33 Degrees

I’m hot. No, really, I’m not kidding. It’s damn hot. I know it’s summer, but has the temperature really been this crazy the past few years? This is beyond insane. It has been my strategy (if you call it that) lately to force an all-nighter, sleep at 8am and wake up at around 3pm so I can at least subconsciously escape the unforgiving gaze of the noonday sun. Unfortunately, my brilliant ‘strategy’ barely works and even if it does, I wake up with my shirt drenching wet with sweat, my head throbbing with pain, and the treacherous fan blowing hot air on my face. Thanks a lot, industrial-grade steel.

Anyway, yeah, it’s summer. Although classes have officially closed more than a month ago, I did not feel summer begin – aside, of course, from the increasingly scorching temperature – until nine days ago, when I finally finished the 195-paged, handwritten assignment that my professor gave us for last semester. It is, however, a story for another day. This post is all about things that I plan to do for the next thirty days and more, and I am terribly excited to share it with you, so let us temporarily forget about that horrible assignment and get this entry down the road, okay?

Cool. You’re awesome.


The ‘Fifteen Genres, Fifteen Movies, One Summer’ Project

This is not new. I have done these what-to-do-this-summer entries before, trying to capitalize on this rarely found treasure called ‘free time’, and abandoned all of them even before I could cross a single item from the list. I am trying, therefore, to step back, meditate, and be realistic this time around. What can I do – and I mean really do – to make this summer more exciting?

And I thought: What about movies?

I think it is an awesome idea, really, and I think I know why I thought of it first.  Some of my friends and I should have watched The Avengers last Thursday, but my parents decided that it was the perfect time to leave the house. Since my brother also left for his jiu-jitsu training and my parents explicitly told me to protect the house at all costs, I have to cancel my plans with my friends. It is a terrible shame because I heard nothing but praises for the movie.

Hence, after that long interlude, this side-project. Since it appears highly probable that I cannot watch The Avengers now that it is in its second week, I decided to watch fifteen other movies to mourn for my loss. Some logic, huh? I know.

Update (6 May 2012): I returned from the future to update that I did able to watch The Avengers. Alone. Still an awesome movie, though. This update is so hardcore.

Anyway, for the next thirty or so days, I’m going to watch fifteen classic (and some not-so-classic) movies, each genre different from the last, from Reddit’s Top 250 Movies of All Time and review them here as I watch them. I’m not going to do a full blow-by-blow review, of course. I’m quite sure that the flicks are bound to be good anyway. I’m probably just do a little footnote here and there as I go along this path of self-righteousness.

If you’re curious, which I am sure you are, here are the movies that I am going to watch:

Action: Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

IMDb: Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the US government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.

Adventure: Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

IMDb: King Arthur and his knights embark on a low-budget search for the Grail, encountering many very silly obstacles.

Comedy: Office Space (1999)

IMDb: Comedic tale of company workers who hate their jobs and decide to rebel against their greedy boss.

Coming-of-Age Drama: The Graduate (1967)

IMDb: Recent college graduate Benjamin Braddock is trapped into an affair with Mrs. Robinson, who happens to be the wife of his father’s business partner and then finds himself falling in love with her daughter, Elaine.

Crime: The Departed (2006)

IMDb: Two men from opposite sides of the law are undercover within the Massachusetts State Police and the Irish mafia, but violence and bloodshed boil when discoveries are made, and the moles are dispatched to find out their enemy’s identities.

Detective / Courtroom Drama: The Maltese Falcon (1941)

IMDb: A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.

Epic: Apocalypse Now (1979)

IMDb: During the on-going Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade Green Beret who has set himself up as a God among a local tribe.

Fantasy: The Iron Giant (1999)

IMDb: A boy makes friends with an innocent alien giant robot that a paranoid government agent wants to destroy.

Gangster: The Usual Suspects (1995)

IMDb: A boat has been destroyed, criminals are dead, and the key to this mystery lies with the only survivor and his twisted, convoluted story beginning with five career crooks in a seemingly random police lineup.

Horror: Alien (1979)

IMDb: A mining ship, investigating a suspected SOS, lands on a distant planet. The crew discovers some strange creatures and investigates.

Romance: The Princess Bride (1987)

IMDb: A classic fairy tale, with swordplay, giants, an evil prince, a beautiful princess, and yes, some kissing (as read by a kindly grandfather).

Science Fiction: Children of Men (2006)

IMDb: In 2027, in a chaotic world in which humans can no longer procreate, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea, where her child’s birth may help scientists save the future of humankind.

Social Drama: Network (1976)

IMDb: A TV network cynically exploits a deranged ex-TV anchor’s ravings and revelations about the media for their own profit.

Thriller: Memento (2000)

IMDb: A man, suffering from short-term memory loss, uses notes and tattoos to hunt for the man he thinks killed his wife.

The ‘Art Film’: Amelie (2001)

IMDb: Amelie, an innocent and naive girl in Paris, with her own sense of justice, decides to help those around her and along the way, discovers love.

As I was writing this list, my big brother leaned in, asked what I was doing, and told me that I am a sucker for classic movies. Ha. He meant it as an insult. I took it as a compliment. Besides, not all of the films in my list can hardly be classified as a classic. Anyway, I guess I do get his point. Like him, I am always cynical when people say they are going to watch ‘old’ films or read ‘old’ books. I think they are being pretentious. Now that I am in the other side of the mirror, I guess I learned my lesson. We are being pretentious. Haha.

Anyway, as I said, I will post a little update here and there as I go along with my blog.


The ‘Random Book’ Project

Aside from the movie project above, I also decided to have a small literary project to go along with it so I can learn a thing or two. I do not mean that movies cannot impart knowledge, because I’m sure they can, but there is something about books, you know? They may only be words, but damn, these words are mystical, dude. The simplest words can invoke the strongest emotions.

Anyway, I pulled Reddit’s Top 200 Books, flicked my nose ala Bruce Lee, and asked myself two basic questions. What book do I like to read, and what do I like not to read? My answers then will comprise my reading list for the summer. Also, because I love things to be in threes and because I can, I decided to upload the entire list to random.com and read whatever the machine spurts back out.

I present then, young Padawan, my to-read list this Summer 2012. It ain’t much but I guess they work.

What do I love to read? Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

What do I love not to read but will read just because? The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

What do machines want me to read? Notes From Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

As I read what book the machines gave me, I immediately regretted having a third choice at all. I barely know Dostoyevsky. I know he’s some Russian dude and I know he is famous, but I also know his books are quite difficult to comprehend. Out of all 200 books, why would fate choose for me a Russian? The world hates me. Anyway, as for the other choices, do I even need to explain Calvin and Hobbes? It’s a bundle of entertainment, philosophy and stories of adventure. Who does not want to read that? On the other hand, The Prince looks like an excellent start to learn more about the world of politics. I hate politics (and yes, I am a law student, but it is a common misconception to tangle law with politics), but I guess for this summer, I will let do.

As for why only three books, you have to take account that I have other projects and this blog to maintain, dude. I actually thought of five books instead of three, but I am going for realistic here. It’s better to underestimate than to lose sight of my goal. Besides, if I finish early, I can always grab another book or two. Why not, coconut?

That’s it! Wish me luck, Reader, and I will update you when time comes. Adieu!

P.S. I guess you already predicted I am a Redditor. If you don’t know Reddit, check it out.