Aside

A Love Letter to New York Comic Con – 20 Oct 2012

20 Oct

So, as you all may (or may not) know, this past Thursday was my 20th birthday. So close…yet so far. You know what I’m talkin’ about! But anyway…to celebrate my 20th birthday, I attended New York City Comic Con  – or NYCC, as the cool kids like to call it. 

I threw on a cheap “traditional” Chinese jacket that I literally found on the ground and decided to cosplay a Custom Fighter from any fighting game. 

NYC was amazing and beautiful (if you looked past the mountains of garbage everywhere, seriously…what is that about?). And the con allowed me to get close to many fellow nerds and some of my favorite icons of the nerd culture. I heard Adam West’s voice from the man’s lips. In person. And I will cherish that moment forever

And the city itself is full of so much sexiness and fashion, it was almost too-much for my Rochester-native brain to handle. Seriously, I may have to find my boyfriend in New York.

The one thing I regret about my trip to NYC was the fact that I didn’t see the Statue of Liberty. That wasn’t my fault, though. My guide did not want to go at all.

I understand that this post was very…discombobulated…but in all honesty, this is the first time that I was able to describe the trip in more words than just “aaaaaaaaahhhh!”

– Kai xxx

Babe of the Week – Liam Neeson [10 October 2012]

10 Oct

It seems like every time I post on this blog, there’s some new thing I am going to start doing. Well, my newest new thing is the “Babe of the Week”. The Babe of the Week title goes to any man or woman who I’m crushing on hardcore in that particular week. I have a loooooong list of celebrities that I find extremely attractive, but there is a revolving door of celebs that are the light of my life and fire of my loins for a given time period.

The inaugural babe, of course, is Liam Neeson. It wasn’t an easy choice. I mean, The dream I had last night was about Daniel Craig. And I have been obsessing over Neeson and Craig equally. However, I know my lusty feelings for Daniel Craig will go through the roof once Skyfall comes out, so I will save him for that week.

Anywho, back to this^ sexy piece. Liam Neeson is what, 60? And I am only 19 (baby, I’ll be 20 in 8 days…) so there is about a 40 year age difference here. But let’s be real, I would take this man over any 22 year old. He is the ultimate badass and he sounds like Optimus Prime. His latest film, Taken 2, is euphoria for an unapologetic action film fan such as myself.

And there’s this…

Good GOD!

His film credits include playing my favorite Batman villain, Ra’s al Ghul in Batman Begins, Hannibal in the A-Team film adaptation, and of course – the biggest badass of all – Bryan Mills in the Taken series.

Now, time for some friendly, terrible, puns…I sure am taken by Liam Neeson, I’d be taken my pants off if he’s ever around me, blah blah blah Taken blah blah blah I want to have sex with Liam Neeson.

Now, let’s all raise a pint of Guinness to the babe of the week – Liam Neeson!

File:Liam Neeson Deauville 2012.jpg

– Kai xxx

Five Songs I’m Digging Right Now – 09 October 2012

9 Oct

Hey Ladies!

I don’t have a new artist that I’m into this month. Honestly, I’ve been listening to mostly the Clash and Chevelle. However, there are five songs from different artists that I find quite catchy!

1. Alex Clare “Too Close” – Yes, this song does always end up reminding me of that one commercial. But it’s still so catchy! Also, this Alex Clare guy can actually sing. “Too Close” has crossover appeal and plays on the local pop stations, the alternative rock station, and I’m pretty sure it plays on the R&B station. Add that to the commercial and the fact that I listen to it on my own…I’m pretty sure I am listening to this song at least 20 hours a day. Always stuck in my head, and I still belt it out every time I hear it! Revel in the pop glory that is “Too Close”

2. The Lumineers “Ho Hey”. It’s very catchy, what can I say. And the lyrics – including lines such as “I belong with you, you belong you’re my sweetheart…” – tell a genuine love story that actually warms my icy heart unlike the “Call Me Maybe”s of the world that just make my heart freeze over. And the kind of folksy guitar is just…sweet. I love listening to this song while the sun is rising. Okay, I’m done being a pansy. Just listen to the fucking song.

3. Green Day “Oh Love”. What can I say? It’s fucking Green Day. I have always loved Green Day. I will continue to love Green Day until the end of time. It’s one of those songs that you just want to sing outloud and dance around your room. After you hear it, I dare you to go a day without belting out “Oh love! Oh loooooove! Won’t you rain on me toniiiiiiight?” Added bonus, the video is full of sexy girls and sexy Green Day.

4. Muse “Madness” Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-mad, mad, mad. ‘Nuff said.

5. Three Days Grace “Chalk Outline”. I am so glad that TDG is back. Hopefully, more and more hard rock bands keep coming back and new hard rock bands come out and it can be like the early 2000s again when hard rock was king, yeah? Oh, Adam Gontier, never leave me again.

Honorable mentions –

Flyleaf “New Horizons”

Wombats “Jump into the Fog”

 

My Thoughts On – Bachelorette. 14 September 2012

14 Sep

[Here, there be (possible) spoilers!]

Okay, so I don’t usually do movie reviews on this blog, but I think it’s a good idea for me to start reviewing every movie I see for the first time. Because…why not?

And I am going to start with a movie that I decided to check out on a whim a few days ago – Bridesmaids. What? Oh, sorry, I meant Bachelorette. Alright, that joke was stupid. This movie is nothing like Bridesmaids. You expect it to be the same movie. I mean, they both have girls and bridesmaids and pre-wedding shenanigans. But I would say that it’s 2 parts Bridesmaids, 3 parts Mean Girls, and 5 parts The Hangover.

I’m just going to provide this disclaimer – I hate romantic comedies, or romantic movies in general. Knowing nothing about this movie going into it – aside from the title and most of the cast – I mentally prepared myself for an hour and a half of eye-rolling, “oh please”s, and maybe a few snickers in between.

In the first scene of the movie, Kristen Dunst’s Reagan is having lunch with her friend, Becky (played by Rebel Wilson). Becky has to frequently interrupt Reagan’s self-assuring rant to break the news that her boyfriend has proposed to her, prompting Reagan to form a grimace-like smile and utter through gritted teeth – “I’m so happy for you”. In that moment, I could tell that the movie was going to take a dark path. In these first five minutes of the film, it is clear what was going on here – Reagan, a blonde who is pretty and successful, is jealous – even furious – that her fatter friend who is not as traditionally attractive is going to be married before her. Reagan, the queen bee of her friend group has finally been beaten at something and she doe not like it one bit. I didn’t know how to react because to be honest…I have been there. And I was able to sympathize. And that was something that I definitely didn’t like.

The next main character, Gena (Lizzy Caplan) is introduced in bed with a hook-up from a night of shenanigans. She has smudged mascara and eyeliner all over her eyes, wakes up to a morning cigarette, and has disheveled black hair. Once she puts on one of the guy’s shirts and realizes that he is a Jack Johnson fan, Gena screams an obscenity at the realization that the guy she hooked up with is a loser. I could see a lot more of myself than I would like in Gena, the “slut” with a fuck-you attitude. 

And to round-out this trio is Katie (Isla Fisher). Katie is a gorgeous airhead who works and retail and “doesn’t understand what anyone is saying to her”. She is overly-cutesy and naive – aka that friend I have but don’t really like to well. A theme that is in the movie that I don’t understand, but I get. I have friends that annoy the shit out of me on a daily basis, I sometimes think that I am above them, but when it comes down to it – I would fight tooth and nail for them (kind of like Reagan in this movie).

And of course, all of the women have male counterparts that don’t exactly fit the traditional romantic interest roles.

For starters, there is Reagan’s counterpart, Trevor (played by the ultra-dreamy will forever be known as Cyclops in my eyes, James Marsden). Trevor is the asshole guy and basically every guy I have ever hooked up with, ever. He encourages his friends to take advantage of drunk girls and (mutually) uses Reagan for sex. His pursuit of Reagan is in no way romantic or swoon-worthy. He mentions to his guy friends that he would like to “smell that red snapper” in reference to Katie. When it is revealed that another of the guys has interest in Katie, he just shrugs and says “Well, what about the Maid of Honor? I’ll take her down.” After hearing numerous conversations between my guy friends and things that the guys I have hooked up with said to me, I realize this behavior is true of every freaking guy I know. I don’t hate Trevor, because like I have done, Reagan uses him to relieve some frustrations. And it’s over.

Gena’s male counterpart is Clyde (played by the very sexy Adam Scott). This Pac-Man villain named character is Gena’s high school boyfriend, who got her pregnant when she was fifteen (or sixteen) and he was eighteen. He never showed up to take her to her abortion appointment and she holds a grudge against him and the wedding is their first time seeing each other since “that thing”, as Gena puts it. 

And finally, airhead-Katie’s male counterpart is Joe (Kyle Bornheimer). Joe is an adorable tech-geek whose high-school crush on Katie lasts even after he talks to her and realizes that she isn’t very bright. He never wants to take advantage of her and wants to make her a better person, while she can’t even remember his name throughout the film’s events.

All of this is tied together with a wacky plots about fixing a ripped wedding dress. And there are some sappy, typical rom-com moments – Adam Scott’s mixtapes and singing, James Marsden’s “You want somebody to put you in your place” line, and Kyle Bornheimer’s “I didn’t want it to happen like this…do you even care that it’s with me” moment. And there are moments in this film that made me laugh, cry, and most importantly – want to re-evaluate my life. This movie is a weird one to try and describe and all I can say is – just watch it! 

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. 

 

What the Hell, LA Weekly? – 24 Aug 2012

24 Aug

Hello Internet!

I’m just going to admit this from jump – I am a huge Black Keys fan. I would punch a baby in the face for a chance to see them live. So, when I noticed that drummer Patrick Carney’s tweet criticizing this LA Weekly article, I pretty much guessed that I would hate the article because as a fan, I am more inclined to siding with the band.

After reading the article, I noticed two things. The first being, apart from the scathing remarks on The Black Keys – I almost agree with every opinion stated in the article. The second thing I noticed was that this sounded less like a legitimate piece of news journalism and more like some angsty music snob’s tumblr post. All it this amounts to is a case of jumping on the “I hate hipsters” bandwagon.

As much as I hate quoting myself, here’s my comment on the article from when I posted it on Facebook earlier –

Don’t get me wrong, I mostly agree with this list. And by “mostly”, I mean I will punch these fools in the face for the dig at the Black Keys. But what is the point of this article, really? You have to ask – what is the point of insulting these artists? For the most part, they haven’t really released any music lately. Also, most music fans have made up their minds on these artists already. Why randomly take a swing at Death Cab for Cutie? They aren’t on tour. And their last album came out over a year ago. I can most definitely understand that music journalists have a right to express their opinions and criticize bad and overly pretentious music. But taking shots out of the clear blue begins to sound like hating for the sake of hating.

But maybe I am just bitter about The Black Keys criticism. I don’t know. You guys can let me know what you think. In the mean time, let’s listen to some “posh cracker blues rock” and talk about how this guitarist is clearly “more concerned with beard grooming and disheleving his hair” *rolls eyes*.

Stay Cool, Hipsters.

– Kai xxx

Artist That I’m Digging Right Now – 05 August 2012

6 Aug

It’s a little late, yes. But the second monthly “Artist That I’m Digging Right Now” comes with a new format. Who doesn’t love new things?

Artist: Young the Giant

Super Short Bio: Founded in 2004 under the name The Jakes, the California band is currently comprised of Sameer Gadhia, Eric Cannata, Jacob Tilley, Francois Comtois, and Payam Doostzadeh. The band’s first single as Young the Giant was the wildly popular “My Body” and since then, they have toured with the likes of Minus the Bear and Incubus.

Why I’m Digging Them?: Sameer Gadhia is simply stunning. If you look at him, he just looks like a regular guy. Yes, he is attractive, but he looks and acts like someone you could know. Someone you could be friends with. Listening to The Jakes, you can hear that this is a band capable of commercial success, but they’ve got something…extra. And that something extra becomes something truly otherwordly as the Jakes evolved into Young the Giant. More mature subject matter in songs and music that can adequately showcase Gadhia’s more polished and soulful voice took a band that I heard a song from and liked, sacrificed it, and allowed it to rise from the ashes like a phoenix.

I once said on Facebook something along the lines of “Young the Giant’s music is the aural equivalent of being wrapped in a cashmere sweater that’s my favorite shade of my favorite color” and I strongly stand by that statement. Some songs give the feel of comfort, others recall strong memories of frolicking on California beaches (and I’ve never even been to California) and what can I say…Young the Giant’s self-titled album is full of all types of warm and fuzzies. Regardless of the subject matter, you can feel Gadhia’s pain and then still be overcome with joy just because you get to hear his voice. And going to a Young the Giant concert is somewhere in between a religious experience and a fun bonfire on the beach with friends. I recall seeing Gadhia and Cannata bounce and flail about the stage while Doosztadeh, Tilley, and Comtois remained virtually in the same spot, concentrating on creating beautiful music. It was a sight that I definitely recommend seeing.

Five Songs You Need to Listen To:

  1. “Strings / Strings (Reprise)” Young the Giant, 2011
  2. “I Got” Young the Giant, 2011
  3. “Paid the Piper” Shake My Hand EP, 2008(as the Jakes)
  4. “Apartment” Young the Giant, 2011
  5. “Cough Syrup” Young the Giant, 2011

Also, definitely listen to the band’s In the Open sessions. So hauntingly beautiful and absolutely breath-taking.

Whateva, I Do What I Want – 05 Aug 2012

5 Aug

Hey Lovelies!

Okay, this is not about to be some angsty teen rebellion post. Rather, I just have something I want to get off of my chest. *Deep breath* Alright, here it goes – I don’t care what the critics say, I am going to watch Total Recall and I am going to enjoy myself!

The remake of the unarguably badass Schwarzenegger classic of the same name (that’s right, I called Total Recall a classic) had some tough competition. It did, after all, come out in a summer movie season that included Marvel’s The Avengers (fuck yessssssssss! Yes! Go Marvel! Go Marvel!), The Amazing Spider-Man, and The Dark Angst Knight Rises. I mean, how is anyone supposed to compete with Baman, Piderman, and the Avengers? Too much. Not to mention, The Bourne Legacy will be released next week – and that looks like it’s going to be a good one. All of this on top of the fact that it’s a trend now-a-days to rag on remakes.  There’s a group of action film and sci-fi fans who went in to this movie already “knowing” that the Collin Farrell portrayal would not stack up to Arnold’s (and an even smaller group who went in to both films “knowing” that nothing would be able to compare to the Philip K. Dick novel on which both films are based). The odds were definitely stacked up against Total Recall being a well-loved and well-reviewed film.

To get to the point, I have a very small hunch that critics tend to disagree with me when it comes to action films in general. Action has never been a genre of film that has been considered “high art” and is often sneered at for featuring nothing but oiled-up dudes, boobs, and ‘splosions. I don’t know, sometimes you want to watch something that is enlightening and makes you laugh, cry, and adopt a puppy. But sometimes, a mindless barrage of explosions, tits, and hot guys is all I want out of life.  Just remember…no more than three tits on one girl, then it’s just weird. I digress, some of my favorite action films of all time have been poorly reviewed. In the middle of writing this blog post, I’m going to look at the Rotten Tomatoes pages of five of my favorite action films – Judge Dredd, Bloodsport, The Expendables, Mortal Kombat, and of course the original Total Recall. I really hope these films weren’t well reviewed, since it will hurt the case I’m trying to make here… Also, I promise that it’s a coincidence that the stars of all but one of the above mentioned films are going to be in The Expendables 2. Actually, a character from Mortal Kombat is based on Jean-Claude Van Damme…

1. Judge Dredd (1995)

  • RT rating – 15%…Don’t worry, babe, I still love you. You are the law.
  • Harshest critique – Mike LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle says “Usually engaging and sympathetic, Stallone is blank and tongue-tied here, an immovable slab in the midst of 95 minutes of gunfire, explosions and Gothic excess.”

2. Bloodsport (1986)

  • RT rating – 33% …Oh.
  • Harshest critique – TV Guide’s movie guide stated “Strictly a film for martial arts buffs; little is offered here in the way of plot, dialogue, or acting.”

3. The Expendables (2010)

  • RT rating – 40%
  • Harshest critique – Peter Travers of Rolling Stone says “It’s not the age of the actors that makes Expendables expendable. It’s the stale storytelling. “

4. Mortal Kombat (1995)

  • RT rating – 34% 1% higher than Bloodsport, the movie it drew inspiration from.
  • Harshest critique – Sean Means of film.com says (and this is a gem) “The movie that most nearly approximates a video game: lots of action, no plot, eye-catching computer effects, and a dollop of violence.” What games is this guy playing that have zero plot? Hell, I’d say the Mortal Kombat games have too much plot. I mean that as a compliment, by the way…

5. Total Recall (1990)

  • RT rating – 84% Wow. Wasn’t expecting the critics to actually be…right. Maybe it’s because this isn’t a *traditional* action film
  • Harshest critique – Rita Kempley of the Washington Post says “A gratuitous explosion of vainglory and guts, the movie is all firecrackers and giblets and broken glass. The overall effect is like wading through hospital waste.”

The point of all that is, while there are some action movies that critics love (Total Recall, Lethal Weapon, Die Hard), a lot of my favorite action films have been universally hated by critics. And Total Recall is the type of film that should have a good plot, dialogue, and acting…I will probably enjoy the movie even if those things are not present. The critics’ words have no affect on the way I view the movie, and I am still excited to see it!

– I’ve got a Kumite to attend, talk to ya later.

xxx Kai