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music review: the GazettE – TRACES VOL.2

March 12, 2017 Leave a comment

 

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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

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movie review: Hacksaw Ridge

November 20, 2016 Leave a comment

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“Please Lord, help me get one more… help me get one more.”

When I heard that line during the scene where Doss solo rescues the wounded men, I was literally on the verge of tears.

Hacksaw Ridge is probably the best movie I’ve seen this year. It’s also the most intense, graphically violent war film I’ve seen since Saving Private Ryan. When those war scenes hit, they hit hard like a high speed truck that suddenly appears right in your face. But more importantly, it’s a very moving story that’s uplifting and inspirational.

This story was actually based on true events. Desmond Doss did save more than 50 wounded soldiers including the Japanese soldiers left behind in the battlefield of Okinawa. And he was 7th Day Adventist christian who became the first conscientious objector.

The first half of the film focuses on Doss’s civilian life and the persecution he faces during his boot camp training. There’s many happy moments with scenes of Doss and his romantic interest Dorothy. It’s actually quite sweet despite of being hokey at times, but this makes Doss a very likeable character. The 2nd half of the film is where the war comes in. Seeing how convicted Doss throughout in the midst of that brutality was incredible.

Thematically speaking, it’s heavy and multilayered. Desmond wants to serve his country while at the same time follow the commands from the bible. In doing so, he puts his faith as priority over the country’s commands. Which comes to a question, while Desmond certainly glories the Lord from his works, would taking a life of an enemy be glorifying to God considering the circumstances? On top of that, Jesus commands us to love our enemies and forgives those who persecutes us. When Jack Glover told Doss that he believes the book as much as he does, Jack still goes out there to fight the war. It’s a tough question that we Christians have to go through. These are just one of the themes that the movie brings up. Although, this is my first time hearing about 7th Adventist Christians, I don’t see any bible verses about not eating meat or worshiping Saturdays. Sounds like a man made rule from certain divisions. But that’s a discussion for another time.

I came out of the theater absolutely stunned. To say I’m still thinking about this movie after a few days really means something. I actually wouldn’t mind if I went to go see it again! Say what you want about Mel Gibson, but you can’t deny his directing skills. Also, all the actors did a splendid job. Not a single one felt like a miscast. Before people start misunderstanding what this movie is, it’s NOT a christian movie but it’s a movie ABOUT a christian who’s strongly convicted with this way of serving. I highly recommend this film whether or not you’re not into war films.

Rating: 9.5/10

Update: Here’s an interesting facts/movie comparison.

http://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/hacksaw-ridge/

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movie review: Doctor Strange

November 13, 2016 Leave a comment

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I knew nothing about Doctor Strange other than knowing it’s a marvel hero.

After seeing this, it’s like a poor man’s Iron Man in terms of formula, except in a breakneck speed without giving us time to properly develop the character. Ever since Civil War, my standards for superhero flicks has risen. It either be on par with Civil War or surpass it. Doctor Strange was as underwhelming and generic as it gets. The plot was nonsensical. Instead of wasting time training Strange, why not have that bald old hag use the men she already has in her dojo? In typical marvel fashion, their villains are weak as their motivations. I can’t even remember their names. The visual effects are the best thing about this movie. It’s like I’m watching Inception on steroids. Of course let’s not forget the acting, Benedict Cumberbatch (I can’t spell his name) fits right in with the character. It’s decently entertaining film, but ultimately forgettable.

Rating: 5/10

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music review: lynch – AVANTGARDE

September 18, 2016 Leave a comment

 

It’s become clear to me that every album lynch releases, they move up the ranks of my top favorite bands. They’re now ranked 5th on my list. One of the things I love about their discography is that all of their song titles are in English. That alone saves me time of retagging their tracks from kanji to romaji. AVANTGARDE is an improvement from their previous work, D.A.R.K.-In the Name of Evil-. The typical lynch fashion of alternative metal with more oomph. More memorable songs here, however there are still filler tracks throughout. If I had to pick a favorite song here, that would be UNELMA. It’s got the same song writing characteristic from abingdon boys school and the style from the GazettE making this a very easy song to get into.

Highlights: UNELMA, PHANTOM, F.A.K.E.

Worthwhile: EVIDENCE, PLEDGE, THE OUTRAGE SEXUALITY, FAREWELL, KILLING CULT

Fillers: DAMNED, PRAYER, NEEDLEZ

Rating: 8/10

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movie review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

August 13, 2016 Leave a comment

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Brief Thoughts

I wasn’t disappointed because I expected it to be bad just as most people said. It’s too long, literally too dark, messy, offensive, and a thunderstorm of trash.

This garbage disrespects the very essence of these heroes by regurgitating them, and shits them out into something written by someone with no prior DC knowledge or script writing. Ban this director from ever making superhero flicks. Kick out Jessie Eisenburg. Keep Ben Affleck as Batman. I’m not going into details on my thoughts but here’s a video review from Double Toasted which I agree with for the most part.

 

I have zero hope for upcoming DC movies. Not even Wonder Woman can save it.

Rating: 2/10

Categories: movies, review

Re-Review: Star Trek Beyond

August 10, 2016 1 comment

Alright, it seems like the reception of this film was much higher than expected which was quite surprising.

I decided to give it a watch again but this time in the “methods” network cuz I ain’t wasting my money the 2nd time on this shit.

Now after seeing it the 2nd time, there’s a review on Roger Ebert’s website, written by someone else obviously, that pretty much summed up my thoughts.

Yes, there’s a promising setup (the Enterprise crew is held hostage by a vicious bad guy who rules a backwater planet a la Kurtz in “Heart of Darkness”). And there are suggestions of classic “Star Trek” style action-plus-characterization-plus-cleverness, and pleasing performances by a cast that has settled into each others’ rhythms, as a real-world naval crew would after years of sailing together.

But the movie never delivers on its considerable promise because it’s always in such a hurry to get to the next action scene.

Star Trek Beyond? More like Star Trek BEGONE!

Compared to my first viewing, my impressions only got WORSE. My initial opinion still stands, however there’s more flaws I noticed on both the technical and the writing. I realized this is another revenge flick considering Into Dumbness was also based on that. The entire middle (snooze) act where the crew was separated had so much back and forth with the scenes cutting to the next separated crew members that there was really no real character moments where I was invested in. The scene with Spock feeling sad for his future self’s death was awkward as hell. The villain’s motivation, which is unbelievably stupid, reveals way too late and too rushed. There’s no remorse for this guy because he’s the bad guy. That’s it. The enterprise getting destroyed AGAIN throughout the trilogy. This one’s rather minor but Sulu portrayed as a gay was unnecessary since he was never gay to begin with in the originals. It was more of a tribute to George Takai. The ONLY thing I liked about the movie was the beginning where the enterprise was traveling in uncharted territories in space, now that’s true to the franchise’s core.

So yes, this movie still sucks. To be honest, I don’t mind if Star Trek takes the action packed route of a film as long as it’s decently written, but the fundamentals of the franchise have to be there. Where’s the build up to the next major scenes or character moments? It’s like watching porn where a dude and a chick undress and immediately cuts to a scene where they’ve already reached the climax without any fucking motion. This movie has so many damn plot holes that it’s an insult to the franchise and my intelligence. Just because it’s science fiction genre doesn’t justify majors plot holes, just putting that out there.

In the end, I wondered, “What’s the point of this movie?” I can’t wait to see HISHE‘s take on this.

New Rating: 2/10

Want a mindless shallow Fast & Furious-type movie in space? This is for you.

Categories: movies, review

movie review: The Big Short

August 8, 2016 Leave a comment

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This movie takes a very boring subject matter and turns it into a very engaging flick that’s based on actual events and ultimately, making you angry at the end of the flick. Initially, I wasn’t interested in this movie even with the list of big name actors, until one of my co-workers told me how good it was. The basic synopsis is financial market crash from the housing mortgage back in 2005. Due to all the financial terminology, I had a very difficult time trying to retain the film’s full understanding but at the same time, it wasn’t hard to follow in a basic story sense. The whole cast did an incredible acting job. Steve Carell stood out to me the most because he plays a character who’s righteously angry at all those corrupt & greedy corps and wallstreet, the type of person I would immediately root for. He’s a like an angry & vulgar version of Bernie Sanders. I personally prefer The Big Short over The Wolf of Wallstreet because of the educational/intellectual value it holds. I highly recommend this movie to everyone.  It will make you think twice before buying a house.

Rating: 9/10

On a personal note… these events affected our family’s financial situation when we bought our home back in 2004. Wondered why we’re broke all the time? THIS happened. My prediction on the next financial market crash would be student loans.

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