Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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All entries tagged Pop Culture. You can subscribe to an RSS feed of this list.

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movies pop-culture

One of the things I’ve been wanting to do during this hiatus was to watch more movies — we’ve got a ton of DVDs downstairs I haven’t seen yet. Since I had just finished the fifth book of Stephen King’s western fantasy, I started this task with Sergio Leone’s western opus, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. I haven’t watched many westerns before. This is probably the first one I completed.

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books pop-culture

_ “There will be water if ka wills it.” – Roland of Gilead _ I had a Powerbooks gift certificate the other week, and the Powerbooks at Megamall happened to have a sale, so I took a look around. And lo, I was lucky enough to find a copy of the fifth book of Stephen King’s epic western fantasy, The Dark Tower. It was a huge book, larger than my copies of the first four, but with the same cover style and by the same publisher, so it was the copy I wanted.

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tv-series pop-culture

My hiatus involves quite a bit of TV of course, especially since I get some idle time while waiting for installations/formatting/downloads to finish. Today, for the first time in maybe twenty years, I saw an exciting action-packed episode of the A-Team! For those not in the know, the A-Team was a bunch of rogue ex-commandos who usually acted as mercs, fighting for good, beating bad guys and saving the day. In the parlance of Roland of Gilead, gunslingers.

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movies pop-culture

One word: Suxxor. Well, not really. It’s okay I guess. When I first heard they were making a Fantastic Four movie, my first reaction was, “Uh… that can’t be good.” The plot is barely servicable… the thing that really made me think “suxxor” was how Victor von Doom’s role was handled. I mean, in the comics, Doom was a monarch, ruler of Latveria. He wasn’t a madman bent on revenge. He was a madman bent on world domination!

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movies pop-culture

Awesome. Definitely better than the all the other Batman movies. This movie is no kids’ movie either. The movie is less about Batman’s crimefighting adventures and more about Bruce Wayne’s journey from being a angry, confused rich orphan to the billionaire playboy/costumed vigilante popularized by the earlier films. The movie captures the essence of Batman’s character perfectly. It’s all about fear — Bruce overcoming his fear of bats and eventually turning that fear into a symbol to strike terror into the hearts of criminals.

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movies review pop-culture

I should’ve thought of this as soon as I got DSL: I went ahead and downloaded Transformers the Movie. Transformers was of course, the epitome of my youth. Unlike most other guy kids, I preferred the Transformers to G.I. Joe. I guess I preferred high-tech fantasy over soliders back then, with the war of the heroic Autobots and the Evil Decepticons appealing more to my young mind than soldiers trying to fight terrorists.

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movies pop-culture

We saw Revenge of the Sith at the Gateway mall in Cubao. It’s less than a year old, and it’s target audience is a higher class than the usual malls. It’s like it’s trying to be something like the Podium, which makes it a bit out of place in Cubao. The mall is good anyway, as you’d expect. Not my type of place to hang out, but has the comforts you’d expect of such a mall… clean, not much of a crowd, and people greeting you when you get off the taxi.

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movies pop-culture

The circle is now complete. The whole tale has been told. Revenge of the Sith completes Lucas’ space opera. And the Force is strong in this one. Highly enjoyable movie, if you take the time to push away your inner critic and look past the spotty acting, the so-so dialogue, and all the little flaws and inconsistencies you spot throughout the movie. Get past all of that, and it’s a decent enough ride, and a fitting conclusion to the Star Wars epic.

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books review pop-culture

Haven’t read Robert Jordan in a while. Someone gave me Crossroads of Twilight as a gift, so I read it and hope that his pacing has improved. It has not. He writes well enough, dialogue is nice, descriptions are more than adequate, but I expect some things to happen in his books! He has so many plots running at once, he should at least resolve two or three per book. Perrin, Mat and Elayne get a lot of chapters, but they barely get anything done.

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books review pop-culture

“I do not aim with my hand. He who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I aim with my Eye. I do not shoot with my hand. He who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I shoot with my Mind. I do not kill with my gun. He who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.

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books review pop-culture

A while back I blogged about Bob Ong’s first book. A short while after, I also picked up his next two books, Bakit Baliktad Magbasa ng Libro Ang Mga Pilipino? (Why Do Filipinos Read Backwards?) and Ang Paboritong Libro ni Hudas (Judas’ Favorite Book). “Bakit Baligtad” focuses on the Philippines, its people, its quirks and its problems. “Paboritong Libro” is a lot harder to classify, as it jumps across several topics, with the unifying theme being the chapters named after anagrams of the seven deadly sins.

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music pop-culture

Currently listening to “Boulevard of Broken Songs”, a neat mashup mainly of Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” and Oasis’ “Wonderwall”. This and some other mashups here. (haven’t listened to the others though… ) Another interesting mashup that came out quite a while back was “This Is How You Remind Me Someday” , where Nickelback is caught basically reusing the same chords for two songs. Great stuff. Other songs/bands I’ve been listening to lately:

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comics pop-culture

Ctrl Alt Del – Tragically l337 Never actually read Ctrl-Alt-Del before, although I have heard of it. The webcomic is somewhat Penny-Arcade like, except with more continuity and only one of the two guys on the couch is insane. The comic linked to above is my favorite so far. =)

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books pop-culture

Picked it up as an impulse buy from National Bookstore a couple of weeks ago. Anyone who grew up in the 80s will appreciate Bob Ong’s trip back to his elementary/high school/college days. His tales of school will ring true to anyone from around the same era; younger folk may not appreciate it so much. (My younger brother seems to have no idea what _Spin-a-win _is/was, although he is aware of SOS, Flames, etc.

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books pop-culture meta

I went to the dentist yesterday (irrelevant), and at National Bookstore Shangri-la, I found a copy of The Waste Lands, a day after I blogged about looking for it! They also had a copy of the fourth book Wizard and Glass, but I only had enough cash for one. On a website note, if you’ll notice, I added entries from my del.icio.us account to the blog. It’s done using the excellent Feed2JS tool.

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books pop-culture

Really. I’ll read most anything. Books, comics, magazines, newspapers, leaflets, articles, essays. Well, anything well-written at least. When I first got access to the Internet, I was overjoyed. “Wow! Lots of stuff to read!” And I read a lot online. I started mostly with anime fanfiction, but pretty soon I enjoyed reading discussions on mailing-lists, message boards, news sites, etc. The internet is a treasure trove for one who always strives for information.

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music pop-culture

Interesting story about a guy who had to shell out 350 dollars to quote Radiohead lyrics in his book. Even though he was able to quote from many other bands, books, and even a separate Radiohead album for free. Even he had personally met the band before, and had freely let them quote his own works in their concerts. Gives a good idea of how fucked-up the worldwide copyright system is.

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books pop-culture

The other day, while waiting to get a blood test at Clinica Manila, Megamall, I managed to finish about 2/3rds of Paolo Coellho’s best-seller The Alchemist. I finished the last 1/3rd during a 15-minute bathroom break back home. It was a short book. Lots of people have raved about how good it is. What do I think? It’s okay, but nothing overly special. Maybe I didn’t get too much of it because it didn’t have much new material for me.

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books pop-culture

It’s 1:30 in the morning, and I plan on being at work by 8AM, so I’ll just throw out a quick book review before I buzz off to meet the sandman. Neil Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon is the only book I managed to finish out of the three I took with me to Bicol. And I actually started reading it about a month and a half earlier. In a word, the book is wordy.

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Roy Tang is a:

roytang.net is a personal site; I post about a random assortment of topics that interest me including software development, Magic the Gathering, pop culture, gaming, and tech life. This site is perpetually under renovation.