Saturday, March 22, 2008

Giant Robots are for FUN!


As a M.Div student I spend a good portion of my day thinking. I think about the consequences of certain points of theological systematics. My assignments revolve around the uses of certain Greek and Hebrew words, and the implications of verb tenses and adjectival modifiers. Therefore when it is time to relax, it is time to do just that. Where do I turn for some good time just to hang out by myself, either 1st thing in the morning or before going to bed? To movies and anime. Why? Because my creative juices are usually spent by the end of the day, and I don't want to disturb my landlord at 7am with electric guitar. If I want something purposefully deep and compelling I'll turn to a novel, but usually I opt for action/something that only takes 22-25 minutes of my time in a go. Giant animated Mecha have been my downtime of choice this year.

I'll admit it, I liked Gundam Wing (didn't like Gundam SEED). A lot. Why? because it was fun, and my first introduction to anime. The characters were emotionally engaging (I was 15 when it came out so I drew a lot of parallels with most of the characters). I liked the ambiguity between good and bad that was portrayed in the show, I thought the story was compelling. And besides, you have David Kaye and Brian Drummond handling the vocal duties for Treize and Zechs and I was hooked (just look up their lists of characters on or, and its very impressive). I finished re-watching it this year, and dang, it was good times.
Favorite Character: Zechs Marquise/Milliardo Peacecraft

The Transformers movie was fun. Not perfect, but certainly not as ridiculous as it could have been (especially when one considers the episodes Kremzeek, and Carnage in C Minor *shudder*). The designs were definitely new for the series as whole, but a needed breath of fresh air. Yet it gets a lot of hate, apparently. I still say it stands above some of the G1 cartoons, and that it is still better than the 1st 4-issues of the Marvel run, which had approximately the same story ideas. Definitely was not as good as Transformers: Masterforce, which in terms of coherent storytelling, next to G1 Seasons 1 - 4, is a masterpiece with compelling villains, and cool heroes, and a lot of concepts which are very cool, and well executed (Pretenders,and Godmasters specifically). It was fun though, and had really awesome effects. Can't wait for #2 in 2009

Surprise find of the week goes to Dancouga: Nova, a short little 12 episode series. Very nifty, and well animated, although a little more sexualized than I'm used to. (Most of the Gundam series that I've seen [Wing, bits of SEED, 08th MS Team, 0083] are pretty well devoid of of anything even remotely sexual). At any rate it was a fun diversion, that didn't take itself too seriously at all.

Major Disappointment: The last two-three episodes of Transformers: Animated. Really, really boring, and not much fun. If people thought the new movie lacked Decepticon action, they definitely have not seen Animated. Although, it does have David Kaye playing Prime, which is cool, but I'm losing interest in it very rapidly.

Question of the Week: Why is it not possible, now in 2008, to get a new Transformers cartoon/anime that is properly animated, with fluid motion and wicked designs? (See the OP for Gundam 00 on for what I'm talking about). The openings I've seen on youtube for Beast Wars II and Beast Wars Neo suggest it is possible. So come on, after Animated lets see Transformers done up right for the new century.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

A signature pic made for me by Whisper on

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Transformers: The Movie

I can't lie. I saw the movie three times in theatres. That's a first since Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace. So what's one to do when their childhood comes raging on the big screen with the force of a runaway Kenworth truck? Strap in an enjoy the Ride!

The Story: This is not great cinema that's for sure, but it is Transformers to the core: Nerdy kid, Heroic Autobots, Evil Decepticons, interfering humans, and one object that can create and destroy worlds. Yea, this the Transformers, for sure. Filled with just the right amount of cheese to be an homage to the series that started it all. Honestly , if you were there for the story, you need to wait until the sequels once we have time, and enough money to render that kind of in-depth Transformer history (here I'm referring to ridiculous 38 hours per FRAME of rendering that ILM had to do). I'm willing to wait for a more in-depth story. This was an excellent intro movie.

The Characters: The Autobots remained true to the heritage of their characters, although Bumblebee's speaking voice didn't seem to fit. The Con's though, well they were there, with Barricade and Megatron getting the most screen time, but certainly stand to more fleshed out, along with the human characters. Still they crammed a lot into a 2.5 hour movie, although that was mostly plot.

The Action: Hold onto your transistors, and don't blink a diode or you'll miss it. Still when you have characters having nearly 10, 000 moving parts each that's sheer technological grunt working for you. And the Bumblebee on the tow-truck fire-fight was inventive and worked well. The Prime vs Megatron fight was tough to sort out, needed to pull back a little (although with repeated viewing it becomes more clear).

The Graphics: One word: Intense. Congrats to Industrial Light & Magic for one-upping themselves on this one. Like my friend Nick said, if you didn't know giant robots didn't exist it'd be hard to argue against it from the looks of this movie. 10 000 moving parts, 38 hours of rendering paid off in a big way, even the Transformations are sweet, and jaw dropping to look at. Even though I hated the designs at first blush, this movie, and the way they move justify the designs.

The Verdict: Go check it out. It's great summer movie, with hilarity, action, Old School Heroes and Villains, and JAW-DROPPINg GRAPHICS!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Songwriter's Competiton Pics

Thanks to my friend Linda for taking and posting these pics on her Facebook.

It was a fun night playing two of my own songs, one called Wild at Heart and the other called Revelation. i have video too, but I'm having abear of a time getting it compressed so I can email it out to all you guys. So if you have any sweet ideas on how to do that let me know. There's a few more pics that I have on my comp, and Tammy will have some more too, but this should be enough to satiate all of you: my ravenous fans

This is me playing and smiling, which is a rarity.

Me rocking out hard

"The Third Rule of Thrash metal
is that you have to sing a song
about the book of Revelation
from the Bible" - Me

Me doing my best Dave Mustaine impression

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Megadeth: March 13 2007

Hey All!

So I went to see Megadeth last night for the 3rd time at Rexall Place, who were opening for Heaven & Hell (i.e. Black Sabbath w/ Ronnie James Dio as front man). There was a fairly good sized crowd waiting outside, including two drunks who were there to see Down. Then Down cancelled b/c of illness so they were now drunk and pissed, and eventually left. Trash-talking Megadeth and Sabbath is a terrible idea, by the way.

So we (Tammy, my friend Quinn and his friend Geoff) got in around 6:15ish and proceeded to the merch table to procure swaggage. I was a little choked that they didn't have any Megadeth women's-wear for Tammy. So we got our gear, and went to our seats and proceeded to wait until 7:30ish for Megadeth to come on. The United Abominations backdrop was sweet to the max, and covered over thier amps. And then lights out.

And the intro part of Sleepwalker comes on, and then the riff and drums explode into existance and we could see the band rocking out hard. You could tell from the get-go that Dave was driven, and ready to kick all our heads in with his music. He was all over that stage, and was playing his guitar more recklessly than I'd ever seen him play before. They blasted through tthe first four songs : Sleepwalker, Wake Up Dead, Kick The Chair and In My Darkest Hour before taking a break to address the crowd. Dave's new Dean guitar looked sweet from back where I was.

Then they launched into Washington Is Next, which was sweet, and one of the songs that I really looked forward to hearing. Then they headed into Trust and I got to watch Tammy headbang for the first time. She was so into it! It was really cool to go and experince such a high point with her and see her enjoy it as much as I did. And then they play A Tout Le Monde, one of Tammy's favourite songs, which we both enjoyed immensely.

Out of nowhere they started the Hangar 18 riff, which caught me off-guard b/c they hadn't played it in Vancouver, but it was awesome. Glen shredded those solos, I've really enjoyed watching him get better and better and gain confidence in the band. I can't wait to hear his work on the new album (May 15th if you're wondering). Then they blasted through Symphony of Destruction, Peace Sells, and came out for the encore Holy Wars. Also I had time to scream at Dave that we loved him after the encore. Acorrding to Quinn I crossed a line. I don't see how. He has/d a man-crush on Dio.

They played so well and had the crowd just right fired up for Sabbath. I won't say too much about Sabbath b/c I didn't enjoy them all that much, but I was beat after Deth so that may have had something to do with it.

The Bottom Line: This band rules. This line-up rules. Go see them when they come through your city b/c they are on FIRE right now!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Winds of Change

Out of the ashes of my youth
I rise a man
~ Out of the Ashes by Symphony X

Two months to go. The changes I knew were coming are finally here. I'm not single anymore, and my path of next year is clear now. For the first time ever I am being asked to be man, and I feel like I can handle it. My faith has grown this year like I had never known it would.

Where there once was weakness there is strength to be had, to be made, to be re-awakened. Am I scared? Of course. But there's a difference this time. I'm not alone, and I know it. The future that I have laying itself before me is huge. It's much bigger than I had envisioned. But I am much bigger and stronger than ever, and I will grow into this future. I cannot take all of its joy or sorrow yet. I am not ready for it. But I am ready to journey along it, growing as I go.

The flag I once planted as a king I abandoned
And now I reclaim this banner by God, my sword and my name
In a truce sealed by blood within this metal skin and all that I own
Blood, bone, and courage in my veins and the heart that pumps it

Drink from the chalice and be reborn
And the land with me, it will change and transform
~ My Kingdom by Megadeth

Everytime I talk with the men that will be going into seminary with me or after me, I can feel the winds of change blowing. Something big is coming. Something good will be shaped by those of us who dare to take up this office. We are the the crashing wave. You can tell that we are a new breed of leaders and servants. As long as we give the glory where it belongs our paths will be blessed. Not to say it willl be easy, but it will be blessed. Rise up men. Our training awaits.

And to those women that will stand by our sides. Always know that you are appreciated, and loved. We come to offer you our strength. And believe me, I'm glad that you will be travelling along with me.

I heard the voice of redemption
For me there is no exemption
I started praying
~I'll Be There by Megadeth