Song of the Day: Talamanca – Final Destination

April 16, 2017 Leave a comment

This track is so good it redefines the liquid drum & bass genre. Talamanca is one of the best progressive EDM artist of this time. I’m glad I purchased his album.

Categories: Music Tags: ,

movie review: The Case for Christ

April 16, 2017 Leave a comment

When I first saw the trailer, my immediate thoughts were “oh great, another Christian movie that’ll most likely be awful.” Let’s be honest here, a lot of them are just plain terrible. Only handful of them are good such as Ben-hur, Passion of the Christ, and Hacksaw Ridge. The fact that so many awful Christian movies exist makes the community look bad and embarrassing. I went to a Willow Creek service to see Lee Strobel get interviewed by pastors and said they already saw the movie and thought it was pretty good. Of course that did nothing to change my skepticism because it sounds biased. Lee admits how terrible Christian movies can be but assures this won’t be bad. So I decided to give the movie a chance before immediately writing it off. So how does The Case for Christ stack up? It’s actually quite decent!

I knew of The Case for Christ book for many years since I own a copy of it, but shame on me for not reading it (yet). What really caught my interest was Lee’s desire, as an atheist, to debunk the existence of Christ and the faith. The story starts when his wife became a christian after a friend sharing the gospel with her. This enrages him because this new purpose of life his wife found is taking away her away from him. It’s actually amusing of him to think that she’s cheating on him for Jesus. So there begins a journey of Lee, as a professional journalist, to seek the origins of Jesus trying to find loopholes to prove Christianity wrong that it’s nothing more than a cult. Long story short, he finds enough solid irrefutable evidence that concludes God does exist, Jesus is the real deal, and converts to the Christian faith. There’s a certain theme in this movie that does a fine job depicting truth. When someone looks into a case with presupposition or bias, that prevents them from seeing the whole picture.

Yes, I’m quite surprised the movie was pretty good. Some scenes were well shot especially the cathedral where Lee walks in. The acting was decent throughout. No one annoyed me. The pacing was consistent. Aesthetically, I’m not too sure about this. It takes place in the 1980s so there were some questionable things like the lifestyles during that time. One scene that nearly teared me up was the father and son relationship of Lee and his pops. It’s a very relatable thing for me since I struggle that same issue. What’s interesting is, I never knew that most well known atheist had either abusive fathers or were abandoned by them. This was addressed in the movie by a psychologist Lee meets in the 3rd act of the movie.

As for my criticisms, nothing major but some personal nitpicks. First is how watered down this movie is compared to what Lee’s testimony really was. He described himself as a profane drunkard who would come home and kick a hole in the wall making his wife and kid cry. I guess they really wanted to keep the PG rating in order to make this movie friendly enough to the youngsters. 2nd, I really wish they went into more detail of the evidence that was shown here, but that would run the risk of info dumping making the movie dry and boring. Nonetheless, it went straight to the point. I’ve heard some criticisms about scenes not actually happened in real life, such as Lee’s family in the restaurant incident in the beginning of the movie. Now I haven’t read the book so I have no clue. Whether this was true or not is irrelevant to me because it’s dramatized and the main focus is the investigative journey. For the sake of the script, there had to be a catalyst to get the plot going. There’s not a single movie based on history or biography that’s 100% accurate. If it was, I doubt anyone would had the attention span to sit through the entire thing. Heck, this even includes fictional book movie adaptations.

Other than that, I think this movie is worth the watch at least once, whether you’re a Christian or not. It dwells straight into the apologetics without too much detail. I don’t think it’s that good of a movie to own but it does deserve a recognition for being one of the better Christian movies out there.

Rating: 7/10

 

Here’s a hilarious review from David Wood. Watch it!

Categories: christian, movies, review Tags:

movie review: Ghost in the Shell

April 1, 2017 Leave a comment

Before I give my thoughts, here’s a disclaimer. I went into this movie without any presupposition or expectations. I believe it’s fair to judge a movie by its own merits rather than comparing it to its original source. Because going to see a movie with those preconceived mindset will automatically disappoint viewers. With that out of the way, let’s dive into this.

+Jaw dropping beautiful cyberpunk world
+Cinematography
+Memorable soundtrack
+Shelling sequence
+More personal story of Major
+Mostly well good action scenes
+Great cast especially Scarlett Johanson and the guy who played Batou
+Interesting first antagonist
+Kenji Kawai’s famous track used in the end credits.

-End villain is just another Hollywood typical corporate bad guy
-Psychological theme of human and AI identity ditched after the 2nd act
-Some CG looks prerendered such as the underwater scene with jellyfishes in the background
-A certain action scene that involved super bright flashing stun batons almost gave me a seizure
-Aramaki’s acting wasn’t convincing

So yes, my first impressions came out good overall! I don’t think I’ll go pay to go see it again but I do recommend seeing it. Whether or not you’re a fan of the franchise doesn’t matter. It depends how open minded you are with how this movie turned out. And just throw this out there, I’m an Asian person myself and I have no problems with the casting here especially when the movie’s world is built upon a cyberpunk setting.

Rating: 7/10

Categories: movies, review

music review: the GazettE – TRACES VOL.2

March 12, 2017 Leave a comment

 

SRCL-9336.jpg

In this album, we have the band’s best ballad songs compiled here. At first, I thought this was just another cash grab for the band with no changes to the songs whatsoever but I was wrong. Thank goodness.

My first impressions have been pretty decent. Every song here is rerecorded with some added arrangements and lyrics. Also, every song does not fade out except for ITO. Long time fans of the GazettE will appreciate this album because it’s got oldie songs such as Kare Uta, Reila, D.L.N., and Taion. All the songs here are great.

Now for the bad. This could be a hit or miss with the new recorded sound. It sounds very compressed and thick where as the original has a more balanced sound mixing. This may be because I’m used to the way the original sounded but your mileage may vary. While I love the emphasis put into the drums, it sounds artificial here. Come to think of it, this production is quite similar to Dir en grey’s THE UNRAVELING. My favorite GazettE ballad is PLEDGE, and to hear that the song butchered here was quite disappointing. Ruki’s voice no longer has that emotional impact that was in the original. The same result happened when I heard Dir en grey’s rerecorded version of THE FINAL. Guren has these children giggling in the background which is kinda creepy. I really miss the piano standout that was in Reila.

I think of this album as another option or a 2nd chance for those who didn’t like the way the original sounded. Either way, it gave me a good reason to listen to the oldie tracks again. Without a doubt, the new Kare Uta will be on my phone.

Rating: 7/10

Categories: Music, review Tags: , ,

Upcoming Gundam Front Tokyo Stuff

March 5, 2017 Leave a comment

Anime News Network

Bandai announced on Sunday that after the Gundam Front Tokyo amusement park closes at the DiverCity Tokyo mall on April 5, The Gundam Base Tokyo complex will take its place this summer. The complex on the mall’s seventh floor will be Japan’s largest one devoted to Gundam plastic models (Gunpla), as well as a “base” for disseminating news and information to Gundam fans.

More News

The anime studio Sunrise announced at Sunday’s closing ceremony for the life-size Gundam statue (pictured below) in Tokyo that a new life-size statue will debut this fall. The new statue will depict the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam from the Mobile Suit Gundam UC anime. The new statue will debut at the site of the current statue, in front of the DiverCity Tokyo mall on the artificial island of Odaiba.

Wow, now I have a good reason to go to Japan this year or the year after. I’ve been hearing rumors left and right about what will happen to the Gundam statue but now it’s confirmed. Not only that, but a Gunpla center? This is exciting stuff. Ideally, I want to visit the country during the spring season so I can see the cherry blossoms but that obviously won’t happen this year. Most likely 2018 will be guaranteed. Hopefully I can find a travel partner who’s open minded enough to go to various places around the country rather than simply staying in the city. 🙂

 

Categories: gundam

Anime I’m Currently Watching

February 28, 2017 Leave a comment

Chain Chronicle: The Light of Haecceitas – This show needs to be an actual video game asap! The potential is so strong in this one. The show had its entertaining value but it had some fundamental flaws. First off, it’s 12 eps total. A show with a huge cast of named characters, how can 12 eps cover all that? 2nd, it starts in the MIDDLE of the story.  What we end up is a rushed product. Good animation though. The world setting is quite ambitious but too little to fully digest. I guess my final criticism is Phoena. She’s the most useless female character ever presented. If you take her out of the story, literally nothing would change. I’m a sucker for fantasy genre anime so it’s such a shame this show didn’t get the treatment it deserves.

GRANBLUE FANTASY The Animation – Another fantasy anime I have high hopes for but I should expect less just so that I won’t end be being disappointed. The high notes on this show is without a doubt, the visuals. The art has this unique hand drawn style that’s got the 90s feel to it. The story though is as generic as it gets. A peaceful village gets involved in an evil empire’s conflict where someone (most likely a female character) within defects and runs away only to encounter someone from that village (your main hero). This is literally in the most basic J-RPG stories in terms of setup. Other than that, I can’t wait for the actual show to start airing in April.

Scum’s Wish – A mature take on high school romance that took me by surprise when the anime adaptation was announced. It’s nice when anime can be this daring such as this. It starts off pretty interesting, then it kinda goes downhill for me as you learn more about the characters. Most of them are unlikeable. Hopefully that’ll soon change.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans 2nd Season – Where the show is currently at, I don’t know who to root for. Seeing Mcgillis’ past in its full form was quite a reveal. With him rising against Gallahorn, Tekkadan is kinda the third wheel of things. I honestly don’t know whether they’ll stay with Mcgillis or go on their own. One thing that annoyed me in the most recent ep is Mcgillis’ character writing. He went from smart and cunning to a fool. I guess that lust for power went over his head.

Seiren – This is a very safe type of innocent romance, ecchi anime. I’m not sure why I’m watching it, but it does reek of Amagami SS. Every 4 eps is a different girl route. It has its  moments. Nothing amazing or bad, just simply entertaining to lighten your day.

Tales of Zestiria The Cross Second Season – Okay, I’m at a loss with this one. It seems that this adaptation is taking on original material contrary to the game. The game however explores certain parts of the story the anime completely glosses over. The two adaptations can’t live on its own. That animation though. Wow!

 

UPDATE:

Holy how did I forget this show?

Konosuba S2 – Anime of the season. One of the best fantasy comedies anime I’ve seen in nearly a year or two. Highly recommended!

Categories: Anime

Song of the Day: Lecrae – Take Me As I Am

February 25, 2017 Leave a comment

When it comes to hip hop or rap music, I’m really picky. Lyrically, it’s one of the biggest reasons I can never get into it long term because of endless cussing and same exact themes of violence, sex, money, and drugs. I’m also really picky when it comes to Christian music since it musically lacks variety. The reason for that is praise lyrics tends to be the main focus. That’s why there’s not much emphasis on the composition or the instrumental techniques, but when it does try to go outside the box, the execution falls flat making it sound unappealing. I knew about Lecrae for some time but never really bothered to listen to any of his songs until I watched a documentary that used one of this songs for the ending credits. This is actually pretty good. Really good! The rap style reminds me of Tupac. The beats sound great and the lyrics are meaningful and emotional. Looks like I’ll have to do some discography search ups for Lecrae. 🙂

Categories: Music Tags: ,