Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Last Guardian, Finally!

 E3 2016 hasn't disappointed this year. After years of waiting, The Last Guardian has finally been officially scheduled, with its own Collector's Edition to boot! Hopefully, the game will have that Studio Ghibli tone in its storytelling.

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2016. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Batman vs Superman BvS: No Cinematic Gloom But A Solid Foundation on an Authentic DCCU

 *Image from http://img02.deviantart.net/5c0d/i/2014/184/9/6/batman_vs_superman_dawn_of_justice_wallpaper_by_davidsobo-d7p3lke.jpg

Ultimately, Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice BvS is a breath of fresh air, un-bubbly like the well loved Marvel titles but moralistically gray and philosophically deep. Dark but real, the idealism of the Kansas boy who was nurtured by parents and the pragmatist views of Batman shaped by his life tragedies and his exhausted spirit through the rinse and repeat years of fighting criminals like the weeds they are. Clearly for mature old school comic book fans. Don't listen to critics. It's easy to love the MCU (except Ghost Rider and Elektra) because of the time-tested box-office script writing formula they have (seriously, I think they already patented it), but this film requires you to be exposed to DC material (print, animation, live action) for at least 5 to 25 years before appreciating the intricacies and subtleties of its rich gradients in the choices people make. Far more relatable to real society and life. Civil War will be an interesting project for Marvel, they'll start tackling more gray ideologies via film format soon enough.

 *Image from http://screencrush.com/files/2015/12/L2GI2c8.jpg

It's unfortunate BvS Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice was raked in the face by film critics cruelly; they who have seemingly been brainwashed by the formulaic "down to earth" cinematic heroes that Disney-Marvel has been able to pump out through the years. To be fair, Disney has indeed found the magic formula to keeping its streak of box office hits as long as it has. The thing is, these reviews on BvS, are exaggeratedly critical on source material that offer a different take on superhero storytelling.

 *Source: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/batman_v_superman_dawn_of_justice/

*Source: www.boxofficemojo.com/franchises/chart/?id=avengers.htm

 *Source: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/franchises/chart/?id=dccomics.htm

Let's be clear about one thing, Marvel heroes often come from a more familiar place, grounded and home-like even, that instantaneously allows them to connect to viewers on perspectives in micro-life struggles that continuously expand as the plot unfolds (think back on the solo hero films turning into The Avengers and then Infinity War). DC, meanwhile, builds on larger-than-life characters with usually unrelateable life backgrounds and possess inner struggles, decisions, and philosophical outlooks representing the microcosm of humanity's socio-political nature among other deeper topics that a layman would not casually give attention to, this then is intricately zoomed in to the ground level drama that develops as the confluential randomness of events in the Universe for everyone else unfolds.

 *Image from http://images-cdn.moviepilot.com/images/c_limit,h_360,w_640/t_mp_quality/uwyhmqcmdztom5t8ensv/what-if-sony-made-a-spider-man-tv-show-776832.jpg

 *Image from https://media.playstation.com/is/image/SCEA/injustice-gods-among-us-ultimate-edition-listing-thumb-ps4-ps3-psvita-us-16jan15?$Icon$

To prime one's self up prior to watching, Marvel viewers should already expect that they're going to watch an Action-Comedy genre flick with sprinkles of humanistic and grounded drama, DC viewers, on the other hand, should already put in their minds that they're going to watch an Action-Drama with sprinkles of comedic moments (albeit unnecessary). Recalibrating the expectations spares most viewers from the shock and disappointment that they didn't see the storytelling formula they expected from the other company and vice-versa.

 Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mk9_340xqeU

*Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXdYlKu3qZ0

*Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvHTFbYw8mQ

*Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_93l5q7AWDM

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSLXz8ReSe0

*Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oL7PSlUuWPs

 *Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPG3UXZSIkY

On account of the actors, much apprehension has been put out online by cynical "fans" even prior to the production especially for Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot not fitting their parts. Surprise, surprise, it seems like they were the saving grace to Jesse Eisenberg's poor and underwhelming portrayal of Lex Luthor, one of DC's most reviled yet fascinating egos of villainy. Ben Affleck's Batman, a seasoned vigilante, worn down by years of physical exertion, mental anguish, and creeping disillusionment of humanity's capability to build a nobler society, has developed into a more realistic crime fighter. There's a certain point or age in any man's life that he realizes that time isn't on his side and the world moves on no matter how much you've poured into the bucket. And indeed you look for meaning in the opportunities you come across, that may make a difference. As for Gal Gadot, first of all, thank God it wasn't Ronda Rousey. Gadot at the very least looks the part and she gives a decent if not very good Wonder Woman on screen. She's built up lean muscle too for this role, very realistic considering she's running a crew with Superman and Batman, who are pretty athletic themselves.

 *Image from http://cdn.bleedingcool.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice-ben-affleck.jpg

*Image from http://images-cdn.moviepilot.com/images/c_fill,h_1200,w_1920/t_mp_quality/slvzf6acxtsenjc4n0cs/chris-pine-to-star-alongside-gal-gadot-in-dc-s-wonder-woman-686234.jpg

*Image from http://screenrant.com/wp-content/uploads/batman-superman-lex-luthor-jesse-eisenberg1-570x285.jpg

As for the supporting cast, they were their usual selves (from the Superman franchise's side). Jeremy Irons comes in as the new Alfred and he's playing the critical mentor as what most Alfreds have been for Batman through recent years (compared to the snarky complying version). There were scenes that it felt like Bruce was asking for permission and justifying his thought process to Alfred. It's hard to keep to yourself after years of battling murderous crazies and there's no doubt Alfred remains the constant confidant that Bruce counts on the most, even when handling his equipment (no Fox here).

 *Image from http://33.media.tumblr.com/f2ad367bd75b66df54aca4a875178c46/tumblr_nrcf5q5ta91uytereo2_500.gif

Without even spoiling it for those sitting on the fence, the film was great. It's drama and action, and drama. It's hard to deny the general atmosphere and tone of the film was dark and brooding, but it's precisely the tone of despair you expect given the things heroes have to sacrifice to face the cruel world (and Universe). Just try turning on your TV and tuning in to CNN and other major global  news networks. There is darkness in the world and the common man may simply choose to cover these up with sugary isolationist choices and conscious ignorance to live their personal lives in a bubble of peace, but struggles in the world and in local societies are unending and are real. Life is hard. Making consequential choices is hard, it's not like just choosing what burger to buy.


As for the "messy" editing for the first part on how the build up to their showdown was done, the pacing, in my view, was inevitable. The personal lives of these two major heroes were being shown in parallel to each other, mostly to reveal their thoughts and emotions on why they would even decide to do so if subjected to the correct stimuli. It's hard to tell one story first and then the other without risking the possibility that the audience may overlook certain plot points as the storytelling unfolded. Just ride the pony and remember that the pacing swings between Supes' and Batsy's and you'll be fine. I heard this is called mental multitasking. Spoonfeeding is so 3-years old.

PS. Okay, except Jesse Eisenberg's Luthor, we're all used to the masculine villain man-boss he has always been portrayed in the animated titles. He was a sniveling, overly-dramatic twerp here. My girlfriend says it's probably an homage to the comicky way Gene Hackman did his Luthor. To be fair, Kevin Spacey's didn't impress a lot then either, but it makes you wonder if his Frank Underwood on House of Cards would've been the evolved form of Luthor if they continued with him years ago. Maybe Jesse Eisenberg's Luthor will bulk up in prison and be more serious and darker. I'm looking forward to the DCCU.

 *Image from http://static4.businessinsider.com/image/53f7436becad04705edb5833-960/frank-underwood-president-house-of-cards.png

*Image from http://thehollywoodmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Gene-Hackman-Luthor.png

*Image from http://cdn.hitfix.com/photos/5216559/spacey-superman-returns.jpg
 *Image from http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/dcanimated/images/b/b2/JL_Luthor.png/revision/latest?cb=20150111225800
 *Image from http://comicsalliance.com/files/2011/06/dccomics-cast.jpg

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2016. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Playstation VR is Out!

Updates: It seems Amazon isn't about to leave latecomers disappointed. A tweet just came out giving people another chance at preordering.



So I'm currently an Amazon Prime subscriber. I felt like regardless of me getting the notice ahead of everyone else outside the Amazon mailing list or not, my chances of getting one was still fifty fifty. Well, I guess it's my lucky day! I got to pre-order one! Regardless of its impact or its ultimate fate as a console peripheral, this in itself is a collector's item in box for being the first model for the PS4. It's like a quickdraw showdown at this point for preorders. So I'm spreading the word for the true Playstation fans out there!


Watch out for the tax charge, it's worth $47.50!

Dubbed Project Morpheus, Sony Interactive Entertainment (formerly Sony Computer Entertainment: http://kotaku.com/say-hello-to-sony-interactive-entertainment-1755125606) decided to do away with this vague codename and placed their Virtual Reality hardware in line with how other competitors have named their respective VR Projects.

If you didn't make it in time to place your pre-order, here are other sites to monitor for now:

According to PS Blog btw, the one being sold today is the VR Launch Bundle, you still have a chance to buy the VR core set on the 29th (March 2016) next week!


All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2016. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Pokémon Experience at Sunshine City, Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Japan

So many things are going on for Nintendo's Pokémon franchise this year. We swung by the Pokémon Café and the Pokémon Megacenter (last year August 2015) and saw so many things. Anyway, I don't think words would be enough, so please enjoy the show!

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2016. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Dog Died Today

I awoke with the rumbling of my door, as my mom frantically knocked and hollered my name. I stuck my head out the doorway thinking it was another house fire that triggered her panic. She was pacing around the hallway like a wild stallion cordoned by fences, hysterically crying out and talking to the white ball of fur she clutched tightly in her arms. It was Princess, a Shih Tzu merely a few years old, that she found wandering alone and ownerless on the village streets.

Now this dog was a pup in poor condition when she was first adopted by us, only a few years ago. Skin disease and lesions all over, bad nails, poor teeth, poorly fed apparently, obviously maltreated and abandoned, and a particularly fearful disposition for anything it came across, any stimulant, any physical contact; it was basically afraid of the world.

She wasn't responding to anything when I took a look at her. Her eyes were motionless and her tongue stuck out. I was waiting for the plan as my mother usually had veterinary contacts for the dogs and cats she's adopted through the years. But she was somehow mentally paralyzed and while only two minutes had passed, Ces suddenly started to spray out blood through her nostrils, and poop and pee started to ooze out. As I mentioned this, my mother shook Ces some more, hoping Ces would snap out of it. It was an obvious conclusion I didn't want to insensitively point out, just as her tongue turned lifeless dark purple right before our eyes. At that point, I convinced her to let me drive them to the animal hospital despite the bleak chances of life.

It didn't take more than 10 minutes for my mom and the veterinarian to talk as I waited outside the observation room. She died of a stroke and/or heart attack apparently. Some people at home speculating the noise from the remnants of New Year's fireworks and explosions doing her in.

As a dog afraid of almost anything, Ces didn't live an active lifestyle. She mostly shied away from other dogs in our house and only wanted to sit, hide, and eat. Yes, three things, nothing else. It was undeniably an unhealthy life that led her down to the fateful events of today. Then again, to me, it was a tragedy of instincts and conditioning. Here was a dog who lived as a pup full of fear and loneliness, subsequently abandoned to fend for herself, and while we afforded her food, attention, and solace, we could not extract from her the overwhelming cautiousness and fear of what she had been through and had been exposed to. She learned to be more assertive and playful just a few months ago (can you believe that after almost 4 years of living) as she learned to bark when she asked for something. It was a totally empowering experience for her I have no doubt and I know it freed her somehow from her anxieties and fears, even if these were sporadic and rare moments.

I only hope that she found happiness even for a bit in her short dog years with us. We remember her and it's probably only through us that her memory will live on, as all other animals and people die every single day and the tragedy of life ceasing just seems all merely personal and all too relative in perspective as far as everyone else is concerned. The memories of those who pass on can only reach past so many generations and empirical hedonism at times seems to be an all too practical disposition in embracing the temporal experience that is life.

Princess died today. She died with her eyes wide open and her tongue sticking out.

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2016. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.