Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Dark Knight Rises

So today is a good day... I think the heavens were aware of what was about to happen and wanted to postpone the obsession that was soon to begin. I got done with one of my classes this afternoon and went to get some lunch at the food court. Standing there waiting for my food I suddenly realized I did not know where my phone was. I searched my bag and myself frantically only to find I did not have my phone. F

Fortunately about twenty minutes later I went to talk to my teacher in his office and someone had turned the phone into him and I was able to retrieve my phone. I settled down in my next class and finished my lunch and as per-usual I pulled out my phone to browse the internet instead of paying attention. I have a rare crippling obsession with Batman and for the past few months have been regularly checking for news on the upcoming Batman film THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.

And finally Warner Brothers had come out with an official announcement about THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. Tom Hardy has been cast to play the villainn Bane, and Anne Hathaway has been cast to play the villain/love interest Catwoman or aka Selina Kyle.

So anyways I thought today I would give everyone a little background on each of these villains.

Bane has already been featured in a full length live action Batman film, he was featured in the 1997 film BATMAN AND ROBIN. However like the other characters portrayed in this movie the character of Bane was totally butchered. In that movie Bane was basically a mindless big brute who fought Batman and Robin and was controlled by Poison Ivy.
Bane in the comic books is a pretty interesting character. He is a massive villain who uses a drug referred to as "venom" to induce incredible super human strength. Unlike most villains who are physically strong Bane was also very smart. He is perhaps most memorable in the comic storyline of "Knightfall". Bane attacks Arkham Asylum and causes most of the patients to escape. Batman has to find and stop all of these escaped villains and when he faces Bane he is physically and mentally strained. Bane almost kills Batman and actually breaks his back and takes control of Gotham City .
I'm excited to see what Christopher Nolan does with this character especially since he is being played by Tom Hardy, who in my opinion is a fantastic actor. I was a little surprised by the choice of Bane for the third movie... but "In Nolan We Trust." haha

Catwoman has also been portrayed in a full length live action Batman film in Tim Burton's 1992 film BATMAN RETURNS and I try not to even acknowledge the Halle Berry film. Catwoman has always fulfilled two roles in the Batman comics. She is both a love interest and villain. She is more or less a thief that has somewhat of a love hate relationship with Batman. Ultimately she finds out Batman's true identity and recently in the comics hasn't been cast as a villain at all. She typically carries a whip and wears a tight leather suit that resembles a cat. I think most people are pretty familiar with her so I won't go into as much detail on her.
In Tim Burton's film she was portrayed as a woman who was pushed out of a window and was bitten repeatedly by alley cats and somehow derived cat like abilities. I would like to point out that this is basically completely different than how she is in the comics.
I am excited to see this movie. Anne Hathaway isn't my first choice but I think Nolan has an amazing sense of casting the right people in his movies. So I am excited to see what she brings to the table in the upcoming movie.

I'm done "nerding" out now! haha Thanks for reading.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Growing up I was never really sure how I felt about my grandpa. It's not that I didn't love him and appreciate him, not at all, I just was never quite sure if he liked me! My Dad explained at Grandpa's funeral that Grandpa didn't like it when people bragged about their children or grandchildren in public. My Dad can only remember once or twice throughout his life where Grandpa said something nice about him, and one of the times my Grandpa didn't realize that my Dad was still in the room. He would tell everyone else how much he loved you when you weren't around but he rarely said it directly to you.
So growing up he would constantly correct what I did on the farm, trying to make me a better person, of course instead of seeing the value of what he was trying to do I just thought he didn't like me and thought he was trying to tear me down. But over the years I have realized that even though my Grandpa never said good things about me directly to me he still loved me and the rest of his grandchildren very much.
Two of my most memorable experiences with Grandpa happened while we were riding in a truck going to some job out on the farm. One day my Grandpa asked, "Michael what do you want to be when you get older?"
I have always liked to draw so I told him, "Well I like art, so I think I want to be an Artist."
He simply said, "You don't want to be an Artist... they don't make any money."

A few years later we were riding in the truck and he asked again, "Michael what do you want to be when you get older?"
I said, "Well I really like to write stories, so I think I want to be an author."
He said this, "I wrote a book... nobody bought it, don't be an author!"

Haha that's just the way he was. I remember him being gruff and hard, but I remember how much he loved my Grandma. My Grandpa smiled a lot and had a twinkle in his eye, even if he didn't tell me he liked me to my face, I learn how to see it in his eyes. My Grandpa was one of the hardest working men that I have ever known. Even as he grew old and forgetful he would still come out every morning to work on the farm with my Dad until he was physically unable to.
Grandpa Calvin died on Christmas day. I knew Grandpa was very close to passing on as me, my Mom, and my sister Aislinn drove over to Grandpa's house Christmas day. The sun was coming up behind the mountains and there was a beautiful almost unnatural orange light cast over everything, I won't ever forget that morning. I wasn't sure if I would cry when it happened or not, just because oh how I remember Grandpa. But that morning before he died I finally broke down as I walked around his house and I saw pictures of him. I hope that I can live to be just a fraction of the person he was. I love my Grandpa very much even though like him I have an unusual way of showing it.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My TOP 5 MOVIES of 2010!!!

2010 was an excellent year for movies, a lot of good ones have come out this year... but I have narrowed my list down to the five I liked the most this year!!!!

#5 The Town
This was a great movie. Don't let the fact that this film was directed by Ben Affleck scare you off because I really enjoyed this movie. You got to love crime movies based in Boston! This film has an interesting story and some great action scenes. Plus the story follows a group of bank robbers... A movie with a good bank robbery is always good! (The Dark Knight, Heat)

#4 Shutter Island
Martin Scorsese is one of my favorite directors and before this movie came out my brother told me I should read the book Shutter Island written by Dennis Lehane. I've never seen a movie that captures the feeling and mood of the book as well as Shutter Island does. The acting is great in this movie and Leonardo Decaprio really shows his amazing talent here. It is dark, suspenseful, and keeps you guessing through the whole movie. I highly recommend this movie!!

#3 True Grit
I dare say Jeff Bridges performance of Rooster Cogburn trumps John Wayne any day, some might think that is close to blasphemy but I stand by it! This is an excellent movie, whenever I watch a Coen Brothers movie I am blown away by the quality of the characters they have developed for their movies! Their movies are always full of genuine dialogue that make you feel like you are part of everything happening on screen. This is well acted and has an amazing storyline, this is an incredible movie.

#2 The Fighter
I don't typically like movies based around Boxing tournaments, and usually movies starring Mark Walberg have never made it to the top of my list, but holy crap The Fighter is a genuinely well made movie. The acting in this movie is top notch and absorbs you. This movie is mostly about family and I don't think I have ever seen a more convincing family on screen. Christian Bale alone was amazing in this movie, he almost seems like he is overacting as you watch the movie, but when they play the footage of the real person he portrayed you can immediately tell he was spot on with his performance! You forget that it is Christian Bale completely. Like I said before this is a genuinely well made movie and deserves to be seen!

#1 Inception
If you don't think this is one of the best movies ever made... I HATE YOU!!! haha No but seriously, in my opinion I cannot say enough good things about this movie. Christopher Nolan is my favorite director, he is extremely dedicated to his craft. This movie has everything... it is beautiful to watch, it has an amazing soundtrack, it is well acted, it keeps you interested and involved throughout the entire movie, it is original, there are some amazing sequences of action, and most of all it will blow your F-ing mind!!! This was without a doubt my favorite movie of the year and if you haven't seen it already stop whatever you are doing and watch it now.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's Thanksgiving Time

It's thanksgiving time... time for jello...
Thanksgiving this year was good, got to go home and see a lot of family! I love Thanksgiving but it always seems to go by really fast, you spend so much time making the food for it, then you eat, and then you are full and have a stomach ache! But even though I always get a tremendous stomach ache, I still love it.

My extended family always reserve the Unity LDS Church in Burley, Idaho, the church I grew up going to in Burley. Usually a lot of my cousins come and we have the Thanksgiving Feast and usually a little program. It's fun. Every family is supposed to have some sort of skit or something... I remember these skit used to be fun, now it just seems forced! One thing the boys in the family have to do every year is put on a skit for the rest of the family called "Billy Got Hit By A Bus". I can't ever remember a Thanksgiving we haven't done this skit for the family. It was fun at first but now is just something the family makes you do... hahha. There have been other variations of this skit though, while I was on my mission they changed it to "Michael Got Hit By A Bus!" I thought that was pretty funny.

Another tradition is that the boys in my family will go to a Barber Shop in Burley on Black Friday and get an Old Fashioned shave. That is always fun... however the barber is getting really old now (we always go to the same guy) and I'm worried one of these years we will get more than a shave! hahaha. The shave is very relaxing though, I almost fell asleep yesterday during my shave. After the shave the barber always puts some Osage Rub After Shave on and holy crap that stuff burns... but it feels so good!

Anyways I had a great Thanksgiving and I hope you also had a good Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Top 5 Survival Horror Video Games

Today I thought I would talk about some of my favorite survival horror video games. I play video games fairly often and I always enjoy a good scare so naturally I like Horror based video games. Now there are many of them out there, but today I thought I would pick the cream of the crop and share them with you.

Alan Wake is a very well done game, it is only available right now on XBOX 360. The story of the game is told through the eyes of a popular author. He mainly writes thriller or horror novels... however when the story starts he has not been able to write anything for three years. His wife takes him to the small town of Bright Falls for a vacation. They rent out a large house on a small island on the lake near the town. While at the cabin Alan's wife tells him about a Doctor in Bright Falls who specializes in helping artists or writers find inspiration again. Alan becomes outraged and leaves the cabin. As he leaves the electricity to the cabin shuts off and his wife begins screaming... Alan knows that she is deathly afraid of darkness and runs back to the cabin to calm her down but finds that she has fallen off the back porch into the lake below. Alan dives in after her and mysteriously blacks out. When he wakes up, a week has gone by and he has been in a car crash.

The rest of the game you desperately search the town of Bright Falls for your missing wife. As you look for her you find pages of a manuscript you have written but for some reason don't remember writing. As you find the pages of the manuscript the things you read begin to take place and happen in real life.

This game was very well written and developed. The graphics are amazing and the game is full of excellent atmosphere including run down log cabins, mills, hunting lodges, and dark forests. The enemies you face through out the game are people from the town possessed by the darkness. You have to use light as a weapon to defeat all of your enemies. The entire game follows the theme of fighting darkness with light.

I enjoyed this game very much and even after finishing the game it remains mysterious... making replay value very high!!! I highly recommend this game.

Condemned is another excellent game available on the XBOX 360. The character you play as is Detective Ethan Thomas. You start out the game by going to the next murder scene of a serial killer named The Matchmaker. The killer always stages the corpses of his victims with a mannequin. After collecting evidence the detective and the other police officers at the scene suddenly release that the killer is still inside the building watching the investigation. They split up and search the building. The killer attacks you and manages to get your gun from you and kills your partner and another officer.

The rest of the game you have to work outside the law as you search for The Match Maker also pursued by the police who think you murdered your partner. Eventually you track down The Match Maker, but he has been killed another serial killer known only as Serial Killer X by his own modus operandi. So through the rest of the game you are trying to track down and stop Serial Killer X.

This game doesn't have the greatest graphics, but what it doesn't have in graphics it makes up with creepy atmosphere and environment. Your character has to go through trashy worn down apartment buildings and a school, empty subway tunnels, an abandoned department store, an orchard, and farmhouse. The character also throughout the game sees disturbing images and gritty hallucinations. You also get to investigate crime scene with multiple high tech gadgets that makes game play very fun and interesting.

I remember playing this game late at night and being freaked out of my mind. I remember one part specifically... I was searching through the department store level. I walked into a room to look for health, the only thing inside the room were old dirty mannequins. As I turned and left and got to the doorway I heard a whisper from behind me say, "you're dead." I instantly turned around and all the mannequins in the room were right behind me standing motionless.

Play this game late at night with all the lights off and you will get the chills at certain parts of the game.

In Silent Hill Origins (which is the 5th installment in the Silent Hill series) you play as Travis Grady, a seemingly ordinary trucker who is haunted by nightmares. One night as he drives past the town of Silent Hill a mysterious cloaked figure runs out into the road, Travis slams on his breaks and comes to a stop. He gets out to search for the person but sees no one, until he sees someone running away ahead of him.
Travis searches the area and comes across a house that is burning and hears a scream from somewhere inside. He goes into the burning building and finds a badly burned girl surrounded by ceremonial type candles and satanic looking symbols written on the floor. He takes the girl outside and blacks out from the smoke.

Upon waking up the girl is gone and he decided to go to the town's hospital to find out what happened to the girl he attempted to rescue. At the hospital he meets a Dr. Kaufman who claims that there was never any burned girl brought to the hospital. Travis decides to search the hospital anyway believing the girl is still there somewhere.

Throughout the rest of the game you look for the girl and you slowly put together pieces of your dark past. The Silent Hill games are known for their extremely disturbing psychological enviroments. Most of the Silent Hill games features two sides to every area you search. The first side is the normal version of the town, but the other side is typically covered in rust and full of disturbing elements. In Silent Hill Origins Travis reaches this other world by finding mirrors where the reflection is distorted, by placing his hand on the mirror he is taken into the distorted reflection of Silent Hill. Also the game is full of disturbing creatures typically based on the main characters own inner demons.

In this game you search a hospital, sanitarium (or Mental Institution), a movie theater, and a roadside motel. When I played this game I was especially freaked out by the Sanitarium level because it was massive and you encounter many disturbing monsters.

This game gave me the chill and freaked me out. The graphics aren't amazing, but the storyline and psychologically based horror you experience throughout the game put you on edge the entire time. I think this games is one of the scariest out there today and I think you should definitely give it a shot if you have a PlayStation 2!

Bioshock is one of my all time favorite games for many reasons. It is available on both PlayStaion 3 and XBOX 360. In Bioshock you start out on an airplane that crashes in the middle of the ocean. You swim to a nearby lighthouse on a small island which turns out to be the entrance to a massive city named Rapture built under the ocean. When you reach the city you find that it has fallen into chaos, the inhabitants of the city have been disfigured by using genetically altering drugs, that enable them to shoot fire, ice, electricity, and even bees from their fingertips.

You are guided by a man named Atlas through the city while avoiding the attacks of the city's creator Andrew Ryan who believes you have been sent to the city by the government to destroy or steal it. Atlas guides you through different sections of the city to accomplish different tasks in an attempt to restore some sort of order to the city.

As you search this under water city you experience and learn an entire new political system and culture. The game was developed better than almost any game I have ever played, with a completely original storyline and world that had never been seen before. The city is filled with many psychotic and unbalanced characters and the enemies that attack you are terrifying. As you go throughout the game you encounter Little Sisters who possess "adam" which is a crucial part of surviving inside the city. You have to choose to either rescue or harvest these little sisters to obtain the adam, however they are protected by Big Daddies, huge men dressed in ocean diving suits. The Big Daddies are very protective and very deadly.

This game is excellent and even though it was not originally intended to be a survival horror game it fits right in with it's freaky environments and psychotic enemies. Like all of these games I recommend playing this late at night with all of the lights off! Take a trip into the under water city of Rapture, you won't be disappointed!!!

#1 Silent Hill 2
Silent Hill 2 is perhaps the most respected survival horror game out there! At least it is in the Silent Hill Franchise. The game is available on PlayStation 2 and though it is somewhat older and dated than most of the games out there today, and in my opinion there is no other game that is able to capture the disturbing psychological horror that Silent Hill 2 has.

The plot follows a character named James Sunderland who has received a mysterious letter from his dead wife Mary telling him that she somewhere in the town of Silent Hill in their "special place". Unsure what this special place is James goes into Silent Hill and begins looking for Mary.

Throughout the game you search a dilapidated apartment building, hospital, penitentiary, a bizarre underground network of tunnels, and lake side hotel. Like most Silent Hill games you slowly unravel the dark past of the main character and the town confronts him with twisted psychological manifestations of his inner demons. One of the reasons this game is so scary is due to one of the monsters you encounter on several occasions throughout the game. The monster is referred to as the Red Pyramid or Pyramid Head, the name is derived from the massive pyramid like helmet he wears. The monster also wields a long menacing blade!

The first time I played this game I didn't think a whole lot of it. I was kind of confused as to what even took place. The Silent Hill games are typically left up to personal interpretation, and after replaying this game you are able to pick up what is actually going on and you slowly piece together how everything you experience in the game is some deeper psychological representation of the character you play as.
The game is haunting and unsettling.

One part of this game which I found particularly disturbing about this games comes when you are inside of the hospital. You find a room where a box have been chained down to a gurney and there are about four or five locks preventing you from opening it. So you have to search the entire hospital and find the various keys to unlock it. I remember I finally found all of the keys to unlock it and once it was open I was shocked. All that you find in the box is a single strand of long dark hair. It was unnerving and totally unexpected.

I won't ruin anymore of the game but the story of Silent Hill 2 is very interesting and original. If you are brave enough play through Silent Hill 2 and find out what brought James to it in the first place!

Anyways I hope you enjoyed this post, these games are some of the best in my opinion and if you are in the mood for a good scary game to play this Halloween Season check out any one of these games!

Have you played any of these games? If so what was the best one in your opinion?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


For todays post I thought I would share a video my brother sent to me in an email today. Yesterday while I was looking for costume ideas for Halloween I found an extremely creepy picture of a man covered in a ton of creepy looking dolls. I sent it to my brother because we like to share freaky pictures, videos, and stories with each other. After he saw it he said it reminded him of this video from you tube he had seen and sent the link to me. Anyways the video is really freaky and it scared the crap out of me! It's pretty frightening... Hopefully you enjoy it! The only part I didn't like was the face at the end... but I don't want to spoil anything. Tell me what you think below.
Also I have to talk about the latest Batman news even if it is not related to Halloween... because anyone who knows me knows that I love Batman! Today it the official title for Christopher Nolan's third Batman movie was announced. It has been titled "THE DARK KNIGHT RISES", which I think is a great title because at the end of the last movie it left off with Batman being chased by the police thinking he was responsible for five murders that had been committed by Harvey Dent aka "Two Face". So the third film I'm guessing is based around how Batman has to redeem himself or in a sense "rise" again after the events of THE DARK KNIGHT.

The third movies premise and plot has been very hush hush. So far all that has been announced is that Christopher Nolan is not going to have Mr. Freeze (which he doesn't need to have anyway since the character was already magnificently portrayed by Arnold the Governator! I hope you caught the sarcasm there...) or The Riddler (which personally I was excited to see a darker version of The Riddler done by Nolan!) as the third movies villains. Also Nolan announced that The Joker would not be a character in the third movie, which I am happy about because no one should be cast in the late Heath Ledger's place, he was amazing as The Joker and in my opinion no one (at least in this decade) should attempt to do the role better.

Also Tom Hardy who played the role of The Forger (or the guy who pretended to be Tom Beringer) in Inception has been announced as a member of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES cast although they haven't announced what character he is going to be playing. Also Christopher Nolan and his wife have been interviewing women for an unknown female role in the third Batman film. My guess is that it is for Selina Kyle (Catwoman). I don't think it will be Harley Quinn, because I don't know how they would tell her story without having The Joker in the movie. Harley Quinn in the Batman Universe is a doctor at Arkham Asylum who falls in love with the Joker and later on because a main villain, though normally anytime her character comes into the comics she is accompanied by the Joker too.

Anyways I thought you all might like to know about the third Batman film and I hope you are excited for it. It is going to be amazing! THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is scheduled to be in theaters the summer of 2012!

Who do you think the villain or villains should be for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Costumes Over The Last Two Years

So I thought it would be a good idea to put pictures of the last few Halloween Costumes I've had! Unfortunately I only found three of my costumes, plus I didn't dress up on my mission so there weren't any from my mission. I wish I could find the picture of my costume the year I got home from my mission. I think I dressed up like a detective from the 70's if I remember right. I had a mullet, a mustache, a turquoise shirt, and gray blazer with the sleeves rolled up. It was pretty cool!

I realize that the last two years I did Batman Villains! I did the Joker make up by myself and I think it turned out pretty excellent. When I was Two Face Angel Palmer did my make up and I also think it turned out amazing. I won the Best Costume award two years in a row at the Institute Halloween Party. When I was the Joker I won a king size Mr. Good Bar and when I was Two Face I won a free institute lunch ticket. So the awards weren't that great but at least I have a claim to fame right? The year I dressed up as The Joker I also had another costume I wore on Halloween at work because I thought I would probably scare people away from buying phones dressed up as the Joker, so I dressed up as "White Trash!" Luckily too I already owned multiple wolf shirts to complete the costume. Hahaha! I might have offended some of the white trash at the mall though. I still haven't decided what to do this year, i won't be doing a Batman villain again though. But anyway enjoy!

Which one do you think turned out the best?

P.S. I remembered that I had an old photo in one of my photo albums at home of one my Halloween costumes before my mission! I think it was from 2004... I went as someone who had been shot in the face. The entry wound was on my left cheek and the exit wound was on my right cheek and neck! It was pretty sweet, I went to our Ward Party though and scared a lot of the kids there unfortunately though.