Sunday, April 30, 2006

Silent Hill

First things first. I'm a huge fan of the video game series. Silent Hill has given me the experience of a lifetime, restless dreams and eagerness to complete and conceive the greater ideology that the game world creates.

Filled with cryptic conversations surrounding theological issues from members of ritualistic sects gone haywire, it's a difficult thing to understand where the real world ends and the parallel dimension begins. Silent Hill really is a tainted town, as seen in the movie, though nothing about a fire had been referred to in the games so far as I can remember. It has been tainted with beliefs of otherworldly "Gods", with a striking resemblance to the Devil himself.

Mentally unstable individuals holding on to their deranged ideas are sparsely found throughout the town. In fact, it has been called a ghost town and even the monsters (if they really are monsters as the third game poses this question in a remarkable cliffhanger moment) seem to be few. Are they simply manifestations of the protagonists, other mentally unstable individuals for reasons well known? Does Silent Hill hold the power to turn your worst nightmares into reality?

For whomever is interested in videogaming, I would strongly suggest he or she plays the whole series of the games. The brilliance of the storylines sometimes makes you stare in awe. When thick-headed snotty people (not naming them here) insinuate that video games are not art, this specific series should make them go hide in shame. It's art at its best.

As for the movie, it has retained the eerie atmosphere of empty foggy streets and this time with ever-falling ashes. When the horns sound and the darkness envelops the town, all hell breaks loose.

Blending elements from all four games, the movie still remains true to the original game's basic plot. There, Harry Mason and his daughter Cheryl (the name appears in the beginning of the movie in graffiti under a bridge) drive to Silent Hill, Cheryl disappears and it's your job to find her. Here, it is Rose (Radha Mitchell) and her daughter Sharon (Jodelle Fernand, who could just shrill a little less loud, my ears still hurt...).

When the producers returned the script to Avery saying there were no men in it, they implemented the character of Chris (Sean Bean), Rose's husband in the movie, who also takes an active role to go after his wife, when she decides to go to the town her sleepwalking daughter keeps mumbling about. His character is in fact a key to understanding a few things, as well as a passageway for further development.

The whole experience feels like you're still controlling a character who walks through levels collecting clues to find what they're looking for. The cinematography is great, the music is the same as in the games, even the song in the opening credits (which comes from the original game) and the one in the ending credits (Melissa Williamson's You're Not Here - a theme from Silent Hill 3).

For fan-boys and girls of the games, it will be a remarkable adventure. For regular moviegoers, it may seem as a creepy, flashy show-off movie with excellent visuals but loose plot and incomprehensible gore.

The movie does have a flaw, which is really sad. The plot really is rather loose and hard to understand (but then again, so is the plot in all the games), even more so when you are clueless of the whole Silent Hill mythos, may leave you a sour aftertaste, but the ending is quite interesting. The recurring theme of Mother in the games is here as well.

Making my way through rusty metal and sometimes bloody flesh walls, walking on rusted metal floors and defeating monsters, I had never seen such gore in the games as in the film. Some of the comments I heard while leaving the cinema were "It was great but why such gore? It totally blew the whole greatness". Blood and gore may be understandable though in a film like Silent Hill.

Although it was always a psychological horror that made your skin creep in the games, of course hand in hand with the terrifying environments, the blood did let flow at points.

Without fail the best video-game-to-screen adaptation, Silent Hill is one of the best looking horror films these years. Great cast and performances (pay attention to Cybil Bennett (Laurie Holden)) great visuals and a worth-your-money gore fest.


Friday, April 28, 2006

Weekend Wall 8

Heed the warning...

Click on image for full view

...the darkness is coming...

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Top 3 Tunes (19-25.04)

When you 're 19 years old, you can't do anything else but dance, dance to the rhythm of the Freemasons and I'll be watchin' you ;)

My favourite male japanese musician Suga Shikao, just released his latest single, 19sai, the opening to the new anime series xxxHolic. It's the only song without a dance tune but it's really jazzy and has quite a PV (promotional video), of a weirdo taking photos of girls in his apartment and then forcing them to have sex with him. Or something along these lines... So innocent! (>_>);; If you want to check it out, visit Memento!

So here are oni's chart toppers this week :

No.1 : Suga Shikao - 19sai

No.2 : Fall Out Boy - Dance, Dance

No.3 : Freemasons Feat. Amanda Wilson - Watchin' (Radio Edit)

P.S. : I know someone would be mentioning it so... OK, I'm turning 23 this June, WHATEVER! I'm still a 19-year-old at heart! Even younger! :P I just hope my brains have evolved further than my heart's age :P

Friday, April 21, 2006

Weekend Wall 7

Click image for full view

You know what they say! The early bird catches the worm! So here's the wallpaper post mr.d had been waiting for! Haha! I hope you like this one! A really lovely wall for cat-persons XD I'm more of a dog-person myself though :P NOT the Pharaoh hound type of guy mr.f :P

Wallpaper yet again found on hongfire, property of GA Graphics (as I can tell from the footer)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Yesterday afternoon I wanted to occupy myself with something other than my paper due May... Well, I'm quite the "procrastinator". I'll do my best tonight though! Prolly... ¬_¬" So, I decided to watch the NANA anime episodes I had.

It is a story of two girls with the same name, who, in a twist of fate, will bump into each other and share an apartment and lots of memories together.

Komatsu Nana, nicknamed Hachi for acting like a faithful dog as Nana says, is a fickle girl of 20 years, always falling in love with the wrong guy; basically, always falling in love. And Oosaki Nana, an aspiring singer with a goth/rock appearance, too proud to accept the fact that she is still in love.

I rarely find myself moved by anime nowadays, but even the first line of the anime was enough to make me straighten my back and get closer to the screen.

"Nee, Nana. Do you remember the day we met?"

It's not just the words, it's the seiyuu's voice (seiyuu is the voice actor in anime). KAORU aka Midori Kawana does an excellent job. It's not just the voice, it's the scene of the window in the empty apartment. It's not just the scene. It's the episode as a whole. Its atmosphere, the subtle switch from happiness to sadness, both are remarkable. I loved the opening song "Rose" as well.

When I get this much excited, I search the whole web for more. I've found the manga, will start reading through it as soon as I can (still ongoing and 15 volumes long) and also found the live action movie. I watched it after lunch and I must say I'm not dissapointed. The two insert songs, Glamorous Sky and Endless Story are magnificent and were on the ORICON singles charts for weeks.

I like where the NANA series is going and I'm willing to follow. As far as I can tell, it's a story of a strong friendship and a depiction of two different personalities, helping each other when the times get rough. Hachi's story is especially sad, although she may come off as a bit too needy and naive. From the movie, I get that Nana's life was especially hard and her story comes as a shock to her roommate, since she's being so secretive about her private life.

My friend mr.f will probably be running for tissues to wipe his tears if he ever gets to watch the series, either as an anime, or as a movie. Mr.f do ask me if you'd like to see more ;)

IMPORTANT: If you would like detailed recaps of the anime episodes and the live action movie, starring Nakashima Mika, a famous singer in Japan as Nana and Miyazaki Aoi as Hachi, visit Garten's blog Memento. He is doing a magnificent job as an anime blogger in general. So if you're interested in anime visit! I'm constantly visiting his site and the two screencaps are actually his >_> First from the movie, the other one from NANA ep.1.

P.S. NANA can also mean 7 in Japanese and Hachi, except from being a popular name for dogs, also means 8.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Taschen books

This is my new craze. The first Taschen book I ever bought must have been Manga.

Taschen is an art book publisher founded in 1980 by Benedikt Taschen in Cologne, Germany.

Taschen's publications are available in a variety of sizes, from large tomes detailing the complete works of Leonardo Da Vinci, to surprising, uncommon middle-sized books, to their "Icons" series of small, flexicover volumes which encapsulate themes of everything from old ads of Las Vegas to male nudes. The company has also produced calendars, address books, and postcards of popular subjects.

Taschen knows how to make every book's cover alluring, a captivating image, even when featured on a total white background. Such grandeur in simplicity can be seen on Signs.

Colorful is the cover of Design for the 21st century. I just recently bought Dali and Japanese Graphics Now!. Both for as low as 9.99 each! Such low are the prices of the books, the highest priced being the ones which offer tons of pages such as the critically acclaimed Architecture Now! series.

This year, Taschen is celebrating its 25 years and special 9.99 edition books are finding their way to stores every month! Some may be reeditions of the company's most successful titles, but don't think the quality is any different! They're all hardcover with high quality paper! Even when the writing is sparse, most of the times multilingual (I'm really excited Japanese Graphics Now! has Japanese and English), it's the images that speak a thousand words.

Take a tour of the site and find a title which suits your own interests. I'm sure if you're even slightly into art and photography, a title just for you exists! Art is everywhere: Fashion, designing, architecture, advertising, books, comics, cartoons... The list goes on. Make sure you check the upcoming titles!

Did you know that...

Taschen has published the most expensive book in publishing history, the $3000, 75 pound, 700 page GOAT (Greatest of All Time), a tribute to Muhammed Ali which Der Spiegel called "the biggest, heaviest, most radiant thing ever printed in the history of civilization." They have also published the $1500 Helmut Newton retrospective Sumo and a $2500 limited edition Araki volume.

P.S. Pictures taken from official Taschen site from titles Signs and Japanese Graphics Now! respectively. Quotes from wikipedia's entry.

Top 3 Tunes (12-18.04)

Thanks to my friend Aquarius, I got these three amazing tunes! From the slow sulky tunes of last week, we're moving to house and dance tunes, proper for some smutty dancing with a loved one (or a pillow or blow-up doll). SOS! I'm crying Love me in these empty streets! (Another of my drama-queen performances - think I've caught the mr.F bug as well! *giggles*)

No.1 : A-Studio feat. Polina - SOS (Radio Edit)

No.2 : Morandi - Love Me

No.3 : Late Night Alumni - Empty Streets

What music will next week bring? My guess is shake-your-booty tunes, but everything can change! Slow to fast, fast to slow, get on the ferris-wheel of life!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Weekend Wall 6

I've got a feeling that mr.d will like this one. It reminds me of Weekend Wall 2, that's why. Anyways, although mr.d has been bad, :cough:emulators:cough:, here is this week's favourite wallpaper!

Click image for full view

I found it on hongfire, so I can't really tell who made this, sorry! Excellent work though! I like the lighting and the flowers!

P.S. I'm currently trying to find a way to "incorporate" something like a weekly poll on my blog, particularly, if possible, on the left hand side of it, or at the right one if that's no good. Still I've got the alternative of posting a "Weekly Poll" post every Monday, but if anyone has any pointers whatsoever of how to accomplish something like a real click-to-vote poll I'd greatly appreciate it! Thanks!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Dragon Quest : Journey of the Cursed King

Dragon Quest : Journey of the Cursed King is the eighth installment of the popular Dragon Quest series of role playing games from Square Enix. It was developed by Level-5, who also worked on the Dark Cloud series for the Sony PlayStation 2. Its full Japanese title is Dragon Quest VIII: Sora to Umi to Daichi to Norowareshi Himegimi (Japanese: 空と海と大地と呪われし姫君 - meaning 'Sky, Ocean, Earth and a Cursed Princess'). Yuji Horii oversaw the project, while Akira Toriyama (of the Dragonball fame) designed the monsters and characters, and Koichi Sugiyama resumed his role as composer.

Dragon Quest VIII sports graphics similar to those of Dark Cloud 2 (Dark Chronicle in Europe) in that it has cel-shaded textures for the characters and scenery. Dragon Quest VIII's battles are not limited to a first person perspective like its predecessors. Instead, it contains some third person views as in the recent 3D Final Fantasy games but retains several key parts of the other Dragon Quest games. The first person views for attack planning, the classic attack and magic sounds, and the victory riff are all brought back from previous games.

Released for the PlayStation 2 on November 27, 2004 in Japan, Dragon Quest VIII went on to sell over three million copies within its first week, making it the fastest selling Japanese PlayStation 2 title ever. (source: wikipedia)

The North America release came out after a whole year of redesigning the battle system's interface, as well as some other tweaks, since the production team thought Americans would find the game's interface too Japanese. The good thing for them was a really top-notch voice acting (though some times it sounds like they're dragging their lines) and of course, the extra DVD with the Final Fantasy XII demo. Don't get your hopes up... no such luck for us. But we still get to have the game!

Here I am, a European, having waited nearly 3 years for this game, after I read a preview in a Japanese magazine I had bought from London, crossing fingers that such a gorgeous looking game would find its way to our shores. Being a fan of the Dragonball series made my craving for the game even greater. Imagine my joy when I got my wish fulfilled. I bought the game as soon as I caught a glimpse of it in the shop (2 days before its official release date of April 13th!). Thus, I'm broke, but I have a lot to keep myself occupied and no need to leave the house. I've got to get back to the game since it's that good!

Visit the official european site HERE! Find out more about this great game!

A sceptre spoken of in lore...
And sealed away since days of yore,
Unleashes its forbidden power...
And heralds Trodain's darkest hour.

Brave Hero! Take up your sword!

Your quest has begun!

P.S. I'd recommend to anyone who likes RPGs to try Dark Cloud 2 as well.

Pics taken from Gamespot and CVG

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Top 3 Tunes (05-11.04)

Slow songs this week, I guess you don't know the first two artists, so people, get to know them! These songs are proof of their astounding talent. Put your records on, tell me your favourite song, experience a wonderful life and believe that, yes, this is you!

No.1 : Corinne Bailey Rae - Put Your Records On

No.2 : Jason Mraz - Life Is Wonderful

No.3 : Jennifer Lopez - (Can't Believe) This Is Me

Monday, April 10, 2006


Yay! I did go watch the movie in the end with Natasha. This girl has nerves of steel! I'm a sucker for horror films! Eli Roth's Hostel, follows this formula: drugs - sex - slaugher.

The things I liked were the gruesome, explicit images of gore and torture, the haunting screams and sickening complexities of the tormentors.

The things I didn't like were the ever so familiar images of "stupid" Americans, backpacking around Europe, with no clue what Europe really is about. After bong-lighting and gratuitous exposure of naked women in Amsterdam, we see the two friends and their Icelander tag-along arrive in Slovakia.

I've read that Roth asked for an official pardon for making Icelanders look like drunken sex maniacs with the character of Oli and issued a formal apology to the Icelandic Minister of Culture, for all the damage Hostel may cause to Iceland's reputation. (source: imdb) Didn't he do this for Slovakia? This eastern European country, is depicted as a marketplace for everyone who has the right price. Even psychopaths and sociopaths who want to feel what it's like to kill a "fellow" human being. Talk about killing tourism... Anyhow, these weirdos don't go for the easy and less excruciating method of shooting. They use everything, from snips to flamethrowers.

As the bodycount increases, you feel like you want to take revenge for every scream. Our backpacker "heroes" paid for meat. They paid for prostitutes to have sex. The others paid for the pleasure of torture. The greatest scene is a parallel of the brothel corridor to the corridor of the "slaughterhouse". Pay attention to it, if you decide to watch it.

The final scene destroys this road to catharsis the movie could have gone on.

The german poster's tagline says: "Try not to puke". Well, I saw everything, but jumped startled from time to time and looked for Natasha. I'm such a wimp... No I didn't have nightmares afterwards...

What scared me the most is that it's inspired by true events. Director Eli Roth says that he found a Thai website that advertised itself as a "murder vacation", offering users the chance to torture and kill someone for the price of $10,000. Roth later showed the site to Quentin Tarantino and the two developed the idea for the film. I sure hope this isn't true...

There is a sequel already in the works and the DVD is out in the US which includes an alternate ending.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Doll Maker Site

Ever wondered what to do in times of complete boredom? I get these ALL the time! :giggle: Look no further! The web's #1 Doll Maker Site is HERE! Click and enter a world of style and fashion, oh and Madonna too! She looks hideous mr.F! Hahaha! Here are some samples of what you can create! ^_^

First row has a girl I created with a crazy Harajuku-type style, then comes my versions of Natasha and Vana! All the second row is filled with copies of myself! I'm such a narcissistic pig! LOL! Oh last one in the second row was done by Natasha!

Thanks elouai! Your site ROCKS!

Weekend Wall 5

No comments this week :P Found this one on 4chan so it's a bit hard to tell who made it, anyone who knows, please inform me to send kudos to the creator xD I LOVE vibrant colors!

Click image for full view

I was to go to watch Hostel last night with Natasha, but we cancelled it, cause we were both tired. Stay tuned for info on the movie and my opinion on it (if you care) in the weekend!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Top 3 Tunes (29.03-04.04)

I've got so many candidate songs for this week's favourites!!! A big THANK YOU to my friends Vana and Natasha, the funniest flatmates I've ever known (thanks also for having me sleep over from time to time!! xD) for wanting me to look for what became this week's no.1 and no.2! So, we have Santana, with a great new album full of collabs (this particular with Steven Tyler rocks!), Elvis Costello with a now classic song, it soothes my soul and I mean it and last but not least favourite, the latest single by the Arctic Monkeys, a slow-burner, as I call songs which take time to grow on me. I have to listen to songs a couple of times anyways before I can say for sure whether I like them or not. April 24th, the Arctic Monkeys are releasing a new EP with 4 previously unreleased tracks, titled Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys. So... results of my most played list this week are...

No.1 : Santana feat. Steven Tyler - Just Feel Better

No.2 : Elvis Costello - I Want You

No.3 : Arctic Monkeys - When The Sun Goes Down

Monday, April 03, 2006

School Rumble

Harima Kenji is obsessed with confessing to Tenma-chan. Tsukamoto Tenma feels exactly the same... for Karasuma-kun! Well, he doesn't give a damn... Nara Sentarou also likes Tenma, but he's a wimp. Harima mistakenly confessed to Sawachika Eri - the school's princess. She's admired by every boy in school, but has been never confessed to, since they all fear rejection. She's growing fonder of Harima every day. Yakumo, Tenma's younger sister, feels for Harima too, she loves his way with... animals. Hanai-sempai is lovestruck and tries his best to make Yakumo his, to no avail... Ichijou seems weak, but is a pro-wrestler in love with Imadori-kun. He, on the other hand is a perv, who can figure out a girl's cup size simply by looking at her breasts. The list goes on...

Confused yet?

Don't be! Start by watching the magnificent School Rumble anime, running 26 episodes long and its 2 OVA that follow! Then, get ready to feel the craziness and laugh your hearts out with the next season, starting today! Don't feel left out! Learn more about class 2-C 's crazy antics! Will Harima be able to confess his love to Tenma? Will her thick head get that he likes her? What will happen to everyone else in 2-C? And what was all that about a cultural festival showdown between 2-C and 2-D?

Time to make every mouth crack a smile with one of the finest anime series ever! Based on the still running manga by Kobayashi Jin, School Rumble won't let anyone down when it comes to comedy, but will also make you feel about each character and their struggle with unrequited love!

School Rumble 4 Ever!
The first season has won the following awards by the AnimeReactor community:

Best Newcomer 2004
Best Anime Overall 2005
Best Comedy Anime 2005
Best Female Character 2005
Best Male Character 2005

The second season of School Rumble has begun airing today, April 3rd!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Haloscan commenting

commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

So, basically, it's easier for everyone to comment on my posts now! Sorry for all your lost comments though... Didn't quite expect this one... Oh well... Start commenting people!

*slaps everyone* You know I love you all! ;***

Saturday, April 01, 2006

V for Vendetta

I went to see this movie tonight and I must say I give it the thumbs up! Totally! Such a nice plot, how couldn't it be, it's based on the Alan Moore graphic novel of the same title! Nice allegoric images and meanings throughout and a visceral and vehement vexation towards volatile violations! Ok, I just made that last part up xD

The fighter for justice V, wearing his Guy Fawkes mask, has his personal agenda. In a futuristic, post-apocalyptic , dystopian setting of London, the vendetta unfolds...

People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

Remember, remember, the fifth of November, The gunpowder treason and plot. I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.

Viva la revolution!


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