Dec 15 2016

Rogue One

Adel Gabot

4:23PM

I just came from the first early afternoon screening of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story at the Gateway Atmos theater in Cubao. Thought I’d treat myself to a movie and a big bucket of popcorn, it being close to Christmas, after all.

I’d long given up on watching movies in a theater, it being cheaper and more convenient to just torrent them and watch them at the home theater setup in the house. Of course I’m weeks late to the party, as these new movies take a while to surface. I just save particular movies as treats to myself to watch in the classic old manner. The last one I saw (in the same theater) was Doctor Strange. It being a much-hyped Marvel superhero epic, I thought it deserved the Classic treatment.

So Rogue One. Finally, a Stars Wars movie made for adults! Now this is the movie made for the original classic generation that saw the first SW movie in the theater in 1977, and lived through the ballyhooed successive generations of the sequels in real time.

First off, departing from the norm, there are no rolling, up-slanted credits in the beginning. Also, there are no Jedis, no funny droids (save for K2SO), no wondrous aliens, no lightsabers (at least until Vader shows up), no invincible villains (save for Osric), and has plenty of callbacks to the original films, even involving actors who are dead or impossibly old, done up in CG. Director Gareth Edwards even found a way to make his movie dovetail perfectly into the opening sequence of the old first movie, but I don’t want to spoil that surprise for you.

Spoilers incoming! There’s lots of action scenes, and every single one of the team meet their demise in the course of the events in the film. All in all, it’s a nice adult set-up for the first trilogy, even settling that age-old saw about how the Death Star could have such a sensitive spot in its structure that a single proton torpedo exploded in that particular spot could end it.

I daresay I like it even much better than the last SW sequel, The Force Awakens, which was meant for a broader, younger audience. Let that be the last thing I say before I come out with a proper review of Rogue One.

 


Nov 5 2016

Online shopping?

Adel Gabot

screenshot_258

3:39PM

This goes to show how messed up online shopping can still be in this day and age.

Last Monday, Oct.31, I ordered a hot air popcorm maker from Lazada. They promptly responded with a text that said my order has been received, and to expect delivery anytime between Wednesday, Nov. 2 and Saturday, Nov. 5. Ok, that’s well and good, and well within expected parameters.

So I patiently waited and went about my daily business.

Yesterday morning, Friday, Nov. 4, it was delivered, after a text from the delivery man saying he was on his way to the house. And so it went.

But yesterday evening, I got an email from Lazada informing me that my order has been processed and was on its merry way to be delivered tomorrow (which is today, Saturday) and to please expect the delivery guy at any time then.

Ok, so I put it down to a problem where Lazada‘s email is just delayed, and they mistakenly sent it to me yesterday instead of the day before, Thursday, when I was expecting their customary “Thank You” email.

This morning I got a text telling me my order has been dispatched and would be delivered sometime today. Hmm.

After lunch, I get another text telling me that my package was definitely on its way, and that I could track it on the internet with the provided tracking number. Thank you for purchasing from Lazada again.

This was all for a package I already received the day before.

Look, I don’t really mind the crossed signals as long as I get my package on time. But can’t they get their act together?

Come on, Lazada, it’s such a simple thing.


Oct 31 2016

Robots Are Us

Adel Gabot

Humans Series 1 Episode 5

4:57PM

Just saw the premiere episode of Humans Season 2 this afternoon, and as I was watching it I was struck by how much show business has overlapped with similar or same stories and plots again. This happens every so often. In cycles. And it’s happened again.

Humans, the remake of Westworld, Pure Genius (the premiere of which I saw this weekend), to name a few.

We have androids/robots slowly gaining sentience, Silicon Valley young upstart billionaires spending their money to promote their own agendas—some plots are so alike they could pass for one another with a few simple tweaks.

The synths of Humans and the hosts of Westworld could literally switch places and no one would be the wiser. Carrie-Anne Moss and Anthony Hopkins too. Or the wonderkinds from Pure Genius and Humans.

Strange.

Wala lang. It’s probably nothing important, but I thought I’d mention it.


Jun 24 2016

My very first DVD

Adel Gabot

Spawn-az-ivadek--dvd-4874

8:15AM

Blast from the past: yesterday I got another copy of the very first original DVD I ever owned—Spawn.

Oh, I know it’s not anything earth-shattering or auspicious. And it’s not a particularly good movie, not by any means. But it was my first movie in the (what was then) new format, and it holds great sentimental value for me.

Back then when DVDs were still new (and very expensive), they weren’t readily available in my country. Bootleg discs were still a few years away. All of the titles being sold were original American R1s, and were all over the map as far as movie types were concerned. We bought what we could get.

The player I got (which was big and bulky), as far as I can recall, was one of the early Sony models, which I paid a pretty penny for. Back then (as I still am now) I was already an early adopter, and I had to have the latest and the greatest. If I knew then what I know now (that we’d have hi-res files of these movies just streaming to our TVs and desktops, and that the disc format’s days have come and gone) I wouldn’t have tried too hard to be an early adopter.

But back then, playing a DVD was a wondrous experience. Coming from the bigger and buggier laserdisc technology (which I also had a ton of), it was a singular experience to have such hi-fi output to come from such a little thing. I marveled at the high resolution video and audio fidelity of Michael Jai White being burned to a crisp by an evil Martin Sheen. Hey, it’s Spawn; what do you expect?

That disc began a long run of many satisfying hours watching movies, both good and bad, on DVDs, until I migrated to Blurays and streamed video. Watching it now, I’m transported back to the good old days.

I have no idea where it is now, that disc, but wherever it is, I hope it found a good home.

Wala lang, just reminiscing.


Jun 22 2016

“Stay tuned for..”

Adel Gabot

BRAIN-DEAD-PILOT-list

4:20PM

I was watching the latest episode of Braindead from CBS (delayed) on my system yesterday and when it ended, Mary Elizabeth Winstead says in a voice-over, “Stay tuned for scenes from our next episode.”

And… nothing.

The end credits roll, but there are no scenes from the next episode.

And there never are. Not in Braindead, nor in any other show that I download and watch.

It’s always like that. A voice-over tells us to expect scenes from the next episode, and it’s never there. It’s like a rule instituted by generations of uploaders. Never include the scenes from the next episode. Never include them. And there are the generations of downloaders who’ve learned to live with it.

I ask the uploading guys—why the hell not?

Why not simply include the damn preview? It’s no skin off your nose. It just adds another extra, what, thirty seconds to the file? What’s the harm in that?

I mean, everyone’s got a right to see the scenes from the next episode, right? It heightens expectations for the next week’s download, for one thing. In my book, that’s always welcome.

Ay, nako.

Wala lang. Just ranting. Walang magawa.

Now back to regular programming.