Friday, January 25, 2008


Well my hair was getting long and growing out all crazy, so I decided to give it a trim. Unlike any other sensible person, I would have gone to a barber for my trimming needs. But I'm an idiot so I cut it myself. Too bad I absolutely suck at cutting hair! So I messed up and decided to just shave it all with a #2. Oh well. It will grow back in...2 weeks time?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Movie Review: Cloverfield


When I first saw the trailer of this movie, I was skeptical. Here's another monster movie full of building crashing to the ground, people screaming, and mayhem. The trailer showed the main character at his going away party to Japan. All of a sudden they see an explosion in the background which prompted some chaos and screaming. The end. That was the trailer. Now the mention of Japan and then the explosion of a building led me into believing it was another Gozdilla flick. Something similar to the remake filmed in 1998 starring Matthew Broderick. But boy was I wrong. This movie is much more than your typical monster flick.

Spoiler Alert:
The movie is filmed in a style that only can be described as "Blaire Witch". Basically the whole film is a documentary, filmed on a home video camera. This is somewhat of a good thing. The movie becomes extremely intense after the first 15 minutes of the film. The use of the home video camera helps every scene feel like you are actually there with the characters. Your there with them when they are running for their lives, and through the mayhem of a devastated New York City. The scenes in fact rival those of the film captured during the 9/11 attacks, when the WTC fell. That being said however, the scenes become at certain points too intense. If you easily get motion sickness or have a heart condition, I would highly suggest not watching this film. I have a high tolerance to motion, but even I felt like puking my dinner out during the movies. Its so intense that at one point my hands would not stop shaking.

Back to the movie though. The plot was very simple. Just an average day in the NYC. Average people. Monster attacks. Everyone is on the run. Monster kicks everyone's a**. Nothing revolutionary, but with the way the film is made, no real complicated story was needed.

Here comes the spoilers:
The monster itself was nothing everyone would have imagined. At first it gives the impression that its a large sea creature. At first I thought it was some sort of giant squid because it destroys the Brooklyn Bridge with one swipe of it's tentacle...or what I thought was a tentacle. But then they throw a monkey wrench in the mix, in the form of what are like spawns of the monster, or offspring. They looked almost arachnid, or spider-like. Imaging if you took the bugs from Starship Trooper, shrunk them to about German Shepherd size, and made them all gray, and a wickedly rough and sharp exoskeleton, then you have a pretty good image of what these crazy things looked like.
The big monster itself didn't really get revealed until the last 5 minutes of the movie, when one of our main characters is eaten by it. Take a vampire bat, add a really long tail, and give it a set of T-Rex like arms on the torso, and thats what the monster was. Not scary when you just read the description, but watching it on film is a whole different experience.

At the end, this movie was good. I'm glad the director stuck with the documentary format because if it didn't then it would have been just another monster movie.
I recommend watching this movie if you want a adrenaline-pumping experience. Just bring a barf bag just in case.


Saturday, January 12, 2008


I was pretty bored today, so I decided to play around with Google Earth a little. I looked up all the places I visited during the trip to Costa Rica. Trying to remember all the fun things I did while I was there. Such a beautiful country it is. If you ever get a chance to go there, don't pass it up. If your a nature lover, then it is a must. Hiking, rafting, bird watching... its an incredible experience. Sure I wasn't too optimistic after my first day in San Jose, in fact I still stand by my opinion about the big city. Its no fun. Get out into the mountains. Experience the fresh air, unique wildlife, and environment. I will gladly go again. This time more prepared with a good pair of hiking shoes, binoculars for the beautiful birds, and better rain gear for those long, wet, rainy hikes.

The hotels I stayed at were all pretty nice. Nothing high-class or 5 star, but hey, if your going into a rain forest, you shouldn't expect too much. All the hotels we stayed in were air conditioned, clean, and had great food. One of them even resembled Taiwanese styled construction, which was significant to me because it made me realize just how much influence Taiwanese people had in this country. As we drove through different cities, we would see various establishments with Chinese symbols at their gates. None of these establishments were small by any means. There were Taiwanese churches, restaurants, and even social clubs. It was really interesting to see these things that would usually be pretty alien in a Latin American country.

The people of Costa Rica all seemed pretty nice, and
well mannered. Its almost as if American culture has not influenced them much. Comparing the Hispanics of Miami, FL, to the citizens of Costa Rica, is like oil and water. Even their language reflected this. Its still Spanish, but vocabulary-wise there were some differences. The term Pura Vida is still stuck in my head. Literally translated as Pure Life, the Costa Ricans use it the same we may use "Awesome". Whenever we say "Gracias" to someone, they respond with "Muchos Gustos" which seemed a lot more proper than the Cuban "Denada" which means literally as "Nothing". Our tour guides were examples of perfect gentlemen, and you can tell that they loved their job. We all could see it in their eyes. They all had this sparkle in their eyes as they explained to us the various cultural aspects of their country. Their knowledge was also top notch. They had an answer for almost any question we had. What suprised me the most was without a doubt, their English. Compared to the English speaking immigrants of Miami, FL, our tour guides only had English lessons in high school, and a year or two in college. They have better English than probably most of the population in Miami. The accent is still there, but considering that we were in a Spanish speaking country, it was exceptionally good even by American standards. Hear that Miami? Thats called English. Not you fresh off the boat Spanglish.

Overall the trip to Costa Rica was an absolute joy. My weight gain of 10 lbs over the Winter break is proof of that. So are the 1,000 pictures I took. I would even say this trip was better than the Alaskan cruise. Actually, yes, it was. Would I go back? You betcha.

Pura Vida,