Tuesday, December 25, 2012

253. Lights Out

It's curtains for Twenty Twelve. 

The hols are again upon us.

Be merry and all that. 

This was one of those years that I'd count as one of my favs.

Finally, a Champions League win for the Blues. 

Many blessed unions of souls too. 

And best of all, another year passes where I can say things are really cool. Not often that this blog is thankful, but it truly is.

Hope the new year brings more welcome accidents, random encounters and good nights out filled with song and the quan.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

252. Firestorm Dawn

There's this great book I've been writing in my head for the past 21 years. Round and round my mind and my heart it swirls, sometimes manifesting in actual chapters written, most times not. It started as an entirely different tale initially, and it evolved over time and space. I'd like to think that it had a life of it's own.

So what's it about? God knows. All sorts I guess; redemption, renewal, betrayal, conciliation. All that. Will it be epic? Well, in my mind it is. Grand in it's scope and ambition. It's been brewing so long now, most likely because, deep down inside, I know I probably wouldn't be able to pull it off, with my limited powers as it is as a writer that never was. But can I ever be that writer I want to be? Perhaps...not.

The kind of tale I'd like to tell wouldn't be those intellectual books with a lot of symbolism and hidden meaning. Nay, what I'd really love to write is an old-fashioned yarn, one about virtuous and not-so virtuous heroes and diabolical and not-so diabolical villains, with fair and not so fair damsels in distress. In a world where there's black and white, and the varying shades of grey in between. With flawed and doomed protagonists who are sometimes antagonists. Where beginnings are endings, and endings are beginnings. A tale without end. Confused yet? Yes, so am I.

How will it begin? With a prophecy of course. The closing of the circle revealing a new one opening. Set in an alien world that perhaps is not so alien. In a desolate land, probably called the Scorched Lands, which may have been green and lush once. The whisper of prophecy still exists, as what is written centuries old will ultimately come to pass, if there are enough who believe.

It's probably during a time of decay, a passing of an age...the noontide of past glories are soon faded and forgotten, replaced by new ideals and beliefs. As Dylan would say, the times they are a-changin'...true that.

Now, the time may come, if I discover some hidden writer superpowers, that I actually get started on the damn thing and hopefully finish it. It shall be glorious time, oh yes it shall. The birds will sing sweeter and the sun will shine brighter. Milk and honey will flow in the lands, and there shall be fair tidings across for all who dwell therein.

Oh yes indeed.

Monday, October 29, 2012

251. Wrath

"Let grief Convert to anger; blunt not the heart, enrage it,"
- Macbeth (4.3.228-9)

Chelsea went down 2-3 to Manchester United at Stamford Bridge last night. After coming back from 2 goals down, Chelsea had two players sent off before conceding a third goal to United, scored from a player that seemed off-site as replays seemed to suggest.

Torres was sent off for a second yellow card for diving, even as replays showed there was contact.

After the match, Chelsea brought charges for abusive language (with a suggestion that some of it was racial in nature) by the referee, Mark Clattenburg towards two of their players.

Those are the facts of the case. Time shall tell what comes of it.

Till then, good night and good luck.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

250. Truest Grit

My 12 year-old niece whines everyday about having to go to school. About having to go to tuition. About having to do exams. She also whines about not having the latest iPhone and iPad.

When I was her age, I had my share of whinging. Probably not as much, but yeah, I was a right spoilt brat I was. Those days it wasn't about an i-gadget, more like the latest Nintendo game. A Super Contra here. A Ninja Gaiden there. Hell, who can forget the awesome Lifeforce from Konami?

Yep, I wanted 'em all. Those were the sweet days when Nintendo ruled over all...the halcyon days of gaming, if you will. Who can forget Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start.

Anyway, I digress.

If you've been following the story of Malala Yousafzai, you probably know where this is headed. I'll leave you to it.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

249. Alassiel

Stuff...big summertime momma blackjacks, Jared Slabicki, roof jumping, bee hunting, wild quests seeking stone temples, fort making, wood swords made up picket fences, imaginary gang wars, the black corvette...sticky maple syrup, lemonade stands, crushes on multiple Sarahs...halloween parade, sledding, mutant snow men, ice mountains...the Xmas choir...springtime showers, worms, lots of 'em...HW Smith...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

248. The Return of the King

On the Euros and beyond

So Spain were worthy winners, at the expense of my beloved Italy. But who can begrudge a team so talented as them? True, they only hit top form in the final, but there's no one else in Europe, not even Germany, who can match their play when they're on their day.

Italy? Well, until they find a new no. "10" to fill Bobby Baggio's shoes and a "3" to fill Maldini's, this Italy team will continue to be a hard-working and solid team, but sad to say, not quite world beaters. Giovinco doesn't seem up to the task...who else?

Two years to Brazil...might come too soon for Italy, and probably it's one tourney too many for this Spanish team. Belgium, if they mature and get their act together could have a decent run, and probably will be genuine contenders in the next Euros. They have generation unlike no other at the moment...Hazard, Kompany, Vermaelen, Vertonghen, Lukaku, Dembele, Witsel...unless they go all Dutch-like, I'd pick them as dark horses...perhaps a quarter-final finish in the World Cup, and a semi-final run in the Euros.

I still want Messi's Argentina to win it in Brazil, if only because a player as great as him deserves it to get all the hacks off his back. Messi's the greatest there is, and perhaps, the greatest that will ever be.

On Eden Hazard

Stamford Bridge hasn't seen a true king since the halcyon days when Gianfranco Zola reigned over all amongst it's hallowed walls.

Now, the season has thus started...

Spears shall be shaken,
Shields shall be splintered,
A sword-day, a red-day, ere the sun rises!

And a new king be revealed beneath the summer sun. His raiment is blue, as apt for a great knight of the hither lands. He comes forth from glory, and he be joined in glory. And he sings, for his motion is poetry...a poetic song of such singular passion and beauty that it shall move all who witness it to tears...

That is all.

On the Olympics

Brazil and Spain inevitably disappointed. But both Neymar and Oscar look the real deal. Luckily Oscar's off to Chelsea and Neymar's staying in Brazil. Stay there you fool, stay! But if we can't have you, no one else can! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Erm, ok.

Archery is my new favourite sport. That legally blind Korean dude who won it all is totally bad-ass.

I will shoot this arrow up your ass, and I can't even see you
Second to that is volleyball, women's volleyball...the Brazilian women's volleyball team to be precise. And I swear to you that it has nothing to do with one Jacqueline Carvalho who plays for them...

Gold goes to Brazil...damn right it did
The Olympics are truly a marvellous spectacle...

On the Dark Knight Rises

Let me get this straight. The Dark Knight Rises wasn't really a Batman movie. It was a Nolan movie. Bruce Wayne just does not retire to enjoy Florence with the Catwoman in tow. That's not who Bruce Wayne is. But I guess it works for the Bruce Wayne of Nolan's trilogy of films.

There were moments in the film that were great, but also many parts that were troublesome and didn't work. It doesn't quite achieve the grandeur and spectacle it wants to be, and it does fall beneath the weight of it's own bloated script. Whilst The Dark Knight was truly a masterpiece for the tale it wanted to tell, which was a good old-fashioned sprawling crime yarn akin to Michael Mann's Heat, you could tell that TDKR was aspiring to be something greater and momentous (Nolan drew inspiration from Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities) but didn't quite get there.

TDK was carried by Ledger's brilliant performance as the Joker, and had some truly gripping set-pieces. TDKR had an ok villain, a weak first and third act, and sadly, no emotional weight to it. I wished I cared more for Wayne's final act of sacrifice, but I didn't. Nolan directs his movies cold, and it was none more apparent than in that scene. You can't have an emotional pay-off if there's no build-up to it. And also, Nolan still doesn't know how to direct action.

Don't get me wrong, TDKR is still superior in all aspects that popcorn flicks like The Avengers (save for the action scenes), but it's well below the bar set by TDK and just below the enjoyable but still flawed Batman Begins.

For the inevitable reboot of the next series of Batman films, what we need is something more ambitious in scope and grandeur, a series that will tell Batman's tale end-to-end. And it can't be told in a trilogy, no way. Seven films seems right...with Batman: Year One being the starting point of the first film, and ending with The Dark Knight Returns.

We need to see a story told similar to The Wire, charting Batman's rise and fall, and rise again, and have the tale told from all Gotham's denizens. From Gordon to Dent, the Joker to the Penguin. I can do without the supernatural elements, and too much high tech stuff (Batman is not Bond). Plus the action scenes need to be kick-ass. It's probably time to design a suit that is mobile and actually is conducive to fighting.

Now who can direct such a feature? I love Neill Blomkamp's District 9, that was truly a flick that combined action, humour and heart into one. Let's see how he does with his new effort Elysium. If he proves to be consistent, he might be a smart choice.

On Life in General

Apple's won it's suit against Samsung. Good or bad? Who knows...Apple ripped off Xerox back in the day, and Microsoft ripped them off in turn. It's a pirate rip-off pirate world out there. The game is rigged...but you cannot lose if you do not play. I just so love The Wire.

There's shit going down in Syria which is bad for everyone. But aren't we just so desensitised by what's been happening in the Middle East that it's just images and words flashing before us on screen? It seems that we're more interested on which celebrity did what rather than tackling some truly important issues. Life is like that. The world has moved on, and many have forgotten the faces of their Fathers.

The local political scene has just taken comedy to new heights with the release of that May 13 flick. That one should be a gem.

And the final word goes to Richard from Danny Boyle's adaptation of Alex Garland's The Beach...

"I still believe in paradise. But now at least I know it's not some place you can look for. Because it's not where you go. It's how you feel for a moment in your life when you're a part of something. And if you find that moment... It lasts forever..."

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey

Over the years, to those who (still) follow this blog, have come to enjoy reading "Voices in My Head". 

This carefully manicured section of blogs gives an insight to the enigma of thie writer, his insensible fascination with Chelsea Football Club, his popcorn spitting movie criticism (save Christopher Nolan to whom he has mad man-love) and there are the occasional truism, when he feels it, putting to writing voices in his head.

Here's a spoiler alert, this Blues fan has read Fifty Shades of Grey and since it took over as the voice in his head. Word is, this mommy porn will become a movie. Expect a toe-curling review.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

247. Hazard

He's finally ours. Troll or no Troll, Hazard is a Blue now. And we'll love him to bits. For the first time since Robben, Chelsea has a player who'll run at players. He has that little bit of fantasy to him as well, just like Zola. With all due respect to Mata, Hazard is that marquee signing Chelsea has been waiting to make since the days of Sheva and Ballack. Even those two were over-the-hill. Hazard is up and rising, and his star can only get brighter. He might not be consistent throughout, or reach the great heights we're expecting of him to hit in his first season, but he'll get there. I know he will.

C'mon you Blues!

Sunday, June 03, 2012

246. EURO '12

Ze Germans are coming! Ze Germans!

Surely, it's their time now. Barring Spain, they have the most talented squad in Europe at the moment. From back to front, they're class. Hummels will surely develop into the best defender in the world. Calm in possession, quick in thought, and has an eye for the pass too. After Thiago Silva and Kompany, I personally rate him as no. 3 at the moment. Complimenting him in defence are Lahm and Boateng, solid and consistent performers every team needs to make it. In midfield, they're bursting in the seams with talent. From Ozil to Gotze, Schweinsteiger to Muller, they've got a good mix of experience, creativity and aggression that will see them far. Gomez up top is a proven goal-scorer (Champs league finals notwithstanding...a final that Chelsea won! CHELSEA!!! CHELSEA!!! CHELSEA!!!).

My bet is on them, unless Spain can pull herself out of their current lethargy. The success of Barcelona has clearly taken it's toll on this team. Barca players like Iniesta and Xavi have look a bit jaded. Plus Villa is injured. And the fact that they've been so successful in the last two tourneys makes a treble success look unlikely. I'd love them to win it however, as when on form, Spain are still the best team in the world.

And my Italy? Well...any team that has Giovinco, Pirlo and Cassano surely can compete. But to go all the way? Not likely. There's just too much mediocre talent in the team now. Good as he is, Giovinco is no Baggio or Del Piero. Cassano is erratic. Pirlo is reaching the twilight of his career. And the defence is susceptible to lapses in concentration (case in point, the 3 nil reversal v Russia). It shames me to say this, but Italy's defence looks the weakest in ages. Baresi and Maldini would weep.

And Inger-lund? For once, not much hype. Justifiably so. This England team has no stars, no imagination, and plays an archaic 4-4-2 formation from the dark ages. They will be solid. They will be tough to beat. And they might nick a goal or two with their long ball tactics. But win it? Hell no. Seems to me that they're following Di Matteo's Chelsea blueprint. With some exceptions. It was written long ago, in the secret scrolls of the divine football Old Ones that Chelsea would win it this year. With the comedic and tragic Drogba as the hero. Against the football gods of Barcelona did Chelsea prevail. Unjust? Perhaps...but Barca's had too much success already. It was Chelsea's time. Only for the reason that success will probably bring us Hazard and Hulk. For Inger-lund to do it? Naw man...too much sin and hubris has been committed by this team. Fat Lamps has been punished with his injury. Terry will too perhaps get his reckoning. But enough of the tourney muppets...time to get your EURO on.

Last word to Hazard, you internet troll you. You better sign on for Chelsea or I'll freaking break your legs!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

243. Stillness

Have silent they've gone, the voices in my head. Sad, yet joyful? For life is a glad thing whence one is no longer plagued by one's other self.

Or is it?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Thursday, January 05, 2012

241. Twenty Twelve

So the world didn't end with a massive tsunami wiping out all of humanity, and the few lucky of us being ushered away on massive floating city-boats. Good for us.

Since we've all ascertained that the world hasn't ended just yet, here's a couple of things to look forward to this year.

Noteworthy mentions...

World War Z - Max Brook's brilliant apocalyptic zombie epic gets the big screen treatment with none other than Mr. Tyler Durden as the main protagonist caught in a world-wide conspiracy.

Never really a big fan of Marvel studio adaptations, but heck, it's Joss Whedon (he of Serenity awesomeness), so you just gotta give it a shot.

Bourne Legacy - Jeremy Renner takes over the franchise. He was great in The Hurt Locker, so-so in MI4, and a totally bad-ass loser in The Town.

Dark Shadows - I'm still willing to give Tim Burton a shot. Only because he gave us Edward Scissorhands, Batman, Ed Wood and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Heck, even his second tier films (Batman Returns, Mars Attacks, Big Fish, Sleepy Hollow) were pretty decent. But Mr. Burton, no more turds like Planet of the Apes and Alice in Wonderland please.

Happy 2012 folks, and of course I didn't forget this...