Friday, November 26, 2010

My Top 10 Favorite Saxophonists

This list is in no particular order and was NOT stolen from another individual. Copyright Infringement will not be tolerated and all property goes to Steven Chung....AH SCREW IT! I don't what you want. :)  

- Blog #10: A suggestion from a friend led me to creating this list. This is one of those lists where you can't really explain why you like these certain things. The proof is in the pudding. Yes. Honest-to-goodness pudding. Here's a simple list of my top 10 favorite saxophonists ever, along with a link to one of their greatest songs ever played. So, could I call this blog my "10th Anniversary Special Edition" blog? I could, really does sound quite stupid, doesn't it? Is this going to get all positive reviews? Probably not, since every musician has a different taste in music. For those out there who enjoy any kind of saxophone music, enjoy the saxophone therapy!

- Done.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My Top 10 Websites

This list is in no particular order and was NOT stolen from another individual. Copyright Infringement will not be tolerated and all property goes to Steven Chung....AH SCREW IT! I don't what you want. :)  

- Blog #9: It's been a tough going for me to spare time for my blog site, seeing how we're nearing the Thanksgiving holiday and other festivities. So, I won't be going as in depth as I did in past blogs. Today's topic? I'll be briefly talking about websites that I find myself going back to. There are millions of websites out there. So, of course, I will not have the same set list as you (although, I don't know many people who make a list, regarding this topic). These sites can be resourceful or addicting. It's time to start typing away!

1. Facebook - Basically, everyone has an account now. It's social-networking to a new extreme. I have one and I'll admit that I'm on it practically everyday. I don't really know what's so special about this website...actually, I can think of a few things. Facebook is there to annoy people, attract people, help people or find some reason to bring others to this internet fad. Although, the best reason to explain why people come to this site is to creep on other users. It's a fact. I've said it in my first ever blog on the topics of discussion. The excitement one gets when they see a red thing on the corner of the screen is unquenchable. Someone wrote on your wall, someone tagged a photo of you, someone liked your status, someone wrote on your status, multiple people wished you a happy birthday...for the love of all that's holy! How can one social site attract so many people? How did Mark Zuckerberg pull something like this off?

2. YouTube - This and Facebook are probably my top sites that I've visited. Having some relation with Facebook, YouTube has some of the same qualities that Facebook and other social networking sites have. However, while you can write on people's stuff and keep the ability to stalk random internet people, this website mainly focuses on the ideas of uploading videos. I must admit that I am impressed with how people are able to find videos, shows or movies played from years ago and upload them, without the consent of those who produced them. Anything that's anything is posted here, even when it's considered controversial. What isn't controversial, these days? You can find almost any sort of footage if you just type it in the "Search" box. I fully appreciate the free access to some music track videos that I can't either afford or find anywhere else.  

3. Myspace - There's a few reasons why I come back to this site now and then. I actually had a Myspace (now called My "[_____]") account before I owned a Facebook account. Was I ever glad I switched? Indeed. Myspace was confusing, as all hell, and the design of it is flimsy compared to its more powerful rival. The only reasons I come back is to see who I know is left on there, see some friend's profile and mock how people never seem to go on the site anymore. Ever since Facebook was made, Myspace has really been put down in the gutter. I think the best way to describe the relationship between these sites were from the words of a Facebook "Like Group": "Tom must be pissed"

4. - Alright. The reason I like this site should be self-explanatory. Right when you enter, you see the latest updates on the newest games out there for whatever Nintendo system you own. Plus, you can look up every single game ever made for that certain system (from Nintendo, that is). You can see previews of future games and even read/hear interviews from the developers. I'm a geek-a-zoid. That's why (Nintendo) wins this spot.

5. eBay - It's simple to purchase something off this website. Sure, there have been some problems with other people, but I have never had a single issue. Video-games, books, movies, people's houses, CD's, household necessities, appliances. You can find and purchase just about anything, if you're willing to pay the price. In my experience, the shipping process has been very prompt and I've received what I purchased, right on time or even earlier. If anything, there may be just a one or two day delay, but that's all. Just be sure to read the description of the item you want, before you buy it.

6. Wikipedia - Whoever made the remark that Wikipedia is iffy on the details is highly judgemental. Really. I can easily say, with my peace of mind, that I've never found a false detail on anything I've looked up. There might be some punctuation mistakes, but a good percentage of us go on this site just to find out what something means or is, correct? I don't consider looking up information on a resource site to be cheating, despite what some educators believe. If anything, this site contains some missing details, not false ones.

7. Picnik - I mostly use this site when I go onto Facebook, but I really enjoy the editing features used here. It's not truly professional or anything like that, although one can only judge on what he or she likes. This is mainly a photo editing site and a very appreciated one at that. Any photo you upload can be edited at a cost of waiting for the loading screen, which says things like: Loading....laying a blanket....fluffing pillows....trimming the tree....carving jack-o' For the most part, I have been satisfied with every photo I have masterfully created. Thank you Picnik.   

8. Google - The most well-known, search-engine based website is Google. Type anything in the "Search" box. You are guaranteed to find something (maybe, just MAYBE, excluding made up words). True, you may not find exactly what you're looking for. However, you may discover something better. You have to appreciate looking at all the new designs that Google makes on special occasions. Even better. You have to appreciate the creativity of the artwork that people use to make a Google logo. This just may be the best search engine ever. Yahoo just doesn't compare, in my view. Plus, you can't say, "I'm gonna Yahoo it." It just doesn't fit.

9. Gmail  - And since we're on the topic of Google, I may as well mention that I am a proud owner of a Gmail account. It gains me access to Facebook, this blog site, and other address-required sites. Powered by Google, Gmail has been a prominent success and it's been very helpful in sending and receiving emails. Just like Google, you can change the backdrop of your account homepage. There are some really cool, default designs on there. I think Gmail will continue to be of usefulness to me.

10. Blogger - Do I really need to explain why? No. Of course I don't. I guess this one's on the list because I wanted to make this moment a special appreciation moment for a friend who introduced this site to me. So, thank you Asha Waterhouse for showing me Blogger! Without Blogger, I'd be stuck reading books for the rest of my life (ha-ha-ha-ha-ha).
- Done.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Top 10 Most Underrated and Overrated Disney Movies (Part 2)

This list is in no particular order and was NOT stolen from another individual. Copyright Infringement will not be tolerated and all property goes to Steven Chung....AH SCREW IT! I don't what you want. :) 

- Blog #8: When I said that Disney had a lot of good movies out there, I wasn't kidding. There are a TON. Contrary to popular belief, I happen to think that some Disney movies get more credit than they deserve. I'm not going to go into too much detail about each of these movies. This is because...well...they're overrated for a reason, right? Note that these movies are not necessarily bad movies. They are just too highly praised.  Now, here's Part 2 of my first "Opposites Attract" list of underrated and overrated Disney movies.

Overrated Disney Movies 

1. Aladdin - It should be obvious to everyone reading this note that I really don't care if you hate me for having a certain movie on this list. It's my list! Not yours! Sure, this movie is good. The music soundtrack is quite catchy and the artwork displays the talent of old-school Disney movie-making. So, what's the problem? The story is the problem. It's cliché, it's boring, and there's not much depth to it. This is unlike the movies I had in Part 1 of this list. The movie is based off a real Arabian Nights story. Aladdin is a young man who meets this girl (Jasmine), in the Agrabah marketplace. He ends up getting "captured" by the Grand Vizier, named Jafar, and he is taken to The Cave of Wonders. There, he finds a magic lamp and he is granted 3 wishes from a genie. Joy! So, he wishes to becomes a prince to impress Jasmine (stupid...stupid...stupid). After back-and-forth discussions, Aladdin convinces Jasmine to take a ride on a magic carpet with him. Jasmine sees that Aladdin was not a prince, but only the boy she had met in the marketplace. Aladdin continues to fib and tells Jasmine that he sometimes dresses as a foreign traveler to escape palace life. After Aladdin says goodbye to Jasmine, Jafar appears to attack Aladdin, again, and throws him in the ocean. Aladdin is forced to use his second wish, to be saved. Returning to the palace, Jafar is with the Sultan and he reveals his plot to marry Jasmine and take over Agrabah. A fight broke out and Jafar is able to steal the magic lamp, The genie is then given a new master. Jafar uses two wishes to become the Sultan and the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Aladdin returns to the palace and Jafar uses his final wish to become an all-powerful genie (really stupid...stupid...stupid). Jafar is sent to his own magic lamp and is imprisoned. Jasmine then saw Aladdin to be brave. It didn't matter to her anymore that Aladdin had lied and became a prince. Aladdin uses his final wish to set his genie friend free and Aladdin gets to be with Jasmine...(sighs). It's just...boring! Plus, the movie was too comedic and cheesy. Not much of a life lesson was demonstrated in this feature film, except maybe that you shouldn't lie for your own benefit. Not the best storyline, at all.

2. The Incredibles - This one is a shorty. Blah story-lines? How about a short description of the story-line? I think that the only reason this movie was so hyped was because it was made by Pixar. It was that and it was also a superhero movie. Nothing more, nothing less. How basic can I get with this? It's a movie about a superhero family who are hiding their powers from the public. This game of hide-of-seek started, mainly, because of a legal lawsuit that sued all superheroes for using their powers. The father (Mr. Incredible) is experiencing problems when he is met with an "old fan" (Buddy/Syndrome) who has gone bad. Mr. Incredible is sent on a mission to stop Syndrome from killing any more superheroes. There's trouble and the rest of the family finds out about this secret mission. Summarizing this to the best of my ability, the family defeats Syndrome and the new villain shows up to leaves the movie with a cliff-hanger. Wow. There hasn't even been a sequel, yet. I know I'm missing a lot of details, like robot-attacks and secret meetings with superhero officials. Really, though...who cares? This movie had comedy and it definitely had some action-packed fun in it. These factors alone just don't make up for the lack of a touching storyline. The story was just not there. The events in the movie just happened. There's not much emotional reasoning for a lot of it.

3. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - Again, let me reiterate that most movies that I'm mentioning here aren't necessarily bad. Believe me. I say that there were many more underrated Disney movies than there were overrated Disney movies. This is one of those movies where I think it's a great classic, but certainly not the best Disney film storyline that there is. Not being sexist in any shape or form, but "Disney Princess" films USUALLY don't have much depth into them. Snow White is a young princess who works as a slave-girl for her wicked stepmother. The stepmother's magic mirror tells her that Snow White is "the fairest in the land." Angered by this very thought, the stepmother hires a huntsman to kill Snow White and bring back her heart. The huntsman had a conscious mind that told him that she should not die. He lets her live. The huntsman returns to the stepmother with a pig's heart, instead. Snow White flees for the forest and finds a small cottage with seven chairs, and such. Snow White figured that the place was for orphaned children. Little did she know that seven dwarfs lived there. So, Snow White spent the rest of her time caring for the seven dwarfs. The stepmother discovers Snow White's whereabouts and uses her magic to turn herself into a witch. The "witch" visits the cottage and convinces Snow White to eat a poisoned apple. The dwarfs saw what happened and they attack the evil stepmother. Cornered on a cliff, the stepmother tried to push a boulder onto the dwarfs. However, with one lightning bolt, the boulder backfired and she fell off the cliff. One fell swoop from a thunderbolt. Snow White was seemingly dead. The dwarfs hold a funeral for her. Suddenly, the prince that Snow White had previously met had come and he was overcome by Snow White's beauty. He kissed her and Snow White was freed from the spell and they all lived happily ever after. It was a touching scene, really. I just felt like I wasn't really attentive for the whole movie. I was very attentive in something like The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I think this movie is mostly popular for its music and its vibrant colors. That's just it.

4. The Lion King - I know I'm going to get people mad at me for this one. Is it really "The Circle of Life" that makes this movie so popular? Really? I think that this is a beautifully made movie and this is surely a Hall of Fame induction member. I'm not even going to go into the whole story because...literally...every Disney fan should know this one! There's nothing wrong with the storyline, there's nothing wrong with the voice actors or anything like that, there's nothing wrong with the artwork, and there's nothing wrong with the music. So, why do I think this movie is overrated? It's always talked about for the wrong reasons. Whenever I hear people talk about The Lion King, it's either about the music or how they "LOVEEEEE ITTTTTTT!" There's hardly much mention for the deeper meaning of how Simba's father died or how Scar betrayed his own family for his own goals. I feel like I'm picking on this movie. It's just that, whenever people talk about "Disney", you hear this movie or other ones that have been looked upon too highly. I guess I just don't understand why this movie is so great, when I compare it to others. Maybe it's the use of African culture that very few people bring up into discussion. Maybe it's the first ever movie that truly succeeded in making a film with talking animals. I really don't know...I just think this movie is rated too high. That's all.

5. High School Musical - WAS DISNEY THINKING? I refuse to go into the storyline of this movie should I put it? Oh, I know...IT STINKS! When people think Disney, you should be thinking about "Dreams coming true" or magic making! I'm not just talking about the first movie. I'm talking about ALL of them. I'm surprised Disney pooped out 3 of these poor excuses of "magic." Truthfully, I think these movies were made just for the money. I don't care that the movie gives out a boost of self-confidence or "SPIRIT!!" to kids and teens. It shouldn't be displayed in this manner. This movie seems to give the idea to kids that it's okay to act like a stuck-up prep or a jock that cares about nothing more than to get with the girl or some sports team. There's nothing wrong with sports or dating, but I just think that this movie is bad for Disney. Even the music in this movie is cheesy and awful. The worst part about the music is that I can't get the stupid songs out of my head. I don't want them in my head, but they freaking stay there! It's a new generation and people want to keep up with the times. I'm sure if this movie was released, sometime in the 1980's, it would be a hit (maybe even more so). 3 less than a year's time! Ridiculous...just ridiculous. Doesn't anyone else notice how less and less popular HSM became, just after the sequel and the trilogy? It's because people are realizing how much bull this movie exposes. The actors are too controversial, the plot is some weak-ass teenage soap opera, and the music...oh god the music. This movie defines the term, "overrated." Open up a dictionary and "BOOM!" Zac Efron's profile is right there.

- Done. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Top 10 Most Underrated and Overrated Disney Movies (Part 1)

This list is in no particular order and was NOT stolen from another individual. Copyright Infringement will not be tolerated and all property goes to Steven Chung....AH SCREW IT! I don't what you want. :)  

- Blog #7: It's now November, and I'm ready to write some new lists. Lately I've been watching some old Disney movies on YouTube, and a thought soon came to me. There were a lot of really good Disney movies that were made way back in the day. It's too bad that a lot of modern-day Disney movies have such awful graphics that don't feel right. You have those "3D" and computer designs that just don't feel as real as the actual flip-drawings on canvas. So, for the first time in my series of blogs, I'm making an "Opposites Attract" list that has 5 picks for one side of the story and 5 picks for the other. I'm probably going to be doing more of these in the future for video games or other genres, but for now I'm sticking to making one for Disney movies. Which Disney movies will be on here? Let's find out...

Underrated Disney Movies

1. Alice In Wonderland - No, not the new one that just came out. the animated one. This is one of those movies that doesn't fall into the categories of "Popular Disney Classics", mainly because the main character of this movie goes off in her own direction. Alice starts off the movie being bored of her sister trying to teach her about English history. At that moment, Alice must have been (or was on the verge of) falling asleep. She dreams of "A World Of Nonsense", in which there are no laws of logic or explanation. The story basically goes on to see that Alice finds a white rabbit, falls into a rabbit hole (no logic there, being that Alice was probably trice the size of the hole and was somehow able to go through), becomes large and small to get into a locked door, enters a mysterious world, finds the white rabbit and many other weirdos along the way, reaches a forest where the Cheshire Cat opens a way to the Queen of Heart's maze, gets put on trial for playing a prank on the Queen, the whole dream just goes into mayhem, and Alice wakes up to find out she was DREAMING! (phew) SO, the main reason that this movie is not highly looked upon is because Alice just doesn't seem to have the heart (and mind) that other Disney characters do. It just didn't grab attention to the viewers. It's too bad too, because I honestly thought this movie was like The Yellow Submarine...tripped up, but cool.

2. The Great Mouse Detective - Another great Disney animation film that was not as widely appreciated during its release was this adventure-filled classic. A story that takes place in London, The Great Mouse Detective starts off with a young mouse named Olivia Flaversham. She's celebrating her birthday with her toymaker father. Out of nowhere, a crippled bat breaks into their home and kidnaps Olivia's father. The bat takes the toymaker to his master, Professor Ratigan. Ratigan wants the toymaker to create a robot replica of the Queen of the Mice, all this so that Ratigan can "Rule England!" Naturally, the toymaker refuses. Olivia searches out "Basil of Baker Street", who is a detective that resembles the character of Sherlock Holmes. Basil was very hesitant to help. After he learned the identity of Olivia's kidnapper, Basil sees his chance to stop Ratigan once-and-for-all. Together, along with Basil's "sidekick" Dr. Dawson, the group seeks to save the real Queen from being fed to Ratigan's pet cat and save "Mousedom" (yeah...). The final confrontation is a bell-tower fight, where Ratigan goes insane from being called a "Rat" and ends up falling to his death, with Basil falling as well. However, an invention from earlier in the movie saves Basil's life. Olivia and her father are reunited and England's mouse world is saved from disaster. This movie is great and it surprisingly resembles the adventures of the real Sherlock Holmes. Again, the problem with this movie was that it was released at a time where there were so many other Disney movies that overpowered it.

3. The Fox and the Hound - It seems to be an automatic reception that all Disney movies have to end with a happy ending. I disagree. They can also end with something that can be passed on as a life lesson. The Fox and the Hound is an example of that kind of movie. Disney wasn't always about cute animals, adventures beyond belief, or 100% happy endings. It's rare, nowadays, that Disney films have any sort of useful lessons embedded in their storyline. This movie gave a moment of reflection. It gave people thoughts about how our society acts around us, as well as what the deeper meaning is behind it all. It's really a complex, emotional moral inside a seemingly simple plot. A kind widow, named Tweed, adopts a young fox who was named Tod. Next door, a man named Amos Slade gets a hound dog puppy, named Copper. Copper meets Tod, on account that Tod has a strong odor at the time. Thus, both become playmate friends. However, Slade sees both animals disturbing his other hunting dog (Chief) and he begins to shoot at Tod. He threatens to kill him, if he ever set foot on his property again. Further struggles between Chief, Tod, and Slade leads Copper to believe that Tod was the cause of all the troubles. As a result, Copper and Tod become enemies. Tod was sent away to a forest where hunting was forbidden and a storyline with a female fox (Vixey) begins. Slade and Copper, still hell-bent on catching (in Slade's case...killing) Tod, set up a trap and accidentally provoke a bear-attack. Copper fights the bear, but to no avail. Tod steps in to save his "friend" and both Tod and the bear fall down a waterfall. The bear does not live, but Tod somehow survives. Slade sees the opportunity to kill Tod, but Copper blocks Tod from gun-point. Slade lowers his gun and takes Copper away, only to have Copper smile at Tod, one more time. Just...a beautiful movie. You don't have a soul if you didn't feel heartbroken that Tod and Copper couldn't really be friends.

4. The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Talk about dark movies. This masterpiece defines the term "Underrated Disney Movie" with its brilliance. Think about it. There were so many references to Hell, Heaven, religion, life, and death. This is as realistic as Disney can get on reality (excluding, of course, non-animated Disney movies). There are even some sexual tensions between certain characters. The story revolves around a gypsy girl, three men who love her, a bell-tower in Paris, and a life of tyranny. Years ago, a group of gypsies fled from the law, while Frollo (Minister of Justice) was on their tail. In pursuit to capture an "unlawful" gypsy woman, Frollo kills her (debatable on whether it was intentional or not) and grabs what the woman was carrying. It was a baby (Quasimodo) or, as Frollo put it, "a monster." Frollo tries to kill the deformed baby, but he is held down by guilt after the Arch Decon arrives. 20 years later, Frollo cares for Quasimodo, who is now the Notre Dame bell-ringer. Quasi dreams of leaving the bell-tower and exploring what's out there in the world. So, he sneaks out to see the "Festival of Fools", where Frollo was forced to attend. Both were unexpectedly greeted by a gypsy dancer named Esmeralda. Quasi gets caught up in the festivities and ends up winning the "King of Fools" contest, while Frollo witnessed everything in deep discontent. Esmeralda tries to save Quasi from torture, but Frollo forbids it. Esmeralda escapes as a fugitive. Frollo's new lackey, Captain Phoebus, searches for the gypsy girl and ends up falling in love with Esmeralda. Phoebus claims sanctuary for Esmeralda, only to have Frollo trap Esmeralda inside the cathedral. Quasi meets Esmeralda, again, and helps her escape. Quasi falls in love, but fears that Esmeralda cares negatively towards his appearance. Frollo's love for Esmeralda is one of sin. It is summed up as, "Be mine...or she will be burn!" Frollo goes to burn down most of Paris in order to find Esmeralda. To be honest...this movie is just something that you have to see to believe. It's just too powerful. I feel like I'm running out of space explaining the story. Doesn't this seem like something that should be looked more highly upon? From DISNEY!?

5. Song of the South - Here's a Disney movie that is both non-animated and animated, but underrated for the most ridiculous reason that I can even imagine. Sure, some say it's legitimate. I find the matter to be absolute tomfoolery. If you've never heard of this movie, or you don't know what I'm talking about, then I've proved my point on how badly this film was publicized. The main reason that this film is (was) bad-mouthed was because of the issue of race. Yup...racial discrimination. This movie doesn't have much back-plot, as it is mostly a movie of make-believe stories. The idea that Disney would even consider this time-period as an idea for a film is mind-boggling. It's absolutely admirable. This movie was not about the ideas of race, but the ideas of how people can find happiness in the most darkest of hours. The American Civil War had just ended. A young boy, named Johnny, believed that he was on vacation visiting his grandmother's plantation. Johnny soon realized that his parents were hiding a secret. They were splitting up for a time and Johnny was greatly saddened by this. Johnny soon runs off into the plantation and befriends an old man (Uncle Rebus). Uncle Rebus appears from time to time, in order to cheer up Johnny and some other children. He tells make-believe stories of "Br'er Rabbit" and his misadventures. Suddenly, we go from real-life to a cartoon world and then back to reality again. These stories were meant to teach simple life-lessons towards young adolescents. Of course, much controversy occurred, due to misunderstandings. However, an accident regarding a bull nearly kills Johnny. The family returns to see Johnny on the verge of life or death. Johnny wants to hear one more story from Uncle Rebus and, miraculously, Johnny survives. It's a very thrilling, but very satisfying movie that leaves you with the thought that the world is not such a bad place. It is a shame that this movie doesn't get the attention it deserves.

 - So, you've read my rant on what I thought were the most underrated Disney movies ever, but what Disney movies that were on my mind when it came down to the matter of ratings being a little too...high? Stay tuned for Part 2, when I discuss what Disney movies are overrated to the public.

- Done (for now).