Monday, September 26, 2011

Toxin by Robin Cook

It's not a surprise that I'd eventually explore the medical science fiction genre in books. I was taken aback by how it took my interest starting with Gary Birken's Plague. I've seen Robin Cook's famous novel Outbreak made into a movie. In fact, I've watched Dustin Hoffman and Rene Russo multiple times acting as the experts on the epidemic. Having that opportunity to grab a cheap hardbound copy of Toxin was just darned luck. It was quite a catch, finding it beneath some copies from other best-selling authors like Nora Roberts, Michael Crichton and Iris Johansen.

Compared to Gary Birken's Plague, Toxin had an indefinite
end which suggested a sequel. It almost followed the same style as Outbreak. For those who haven't seen it yet, I won't be spoiling the fun as to tell it here. Robin Cook made it a point to make the people aware of what is currently happening in the government system. Corruption everywhere has been apparent- starting in the first chapters of the book. To make things worst, not only has it been hard for Dr. Kim Reggis to obtain proper help when his daughter got sick, but he right then and there saw how the administration he was working under had no genuine intention of helping people without profit as their main concern.

Ironic how I had just been reading this book after which I ate a burger. Robin Cook's vivid description on how cows were processed, momentarily gave me second thoughts on eating burgers or anything made of meat, for that matter. After all, the E. Coli O157:H7 strain had come from a rare cooked burger. I'd just like to warn all meat-lovers out there that this book teaches a valuable lesson on seriously making it a point to cook meat well. Even then, it hadn't been enough to kill the bacteria. Surprisingly, with all the effort that's been placed to exposing the truth to the public, money played the important role of covering these tracks.

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Action Trip: The A-Team & The Losers

Today, I'm going to combine two movies in one article. Although I did have a dilemma as whether to combine Losers and Colombiana (overloaded with Zoe Saldana's sexiness), I finally decided otherwise. Why? Because of the following reasons:

A. Both movies were action packed.
B. Both did not lack the handsome young heartthrob namely Bradley Cooper and Chris Evans
C. They were both lead by extraordinary men (Liam Neeson and Jeffrey Dean Morgan)
D. Both scored poorly in the reviews most likely for having been compared to their originals.
E. Both had fine lady leads that probably made some guys drool.
F. And lastly, both had its charming moments although the other had been teeming with dark jokes and obvious incompetence that made it more hilarious than the other.

If you've been reading my previous reviews, I wouldn't be surprised if someone would comment that I don't usually depreciate a movie. Well, I'm pretty guilty of mostly reviewing only movies I love.

The A-Team

Starred by Liam Neeson as their boss Col. "Hannibal" Smith, the team's specialty is Special Forces ops. I'm no military buff but there was no need for any military knowledge to understand the gist of the story. It already stood out with its characters' colorful chemistry. Director Carnahan made no mistake selecting Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson as Liam Neeson's subordinates.

Before I knew that the A-Team had already existed in the 80s, I told myself B.A. reminded me of Mr. T. The movie made me curious enough as to seek answers to what all the ruckus was about the 80s series. I Wiki-ed it and it did not catch me by surprise that Mr. T. was the original B.A.

I may no further expand my interest in talking about Jessica Biel, but let it be known that I am a fan of hers. I liked her in Blade, Stealth and 7th Heaven. Her beauty is simple and not so voluptuous compared to Angelina Jolie.

No, this is not a comparison between Jessica Beal and Angelina Jolie. Neither is it between Liam Neeson and Sean Connery. It's just one of those hilarious scenes I found. I'm sure some of you are familiar where this came from.

While watching the movie, I was questioning my friend if it were possible for Liam Neeson to be the next Sean Connery. He does, after all, have the same of skill set and vocal chord range, even though I've rarely seen Mr. Neeson starring in romantic films. My friend looked at me with the widest of eyes feeling exasperated. His words definitely explained why, "Liam Neeson is Liam Neeson. Sean Connery is Sean Connery. Both are different men and no one can be the next Sean Connery so as the next Liam Neeson. They both have made a name for themselves already." I had to suppress a chuckle at my friend's allegiance to the two men.

The Losers

Doing Special Ops was just part of The Losers story. Someone was out there for revenge. They also had a peculiar choice for a bad guy to mess with. He killed someone who made the tiniest mistake.

Chris Evan partially plays a concerned uncle rooting for his nieces soccer game. He also has no sense of charisma which makes this movie more hilarious.

"Go Petunias!"

Jeffrey Dean Morgan was one tough boss. It's a surprise why no one else has bothered to give him more action roles. As Clay in this particular movie, one of his weaknesses had been dating bad women- with his boys reminding him of one who specifically wanted to blow him up. Meeting Zoe Saldana had been bad news for them. But her offering them a way to come back to their country and clear their names was a chance difficult to pass up.

One of the movie's saving grace. I hope the video above hasn't spoiled the entire plot as to decide not to watch it. The Losers had its funny moments.

It took me some time to write this review because I had to go to Youtube to pick trailers. While doing so, I couldn't help but check out some new zombie movies. I'm a sucker for zombie flicks but never had the guts to do a review about it because I'd have to watch them all over again and I didn't like Shaun of the Dead which have had outstanding reviews as almost everybody who watched it just loves Shaun, even Romero himself.

For those who've read this, most are wondering why I don't like comparing movies to their origins. Most critics have been bitter in commenting how the original should sue the movie for giving it a bad rep or for deviating from what was expected of it. I'm particularly guilty of such in doing The Last Air Bender. However, I'd just like to make it clear that if a movie could stand alone and please people enough, then it passes for me. In a sense, the remake may have just been that bridge for that person to get interested in its parent series, book, or movie.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Vampire Diaries Season 3: More Internal Conflict

The ending of Season 2 left so many cliffhangers compared to Season 1 that it got me hyped to discover two episodes have already premiered. One of the questions I wish answered is to what becomes of the internal conflicts of Damon and Stefan. I'd also be a hypocrite if I wouldn't admit my rooting for the Elena and Damon tandem. I'm still hoping that romance will occur between the two even when it's still pretty obvious she's still not over Stefan. I haven't read the book because it'll rob me of the pleasure of watching it. Just like the Sookie Stackhouse novels, I won't be doing both things at the same time. It's either I read the book or I watch the series.

What's new with this season? Stefan paves a path for Damon to grow closer to Elena. The fate of Tyler and Caroline's budding relationship becomes apparent yet a little hazy as someone's life may be at stake. Jeremy still sees the visions and has not admitted it yet to Bonnie. Elena turns 18 which means she is now of legal age and has no need of guardianship which Alaric has provided during the death of their Aunt Jenna.

The newest addition to the cast is the 7th Heaven star David Gallagher with so much hair on his face. I still think he would've looked better clean cut, but that's my opinion. I'm glad the next episode is just around the block.
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Last Act by Christopher Pike

Another Christopher Pike book finished here. I'm sure I'm not a quarterway done of finishing all his books but I'll be getting there soon enough.

Last Act is one of Christopher Pikes earlier teen story books. It wasn't as exciting as Remember Me, which kept me yearning sequel after sequel. But it did have his personal touches like targeting another female protagonist and a sick twisted friend of hers out for revenge. I haven't mentioned in my previous post of Slumber Party so I can't really compare the two.

Last Act is about the new girl in school getting the main role in a play where she was supposed to shoot a friend of hers. The problem was, her friend died on stage during performance night. The first half of the story focused on how she had met the other casts in the play. Some had been eccentric but Pike made sure that others had their fair share of standing out through specific descriptions and actions.

What's a female heroine without a mysterious guy by her side? Christopher Pike once again introduces a male interest in his books so that all aspects of Melanie (the female protagonist) in terms of vulnerability, strength and deductive reasoning were given some attention.

Like any other murder mystery, Last Act also starred a capable detective who made use of his Q&A skills to figure out the guilty. The protagonist herself also did some investigating to uncover the truth in order for the readers to not feel helpless in the guessing game. In the end, there was a certain amount of surprise in the suspect's discovery.

It's not one of his best but I still appreciated reading the book so it's not a lose lose situation on my end. I suggest this book only for big fans of his. It's not a must read for everybody.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Prey Project: Anti-Theft Solution

So I was reading the forums and came across a thread about an IT catching the person who stole his laptop through the use of a program to called Preyproject. This is the first time I have heard of it and I simply wanted to share it here. I checked the website of the said software and watched this explanation on how it could possibly catch a culprit.

I wanted to post it here because some people have such bad fortune of having their prized possessions stolen. For people who don't earn enough for luxuries, this program may just be their laptop's lifesaver. Best of all, it's FREE!

It's also not new to me for friends and families of mine to have their gadgets and devices stolen so I made it a point to send this information through their email. I'm hoping for others who've read this post to check it out at their website or at least watch the video at the top.

Haha! You make sure you have that mask on all the time or you're busted.
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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Teen Wolf Season 1 Review

Today is a weekend and I just finished watching a 7 hour marathon of the remaining Teen Wolf episodes I missed. It speaks for itself with a handful of promising reviews from critics which was the reason it felt like an urgency to finish the entire 12 episodes. At first, the story had felt a little draggy but as the teen dilemmas and supernatural suspense piled one after the other, I caught myself mentally debating with my head whether to pause it for a quick water break or not.

The first time I took a glimpse of Tyler Posey, I knew he was someone I've already seen in the big screen. And after watching his charming face in Teen Wolf over and over, it came back to my mind that he was J-Lo's son in Maid in Manhattan. The kid was such an adorable thing back then. It just proves how charismatic he is. Not only has he gotten a kiss from Crystal Reed but also from J-Lo (at such a young age, too).

Teen Wolf definitely exceeded its expectations. It has an appeal sourced from dark humor and teen issues with raging lycanthropic hormones . The cast had been pretty interesting and I can't help but applaud Dylan O'Brien's flawless performance on his support role which required talkative rationality and awkward hilarious moments.

Teen Wolf Cast (Left to Right): Derek, Scott, Stiles, Lydia, Allison and Jackson

So for those vampire, werewolf and supernatural being diehard fans, this is a series you shouldn't miss. Don't be deceived by the somewhat uneventful first couple of episodes. The build up starts in the middle and will keep the viewers engaged until the last minutes of a climactic end.
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Remember Me 2 by Christopher Pike

Even when I thought I'd already gotten enough of a particular author, a new surprise awaits my insatiable mind for teenage stories of protagonists of the supernatural kind. Was she a vampire? No. Was she a werewolf? It never even crossed my mind. Might she have been a ghost? In a way. But Christopher Pikes well-written teen novels are one of those collections I strive to complete.

Last Sunday, I had purchased a book of his called Remember Me 2 and I finished it in one seating. One of the first chapters had been pretty interesting that I even asked my beau to read a certain two page passage that may be the link between multiple religions in the world. And even he had agreed that it might just be that revelation he was seeking for. I would have loved to add this passage in this post but that would be spoiling one of the good parts in the story.

After reading this second story of the Remember Me saga, I noticed that Christopher Pike made sure that his fans would get the best of his stories. There had been relations to his previous work that only those who've read them would be able smile at the fact and appreciate its contribution to the current plot.

Mr. Pike has a way of creating scenes in the simplest description which some people may find downright boring and not enough to build an ambiance. I begged to differ. I'm particular in imagination and his play of words suffice the brewing curiosity in me. I prefer detailed story lines than detailed scenery and it's always still a wonder to me how his mind works. I especially like the way he had included a mini-story about a brilliant author and her muse as a form of the protagonist's partial fulfillment of her earthly agenda.

Shari Cooper goes back into another teen's body with a purpose. The unveiling of her identity becomes the main topic of this book and chapters jump from one world to another in an attempt to explain how events were to unfold and how dark secrets would come into light.

Lastly, one more thing I've noticed about Mr. Pike's protagonists aside from being headstrong, witty and beautiful females is most of them have names starting with the letter S and with blonde hair. This opposes to the stereotype of blondes being dumb, which is why his work gains more respect in my standard.
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Plague by Gary Berkin M.D.

"A Novel of Bioterrorism," the novel stated as I picked it up from its shelf. In actuality, the title "Plague" had caught my interest in the first place. I haven't read that many science fiction books these past years and this was to be the first of a couple more I plan to read.

It's about a psychotic bioterrorist who was set to show his prowess to the world by poisoning helpless kids in the hospital he works in. The protagonist, a doctor Annick Clement, is set out to discover who this person is and much more. The suspense was engaging and the ending wasn't what I was expecting it to be.

To poison without having the pleasure of watching them
suffer would fall well short of the mark.
By tomorrow, when the toxin is coursing through their
bloodstreams, I will set in motion the second part of my plan:
To bear witness to their agony.

It's quite a surprise to discover an author capable of
making a medical novel interesting to the layman. I usually get turned off with too many jargon and technical terms shoved into one book, so I was very delighted to read the Plague and not feel the pressures of needing to browse the Internet often to figure out what the characters had been talking about. I also simply adore the fact that his portrayals of each character made every single one of them stand out- flawed, perfect, smart, clever, intuitive, psycho and elitist. Even the ones who've just appeared for a page or two, became memorable. That said, the incorporation of his medical expertise made it more medically feasible, authentic and realistic.

What made the story quite the catch was it was a master of keeping a person guessing. I was rendered helpless to resist reading page after page in an attempt to appease my burgeoning curiosity. Only 3 authors are capable of having that same effect on me. Dr. Gary Birken would be the fourth.
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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Chick Flick: Bring It On & The Prince and Me

Saturdays are usually the most tiring days of the week especially since I love going out and watching a movie or two. But my beau is out of town and I'm left alone without anything to do other than enjoy facing my computer all day. Instead of doing the usual, I watched two movies which I know he wouldn't mind missing out on.

Bring It On: All or Nothing

Ever since I've watched Heroes, saving the cheerleader saves me from boredom. I've found Hayden Panettiere appealing to the eye. Although I haven't seen "I Love You, Beth Cooper" yet, I don't think I'd be so giddy to watch it.

The third Bring It On film is as always about a cheerleader. You'd think they'd do something new this time but it's still about teenage girls having teenage problems. I'm not against watching it, but I think becoming like most movie critics... bitter. One things for sure, Bring It On takes it a point to make the movie racially diverse as possible. And I do like how they always make the Latinas sassy in their roles.

One of the best krumping I've seen in Youtube. Just check on the first couple of minutes with the guy in white performing.

It's always the white pretty obnoxious girls who lose the competition. Why am I not surprised? At leas,t I learned a new term. It's about the overly snappy and insanely energetic dance style called krumping.

The Prince and Me

I though I hadn't seen this yet, so I viewed it again- recalling the ending when the movie was halfway done. It's a typical Cinderella story with a not so typical happy ending. I'm agreeing with the online critics on this. It doesn't bring much on the table other than a movie to kill time and a prince's accent that had been captivating.

I used to idolize Julia Stiles, but she's not as charming as Heigl. It made me recall how awful she felt when one of the MTV announcers declared the name Julia as the winner but later added Roberts as the last name.

Starring as the rebellious Prince Edvard in The Prince and Me, Luke Mably is also the vampire Dylan Radcliffe in The Gates and Doctor Simon Hill in Combat Hospital.

I did, however, like her in Save the Last Dance, because the girl had talent (but don't they all do?) and it was about an interracial romance. I also remember watching her in "10 Things I Hate About You", it was the first time I saw how charismatic Heath Ledger could be (RIP).

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Meet Bill Movie

Ever had that feeling that you're in that part of your life that there's no return? You've grown too old or you've gone too far doing a certain thing that it's so hard to just quit and figure out attain your dream life.

Starring Aaron Eckhart, Meet Bill is like an American Beauty with a happier ending. My shortest description of it is, it's about a miserable man on his prime eventually realizing his self worth and what he wants for himself in a feel good movie that gives inspiration to those who still feels at a loss.


I watched it at a friend's house and I couldn't help but review it since it's now one of my inspirational films. Bill is the type of person who is like most of us- lost and without an idea of how to get what he really wants in life.

Of course, we want money, security and a sense of accomplishment, but most of us have just been stuck wondering when and how we can get that big break. To add to our confusion, we experience constant obstacles such as the job which we don't love or a person who keeps on trampling us because they see our vulnerability. That is how Bill felt. He had issues with his wife and her family because they always belittled him.

Everything else in his life worsens at a point in the story. Bill meets a free spirited boy who becomes his friend and life teacher. He eventually gets back up by starting to rebuild his physical self confidence.

Ever wondered how he'd look like in pink underpants? Now's your chance!

Just a side note, a number of star performances I've noticed in this film is that of Logan Lerman (who I usually call Percy in my reviews), Jessica Alba, Kristine Wiig and the charmingly hot Timothy Olyphant.
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