Monday, June 30, 2008

Have I wiped the internet or something?

Since the Cataclysmic Computer Crash of Twenty Oh Eight, the Internet has been very strange... Apple and I are having problems letting me re-download the purchases I lost (to their credit, they acknowledge there's an issue and they're working on it -- meaning, they're not blaming me and saying "Tough!"), I had a problem activating a brand new copy of Final Draft (got that worked out, too, but I had to actually, like talk to a live person oh em gee), and I just tried posting a comment to someone's blog recommending they watch Eddie Izzard (that goes for all of you, too) and it said I had to register when I was already signed in...
I've got several movies to review, but I'm in the middle of editing together something for work so I am a tad bit busy, but I promise I will write something more in depth, but here're the basics:
Wall-E : Adorable, beautiful, and wonderful.
Wanted : Great action, "plot" poorly written, I really wanted to smack James McAvoy. Angelina was great, but her arms are just so small...
Get Smart : Cute, laughed more than I thought I would, but it's no Mel Brooks joint.
The Fall : Beautiful and sad, yet hopeful.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Finally, a bit of good-ish news!

I received a rejection notice today from WILDsound, which was running a TV spec script contest. The good news about it is that I'd made it to the finals and that the only thing that prevented me from winning was that the script got a little muddled at the end according to the (omigod for real) feedback in the rejection.

The spec script was for Masters of Horror and called "Your Own Personal Hell." Of course, Masters of Horror doesn't exist any longer (it's been shifted from Showtime to NBC under the moniker Fear Itself), but it did when I sent it out.

I guess I need to take a little longer between completion and editing to give me more distance to be objective. Resurrection Man was pretty much the same except that it only made it to the semi-finals (of Slamdance's horror script competition) whereas this one made it all the way to the finals.

You know what, though...even though I know there's a problem with the ending of a story, I get so caught up in it when I rereading for editing that I think, "That ending's not so bad after all!" Then I think about it later and say to myself, "Uh, yeah it is..." But then I go back and reread it and it's the same thing all over again.

So, while a rejection notice, this one has certainly lifted my spirits! I think I'll keep that one on top of the pile of rejections pinned to my wall for a while...just to remind me, y'know?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Catastrophic Computer Failure; or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Restore.

It had to happen eventually... This computer is seven years old and other than a couple of Blue Screens of Death and a spate of restart problems a few years ago, it was doing well. Sure, it had slowed down considerably, but with seven years worth of crap on the hard drive, it was inevitable.
Then, I come home from a day shift on Wednesday to find that my system file had corrupted.
All (that was not on my recently purchased external hard drive) was lost.
Kinda sucks.
Luckily, I did purchase the aforementioned external hard drive not too long ago for just such an occassion and did manage to put the important things on there such as my stories and photos and stuff. And I did backup my iTunes purchases onto disc a couple of years ago. I hadn't purchased much since then so I wasn't too freaked out, but I did buy three audiobooks (Red Dragon read by Chris Sarandon -- abridged, Carrie read by Sissy Spacek -- unabridged, and The Dune Audio Collection where excerpts of Dune were read by Frank Herbert.) However, the backup disc doesn't work and I don't have all of my purchases on my iPod as it's only 4 GB. The audiobooks aren't on there because there's not enough room for them and all the music I like to have on hand.
I've emailed Apple hoping they can help me out. I thought they had a one-time only type dealie where if you had something happen, as I did, they'll give you back your entire library. If it happens again and you didn't back up, then you're pretty much SOL. I haven't heard back yet, but I really hope they'll help me the very least with the audiobooks. Those three audiobooks were awesome, especially the Dune one because I'm a big Dune geek and hearing the author read it, even if he was a little dry, was amazing. Chris Sarandon's reading of Red Dragon, the phenomenal book that introduces Dr. Hannibal Lector (or Lecktor if you want to be picky), is unforgettable and Sissy Spacek's Carrie was so much fun to listen to not because I think it's a happy go lucky story (which it's not, of course), but because it's her reading it. I'd gotten them for the late nights cleaning and building before and during the film festival.
What's really going to suck is the time that will be dedicated to re-ripping CDs to iTunes. Thankfully, I haven't thrown any of them out, but I love music. I have lots of CDs. I have just about every Stevie Nicks era Fleetwood Mac CD AND her solo work. This is going to be fun...
As for everything else, I'm really not that concerned. It sucks that I had to pretty much start over with my computer -- seven years of accumulation is a lot of stuff -- but if I don't know it's missing, I guess I won't miss it since it's gone. And, on the bright side, my computer does seem to be happier...if not substantially lighter, but oh well.
I have movies I should review, but I think I want to start loading my CDs into iTunes first...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Hammer Fell in Jerusalem (Blog Like It's the End of the World 2008)

This is the first opportunity I've had to breathe all day, much less think about what is going on.
I'm not even at home...I'm writing this on my cell. The phone lines are swamped. Yay internet.
Even through the thick concrete walls of the booth, I can hear the newly-religious chanting and praising a God they didn't believe in twelve hours ago, hoping for an eleventh hour reprieve from the chair. I hate to tell ya this, but this is the thirteenth hour and we're all fucked. This is the Apocalypse and no amount of praying will stave off that which will be revealed.

We were sitting at home, I had a few hours before work and mom and I were watching teevee, when the announcement broke that a big earthquake had rocked Jerusalem. I remember thinking that was strange because I didn't know that there were many, if any, fault lines there, but was obviously wrong. I'm no scientist or geologist, y'know? But that's when the reports started getting weird...
For an hour, anchors in the Middle East had no words for what was happening so they let the video do the talking: shapeless forms and shadows were moving through the nighttime streets, there were explosions and screams, and panicked prayers sent up to an apparently deaf God.
After that first hour, I guess the producers at the news channels were worried that their viewers would start tuning out and they switched their coverage to something far more important and exciting, like an update on Brangelina's twins.
A couple of hours later, just as I was getting ready for work, the emergency broadcasting system was activated, but no further information was given. We went outside and saw that our neighbours were packing up their things and getting the hell out of Dodge. I tried to get someone to tell us what was going on, but no one would. Two gringas aren't worth the loss of time.
Inside, I could hear mom talking to Shawn over the phone. I walked back in and started to pack up bottles of water and food, whatever supplies we could carry. I heard mom close her phone then she came into the kitchen, her face pale, almost ashen, and asked her what was going on.
Shawn had told her what a couple of friends of his, who were vacationing in Jerusalem, saw. They weren't far from ground zero of the earthquake, staying at a hotel maybe five miles away. The quake woke them up, he said, and they went to their balcony and felt some kind of a shockwave. They said it was like a huge hammer had fallen.
After the shockwave passed, the air felt very weird. Heavy, they said, and foreign, like air that's been sealed up in a tomb for thousands and thousands of years.
Then they heard shrieks.
They told my brother that they'd never heard anything like it before, that the very sound chilled them to the bone.
They didn't have much more information than that. They slammed the doors of their balcony shut and ran into the bathroom to hide. He said that they said that whatever made that sound wasn't human.
At that point, they got cut off and Shawn made the decision to call us and tell us to get ready to go and that he'd be there to get us in half an hour.
When Shawn finally arrived and we were all packed up, we tried to think of someplace to go. But where do you go to outrun the Apocalypse? I thought the theatre might be a good place...or more specifically, the Projection Booth because of the concrete and the fact that you need a key to get up there. It's been about six hours since I showed up for my shift during the Apocalypse, but not to run shows. It's comfortable up here, but we can't stay here forever, not with the way the Zealots are calling for expiation. By the sounds of it, they're finding plenty of blood to spill in the name of their new Gods.
None of the reports I'm getting from various friends are any better. They've seen what's been Revealed, the Worlds Between Worlds. It's the Devil's playground for the next thousand years and we're His toys to do with as He sees fit...
© 2008 Kimyoo Films

*** This was written (on my cell phone!) for the second annual Blog Like It's the End of the World Day Friday the 13 of June, 2008. I had problems sending it from my phone to my site which is why it's WAY late in stead of just late. I did zombies last year and wanted to do something I find just as compelling and interesting: the End of Days (especially when there's religion involved, but plain ol' armageddon is good, too. By the way, if you follow that link to my LiveJournal, make sure you start from the bottom -- that would be the first Blog Like It's the End of the World post.) ***

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A meme I couldn't resist that goes a long way in showing off how geeky I am...

This is a meme currently going around LiveJournal. Since it's about zombies, my favourite screen monster, I couldn't resist.
You are in a mall when the zombies attack. You have:
1. one weapon.
2. one song blasting on the speakers.
3. one famous person to fight alongside you.*
* Weapon can be real or fictional; you may assume endless ammo if applicable. Person can be real or fictional.
1. one weapon.
(real) You know, everyone chooses guns. Not only that, they choose big guns with massive firepower. I say: guns run out of ammo and aren't built for bludgeoning so bugger what the meme says about "endless ammo." There are no codes for endless ammo in Real Life. Give me a blade, man. Nothing too heavy, either. A katana is nice and light and you look like a badass decapitating ghouls even if you have no sword skills (not unlike me!).
(fictional) know, like in Final Fantasy because then I'd have a gun AND a blade. One of those is ginormous, though...but since we're going with fictional weapons, maybe I have fictional strength to match! Or a lightsaber...but I have a problem using things I can't fix (in a zombie apocalypse scenario.) True, I can't fix a blade, but a blade would be easier to maintain than a lightsaber with those off-planet crystal thingies and knobs and stuff.
2. song
"Get Your Body Beat" by Combichrist.
3. one famous person (dead or alive) to fight alongside you.
(real) Easy. Jackie Chan. I thought about putting Tony Jaa here, but his main move is elbows to the head and that's a little TOO close combat. He'd get bitten in his first attack and then there goes my backup. Jackie can use the entire environment as his weapon and once we've eradicated the zombies, because we'd totally kick zombutt, he can tell me behind-the-scenes stories of his movies.
(fictional) Not so easy since I watch a lot of badass cinema. All of the easy picks aside (the survivours of Romero's Dead Cycle for one...) I'd want someone like Beatrix Kiddo or Invisible Girl (a Michelle Yeoh character, not the Fantastic Four chick.) Coffy. Mace Windu (c'mon, Samuel L. Jackson AND mad blade skillz?) Snake Pliskin. Jack Burton. R.J. many awesome characters has Kurt Russell played anyway? Roland Deschain. Paul Muad'dib. Ripley. The list of possibilities goes on and on!
Speaking of zombies, have you ever assessed your workplace's zombie safety and preparedness? I have because I'm weird like that.
I used to work at a video store. The whole front was glass, and there was a little used backdoor, but had zombies broken out, it wouldn't have been the safest place to hunker down. I also worked at a bookstore. Also crap for survival. No weapons and no food.
But the theatre...specifically the projection there's a good place to hide. My friend Shawn also worked for the same theatre and brought up the booth as a safe hiding spot, but it's gotten even better because they've moved the stock to the locked room. At the time he worked there, the booth would be great for hiding, but you can't eat film and survive. Now, at least there would be food even if it's candy. And, there's a locked roof hatch. If you're nimble enough, you can use it to get to the parking garage as a means of escape should zombies somehow manage to infiltrate your defenses.
Projection booths also have weapons. Well, make-shift weapons. Exploding xenon bulbs and lots of metal and motors and heavy things. Great place to get weapons that will get you through until you find the real thing.
Personally, in the event of a Zompocalypse, I wouldn't want to stay any place too long. Long enough to rest, maintain my equipment, and decide where I'm going next. No place is truly ideal (boats are like basements and islands and only to be used as a last resort) because in the end, one of them always gets in. Then there's the Romero-fact that when you die, unless you put a bullet in your brain you come back. Logan didn't come back in Romero's Day of the Dead, that we saw anyway, but in the director's cut of Land of the Dead, the suicide-by-hanging did and that was an indetermine amount of time after Day.
As far as zombies are concerned, I take Romero's word as law because running zombies, like those in Return of the Living Dead or the Dawn remake, are too scary to consider. For serious.
If you look at the side of the blog (and scroll down a bit), you'll see a carousel of movies. I'm a capitalist and need capital to ist and a portion of the proceeds from sales of those movies come to me. I'm working on one for books and one for video games, but that particular widget is ginormous, but won't let you have too many things to spin around. I'm just experimenting so don't feel compelled. :D