Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hot, sexy, steamy: Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron on W Mag's August issue

Saw these photos from W Magazine of Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron, and I was just blown away. The Prometheus co-stars are on the cover of W's August 2012 issue.

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As if the cover wasn't hot enough, the photos inside that accompany their interview were even way smokin' and smoldering. Talk about leather and studs -- what could be more sexy than that? The photographer, Mario Sorrenti, sure made them look even hotter here, and I like his use of some colorfully creative lighting here. Props to the stylist, too!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Christian Bale visits Colorado shooting victims

I first saw this photo spreading on Facebook of Carey Rottman, one of the victims of last week's Colorado movie theater shooting, with the Batman himself, Christian Bale.

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Rottman (left) with Bale at a Colorado hospital.

No, he did not come as Batman, nor as Bruce Wayne. He was just in jeans and a blue t-shirt. In fact, Warner Bros. even released a statement saying that Bale was there as himself and not as a representative of the studio that released Christopher Nolan's reboot of the Batman trilogy. All the more I'm happy with his kind gesture.

[Lookbook 07.23.2012] Inspector jacket

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I don't know why but for some strange reason I feel like I'm Inspector Gadget in this, uhm, jacket. It must be the numerous pockets, zippers and fasteners it holds. Anyway, let's just call it the "Inspector Jacket" then.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

[Lookbook 07.20.2012] Cape and cowl: An ode to The Dark Knight

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It's no secret that I'm such a fan of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy -- all the way since he first recreated the Caped Crusader in Batman Begins, to his immortalizing The Joker in The Dark Knight, and up until the just-released epic conclusion to the series, The Dark Knight Rises. So last Friday, a day after I watched TDKR, I donned a cape and cowl.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises: A fitting end to the Caped Crusader's tale

Set eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy comes full circle with The Dark Knight Rises. As has been said, it's peacetime. Gotham's crime rate is at an all time low and everything seems alright. However, it all but seems like a lull between the storm because a carefully-orchestrated grand plan to bring the city down has been brewing all along.

Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has been reduced to a cane-toting, bearded recluse, languishing in sorrow inside his now-rebuilt mansion, Wayne Manor. His co-conspirator in the cover-up surrounding Harvey Dent's death, Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), has likewise not been the happiest either.

Then the arrival of Selena Kyle (Anne Hathaway), who's been referred to in the film as a cat burglar but never as 'Catwoman,' suddenly pulls Wayne out of his hermit life. Soon enough, everyone else in Gotham is jolted by the brazen -- and very public -- terrorist machinations of Bane (Tom Hardy). Gotham is plunged into chaos. Batman is back.

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Academy Award winner Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman in The Dark Knight Rises.

Nolan did yet another fantastic job in this film. The story ties everything together from the first two films (especially the first one) perfectly into this epic conclusion. That opening sequence alone (parts of which you've already seen from the trailers) featuring Bane and his cohorts in a midair kidnapping act was just spectacular and raw at the same time, especially knowing that there was very limited CGI involved. Moreover, throughout its two hours and forty-five minutes there was always this heightened suspense permeating the film.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

[Lookbook 07.17.2012] Feeling blue, going green

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Blue and green make for a great combination, personally at least. Definitely not loud, the pairing is subtle without being boring. Here I paired some casual olive green trousers with a blue shirt. The white collar and front detailing of the shirt provide just the right amount of contrast to the ensemble. I then finished the look with a pair of camel brogues and a metal bracelet for accessory.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Some surprise guests at home

Last Friday night (Katy Perry's song is starting to play in my head), we were treated to a pleasant surprise when we got home. Just as I was done parking the car, two kittens, presumably strays, came into view from across the street.

Giddy at such a sight, I motioned for them to come. They were hesitant, understandably, but after patient coaxing I sort of gained the trust of one, who came really close to me. The other one also came near but skirted around to avoid any direct contact with us. Already, I saw two different personalities.

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My Bibe and I each managed to grab one kitten before I went inside the house to get them some cat food. It didn't take long before we decided to let them inside the house even for a few minutes. Both were just so adorable with their cute meows, which startled our own cats. Realizing where the meows were coming from and what we brought into the house, they hissed and growled. Not surprisingly, they were upset (and they made sure to blog about it here). Oh cats, why can't you just all get along like dogs?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Guest post: Some unwanted guests on Friday the 13th

(Apparently the cats snuck into our room while we were asleep, tinkered with the Mac, managed to locate last Friday's photos, got lucky I didn't log out of my Google accounts, and blogged away.)

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Foreman: Oh yeah, that's me, a black cat who's unfortunately been stereotyped with bringing bad luck on Friday the 13th and all that crap -- which is grossly unfair, by the way. Guess what, it looks like I was the one presented with bad luck last Friday -- yes -- the 13th.

Kwittie Boy: We were looking forward to a stress-free weekend, patiently waiting in the dark for our human slaves to arrive from work (although I'm not sure if they've actually been working).

F: We heard the sound of their car, then the gate. We were expecting the door to open, but then it seemed like eternity.

Fjälling in love with Fjällräven

This rainy season has given me reason to bring out jackets from my closet that haven't been used in months. In turn, this thing with jackets has likewise given me reason to enjoy the wet weather. Curiously, it's got me thinking about the highlands right now, cozying up in a cabin somewhere, surrounded by pine trees. I also remember those days when I was still living a more active lifestyle, trekking for hours to escape the lowland heat and enjoy the chilly air atop a mountain.

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Me atop the 2nd-highest point in the Philippines back in 2004.

Of course we had to contend with rain many times over, but we always knew better by being prepared with the right gear and clothing. Waterproofing was always important, something Swedish brand Fjällräven thought about in making their pants and jackets by using G-1000 fabric. What originally was made for tents, the tightly-woven 65% cotton / 35% polyester blend treated with Greenland Wax has proven itself perfect for outdoor garb.

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The Fjällräven Stuga jacket in black

The name Fjällräven means Arctic Fox in Swedish that has greatly inspired its founder, Åke Nordin. These little predators live in the harshest of climates up in the Swedish mountains. Small and tough -- I do understand why they've inspired him.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Happy 7th!

Time flies. It only seems like not too long ago when My Bibe and I first met on Valentine's in 2004. And now we're celebrating our 7th year together. What about the seventh year itch? I say give it a good scratch. Trust me, it'll feel so good after.

To the most wonderful woman in the world, my partner and the love of my life, here's to more love, to many, many more prosperous, healthy and happy years together!

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Our first year together. We celebrated with a simple dinner at Bizu.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' kicks ass

My Bibe and I watched Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter last night. I went to the cinema with nary an expectation other than the twisted premise of America's 16th president living a secret life as a hunter of the undead cool (I still wasn't eager to watch Spider-man).

Produced by the eccentric Tim Burton, Vampire Hunter is directed by Timur Bekmambetov, he who tried to make us believe in curving bullets in Wanted. I haven't read Seth Grahame-Smith's novel, so I just went with the flow.

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The film to me is a great balance of visuals, action sequences and sound. I wouldn't call it a horror movie but this triple combination scared My Bibe a few times. It was graphic novel-ish in terms of treatment, and I'm not complaining. Though some may regard all those vampire-killing sequences as overly choreographed -- especially since a lot of them are in slo-mo -- they're cool to watch. That scene where Abe was chasing a vampire amid a hundred stampeding horses was definitely over-the-top but then again, cool. Overall, the effects were pretty decent save for those instances when it looked a bit too cartoonish, like those Civil War battlefield scenes.


From the film's production notes: 10 things about 'The Dark Knight Rises'

I'm giddy with excitement over The Dark Knight Rises. I've been checking sureseats.com daily but they still aren't selling tickets as I'm writing this. I wanna make sure that I catch it on opening day, which is non-negotiable, by the way.

I've been a fan of director Christopher Nolan's reinterpretation of the Caped Crusader's tale ever since Batman Begins, where I loved how he tried as much as possible to ground everything close to reality. Now this admiration shot up to stratospheric heights when The Joker came out in the sequel. Oh yes, I loved the late Heath Ledger's take on the character so much that I dressed up as the anarchist-clown for Halloween that year.

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Why so serious?

Now The Joker is but a distant memory, and it's Bane at the forefront this time. Anyway, the makers of TDKR have recently decided to whet our appetites even more with a downloadable 49-page document containing production notes from the film. Here are a few factual tidbits about the film:

1. Batman is out of shape.
Okay, maybe a little. We all know that TDKR is set eight years after the events in The Dark Knight, when it's peacetime, when crime is at an all-time low, and when Batman is no longer needed. So Bruce Wayne hasn't seen action since.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Heartbreaking: Dogs on deathrow

It's already become such a cliché that dogs are often regarded as man's best friend. Unfortunately, this doesn't ring true in so many cases, like in this article I read yesterday on The Huffington Post that left me in near-tears (I was fighting it) and with a heavy heart. This puppy below? Cute, you might think, especially with the way he sits, how his ears are perked up, and how he looks adorably into the camera. You can't help but fawn over.

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But this pup isn't simply here for some fancy photo shoot. Little does he know that after the photographer is done, he'll be whisked away by vets to be put down. Put to sleep. Permanently. Via lethal injection.

But why, you might think. This puppy is just one of countless others in several shelters across Taiwan that have no owner and are never getting one. He's a stray, abandoned perhaps by humans whose enthusiasm over owning a pet may have simply faded away. And his imminent death is but one of around 80,000 that are estimated by Taiwanese authorities to be carried out this year alone.

It is both sad and alarming, and it's something Taiwanese photographer Tou Chih-kang aims to raise awareness about. For two years now, he's been visiting the Taoyuan Animal Shelter to record the last moments of such dogs, where he's photographed some 400 of them already. He admits the work is distressing but says he's trying to spread a message of responsibility. Dogs aren't things that you can just dispose of when you're done with them.

Friday, July 6, 2012

[Lookbook 07.06.2012] Behind the clouds, the sun is still shining

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Although the sun made an appearance this morning, by noon it was yet again clobbered by thick, dark clouds that brought rain. It is the monsoon season after all. Although it appears as if the sun has conceded defeat, we do know that behind those dark puffs it's still shining mightily as ever.

The cooler temperatures (especially indoors and where there's air conditioning) dictated my choice of outfit today, that I had to cover up. And in keeping with the mood, I did so in black -- from my cardigan down to my boots. But underneath I wore something with a punch of color, as if in alluding to the battle between the sun and the clouds. Okay, what am I saying? Simply put, I just wanted some color so I won't look too drab!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

[Lookbook 07.03.2012] Military imprecision

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While a heat wave is wreaking havoc across America, it's been raining like crazy here since Monday. Getting out of bed can be really tough in this weather because the noticeable drop in temperature makes me wanna stay at home all day, in bed for the most part. On the bright side, though, I get to wear jackets that our tropical climate normally prevents me from wearing, like this one here.

This military-style jacket is clearly not made for the weather that we have here in the Philippines but I still manage to put it on in on rare occasions. When it's raining non-stop like now, the office air conditioning feels like it's going haywire and alas, my wearing this jacket is justified!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sonya's Garden: Then and now, still heaven

It's been quite some time now since we've last checked in at the lovely Sonya's Garden Bed and Breakfast in Tagaytay. In as much as My Bibe and I enjoyed it so much the last time, I'm happy to say that our experience this time around proved to be as delightful as before, if not better, mainly because we got to bring along the cats (see post here).

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That's Sonya herself tending to her garden back in 2010. Standing right next to her is her lovely dog "Aldo."

Here's a personal rundown of the place:

Reservation/Check-in
Reservation is done via phone or email, and a deposit is required. Unfortunately, Sonya's Garden does not have an online payment facility, so a visit to the specified bank (they'll give you instructions) is necessary to confirm your booking.

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My Bibe outside our room, which was on the second floor.

Checking in was no problem. The inconvenience, though, lay in the fact that after walking downhill through their garden where vehicles are not allowed, we had to go walk back uphill where our room was (our room last time was just near the information office). Word of advice, ask first where your room is so you won't be lugging all your stuff back and forth (even with assistance).
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