Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Balto (1995)

balto, disney cartoons"The true story of an American Hero"

Balto -- Balto is a canine, half-husky and half-wolf to be more exact, who is known for his heroic act of saving children in Nome, Alaska by bringing them the medicine that they need despite the weather. He leads a group of huskies in a 600-mile trip across Alaska to get the supplies. The story of Balto really happened back in the 1920s and has inspired a lot of people because of what he did.

Balto was an outcast just because he was different from all other huskies: he was half-wolf. I think a lot of people, both kids and grown-ups, can relate to this situation. How Balto was able to manage it was really extraordinary. He was able to make friends, but with the weirdest, truest and most loyal lot (a bunch of animals that included a goose and a mother and child polar bear). He was finally accepted by the town through his heroic and self-less act of bringing supplies to save the children.

The movie made me cry in the end. Happy tears, mind you. I'd make my kids watch this (if I have kids) because they'll learn a lot about values that should be applied by every human being here on earth. You'll get to learn acceptance, respect, understanding, compassion, loyalty, sacrifice and being self-less. I think everyone needs these things.

Balto is one of my favorite Disney movies ever. When I was young, I kept wishing I had a companion (not a pet) like Balto. Hmmm... maybe I should buy a husky and name him Balto instead ^_^

Monday, July 30, 2007

When there's something strange in your neighborhood...

the real ghostbusters"Who you gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS!!"

Ghostbusters -- Remember (L-R in the picture) Winston, Ray, Peter and Egon? Slimer and Janine? Well if you do, then you grew up during the 80s and Ghostbusters was part of your daily (or weekly) TV schedule.

For those who aren't aware, The Real Ghostbusters was a cartoons series based on the 1984 film of the same title, minus "Real". The Ghostbusters are in charge of cleaning up the city from paranormal entities by catching ghosts with their proton packs and trapping them in ghost traps where they will all be transfered to the containment unit back in HQ.

The Real Ghostbusters series follows the lot and their day-to-day proton-blasting adventures. It's really fun watching them catch all those ghosts (and sometimes, those ghosts get away and you wait for the Ghostbusters to re-capture it). They had cool weapons and even cooler transportation that they all make themselves.

Oh right, who are Janine and Slimer? Well, Janine's the loyal secretary in the Ghostbusters' HQ. She handles all calls regarding ghosts and tells the callers if the Ghostbusters are available and whatnot. She also does paperwork..well all the stuff normal secretaries do. She's amazing, being able to handle 4 guys and a lot of ghosts. Speaking of ghosts, Slimer is one. He was captured by the Ghostbusters but things happened (and I won't tell what -- spoilers) and he ended up being like the Ghostbusters' pet/mascot. He loves food and he's green and slimy...make the connection with his name ^_^

I definitely recommend Ghostbusters to anyone and everyone no matter what age group you belong to. Ghostbusters is for everyone. It has action, drama, adventure, humor, creeps - you name it! The Real Ghostbusters is a cartoon classic, so if you have kids and you grew up watching it, why not share it with your children? ^^,

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Mysteries of the Ancient World: Devane, McGavin, Weaver

nostradamus, mysteries of the ancient world, documentary, dvdMysteries of the Ancient World is a documentary about the mysteries of the world. A very long video for those who aren't interested in this area, but it would be a very fun watch for those who are. Imagine, 6 hours of non-stop Mysteries of the Ancient World!

<-- This isn't Devane, McGavin nor Weaver in case you're wondering. That's Nostradamus, the famous guy from so long ago who looked at a black mirror and supposedly saw the future. Nostradamus is one of the "topics" in the Mysteries of the World documentary. (How Nostradamus saw the future in that black mirror is a mystery to me.)

Mysteries of the World also talks about other mysteries like the pyramids in Egypt - how they were made, their purpose... The famous Shroud of Turin also has a segment here as well as Noah's Ark, the greatest miracles and history's greatest secrets.

I've always wondered about these things and the books on them are either insufficient or they're worth all the gold in the world. I like history a lot so this is a good opportunity to get researched, learned and scholarly theories about things in our past that cannot be explained or identified. Mysteries of the World is definitely a good watch for people who always think about the what, when, who, why and how of the things that have existed way before any of us could remember.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

are you afraid of the dark, tv show, dvdAre You Afraid of the Dark? was a series that aired in Nickelodeon back in 1992. A group of kids who called themselves "The Midnight Society" met every weekend night around a campfire and told spooky stories to each other. Their stories' titles usually began with "The Tale of --" and the themes were about ghosts, aliens, haunted objects, curses -- the usual paranormal subjects.

I grew up watching Are You Afraid of the Dark? and I really liked most of the episodes. I say most because some stories weren't really scary and I was basically watching the show to get spooked (a kid my age back then gets spooked easily by these kinds of shows).

I would also recommend Are You Afraid of the Dark? to other people and children because 1) it is a kids' show after all and 2) there are moral lessons at the end of each episode. It's amusing, actually. I used to wish back then that I had my own "Midnight Society".

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Indiana Jones: Harrison Ford

harrison ford, indiana jonesIf there's a movie I'd recommend everyone to watch, it definitely would be one of the Indiana Jones movies...well, better yet, I'd tell them to watch all three Indiana Jones movies.

If you have no idea who or what Indiana Jones is, well, it's a series of movies directed by Steven Spielberg and written by George Lucas. Indiana Jones is played by Harrison Ford who I think is made for the character. He is a whip-wielding archaeologist who is often called by different people for help when they need to find and retrieve artifacts from god-knows-where.

There are three Indiana Jones movies to date:
1) Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
2) Temple of Doom (1984)
3) The Last Crusade (1989)

Each movie has a different story and a different artifact that Indy (short for Indiana) has to look for. In Raiders, he deals with some Nazi who try and steal the Ark of the Covenant. In Temple of Doom, Indy is called to retrieve a sacred gem for an Indian village but he discovers a cult hiding in the village's mines. In The Last Crusade, Indiana is asked to look for the Holy Grail in exchange for the life of his father (played by Sean Connery).

The fourth (and hopefully not final) Indiana Jones movie is coming out May 2008. You don't need to watch the first three movies to understand the fourth one but it's a shame if you don't get to see it. This series of movies will almost instantly become a favorite when you watch it. There's a healthy mixture of adventure, action, drama and comedy that, for me, only Harrison Ford can pull.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fist of the North Star

fist of the north star, anime movie, anime seriesFist of the North Star, or Hokuto no Ken in Japanese, is probably one of the most violent anime I've ever seen. It is violent, but undoubtedly (and surprisingly) amusing.

At the time in the future when the Earth is nothing more but a desolate land, the weak humans are reduced to slavery while the genetically-modified strong ones battle each other for supremacy. Since technology has almost been completely forgotten, these "fighters" use martial arts to gain dominance over the rest.

Don't get me wrong though. Fist of the North Star isn't only about brutal fighting to prove who the strongest man is. There of course is a story underneath all the martial art action. The one on the picture (on your left) is called Ken and he is the successor of the Hokuto school of martial arts. His friend Shin, however, is the successor of the Nanto school of martial arts.

Here are some true or false questions regarding the plot of the anime (get your pens and papers):
1) Are you thinking that this is the usual anime plot where friends fight each other because they're torn between their friendship and their loyalty to their affiliation?
2) Are you thinking that a girl is involved?
3) Are you thinking that it's the usual "friend-steals-girlfriend" reason that's why a war between the two rival schools is unfolding as you sit in front of your TV eating popcorn?

Answer: All are TRUE.
If you got 1 question correct, give yourself a cookie. If you got 2 questions, 2 cookies. 3 questions correct, 10 cookies.

Okay, Shin steals Ken's girlfriend, named Julia, and Ken is out looking for her. I won't tell you what else happens because it would ruin the movie and all so I'd advice you to get a copy. If you love all those gory fight scenes, I'd recommend this one.

Oh, it's not for the faint-hearted.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tales from the Crypt

tales from the crypt, cryptkeeperTales from the Crypt is one of the longest-running TV series ever showed on air, boasting 7 seasons from 1989 to 1996.

What is it about? Well, Tales from the Crypt is a collection of episode-long stories that end with a moral lesson that is presented in a disturbing manner. The storyteller is a ghoul called Cryptkeeper who dons different outfits usually depending on the theme of the episode for the day.

If you aren't the type to get queasy when watching gruesome shows, Tales from the Crypt is definitely worth watching. Besides, it isn't always gross or disturbing... There are times when it's funny too. The stories for each of the episodes are unique and well-directed, plus, they never get boring too.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Ong-Bak: Tony Jaa (2003)

ong-bak, muay thai, thai movieTo fight for the honor of his village, he must unleash the ancient art of Muay Thai: 9 Body Weapons.

Ong-Bak is a Thai movie that any martial art movie enthusiast would enjoy watching.

Ong-Bak -- In a village in rural Thailand, the head of a small Buddha statue called Ong-Bak was stolen by a businessman because of the profits that he could get when he succeeds in selling the statue. The whole village is grief-stricken because it is their belief that Ong-Bak brings them rain and saves them from any danger that might befall the village.

A boy from the village, Boonting (Tony Jaa) was given the task of retrieving Ong-Bak's head in Bangkok. Using his muay thai training, Boonting goes through many difficult tasks and adversaries in order to take back what is rightfully theirs.

What makes me like Ong-Bak does not rely on the story but on the fight scenes. The story can be found in any generic Asian movie about bravery, patriotism and all that. What sets it apart is, as I mentioned, the fight scenes.

Tony Jaa uses the traditional Thai martial arts, muay thai, in creating his fight scenes. How is it different? To quote the creators of the movie, "No computer graphics. No stunt doubles. No wires." Yep, extreme fight scenes without any safety wires, nets and whatnot. That, for me, is the best thing about Ong-Bak that would make you want to watch it over and over again.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Munsters

the munsters, tv show, dvdThe Munsters was aired so long ago (1964 to be exact), it's doubtful that younger people would know them.

The Munsters -- A typical family living a typical life in Mockingbird Lane having the same joys and pains as other people do. Did I say people? I meant monsters. They have the same joys and pains as other monsters do.

What makes The Munsters funny is that they see themselves as normal as normal could be. They go through the same things as their neighbors do, except that their approach and outlook towards these aren't really the same as other people's. Well, they're weird because they're monsters. If you still haven't got the idea, think Addams Family, only subtler in the weirdness department but just as funny.

Meet the Munster Family:

  • Herman Munster - One of Frankenstein's monsters and the father of the house. Frankenstein must have forgotten to put half of Herman's brain in before he was brought to life but despite that, he is a very kind, loving and trusting man.
  • Lily Munster - Herman's wife and daughter of Grandpa Dracula, which makes of course makes her a vampire. She is a housewife who sees to it that her family is always happy. Although she is a good matriarch, she has trouble befriending other women from Mockingbird Lane.
  • Grandpa - Grandpa is the original Dracula but his old age has left him with memory loss and the tendency to become unpredictable. He loves playing practical jokes and he spends his time in his lab concocting anything that he could think of.
  • Eddie Munster - Eddie is Herman and Lily's only son. He is a half wolf, half vampire boy who loves Grandpa's practical jokes and always carries his Woof-Woof stuffed doll.
  • Marilyn Munster - Marilyn is Lily's niece whom has lived with them since she was a baby. She doesn't look anything like a monster, instead, she has the all-American college girl look. She and her family feel sorry because she looks so different but they still love her nonetheless.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Who are Beavis and Butt-head?

Beavis and Butt-head, cartoons, tv shows, movies"I am Cornholio! You will bow down to my bunghole!" - Beavis

Beavis and Butt-head -- For those of you who were (un?)fortunate enough to miss this show, Beavis and Butt-head are from a cartoon series (of the same name) made by MTV.

Beavis is the blond dude while Butt-head's the brown-head. They're teenagers who live in Highland and go to Highland High School.

Each episode of Beavis and Butt-head centered on
their "hobbies" which are almost exclusive to TV, junk food, malls, music, getting wasted and "scoring" chicks. They talk in a language most grown-ups never understand, which almost always began with, "Uhh..." or "Hey, hey..."

Cornholio, cartoons, tv shows, moviesThey watch music videos and criticize the video, the song and the artists. They are known for giving the worst comments and no one is spared from this humiliation. Butt-head can come up with lewd words like "ass-munch" and "fartknocker", which he derives from any normal sentence that he hears. Beavis on the other hand, has an alter-ego called Cornholio who surfaces whenever Beavis takes in sugar or caffeine. Cornholio has a distinctive Spanish accent and he never stops saying phrases like: "I am Cornholio", "I need TP for my bunghole" and "Are you threatening me?"

Beavis and Butthead are no longer aired these days (some attribute it to the controversies surrounding the show), but they will always be icons to the MTV generation who can still recall the boys' antics to this day.

Rainbow Brite

rainbow brite, cartoon, tv showRainbow Brite is probably known only by people who grew up during the 80s.

Rainbow Brite -- During the time when Rainbowland was stripped of color by The Kind of Shadows, a girl named Wisp was brought from Earth by Lady Brite to save the colorful world.

In Rainbowland, she meets and befriends a sprite named Twink who advised Wisp to run away to save herself. Wisp refused and made it her mission to save Rainbowland from The Dark One. Twink agreed to take Wisp with him and during their journey, they found a horse frozen in ice. With the joint efforts of Twink and Wisp, they were able to free the horse, Starlight, who joined them in their quest to save Rainbow land.

During a stormy night, Wisp found a baby and helped it seek refuge in a cave. Inside, Wisp discovered the Color Belt and realized that the baby she rescued was the Sphere of Light. She was able to contact the Color Kids who asked Wisp to rescue each one of them from the seven corners of the planet. Wisp, together with Twink and Starlight, was able to save the Color Kids but they had to face the King of Shadows.

They all fought together, eventually defeating the King of Shadows and Wisp was given a new name: Rainbow Brite. She was given the responsibility of protecting the colors in Rainbow land and later, in Earth and its galaxy and Rainbow Brite gets help whenever she needs it from the Sprites and the Color Kids. Not all the inhabitants of Raibowland are happy with the changes that happened: Murky Dismal and his sidekick Lurky continuously plot to rid Rainbowland of all its colors.

Even if they do so, Rainbow Brite will still save the day!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Fearless: Jet Li (2006)

fearless, martial arts, movies"Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself makes you fearless." - Lao Tzu

Fearless -- The story revolves around the real-life hero, Huo Yuan Jia (Jet Li) who lived during the beginning of the 20th century. He was a fighter who sought to be the strongest among all men in Shanghai in order to bring back his father's glory and their school's reputation.

Yuan Jia fought battle after battle, claiming lives, praises and death certificates until he was betrayed into fighting one of the greatest fighters in the city.

This fight drove him to seclusion, thinking that there is no hope left for him. Yuan Jia drifted to a village in a valley where he met a blind girl who would teach him to overcome his anxieties, develop his Missing Fist Style, discover the true meaning of courage and eventually become fearless.

Yuan Jia goes back to Shanghai where he reconciles with his best friend and decides to set up the Jingwu Sports Federation where he welcomes aspiring fighters and teaches them everything that he has learned. With his growing popularity, Yuan Jia is pitted into an inter-continental fight against the four major countries who are fighting over China. The colossal fight between Yuan Jia and a British boxer, a Spanish swordsman, a Belgian soldier, and a Japanese martial artist that happened in 1910 will forever remain an unforgettable day in Chinese history.