Saturday, June 30, 2007

Supah Rave: Transformers

Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Jon Voight, Josh Duhamel, Rachael Taylor, Tyrese Gibson, and the talented John Turturro. With the voices of Hugo Weaving (Megatron), Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime), Mark Ryan (Bumblebee), Darius McCrary (Jazz), Robert Foxworth (Ratchett), Jess Harnell (Barricade and Ironhide), Jimmie Wood (Bonecrusher), Charles Adler (Starscream), and Reno Wilson (Frenzy).

Cameo: I literally jumped [out of my seat] for joy when Bernie Mac appeared on the screen. I mean, Bernie Mac in a Transformers movie? See what I mean? He did play LaBeouf's "brother" in the last Charlie's Angels installment, so they must have had some kind of bond going on behind the scenes. In this one, Mac played Bobby Bolivia, the fast-talking grandma-"loving" car salesman who sold the beat-up yellow Camaro to the Witwickys. Watch out for the real Bumblebee transformation -- just too cool.

Note-worthy Acting: LaBeouf was surprisingly good. He has a very animated face so you'd think he's just a so-so actor who could do supporting roles all his life. This character suits him perfectly, I think. Everyone was terrific. Even the CGI characters deserve some acting props.

In A Nutshell: If you were into Transformers way before this movie came out, you'd know what the main storyline is -- the Autobots and the Decepticons battling it out (still) in one of them Cybertronic wars with the human race dead smack in the middle. Around two and a half hours of sheer metal-on-metal warfare with lots of injected humor and dramatics in between. I watched it yesterday, but I could still feel the energy alright.

Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg must be celebrating hardcore right about now. The cinematography, cast, CG, locations, sub-plot lines -- all amazing. Slow-motion shots, vicious action sequences, breathtaking visual effects -- I was in absolute awe. I had food with me in the cinema, but I hardly ate because...because...I just couldn't eat at a time like that! If you really want to chew on something while watching this movie, I suggest you bring a pack of gum. Never EVER take your eyes off the screen. As if I needed to tell you guys that.

Transformers is a well-made silverscreen masterpiece of our time. Way WAY better than the recent Fantastic Four flick. I loved the animated series when I was young and I love it even more now. I'm going to see it again this weekend (and then again shortly thereafter, I'm sure). So you won't be surprised if I gave this baby a 10/10. I'd give it an 11 if the rating system worked that way, but it doesn't, so a perfect score would have to do.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Rave: Fantastic Four, Rise of the Silver Surfer

Starring: The awesome foursome Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, and Michael Chiklis. With Julian McMahon as the resurrected Victor Von Doom.

Cameo: Needless to say, this has to be the best Stan Lee cameo ever. Being denied entry in a wedding he literally created -- that's classic. This scene was actually taken from an actual Fantastic Four comic entry where both Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (artist) are escorted off the wedding premises for "crashing" the party. Too bad they weren't as slick as seasoned wedding crashers Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn.

Note-worthy Acting: Laurence Fishburne barely said more than five words at a time, but lending his voice for the Silver Surfer character was just awesome. For a while there I even imagined Morpheus talking. Evans was hot -- pun intended -- so I might be a wee bit biased with his acting. I definitely have to give Gruffudd a plus. I mean, he's definitely come a long way since Titanic (he was the guy shouting out to the mass of dead people in the ocean after the ship had sunk..."hello, is there anybody alive out there" or something like that).

In A Nutshell: Sue (Alba) and Reed (Gruffudd) are finally ready to say their I-dos until an uninvited entity crashes the wedding (no, not Stan Lee) and, coincidentally, the planet. Armed with his power cosmos and uber nifty surfboard, the Silver Surfer causes the elements to go array. Massive holes are found all around the Earth, climates go coo-coo, even the Human Torch's (Evans) powers are literally touch-and-go. The Fantastic Four are faced with a grave dilemma and it's all up to the Silver Surfer to save -- or destroy -- the world.

Die, Galactus, DIE!!! I give it 8/10 because I can.

I was supposed to post this like last week, but just never got to it. This, by the way, is a special tribute to my friend Curt, who's always been the real Silver Surfer to me.

I'm seeing The Transformers later, so I thought I better get this done and over with. My brother has seen the Autobots square off with the Decepticons at a sneak preview around midnight the other night (lucky mustard). He said it was way better than Fantastic Four, but how could you even begin to compare robots with...with...the delicious Johnny Storm?!?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hot Hot Haute: Lumber Jackets

Lumber jackets have certainly come a long way. What once was a lumberjack's signature look is now an embraced fashion statement all over the world. Remember those plaid flannel button-down shirts that we used to wear in public -- for all to see? Well, thanks to clever designers, we don't have to wear them ever again. Unless you actually work in the lumber business or never leave the house EVER, then you're better off with more stylish, more flattering versions of the lumber jacket.

I may live in a tropical country, but people around here need protection from the elements, too, you know. I guess it's safe to presume that the rainy season has finally caught up with us down here, so it's best to be always ready for anything. An umbrella is more than fine, but personally I like to look cute even when I'm drenched in rain water.

The other day I bought this really amazing lumber jacket from Mango. It's just like the picture I posted (not a big fan of the black track pants on the model, by the way), except it's in emerald green. I am loving it. And the best part is I got it on sale! 50% off the original price, can you believe it? I gave myself a pat on the shoulder after I bought it. It truly is a gem and even though it was still a little bit too pricey, I was just too deliriously happy to care.

The Lumber Jacket MLC Rain is made of 100% polyamide. Except for the parts along the arm pits and the sides, it's completely waterproof -- making it perfect for rainy weather. Who said you can't get fashion for both their aesthetic and functional qualities?

Mango has a very good collection of lumber jackets, anoraks, and coats in general. Stacking up on winter clothes in the summer is actually a smart thing. They're almost always on sale and you'll never have to worry about keeping warm as soon as the new chill sets in. As far as living in the tropics go, you can never have enough waterproof jackets. After all, singing in the rain can't be fun if you have the sniffles.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My Top 5: Substitute for Ciggies

5. biting on a straw

4. green tea (used to be diet coke)

3. the occasional lollipop

2. sugar-free gum

1. K-I-S-S-I-N-G

Monday, June 25, 2007

Manic Monday: Grace

When I hear the word "grace" I immediately think of Grace Kelly. I'm sure a lot of you guys do, too. I mean, who else epitomizes the word best other than Miss Kelly herself? I haven't seen a lot of the stuff she did in her time, except for that movie with Cary Grant, but I've seen her everywhere else growing up. It's not even how she looks; rather, her style, bearing, presence, demeanor...

Her name and her legacy simply represent everything that is graceful.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Unconscious Mutterings 1

LunaNina says ... and I think ... ?

  1. Riding :: Falcor
  2. Actress :: Drew Barrymore
  3. Flowers :: black calla lily
  4. Making :: Adam & Eve
  5. Robot :: Short Circuit
  6. Enjoy :: life
  7. Identify :: Jason Bourne
  8. 22 :: number of stars in the Paramount Pictures logo
  9. Busy :: editing my work
  10. Forward :: two steps backward

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Devout Spice Girl

I'm not a great cook, but I don't think I'm bad either. I usually stick to pan-fried or stir-fried viands because they are very forgivable (I just make sure I don't burn them or serve them completely raw). I made a pan-seared sea bass fillet not too long ago and my mom, who happens to be my worst critic next to moi, was like "you actually made that?" Thanks, Mother, you are truly the best.

What's my secret to passing off regular food for pseudo gourmet feasts? Spices -- I thank the good Lord for them because they make my life (as a self-proclaimed student of the culinary arts) a whole lot easier. Finding a recipe and changing it up a little to make it your own is the hard part. When you're standing in the kitchen, a bunch of raw ingredients in one hand and armed with a large wooden spoon in the other, you probably feel like the best chef in the world and nothing can stop you from creating the most flavorful dish ever. Just a dash of spice and you're bound to impress palates other than your own.

The trick is to use some -- not USE ALL OF THEM AT ONCE. Too much of the stuff will create an overwhelming (albeit confusing) dish. Spices are meant to highlight the main ingredients, not overpower them. Let me remind you, it's called Grilled Chicken with Rosemary...not Rosemary with Chicken. If you're going for flavor over aesthetics, I suggest chopping the leaves into tiny bits. This way, the flavors are released exponentially and you get to taste it in every single bite. They smell pretty darn good, too.

If you're using dried herbs (which, by the way, I am so not against), try adding them before your meat is fully cooked. They're actually more flavorful that way. Fresh herbs, on the other hand, are better added right before you switch the stove off so they don't look too mushy. Tend to an herb garden and you'll never have to buy the stuff from the supermarket again.

Look at me, getting all excited about herbs and spices. You should hear me when I talk about other stuff -- like the beach, Ethan Hawke, and shopping -- you'll never hear the end of it.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Turning Japanese-a!

I saw this video on Jon Lee dot ca and I thought I'd share it with you all. My brother and I had a really good laugh watching it -- I even cried a little. I'll be posting more of these later on. In the meantime, enjoy this one (I know I did). - Watch more free videos

Thursday, June 21, 2007

myPod: Vega4

I first heard their songs on Grey's Anatomy. Then again on One Tree Hill shortly thereafter. The second that intoxicating riff played, I knew I was going to be Snow-Patroled (that's my term for "really loving the music").

Vega4 is a London-based (sometimes Southern UK) quartet that plays nothing but soul-stirring tunes. Who do they sound like? I'd say they remind me a lot of Snow Patrol, but they've also been compared to their contemporaries like Augustana and The Fray. Their single "Life Is Beautiful" is more than, well, beautiful. It's mind-bending, utterly inspiring poetry in motion -- that's what it is. Not only do they make impassioned music; they also take Global Warming issues very seriously (something that's close to my heart, too).

Their latest album "You and Others" is out now so grab a copy (if you can find one locally). Or, you can always download their stuff from iTunes and MySpace.

You gotta love the Irish (FYI: a couple of the guys from the band are Irishmen)...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

"From The Soul For The Mind": A Fund Raiser

It's always good to take the time to help others. When I was invited to the "From The Soul For The Mind" event last Friday, I knew I had to go and show my support. I didn't exactly pay for my ticket (thanks, Wan!), but I'd like to think my presence was paramount to its success. ;)

The proceeds of this event will go to The Family Farm Schools (they're all over the country, I believe). The fund-raiser/concert was graced by talented artists like DJ Jena, Gian Magdangal, Sofia, Marcus Davis, and Amber.

Let us heal the world one party at a time...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Wanna Win a 24″ LCD Monitor? I Know I Do...

So get this...the uber-awesome John Chow is giving away a sweet 24" Wide Screen LCD Monitor from LG. The catch? You have to write about it on your blog, submit your info and URL to John through email, and you're in the running to be the next top LCD monitor owner.

This contest is brought to us by John Chow dot com, a site that teaches you how to make money off blogging and affiliate marketing. I'd also like to give props to BluFur, who's just so good at hosting Canada and the entire world for that matter, for sponsoring such a great cause.

They're drawing the lucky winner out of a hat on August 1st, so make sure to send in your entries well before then. I wish everyone well and all, but I have to say, that monitor is MINE!

Manic Monday: Heat

Summer has now hit the rest of the world (ours just ended). In the past couple of months, however, the heat was just unbearable! Everyday felt like a cookout -- except I was the roasted meat. It was terrible, I tell you, just terrible.

Now, I hear that people in the northwest are complaining of the heat when it's hardly even in the high 30's for most parts (Celsius). Come to our islands in April or May and know firsthand what real heat is.

It still gets pretty warm during the daytime though, but at least I'm not melting anymore.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

First Frenchkys Poll

I'm really happy with the turnout of my little poll widget so far; didn't expect anyone to actually cast their votes. So to those of you who participated, I think you are all equally hot as I am. LOL

I'm keeping the current poll question for a few more days, give everyone a chance to REALIZE I am the hottest of them all. Indulge my Disney fantasies, why don't you, and vote already!!! Do watch out for future polls I'll be hosting. Don't worry, I won't include myself in the choices every time. I'm not THAT Narcissistic. :P

Thanks for the love!


Rave: Ocean's Thirteen

Starring: Danny Ocean and the rest of the gang. Plus Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin.

Cameo: The best was Oprah's, no doubt. She's probably real good friends with most of the guys anyway; I'm sure she didn't mind taking time off her perpetually busy schedule to be in the movie. Making Ocean (George Clooney) and Rusty (Brad Pitt) cry -- that was classic!

Note-worthy Acting: I am so used to Al Pacino being the bad guy now. He wasn't the devil or anything in this movie, but he came this close.

In a Nutshell: This one's all about revenge and "family." Ocean and his band-its of brothers avenge their MI-ed comrade -- myocardial grandfather had like 20 of those so I know how hard that must have been for the gang -- Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould) from the backstabbing hotel and casino mogul Willie Bank (Pacino). This is definitely the most elaborate theft show ever; they had to enlist other key-players to actually get the job done. LOTS of other key-players, in fact. I guess Ocean's 700 Club would've been a more apt title.

I liked the first two installments better, to tell you the truth, but this one was good nonetheless. Maybe watching from a La-Z-boy in the theater made the movie experience better than it actually was, but that's not the point now is it. Stellar cast, awesome chemistry, and really funny antics as usual. I give it 8/10 only because my date dozed off for a few during the movie.

Check out our pictures from Sunday night. These were taken at the newly opened TriNoMa mall in Quezon City. I think I'm going to love it once it's completely done. And Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!!! Especially to mine. =)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Painful Grammar 1

I took this picture off a boat on our way back from Puerto Galera early this year. It was just too painful to ignore...

Friday, June 15, 2007

My Top 5: Condiments

5. Hoisin Sauce

4. Teriyaki Sauce

3. Vinegar (with lotsa garlic and a wee bit of pepper)

2. Wasabi

1. tomato ketchup

Thursday, June 14, 2007

7th Time's A Charm

In the recent Miss Universe pageant, Miss Philippines Anna Theresa Licaros did not make it to the Top 15 — really tough competition this year. She did, however, take home the crystal trophy for Miss Photogenic. Relive the moment by watching this short clip from the Miss Universe 2007 telecast:

That’s like the 3rd time IN A ROW a Filipina won the prestigious mention. In 2005, Gionna Cabrera got her chance at the photogenic limelight. And last year, Lia Andrea Ramos bagged the same award. Margie Moran won the same title a few years back, but she also managed to snag the most revered title of all — Miss Universe 1973. If I’m not mistaken, the country now has 7 photogenic special awards under her belt.

Man, I could go on and on about Filipina candidates turned Miss Universe, but that’s entirely another post. One thing’s for sure though — Filipinas have an exotically unique beauty that shall always be adored in the pages of history.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Independence All Year Round

For years many Filipinos have argued about the REAL date of our declaration of independence. Some still believe we should celebrate it on the 4th of July (not just as a product of colonial mentality) to commemorate our absolute political freedom from the United States on July 4, 1946. While others pushed for the 12th of June (the so-called fictional independence) — this was the day when Emilio Aguinaldo assumed dictatorship for the country and declared it free from Spanish rule on June 12, 1898.

The argument remains though; how could we consider June 12th to be our independence day when the provinces of Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo, Zamboanga, Vigan, Legazpi, and several towns nearby were still very much under the control of the Spaniards in June 12, 1898?

I’m no history buff nor do I enjoy nitpicking on details such as accuracy of dates and such. I guess the cause of celebration is simple — we’re free now, aren’t we? Yeah, last time I checked we had our own Filipino president, Filipino cabinet members, Filipino congressmen and senators, all climbing their way to the top of the political chain. Sure, we’re free as a bird in the open sea.

As far as every Filipino is concerned, we should celebrate our independence every single day. Just like we do Christmas and Mother’s Day.

Let’s party.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Manic Monday: Friendship

This is my first ever Manic Monday post. I am so excited, you have no idea. I know, I know, it’s just a meme. But I’m still happy to be part of one (well, I’m also with Wordless Wednesday haha).

Here’s a picture that depicts friendship and innocence to the core. It’s a really sweet picture of Luca (my friend Mikey’s son) and Sabina (my friend’s sister’s daughter). Their age gap is kinda big and they’ve never really “hung out” until the day this picture was taken, but they managed to fling their arms around each other like they’ve been the bestest of friends in forever. Now if only the rest of the world could get along that easily...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

On Doogie Howser And Blogging

What does one even say on their very first post? All of this is so overwhelming; I don’t know where to start.

Well, let me begin by saying…this is so f-ing awesome. I have my own Doogie Howser blog and I can’t be more excited! Ever since that series came out on TV like a gazillion years ago (when Doogie still didn’t realize he was actually into Vinny and not Wanda), I’ve always asked my dad to get me one of those DOS-based personal journals. I thought it was just really cool. And the spoiled little grade schooler that I was, I kinda got what I wished for.

Now, I’m actually “blogging” (whatever that really means)!

You’re all welcome to comment, make suggestions, be nice, be royally mean, or just read whatever nonsense I have to say. If you want me to drop by YOUR blog, all you have to do is ask. ;-)