Random Lunacy

Ranting from a San Jose artist/amature cosplayer at its finest. Multiple personalities frequent to kibitz author. Random Lunacy: Is it sleeping...or is it dead? >>

Monday, June 28, 2004

...This is Aise. Aise is nice. But Aise is leaving for a very long time *cry*. I want to hang out more this summer, but I can't. Therefore I am comandeering this blog to say hi and bye to people for (probably) until well into the school year. So, as I leave for Europe I just want to leave you all with warm, happy feelings, a false sense of security, and a potential psycho under your beds.

Muraki: Me? Under their beds? Why not in their beds?
Asie: *throws him a bishi* Shut up, you.
Muraki: No, really! I can sneak into beds unseen, now! I've been learning ninjitsu!
All: -_-;;;
Muraki: Sexy no jitsu! *turns into Ivy from Soul Calibur*
Aise: Oy vey! I'm ready to plotz. (i'd type more, but I can't spell that much Yiddish)

And now for something completely different, which has nothing to do with flying sheep of any sort. This is the end of the world. And this is POT on crack.

T_T I want to kidnap you all and stuff your bodies into my carry-on luggage, but, alas and alack. I've not the time or space. So fare thee well. Parting is such sweet sorrow. Yadda yadda. Blah.

Anyways, If I don't see you again, here's a kicking screaming Heimdall for Dez and a sexy-no-jitsu-Muraki in bunny ears to turn loose on the world. And a girl with a twist @_^ to play with.

And I'm still taking orders for hot guys/chicks to bring home from Europe. Let's see: 1 woman for Dez, 1 guy for Tamago... I see a pattern. I'll just bring a guy for each guy and a girl for each girl and if you don't like it, I'll take them for my own harem. ^_^

Ok. It's late. Aswitty as I usually am (hahahaha) I cannot function at the moment and must, therefore, say goodnight. And molest Dez *molestgropefondleglomplickhugchurun*
Goodnight, and if I've learned anything from reading it's 'always take a towel when you travel.' Thank you Douglas Adams.

^_^/) Byebye


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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

I Thought It Was Pronounced as"Pehn-iss"

Kozumi's Quote of the Week:
"Its a word that starts with a P and ends with an '-enis'."
--Tamago, overheard in the car.

I got a shiny new sketchbook!! *hugs sketch book* ^^ Wheee..! Anyway, its summer and this is a time for all of us to do 1 of 2 things: go swimming, or watch an immnse amount of movies. Or go to theme parks and fry off a few layers of skin.

Loki: That's 3.

*dropkick* Shut up shrimp before I consign you to the heap of cross-playing comic character Hel I call a shiny new SKETCHBOOK!

Syndelin: Ah, bookending parallels. Its things like this that almost make this blog seem like its written days in advance.
Aro: When in reality it really isn't in the slightest.

Ah good. Syn's here so today we can review a movie! Joy upon joys!

Aro: If you're one that takes pleasure in torment and torture.
Ashton: Spoken like a true uke, Card Boy.

Syndelin: Ok then. Of the movies recently seen, both on the big screen and on the littler one in the house, one really takes the cake in giving us all the biggest mind-fuck and the most frequent WTF moments since RanLune's first bad movie ordeal: The Star Wars Holiday Special (June 2, 2003, for those who missed it). And believe me, I've been watching some pretty weird things and this isn't counting Shopping Arcade Abenobashi. We've seen Van Helsing, The Stepford Wives, Hellboy, Kill Bill Vols 1& 2, Dodgeball, Stargate, The Life of Brian, and other big screen hits that even made me wonder about my sanity (Dodgeball is definiently one of them), but even Dodgeball doesn't campaire to this movie. No, this movie has made me wonder if playing a bit too many video games inspired not only the makers but myself to sit through its entirety. And wonder why I'd never seen anything like it when something so simple could be produced with so little money. No folks, this movie isn't Evil Dead, but it definently can give Raimi a run for his bad B movie zombie flick money.
This movie was Versus.
At first, this movie was casually mentioned in "polite" conversation with a certain Monkey King--

Loki-chan: You kidding me? "Polite" conversation??
Rya: As polite as verbal abuse is with you.
Loki-chan: Bite me.

Syndelin: -_- Um....causally mentioned as being something like a better ED, if possible, because not only was it shot for something like $8,000 (US $$, don't ask for a conversion back because we suck at math), but it takes all the coolest things about the movie (bad ass hero, zombies, and lots and lots of guns, baby) and does them 5 notches better.

Aro: Leon Kennedy's anti-zombie" arsenal and big-ass boomsticks?
Loki: Check.
Kozumi: I'm guessing $1,200.
Aro: B List actors with good acting ability for B list?
Loki Check.
Kozumi: Um, call it $3,000 or so.
Aro: Hot chick?
Loki Check baby.
Kozumi: .......not touching that one. -_-
Aro: Gallons of fake blood and body parts?
Loki: Check.
Kozumi: $500. There was a sale at Spirt after Halloween.
Aro: Kick-ass movie?
Loki: Check.
Kozumi: Priceless.

Syndelin: You people need a life. Anyway. Need a plot synopses? Think Evil Dead w/ a dash of Resident Evil, without the tree rape scene, but with smarter zombies, Fatal Frame-esque Hell Holes and more ressurection than a 5 hour special on The Passion of the Christ.

Dio: We're all going to Hell for that. And you're all coming with us. ^^
Loki-chan: You want it easier? Its got blood, lotsa blood and guns. BFGs. Its got Yakuza zombies who can USE the guns they died with, hot chicks, an even hotter lead and knife-weilding maniacs.

Syndelin: Hey!! This is my review! Push off! Anyway. So, there's 666 gates to Hell and one of them happens to be in this forest, aptly dubbed the Forest of Ressurection. An escaped convict finds himself in the middle of some Yakuza operation, saves the psychic heroine and, w/ aforementioned Yakuza, guns and knife-weilding manic, engage in some good ol' zombie ass-kicking. Oh, and there's some plot going on about destiny and ressurection (both the undead kind and the Nirvana type).
I was weary of such a film. One: we don't like zombies. Two: After Evil Dead and Resident Evil, I vowed never to sit through a zombie flick ever again. Three: .......wait there wasn't a three.
But then, I have an insatiable appetite for odd films, especially foreign ones, and that goes double for asian action flicks. Ok, zombies....but, smart zombies who can fight. Ok, horror...but its Japanese Horror, the best kind there is...'cept maybe Russian. And French.
Well, it wasn't until Tamago decided to buy it and force it on us unsupectingly after the GameBoy SP for Aise died while playing Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles that we bit the bullet and sat down to watch it. And you know what? I'd never had so many WTF?! moments in my entire life.
First off, I could tell it was low-budget. The lighting, the fact that everything happened solely in the forest, and the inexperienced actors in the first 15 minutes of the film. Add that to the fact that there was absolutely NO background info given on ANY of the characters (Yakuza, cute hostage girl, hot escaped convict.....it was so shallow, even a 3 year old couldn't drown in it), and I was waiting for something ultra l4mx0r to happen. Then, the quirky angles and one chara (from this point on, known henceforth as Happy, cuz that's the antithesis for such a....character) actually got me interested, despite feeling absolutely lost by random Yakuza and opening scenes of monks and zombified samurai. From there, the forest works its magic on a hapless lackey and Poof! Zombie attack scene. Not bad, a lil on the cheesy side, but I didn't have time to worry about that, cuz the protagonist of the story started to strip a dead guy for his threads, AKA: the trenchcoat, every bad-ass's fashion staple.
Then we shed a small, minute amount of light on the plot: the hostage girl is psychic! And the hero-protagonist seems to be called to this place becuase of, as she so haltingly puts it, destiny, whose is entertwined with her own (of course). And the moment we get knee-deep into the cheese, the movie makes with the action. Because little do our unsuspecting Yakuza and fleeing pair know that this forest does something to people, specifically the dead ones. You see, it makes them into walking, groaning, limping undead minons of HELL. Which is all fine and good for our action hungry Happy and his trigger sensitive partner, a bespectacled cutie whom made all of us question his sexuality....or indeed choice in teammates. Meanwhile, the designated Comedy Relief Dude makes with the panicking. And none too soon, as the fleeing pair encounter another member of the mob, and the other 3 say hello to some old friends....well, victims who've been offed by the mob over the years and had been dumped rather unceremoniously in the Forest of Ressurection.
After the slightly bland dialogue and weak plot points, I was wondering if the whole movie would be just as cheesy as a dish of shrimp linguini from Red Lobster. After all, the movie was starting to feel a bit like the Blair Witch Project, with 10 better acting and 10 less shakey cam action. But just as thing boring, the movie switches from l4mxor to all out r0x0r j00r b0x0rz, ass-kicking Battle Royale action. When the denizens of the forest get a lil grumpy over the drama and the Yakuza stamping all over thier makeshift graveyard, heads start rolling. And guts, intestines, arms, you say it and it goes flying.
Its not until this scene thhat I ever thought about what Japanese horror gave to me. Ok, an innate fear of TVs, unmarked videos and ultra-disturbing visuals and situations that makes Kubrik's Clockwork Orange and Pink Floyd's The Wall seem like a PBS program. Not just fear...but ph34r. But this movie also gave me somthing to enjoy, and that is all out ass-kicking, head rolling, stupid funny, WTF crazycool action fight scenes. Fuck Resident Evil, fuck Night of the Living Dead, Versus WILL blow your zombie blasting conceptions through the window Rush Hour 2 style. There simply isn't enough space to describe the innate coolness that these scenes just drip with; the action scenes are simply something you have to see for yourself. Then...you pinch yourself and remember thaat this was shot with less money than a year at Stanford. To quote VigJillante Jill: "Holy RoboJesus WTF".
The action takes breaks, sandwiched bewteen a slightly confusing and sometimes flimsy plot of destiny and ressurection and outlandish and ridculous comedy slices from Comedy Relief Dude and two cops after our escaped convict (or, as I called them, Beavis and Butthead). Sometimes upraoishly funny, other times out of place and just" WTH was that??", these small scenes didn't take away from the real story or action, but it didn't really add to it most of the time. It did serve its purpose like a slice of ginger between sushi; it cleansed the pallete so that another action packed ass-kicking could easily be tasted without too much sensory overloead. And there was a LOT to swallow, with each fight bringing something new to the mix, something unexpected. And as the movie raced along, the story became a little clearer.
The action and drama (in addition to exploding zombies and Battle Royale smackdowns) barely slowed down to the last epic battle between the protagonist and his rival, the mysterious man who held all the answers and seemed almost godly powerful. The answers, too, are given generously during climax times, so that the whole plot connects and the effort isn't wasted in wondering WTH these guys were fighting and what the hell the girl has to do with their destiny. And the gates to Hell.
The music jammed to techno battle type music that puts The Matrix to shame (but then, Matrix had help from its sequels XD), and it set the tones for the battles nicely. Despite being shot exclusively in the forest with few cameras and lighting help, it never got to Blair Witch Project bad. For a low-budget zombie flick, it didn't do so shabby. The accting was a bit cardboard starting out, but the characters got more interesting once you got a handle on what was going one, sorta (and you gave up wrapping your mind around the almost backgroundless character stories).
All in all, Versus is a strong movie for what it is on the surface: a B rate, low-budget zombie flick. Cross Battle Royale, Devil May Cry, and Evil Dead together and you have the startings for Verses. I personally loved this movie and it has rose to be come one of the top 10 in my book. If you like low plot, high action, zombies, guns, and crazy ass Yakuza, then Versus is definently for you. Sam Raimi, Quenten Tarantino, eat your hearts out. 10 out of 10. Watch it. Its good, unclean and harmful fun for the whole family.

*Til next time, Zombies!*

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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

7 Days....

Kozumi's Quote of the Week:
"See, we don't know the beginning and we don't know the end; all we can know about is the in-between stuff. And that, my friend, is what life is like."
--Ryuji, Ring, Chapter 6, pg 162

What's on Dez's desktop: Duo wants cake from Heero; a sketch of the members of Ju-oh-Cho from Yami no Matsuei; puppy Tsuzuki; Inuki-pachuki's puppy; Fatal Frame 2 fanart, sugar-shocked MaLoki pic.

Today, folks, is gonna be a bit long because I have a book review coming from Inha. Summer reading, people! Stop playing FF11 and start reading! Or GO OUTSIDE!

Loki: Ah yes. One short rant from our hostess. This has been another RanLune Public Service Announcement. Now shove off.

*Dropkicks Loki* Ok. Take it away, Inha.

Inha: Recently on the finished book list was Koji Suzuki's Ring and Spiral. Ring, the basis for the Ringu franchise we're all so familiar with, is an interesting journey through the mysterious and supernatural world of Sadako Yamamura's reign of terror.
At first I was wary of the novel, since I am generally cautious of translated novels and manga to begin with--

Loki: Cuz you have no faith in the dubbing world.
Inha: Would you, after ADV's decision to pick up season 2 of Matantei Loki Ragnarok's manga?
Loki: ............................Touche.

Inha: Anyway, after reading the intro, I was hooked. Suzuki's style of writing, while simple, was straight, descriptive and to the point. Slick and short, yet entertaining. Its not Tolkein, but its not 6th grade english either. Since I'm used to the thick and descriptive (and sometimes run-on sentence-heavy) author styles of Douglas Adams and Dean Koontz, Suzuki's clean cut and streamlined style was refershing and...well, fresh. The Japanese feel of simplicity shows through very well.
One thing I noticed about Suzuki's writing style was the constant change of POV. In most novels, a POV change is rare, and when it does happen, it happens, say, a chaper or two away from the main character's, especially in the case of a 3rd person POV. One rule I was taught in writing was that POV changes in 3rd person between characters should never occur in the same paragraphy or indeed the same scene. Suzuki, on the other hand, throws that idea out the window but changing the POV from character to character all in the same scene, on the same pages even. At first, I was a little confused and turned off by this style. However, as I continued to read, I felt that his constant changes where important. Sometimes it was absolutely necessary to get into another character's head in the same scene to get a feel of what's going on. Others may think its sloppy but it adds top the pace of this novel.
The characters are stunning and 3 dimensional. In both Ring and Spiral, I noticed a sort of Foil Character system going on between the main characters. In Ring, there was a foil in Ryuji and Asakawa; Ryuji was nihilistic and self-possessed, while Asakawa seemed timid, neurotic, nervous, and almost woman-like. In Spiral, Ando was a despressed and work oriented man because he had almost no one to come home to, whereas his friend Miyashita is cheery and a family man. You really feel the character's feelings, both through the POV chnages and though the vivid style of Suzuki's writing.
The dialogue is sharp and witty sometimes, but real. At the same time, its almost prose-like. Most exposition for the mystery of the famous video tape is through the quick dialogue between the main characters. The story works like a detective novel, with much of the deduction coming from the characters as they present their evidence.
The books are startlingly different from the movies, focusing on different characters and storylines. The novels work more like detective mysteries (cue Mayura's "fushigi mystery!"), while the movies are more like psychological horror thrillers and suspense with some minor scary gore (the American remake especially). Its a trip to see Ryuji determine who made the video based on some of the imagery and how some of it is recorded, or to slowly realize Sadako's motives towards Mai and Asakawa.
All in all, I really enjoyed Suzuki's novels and am eagerly awaiting the last installement of the series, Loop. The Ring story draws you in with its intrique and mystery, and even if you know how the story goes (based on maybe the manga or the movies), the plot still throws its readers for loops and surprises (no pun intended). Even the endings for the novels may seem so final, yet the next one picks up where the last one leaves off and adds yet another thread to the web of betrayal and mystery. Even this long post isn't enough to express exactly what i think about the books. I suggest looking for them and diving into the Ring and Spiral. You'll never look at video tapes the same way.
I give this book 9 out of 10.

Aro: I'd give it 10 but we're all a little biased because we all think Sadako 0wnz.
Inha: -_- In...deed.

*Til next time, Lunies!*

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Friday, June 11, 2004

You There! Rub My Shoulders!

What's on Dez's Desktop: The crew from En-Ma-Cho in winter coats; another random hot chick (man i love random desktops^^); where do we find paradise Loki wallpaper; YamiMatsu wallpapers made my my lovely Koi.

Inha's reading list: Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman; There and Back again, by Pat Murphey; The Mask, by Dean Koontz; Kindaichi Case Files: The Santa Slayings, by Yozaburo Kanari and Fumiya Sato; The Ring Mangas.

Syndelin's movie list: Verses, Van Helsing, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill Vols. 1 & 2

Summer Wishlist: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban; another Crystal Chronicles venture w/ the <> caravan; Vol. 7 of Matantei Loki; Vol. 3 of Saiyuki, Pet Shop of Horrors Vol. 6, more Kindachi T_T; my Koi; Tamago's Gameboy SP; mochi and/or Ecchan XD; MaLoki yaoi doujinshi; l33t Fatal Frame skillz; beach trip?? anyone?; and on that subject: a new swimsuit.

Not much to report, lunies. Kinda boring. I am now hooked on Crystal Chronicles....^^;;; Currently trying to kick my laptop into spitting some Fanime pix out to my home comp.... The battery's dead so I'm charging.....*snore* So, Rya, tell our faithful reader's what's coming in the next posts.

Rya: Sure. The movie review is making a comback, as is Inha's book review. Expect more lyrics from Syndelin, some sort of short con report from Dio, and maybe someething like the RanLune Love Triangle Fiasco.
Loki: I heard it was to be a softball match.
Aro: Great. That woud explain why we now have a baseball diamond out in the middle of the living room.
Loki: No, that's just Syndelin fiddling with Clio's landscaping programs.

Stay tuned.....because something's gonna happen and you can bet it'll include dropkicking Loki.

Loki: Crap.

*Til next time Lunies!*

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Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Summer=Sleeping in

Clio's Word of the Week:
Antithesis (n): 1. the complete or exact opposite of something; 2. a use of words or phrases that contrasts w/ each other to create a balanced effect; 3. a proposition that is the opposite of another already proposed.

What's on Dez's Desktop: Hot girls and hookahs; Nosgoth overworld map (BO1); Wet Panto; Muraki and Tsuzuki looking rather slashy ^^; 2 hot armored chicks; ad for Troubled Windows (hmm seems almost sacriligious on my comp XD).

Syndelin's Music list: Camino (IC Brain), Nami Tamaki (Greeting), Two-Mix (various), Barenaked Ladies (various); Byakko the iPod just running random ^^.

Blogging to watse time as Gaia is currently too busy right now so bear w/ the mediocre news.

Just got word of Penny Arcade's convention in August, PAX. Anyone going? Its a gamer's con so I suspect only hardcore gamers are going. Sounds fun...but I think SJSU starts school around then.....^^;;;

Beyond the Camera's Lens is back up for those who have been missing this Fatal Frame info site. There was much "sqeee-ing" when the page loaded. ^^;; I am a gamer obsessed.

Dez wants to make her own website. T_T If anyone could swing by and give me advice when I finally get webspace (which is....whenever), it would make Random Lunacy a very happy widget. Dez wants a webcomic.

I'll prolly be away after this since Tamago wants me to spend some quality time w/ him....XD I'm spending the night at the Egg's house so I'll be gone tonight into tomorrow and hopefully be back in time for PHHS grad. So, I'll catch ya all later!

*Til Next time Lunies!*

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Tuesday, June 08, 2004

I Want to Get Away

Kozumi's Quote of the week:
"I admit its bleak, but I give it a week, and tell our friends the Meek, "Give it back."
--Barenaked Ladies, "Second Best" (Everything to Everyone)

Well, expect the blogging to dwindle a bit. I haven't been up to par as of late. In fact I've been downright depressed for several reasons. Just want to drop a line to say that I'm still alive (biologically speaking) and that things are (for now) ok.

Outkast's "Roses" is dumb. Just wanted to say it.

I've been alerted that the Detective Conan dub is on the air. Under no circumstances will I refer to it by its dubbed name *shudder*, just like the Cardcaptor Sakura dub. I've been told its on the bad side and that I should lose all faith in American dubs but I'll decide that after I work up the nerve to watch it.

Loki: Dude, they changed the names.
D: Hearsay; all hearsay.
Loki: So was the evidence against me for Baldur's murder. What's your point?
Rya: That there are still some fools who believe in the justice system implicitly.
Wufei: JUSTICE!!
Lex: -_- Gods, who let him in?

So yeah. Um, I've joined Gaia Online to check it out. Not much there to say other than its a honkin' huge place. Every community will have its nice guys and total jackasses, so this forum isn't much different that any I've been a member of. My avatar's name is CardCaptor Loki. Drop a PM if any are interested. I'm saving up enough gold to try to buy some white sneakers so the more time I waste the better.

Any helpful tips on beating Mission mode for Fatal Frame 1 is greatly apppreciated. I wanna finish the game enough to my satisfaction so I can move onto Siren.

Curse you Tamago and your new Gameboy SP!!!! XD

Well, that's about it. I'll see ya'll later. Congrats to the PHHS class of 2004 on graduation!

*Til next time Lunies!*

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Wednesday, June 02, 2004

The Days After

Kozumi's Quote of the Week:
"I forgot to mention; if you fail I get your husband's balls fro my personally collection."
--Shop Lady, Tomoyo Does Cardcaptors

What's on Dez's Desktop: Loki and Heimdall; Clamp's leading men; Dante locking and loading; The Repentence; Crimson Wave....XD

Well, after the much needed rest, I'm back in the saddle again. How've my Lunies been since Fanime?
Dio: We're tired, unpacking and looking for places to put new manga.
Aro: Or new places to hide yaoi.
Dio: *Whap*

Yeah, I needed an extra day to recover, esp. since this year it was a whopping 4 day con! I won't bore too many of you with the small details, only that, like all of us, I spent wayyyy to much in the dealer's room, get less sleep than I did in Finals, and watched 1 thing in a viewing room and it was the fanparody I was in.

Oh yeah, and G-Rated finally won an award at Der Cosplay. ^^

Well, that's all I'll say for now. Most of my readership came to the con so I won't waste too much space over it. If anyone wants to know more...I'll elaborate, but for now...Dez is going to go play Fatal Frame 1; after all, I need to beat that sucker twice for Nightmare!

*Til next time Lunies!*