsao. And yes, even BaYo.

Sure, people are free to feel offended if that's their inclination. We can't really stop them. But just like the people railing against the word "niggardly" without realizing that it's not even a racial slur, it gets exasperating sometimes.

So exasperating, you guys!

Incidentally, Kimmel's old partner from "The Man Show," Adam Carolla, actually had a serious racially charged issue a couple of years ago. The difference was that he clearly took a shot at Filipinos and right or wrong as he may be, it was definitely racially charged. In contrast, Kimmel was poking fun at a burger, not even hardly representative of what it means to be a Filipino.

Sometimes, I wonder what's wrong with these people, really. How is a joke about a burger, that just so happened to be Filipino, being racist? At no point was the defining trait of the Cheese Top Burger the fact that it was made by Filipinos: it was just a matter of fact. At no point did Kimmel even call Filipinos "stupid" or "weird" or anything along those lines, while poking fun at the burger. All the way, the jokes were directed at whoever made the Cheese Top Burger. Hades, we didn't even get a "WTF, Philippines?!?" the way I'm sure we would've told Japan if they came up with this.

.:Just Imagine...:.

Can you even imagine what went on during the meeting where they came up with this?

Employee: Hey, boss! I have an awesome idea for a new item on the menu!

Boss: Really? What is it?

Employee: Let's make a cheeseburger, except the cheese is on top of the bun!

Boss: That has got to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Are you drinking on the job again?

Employee: No, sir. I'm actually on weed. Also, I'm serious about this! It will be amazing!

Boss: Let's pretend I didn't hear you admit that you're toking while on the job. How is it even going to taste any different? The burger will taste exactly the same wherever you place the cheese! Do you even know anything about the food business at all?!?

Employee: Boss, I may not know a thing about the food business, but I know a few other things that might interest you.

Boss: What the hell are you talking about?!?

Employee: Well, I know where the condo of your mistress is. I also know the number of your wife. I'm sure she'd be very interested in what I have to say if you turn my idea down.

Boss: Well, I admit that I might have been a little bit hasty. This idea of yours is actually the best idea ever! We will begin production of this burger with the cheese on top. Immediately!

Employee: I'm glad you and I have come to understanding, boss.

Yeah, I think that's the only logical way the meeting for this would've turned out.

.:But Maybe Instead Of A Cheese Top Burger, We Could Have...:.

A Chiz Top Burger?

Or anything else, really?

Or better yet, maybe we could just have a good ol' burger and pretend this stupid idea never happened? This is one time I seriously hope nobody buys the damned thing out of curiosity: it is literally not going to be any different from a regular cheeseburger, and if this is their attempt at making me forget that the Double Down is now a thing of the past, I am truly disappoint.