Live your life!

•December 6, 2011 • Leave a Comment

 

Enjoying the sun

It’s easy to fall into the rut of letting life happen to you.

If three options come your way, for example, a great many people will pick that option that seems to be make the most sense. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with this strategy – but there is an alternative approach.

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Create a fourth option. And a fifth. And hundredth. Rather than live the life that others created for you, I think it’s infinitely more fulfilling to create the life that you want for yourself instead of letting life happen to you.

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Each of us can be an active participant in life and shape and influence our situation, circumstances and the world around us. When talking about this approach, Steve Jobs once said, “You realize that when you push in on one side, something pops out on the other. You can change it. You can mold it.”

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As human beings, we are very powerful. And yet when we’re reminded of this power by others, we often use our power create excuses for doing nothing (i.e., “I’m not ____ enough”) rather than living to our full potential.

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Everyone can make excuses to settle, but let’s try making excuses not to settle.

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Remembering Amy~

•November 16, 2011 • Leave a Comment

 

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Amy Winehouse’s rise to fame and struggles with addiction escalated on similar trajectories; that combination might be one of the things she’s remembered most for, but when it comes to purely professional successes, her first might well be considered her "Back to Black" album. The musical effort won her five Grammys. Below, the title track from the album.

"I didn’t go out looking to be famous," Winehouse told the Associated Press when "Back to Black" was released. "I’m just a musician." But between critical acclaim for "Back to Black" (as well as accolades in the U.K. for her freshman effort, "Frank") and her public battles with drugs and alcohol, the 27-year-old singer became incredibly famous. Among the songs she might be remembered most for is one that became a sad and tragic anthem of sorts, "Rehab."

R.I.P. Amy :(

(500) Days of Summer (2009) – The most perfect visualization of relationships ever put on film.

•January 17, 2011 • Leave a Comment

 

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Some films feel like genuine masterpieces that cannot nor ever will be topped by similar films. (500) Days of Summer is such a film; it is so perfectly crafted in its writing, direction, acting, editing and other major departments that after seeing it one feels off kilter, wondering if they had seen a fictional movie (as the title cards read in the opening) or a portal in which the inner workings of a young man and his quest for true love was connected directly to the audience. So strong and powerful was my emotional reaction and connection to this film, it could in many ways alter forever my view of relationships. Is that good or bad? As an indie-budget production, there are really only two sections that can make or break this type of film: writing and acting. The script by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber is as close to perfect as I’ve ever seen in any film of any genre. The dialogue feels completely accurate and true to the context of the situations of the characters, the situations themselves are real and totally believable and the nonlinear narrative works extremely well in bringing the audience not only into a deeper sympathy with the Joseph Gordon-Levitt character but also in convincing us that a number of these scenes may be dreams. First-time director Marc Webb keeps the tricks to a minimum, using only what is necessary to support the story and not divert from it. The film is tight in its pace, which builds the tension and emotion all the more.

This now brings us to the acting which is, needless to say, flawless. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been a star-in-the-making for a while now but combining this performance with his in Christopher Nolan’s Inception proves he is truly one of the best young actors of this generation. He so perfectly handles both the funny and serious moments of Tom Hansen’s journey through love, completely believable in every single frame. He is a nice guy so we root for him, but his pain is visceral and tender so we identify with him. He creates one of the best protagonists I have ever seen in a movie. Zooey Deschanel is an actress I have loved ever since she played the perky, blonde singing elf in Elf. However, her game has been raised significantly from such trash as Failure to Launch. She creates a sympathetic character as well but in an entirely different way. Summer is a woman with many events in her life that would lead to her feeling about relationships the way she does. Therefore, it is understandable that she would do what she does in this film. Yet, there is no excuse given to properly and completely understand who and why she does what she does. We only get glimpses; we see her through Tom’s eyes and despite her great beauty and quirky personality, there is always the feeling that something deeper lingers below. Needless to say, the chemistry between the two leads is something to behold. I felt completely comfortable and enchanted by both of them, together and individually.

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Getting down to it, why is this quite simply the best portrayal of relationships ever put to celluloid? Many would question that statement and it may not be true, but it is most certainly true for this generation that Tom and Summer represent. Here are two people on different paths that happen to cross. Is it fate or coincidence? Each has different views of that and by the end their views are slightly askew. The film would say that it’s a little of both. I think that is the best statement the writers and director could make. I have heard many detractors of the film say that it is too sad, that Summer is an unsympathetic person and the ending is completely false. I would simply remark that life is quite often too sad, Summer is sympathetic in a much different way than most romantic-comedy girls and the ending rang true in the sense that Tom’s journey isn’t over. Many, if not all, guys have been in Tom’s shoes. This makes it the best story about love for guys. It also makes it the type of film that when you see it, you feel changed inside.

The vast majority of films in this genre are totally dead and unrealistic. Films like Adventureland and (500) Days of Summer show that with the right script and the right cast, a story can be told that is funny, sad, smart and completely, utterly, totally, indubitably: perfect.

Mother (2009) – Totally blew me away!

•January 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

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No limits to the lengths a mother will go for her child…

Awesome and a total mindf*cking of a story. There’s amazing stuff coming out of Korea (Oldboy, Memories of Murder, Chaser, My Sassy Girl) and this is amongst the best of the best.

You think you’ve seen it all in murder mysterious? You think you know who did it because you’ve watched all there is to watch? Nothing left out there to surprise you? You don’t know squat and when this movie begins to take you for a ride, you’ll think you know what’s going on only to be confounded and have you ego deflated.

A good plot will have you guessing right until the very end. A great plot takes it one step further by taking you to the edge, tying a rope around you, pushing you off the edge, letting you fall for a while, and then pulls you back up slowly to reflect on what just happened. That’s how well this movie was executed and I can’t say enough of how much I was blown away by the story. That’s not to say there aren’t some borrowed elements but they are not so cliché as to make this movie unoriginal.

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Hye-ja Kim is, however, magnificent as the titular (God, I hate that word but I’m using it anyway) mother. There is a scene in this film where she tells the family of the victim her son didn’t do it and her eyes are so electrically charged it made me jump back from the screen. Mother fires on all cylinders. The direction, cinematography, script, and acting are all grade A. It’s one of those films where each of the secondary characters steals the show for a brief period. (How ’bout that cop who kicks the apple from Won Bin’s mouth?) Bong does a remarkable job of populating the world of this film with real people and manages to give them depth and development in a very short period of time. I confess to having a little trouble tracking the other female characters in the film, but no matter. There is a scene where Hye-ja Kim asks the other ‘retarded’ kid if he has a mother and it’s one of the most complex and heart-rending scenes in cinematic history. Did you understand why she was crying?

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What I liked most is the near absence of music to create suspense and mood in this movie as you will find that it relies almost solely on the characters and events to set the tone of story. It has very simple camera work and doesn’t use fancy techniques or other distracting technical magic to make it work, it just does. I do agree with others in that it is a slow burner but the ending is the absolute best. To a very slight degree, it reminds me a little of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, another awesome movie in its own right.

Although it has a very slow, calm, and deliberate pace, you will be pleasantly surprised by this little movie. Reserve you expectations for the ending, your mouth will drop.

A New Day Has Come…

•January 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

 

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Yeah baby! At last, the much awaited time has come…the time when your going to bid bye-bye to 2009 and welcome to NEW 2010. :D

‘NEW’ will be everywhere…it’ll be in the air…in our mind. It’s the high time to rediscover ourselves in a new and practical way. Just shut your eyes for a sec & relive all the moments of happiness & sadness you experienced in the past…and open it when you’d have erased all of those totally from your mind. :happy:
This is a great way to make the next years of our life go with a bang because ‘being nice’ is a great feeling.

Anyway, don’t you have any ‘New Year’s Resolution’ ? Our New Year’s Resolution should be something like this – ‘To behave in a right way & make an impression onto others.’ So, if you have done something bad in the past, it’s time to make yourself a promise of not doing those kinds of things ever again. In that way, you’ll be the nice kid again! p:
Like I’ve already promised to throw away all the bad things from me…the things which often make me a bad guy.

It may seem hard clearing out all the naughtiness and evil from within… Because, then you won’t be ‘You’ anymore. So, keep some of those bad things with you. :wink:

Well I know your getting bored and thinking I’m crazy….But I’m not! Later in the future, when you’ll be someone good, only then you can get my words! So, think and then decide. But whatever you decide, decide fast.
And yeah, don’t lose your power. Every time think that your unique and special. And please help others! By helping others the experience you’re going to get will be something divine and you’ll have an absolutely awesome feeling.

Okay, it’s almost midnight here and I must go to bed. It’s New Year you know! :wink:
And pal, don’t forget to enjoy….this one life’s all you got. Don’t let it pass in an ordinary way. Chill every time everywhere! It’s the mantra of our youth! Bye!! Keep on :headbang: partying guys & yeah, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! :D :up:

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New Video: Robert Francis, ‘Little Girl’

•October 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment

 

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Robert Francis recalls the voice of simpler and more truthful era when people were crazier and sang about things that mattered. Maybe that’s because his debut album “One By One” was recorded and released a month shy of his 20th birthday, or maybe it’s because of his unique musical childhood.

Growing up in Los Angeles as the youngest in a family of musicians, Robert possesses a maturity far beyond his twenty-one years. From the time he was born, he was surrounded by music of all genres thanks to his eccentric classical-record-producer and pianist father, a Mexican mother who loved Ranchero songs, and two older sisters who were in various rock bands that played in clubs all over the city.

At an early age Robert showed a tremendous musical gift and was known around school as a guitar-playing prodigy. He could also play any other instrument he picked up, and did so on his first record, playing everything from drums, banjo, bass, piano and mandolin to his most natural instrument, the guitar. Ry Cooder gave him a vintage National when he was only nine, and John Frusciante took him on as his only student when he was sixteen.

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One By One, the debut album from L.A. native Robert Francis is deceptively simple and sparse — unexpected considering his contributions to the record were not limited to guitar and vocals, but also included percussion, piano, banjo, glockenspiel and bass. Despite this multi-instrumentation, the album never overwhelms, but provides space for his often heartbreaking lyrics to breathe. Through his gravelly voice and artful songwriting, Francis presents us with songs of loss, heartache and nostalgia with an authenticity that is startling for his young age.

Here’s the video >

Directed by Max Goldblatt. The video to the worldwide smash hit track Little Girl. Enjoy!

Hey, Sony PS3 Slim is here!

•September 16, 2009 • Leave a Comment

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Back in 2004, four years after first launching the PlayStation 2, Sony brought out a new, much more compact PS2. Timed to come out just as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was hitting stores, the redesigned console helped breath new life into the PS2 franchise. It remains on store shelves today — you can pick one up for just $99.

Needless to say, Sony hopes that a trimmed down–and less expensive–PS3 Slim will similarly invigorate sales of the PlayStation 3, which has lagged behind the Nintendo Wii and the Microsoft Xbox 360 and has taken some of the luster off the PlayStation brand (even as earlier versions of the PS3 received high marks from this publication). To many industry observers, the Slim PS3 represents a moment of reckoning for the PS3–a chance at redemption if you will–and clearly some serious engineering has gone into the creation of Sony’s latest black gaming box and media player.

If you’re a fan of the PS3 or have been sitting on the fence, waiting for its price to drop to $299, the good news is that from a features standpoint, the 120GB Slim PS3 is nearly identical to the 80GB and the 160GB “fat” PS3 models that Sony’s in the process of phasing out. Aside from losing the capability to install another OS (Linux) on your PS3, nothing much else has changed. You still get built-in Wi-Fi connectivity (the Xbox 360 Wi-Fi adapter is a $100 add-on accessory), two USB ports for plugging in external storage devices and charging the PS3′s Bluetooth wireless controller (one DualShock 3 controller comes with the Slim), and the same built-in Profile 2.0 Blu-ray player with BD-Live capabilities.

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The bad news is that Sony didn’t add new features to the Slim. Alas, while we didn’t think the company would be nice enough to throw in an IR receiver so you could control the PS3 with a standard IR universal remote, Sony has eschewed IR again. Also, if you’re pining to play your collection of PS2 games on Slim, you’ll be disappointed to note that backward capability remains a thing of the past (the option only existed only on some of the earlier PS3 systems Sony released).

The story here, then, is all about design, and it’s generally a good one. For starters, the Slim is 33 percent smaller and 36 percent lighter than its predecessors, and it really does look significantly more compact when you put it up against the “fat” PS3. Beauty, of course, is in the eye of the beholder, and many people, including this reviewer, think the Slim’s new frame is fairly fetching.

Yet, we’ve also heard people say that the new “textured,” or matte, finish gives the system a cheaper look. Maybe so, but pick the Slim up and it feels quite substantial. And while we’re sure Sony doesn’t want people referring to the Slim using adjectives like cheap (except when it comes to the price tag), the company does want this PS3 to appear more “casual” and appeal to a wider audience.

At the end of the day, you can quibble about the Slim’s new casual look, the lack of backward compatibility for PS2 games, no IR port, and such former extras as a built-in memory card reader and extra USB ports (we’d still like one on the back of the unit). But the fact is the PS3 Slim costs half of what the original PS3 cost when it first launched. It’s also smaller, more energy efficient, quieter, and retains virtually all the impressive gaming, multimedia, and home-theater functionality of previous PS3s. In short, there’s a lot of machine here for $299.

The good: More affordable $299 price; slimmer, more compact design with quieter operation; all games in high-definition; easy-to-use interface; doubles as a Blu-ray and upscaling DVD player; built-in Wi-Fi; 120GB hard drive; HDMI output with 1080p support; no external power supply; built-in Web browser; free online gaming service.

The bad: Lacks backward support for PS2 games; no infrared port means non-Bluetooth universal remotes aren’t compatible; online gaming, media, and commerce options still aren’t as fully developed as Xbox Live, though they’re getting better.

The bottom line: With a smaller design, more energy-efficient operation, lower price tag, and built-in Blu-ray and multimedia capabilities, the PS3 Slim delivers a compelling package for an affordable price.

 
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