Posts Tagged ‘talk’

The Troll’s Opinion – Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Okay, first of all: Spoiler Alert! This review is full of descriptions of important parts of the movie, so if you haven’t seen it yet, and don’t want to mess up your own experience, do yourself a favor and do not read this. You have been warned.

I admit that I am a person who really believes the hype, unlike what a certain rap song tries to tell me. But when I saw the first teaser for Transformers 2, or Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, I was sold. And after my big brother teased me even more by going to the premiere of the movie in the US, I just had to see it too. So, I grabbed my buddy Daniel, and we went to the movies.

So, in case you can’t be bothered with reading this whole review, let me sum it up for you in the words of the Nostalgia Critic: adequately satisfying. Starting off very good, the film had its moments of random, forced humor and stupid scenes that just didn’t contribute to the movie. So, how did it go, Aki?

Well, as I said, the movie starts off extremely well, showing us how the Autobots that remained on Earth work together with a special military unit called NEST to seek and destroy remaining Decepticons. During an operation in Shanghai, the Autobots and their organic buddies blow up half of the city, and the American government is anything but pleased. Arguing that the Autobots will just draw more Decepticons to Earth, a representative of the President demands them to leave, so that Earth will not become the battlefield for an alien vendetta. Optimus Prime, still being voiced by the awesome Peter Cullen, understands the fear of the humans, but knows that the recent growth of Decepticon activity has a completely different reason, namely the return of the so-called “Fallen”… (insert dramatic music here).

Meanwhile, our protagonist Samuel Witwicky (Shia LeBouef) prepares for leaving to his college in Europe (by the looks of it, I guess he’s studying in Britain). While calling his girlfriend Mikaela (Megan “Hot Piece of Booty” Fox), he discovers a sliver of the Allspark in one of his old, torn-up sweaters. As Sam touches the shard, he is infused with the knowledge of weird, alien symbols, and turns into a complete mindfuck in the coming days. The height of his possession comes during his first astronomy class, and afterwards he paints the walls of his dorm full with the cryptic signs. This seems to draw the attention of a hot co-ed, who turns out to be A FREAKING DECEPTICON! Since when do Transformers take the form of a human?

Oh well, it all turns awesome when the Decepticons start to hunt Sam because of his knowledge, which seems to be the travelling guide to some kind of Sun-sucking machine, which turns the energy of stars into pure Energon, the lifeforce of every Cybertronian. However, the Autobots know what it means when the Decepticons, now clearly lead by the enigmatic Fallen, would blast out the sun: not only would the entire human race be doomed, but the Decepticons would have enough Energon to raise a whole army, even without the Allspark. A thrilling race against time starts, full of explosions, epic battles, a bit of romance and the death of Optimus Prime.

Who-whoa-whoa-what?! Optimus freaking Prime dies? No worries, crying fanboys, he is resurrected, but I was kinda shocked when he was stabbed to death by Megatron (who’s voiced again by Elro…ehh, Mr. Smi…ehh, Hugo Weaving). Even though this is a good twist, I can’t help it but feeling like this movie could have been so much more…

Of course, it had some really awesome stuff. For example, Jetfire is one of the coolest Transformers I have ever seen: old, senile and relying on a walking stick / battleaxe to walk around. Everytime he talked, I had to think of all those Vietnam veterans telling their cruel war stories. Jetfire is even so old, that his transformation looks clunky and anything but smooth! Also, the special effects and combat scenes are off the chain. Just like in the first movie, the fights between gigantic robots, with little human soldiers crawling beneath them look unbelievable epic and awesome. And last but not least, there’s not just one very pretty lady in this flick, but two (even though the second turns out to be some brain-eating killer machine)!

Still, this movie is flawed in several ways, suffering clearly of Sequelilitis. Some of the dialogue just feels crappy and rather weird, and the kid-friendly characters like the twins Mudflap and Skids started to annoy me the second they were introduced. Furthermore, the ending is anything but satisfying, turning Optimus Prime into Ultra Optimus Prime and having him one-shot the Big Bad Evil Guy a.k.a. The Fallen. The directors could have really extened that fight, just to give the viewers a satisfying ending. Believe me, I left the cinema with very mixed feelings.

However, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is not a bad movie, it’s just not as good as its predecessor. The whole movie just doesn’t feel as epic, dramatic and cool, and just lacks the genuine “kick” of the first one. Still, this movie offers enough to be worth its money: it is a firework of special effects, large-scale combat and even a bit of romance and family drama. It’s not a movie for everyone, but most surely one for us guys who just love to pop open a beer, lean back and enjoy the show. Autobots, transform and roll out!

Signed,

Aki

Advertisements

Status Report

Politics? Done.
English? Done.
Spanish? Grrrrr!

Yeah, my exams are going well. But Spanish tomorrow will probably demoralize me, causing a -5 despair penalty on my next Study Marketing check…sigh…

Signed,
Aki

Rounding up

You know what I just realized a few hours a go? I just had my last classes for this academic year…wow. This year went by extremely fast…damn, it seems like yesterday that I got to know the people I would study with for, hopefully, 4 years. All that’s left to do now is surviving two weeks of exams and re-sits, and then I’m more than ready to enjoy one-and-a-half month of relaxation. Six weeks is quite alot, so what would I like to do in that time?

First of all, I want to take the time for reading a good book. It has been quite awhile since I worked my way through a fine novel, even though I enjoy nothing more than finishing my day by reading a few chapters before falling asleep. Also, I should use the spare time to write down some of my ideas, and get a little longer story going. Maybe the summer break is the ideal time to elaborate on my Anthanatos concept?

Second, I would love to take a little trip somewhere in Europe. I have some options, with an attractive invitation to visit Sweden for a while (thanks for that, Joakim!). So, who knows, I might update my blog from there during the break? 😀

And last, but not least, summer break is the ideal time to do something nerdish, just to keep up the reputation. So, anyone who has input on that, just drop me a line. Anything’s possible: from a Stargate SG-1 marathon, to a crazy experimental RPG one-shot.

For now, I’m off to enjoy the evening. I adivce you to do the same, especially with this song I just can’t get out of my head:

Signed,

Aki

P.S.: Yes, it’s a new blog skin. Awesomesauce, righto?

Japantag 2009

One week left until having to endure an entire week of exams, so what does lil’ Aki do? Nope, he’s not studying…he had some off-the-hook fun at the Japantag 2009 in Düsseldorf, Germany!

The Japantag (english: Japan Day) is an annual festival organized by the city of Düsseldorf to celebrate the unique relationship between Germany and Japan (which is about more than just covering each others back in some World War almost 70 years a go). All along the Rhine, you’ll find stands and shows, and to go out with a bang, the day is concluded by an awesome fireworks show.

My personal reason for going to the Japantag, however, is not just my interest in Japanese society and culture, but also my fascination for the strangests hobbies around: Cosplay and Japanese fashion. Now, don’t be scared: I will probably never dress up as some Anime character myself, but I love to so people investing their spare time in creating brilliant and beautiful outfits. I had the chance to marvel at some truly masterful outfits this year, but sadly, my eyes also had to endure terrible pain and agony caused by chubby little girls who felt like dressing up in mini-skirts and far too tight tanktops. I hope that the memory will fade some day…

Anyway, I had a damn good time this year. I had the chance to see people that I hadn’t seen for ages (still, Laura, we still have to meet up again!), laugh about silly jokes, eat gross food and fall asleep at 4 AM this morning with a feeling of pure satisfaction and delight.

Unfortunately, I haven’t received much photos yet, but I can give you this one:

haru markus japantag 2009

Can’t you see, posing is my specialty!

I’ll update this blog as soon as I have some new pictures, so stay tuned!

Signed,

Aki

It’s Fiction Time, it’s Fiction Time, won’t you have some Fiction of mine!

(Author’s note: the following piece of fiction is a bit older, I think that I wrote it about half a year a go some where late in the night. I just had to get some things out of my head, and somehow, it took the form of a piece of fiction about two girls having quite an intense talk. The way it ends is not the way I intended it to end, but that’s just a good example of fiction can get a life of its own!)

Nothing compared to this. Not to this moment, not to this smell, taste and sound. It was like the origin of beauty framed unto this very moment. It was impossible to describe, but yet impossible to deny. It was the very cause, and use of life rushing through her veins.  But beyond this glorious feeling, this unnatural beautiful sweet scent of female skin was the bitter taste of loss and long gone days. And she knew why.

“You know this is good-bye” she whispered. The reply of her love followed, about half a minute later.

“It does not have to be. We can…”

“No. No we can’t. Not after what you did. I cannot give you…” But she could not finish her sentence. Once again, the soft lips of Tara touched her. It was exactly this soft touch that enthralled Diana merely two month ago. It was what showed her the very meaning of love, devotion and passion. But this fire of love and lust had been extinguished, by cold and harsh rain. It was ironic that the woman, who ignited the fire, was also the one that called for this tragic thunderstorm.  Diana stepped away from Tara, breaking loose from the warm arms of her love.

“Do not even try to make me forget about it! I cannot! I will not!” she screamed, with tears in her eyes. A lonely gust swept around her feet, as the word left her lips. Tara stared at her with a blank face. Another paradox: in one moment, Tara was the most passionate person in existence. And in the other, she was so cold, so solid. Like the cliffs at the coast of England they saw together during the holidays. The cliffs they looked at, while they confessed their love to each other. Those white, yet lonely cliffs. Was it all meant to be? Was it meant to be, that Diana’s heart would be lonely, once again? Like the cliffs at the coast of England?

“And again, you are the one being a drama queen. It was just a little mistake. I was drunk, and Isabelle looked so gorgeous…” Gorgeous? GORGEOUS?! Diana could not hold herself anymore. Tears streamed down her cheeks, and she balled a fist. This terrible cocktail of anger and depression started to take hold of her, but she did her best to not lose herself.

“Do…do you know how you broke my heart when I saw you two making out…in OUR bed?!”

“Look, I do not have time for this. I still have things to do, you know?”

Things to do. THINGS to do. Things.

“Yeah, I guess that you still have things to do. Like listening to how I will break this relationship in two, in this very moment.” Did she just really say that? Diana could not believe her very own words. It was like someone else was speaking through her, like the ghosts of the times gone spoke through a medium. The blank stare on Tara’s face turned into one of surprise, and then into a grim visage of disgust. Then, Tara stepped forward on her slender, beautiful feet. She stroked her left index finger across Diana’s right cheek, as she strode past her.

“You know you cannot live without me. I am your addiction, I am your cause. You cannot leave me.” Tara was right. Diana could not leave her. She tried once, but she just came back, crying. She tried twice, but she just came back, crying. And now, she tried for the third time. And she felt how she would fail another time.

“I will leave you, Tara” Diana said, as Tara had just opened the door of the tiny, downtown apartment. Tara closed the door immediately, and Diana turned around to look into Tara’s surprised, and somehow confused eyes.

“You will no longer control me” Diana continued, and grabbed her mobile phone. She pressed some buttons, but did not press the green button. The green button that would call Maren, her ex-girlfriend.

“You know who I will call, right?”

“Maren Simmons” Tara replied.

“You know her all too well, right? What was the reason for your hate towards her? Oh, yes! She dumped you, after you cheated on her. How that must have broken your tiny, cold heart.” Again, Diana could not believe what words had just left her mouth. But somehow she liked how the sound of those vocals changed the expression on Tara’s face over and over again. It was like the very vibration of her vocabulary pulled and pushed the muscles in Tara’s face around, like a puppet master pulling on the strings of his marionettes.

“If you dare to…”

“She already awaits my call. All I have to do is to say I am free for the night, and we will have a most exquisite night with champagne, cheap action movies and philosophical talks. All. Without. You.”

All. Without. You. Diana liked to play the part of the ice-cold slut. It gave her the feeling that she was the one in control of this. It changed the entire distribution of roles in this macabre play, like the director had a sudden change of mind. But some actors start to really like their part, and turn into something akin a monster when someone takes their script away. And that was just what happened to Tara. She lunged forward, and slapped Diana in the face, followed by a punch to the stomach. Diana winced, but reacted by grappling Tara, and throwing her to the ground. She pushed Tara’s shoulders tightly to the floor, and both girls stared at each other with a wicked, yet desperate glare.

“You cannot leave me. Remember all the good times we had. All the moments we shared. Remember our love weekend in Paris, as we had a pick-nick under the Eiffel Tower? And how we danced next to the Seine, enthralled by the sparkles of light in the water?” Tara whimpered, and tears rolled down her face. Crocodile tears. Diana knew these fake, yet sweet drips of despair. But she also knew for what end these tears were. And she would not fall for them another time.

“But I also remember the times you left me outside alone. When I needed you most, you were not there. No, you had to party with your friends. When I could have used your shoulder to cry on, you just told me that I should not be such a twat and stop crying. And every time you got me far enough to leave you, you looked at me again with those eyes…”

Yes, those eyes. The mix between an emerald green and arctic blue was so pure, so unique, neither men, nor women could deny the natural perfection. Those eyes were meant to entrance, were meant to enslave. Especially to enslave.

“Give me another chance, my fair Diana and you can look as long as you want into these eyes. If you want, you can look into them forever.”

Forever.

Forever.

How did she do it? Moment ago, Diana felt so strong. She was on the best way to tell Tara to go fuck some wild whore on some dirty pub toilet and leave her the fuck alone, and now she moved her lips closer to those of Tara. And before she knew it, they were once more entangled in a kiss of beauty and perfection, but also an expression of addiction and slavery.

As they lay on the floor kissing, Diana realized how weak she was. She realized how much she was like those cliffs at the coast of England. Bound to the most beautiful thing on earth, meant to never leave, meant to never change.

And meant to be lonely. Forever and ever.

Is God nothing but a particle?

So, last night I went out with Daniel and Britt to see Angels & Demons, the wide-screen version of the famous novel by Dan Brown. Even though many of my friends warned me, and told me to rather see something else a bit more nerdy, I was more than pleased. The pace of the movie is fast, and doesn’t leave you bored in your seat while also learning something about Catholic history (including some semi-true stuff).

The movie got me thinking however, because of that one part where science and religion are compared to being just two different languages describing the same thing, and how they can co-exist. I’m wondering…is that truly possible? Can two completely different things co-exist, or even merge into one single being, a kind of belief in Divine Progress, or Holy Technology? Well, I think that such a thing is possible.

Let us look at the roots of modern science, and especially chemistry and physics: Ancient Greece. Way back, Greek philosophers tried to find explanations for why things work like they…well, work. One of the earliest concepts of chemistry, which would also be the foundation of the later created Alchemy, was born: the transmutation of different elements. Empedocles stated that all of creation was based on the four elements Fire, Water, Earth and Air. Later philosophers added an element that held these four together, named Aether. These elements could transform into each other, and be reborn as another one. This is not too different from modern-day chemistry, even though our modern periodic table of chemical elements contains 117, instead of just 4 (or 5) elements.

However, this view was not purely scientific. Philosophers used it as the foundation of their own belief, of their view on how the Gods worked their wonders on Earth. In addition, they saw their “science” as a way of mimicking these powers, and doing something of god-like proportions. In their ancient society, science and religion were not like two different polarities. No, they were more like two sides of the same coin.

However, in time, some philosophers became scientists, and others priests. The first group tried to understand the world in a more…empirical way. A way based on the perception of the world around us. The second group, however, put their faith into something that cannot be explained by scientific means or whatsoever. They started to believe that some things cannot be explained by pure observation and codification: some things were meant to be uncomprehendible by the human mind. And so, these once united spirits drifted apart.

And we all know how that ended: ideologies collided, people got mad about what other people said, some people got burned, others got exiled, and from time to time the occassional church got burned and university got blamed for creating anti-Christian academics. But imagine what we could have achieved if science and religion, no wait, science and FAITH would have combined their forces, and united the world on a whole new level?

Science is the tool that expresses mankind’s need to evolve, to strife for the next big thing. It is in science where a human can break the boundaries of his body and mind. Look at what our modern science can do: fight diseases on a molecular level, create power sources that are near infinite and bring humans into space. These things are wonderful and good, but people still need guidance. Is our path the right one? Will we find ascension at the end of the rocky road? In comes faith…

Faith is another tool, a tool used by humans to give them support in things they cannot completely comprehend. Science can create wonders, but some things are just not yet achievable. Faith can give the inner strength to those who need, to those who need a higher concept to guide them. See it as an outline, a rough blueprint you build your dreams and ideas on. A blueprint which can be the final spark of imagination needed to create the next scientific wonder…

So I ask you, die-hard scientists who deny the existence of all divinity, to look into yourself and witness how often you have asked yourself “Why?” and couldn’t find an answer in your quantum physics. You might find one in faith.

And I ask you, stubborn fanatic zealot, to drop your shield of belief and your monopoly on the truth. Look at what answers mankind has to all the questions your holy book or local preacher has. Just try to embrace them, and weave them into your “divine construct”.

Don’t worry lads. In the end, God will neither be an old man chilling on some cloud, nor will it be a single particle that is at the core of every atom. No, fellow readers, because in the end…science, faith and divinity is what you make out of it.

I wish you all a good night.

Signed,

Aki

A gathering of geeks

I’m off to Cologne for…the Role Play Convention (short RPC), Europe’s biggest role-playing games convention. I’m totally excited, because its my first time there, but I already have a checklist of things I have to check out:

  • EA: I heard that BattleForge is a nice attempt at combining RTS with MMO-elements…sounds like a game for me! Also, Dragon Age Origins (from the unbelievable fantastic studio BioWare) looks AND sounds great.
  • Codemasters: I’m not just checking them out to see how Lord of the Rings Online is doing, but also to get a glimpse on Jumpgate: Evolution.
  • The European publisher of Magic: the Gathering will have a stand. Just for nostalgia’s sake, I’ll drop by to see how the mother of my fascination for playing cards is doing.
  • Upper Deck is also in Cologne, presenting both the World of Warcraft TCG and Collectable Miniatures Game. I don’t have a choice, I have been infected with Blizzard-o-phillia for many years now, and the siren calls of Night Elves, Orcs and promises of blood and glory will probably lure me to this stand.
  • Last but not least, several German table-top role-playing games publishers have taken their positions in the Koelnmesse: Pegasus Spiele (the publisher of the German “Call of Cthulhu” and “Shadowrun”), Nackter Stahl (“Arcane Codex”), 13Mann Verlag (brough “Traveller” to Germany again) and the Heidelberger Spieleverlag (their stand might change my mind about “Dark Heresy”. Who knows, I might come home with a copy of the core rulebook…)

Also, the RPC will be my chance to see a bunch of nice people again, and I’m sure this Saturday will be totally awesome-o-saurus. I might collapse of exhaustion at the end of it, but it will be worth it!

Sunday will be all about studying for my European Science test coming Tuesday. Let’s see how that will turn out.

That’s it for today, fellows.  You’ll make sure to come back for my full coverage of the RPC this weekend. Otherwise, I will have to kill kittens. MANY of them.

Signed,

Aki