Friday, August 31, 2012

The Brave Soldier

Daniel Brizuela

The Brave Soldier

            Mark Witther was a very brave and fearless man who has taken part in numerous missions for the United States Army. He works for a special division of his country’s army that deals with extremely dangerous and violent operations that no other ordinary person could get out of his mind when done.
            Witther has taken part in numerous of these violent missions, from taking down blood-thirsty terrorists, drug dealers that deal in drugs that could kill in just seconds, despotic leaders not afraid to use nuclear weapons against his own people, and many more. Not once has he ever failed a mission, or even gone crazy from all of the work he does as he is one of the best there is.
            However, there are only two things that really get his heart pumping from being scared and nervous and one of them drives the plot of this story. The other thing that he’s afraid of will be brought up at a later time, most likely at the end of this story, so stay tuned.

            It was the first of July when Witther returned from an extremely violent and difficult mission in the Strait of Gibraltar. He had to stop a warlord from unleashing deadly nerve toxins that would have killed millions of innocent people in Europe and Africa.
            Since he hasn’t used any vacation days for the past three years, the army has given him an extended off time from his usual two and half months breaks from the army to be with his longtime girlfriend, Mary Yuler. The two of them were hoping for that so they could spend time together far longer than they did before, which is what will lead to one of Mark’s true fears.
            The first place they went to first was to the beach, where Witther’s fear started to get a hold of him when he tried to grab something that was in his pocket when Mary looked the other way. He decided just to forget about it and just enjoy his time with her before the vacation ends and gets deployed again.
            A few days later they went to a festival celebrating the Fourth of July and watch the fireworks show at night. There, Mark tried to tell Mary something that was a part of his fear and he couldn’t get what he was trying to say out.
            All he could say was how he missed her so much every time he was out there on a dangerous mission and would always think of her. To her that was the sweetest most considerate thing that anyone has ever told her in her life and she was so happy.
            Repeatedly, he tried and tried to spit out what he actually wanted to tell her, but every time he tried his heart would beat so fast. Mark’s heart beat so fast that he almost felt like he was going to have a heart attack or maybe even pass out.

            A few days before he would be sent back, Mark still hasn’t done what he promised he would do as he was so afraid to do it. He wanted to do it, sure, but he’s afraid of what could happen after and how it could affect him and Mary later.
            Mark felt that now was the time, otherwise he wouldn’t be seeing or be with her again for a few more months. If there was ever a time for him to do what he wants to do, now is the perfect time to do it or never be able to.
            When he woke up before Mary, about two days before he would be sent back, he made breakfast and waited for her. As he was waiting for her to walk down, his heart began to beat very fast again with each step that she took to get down.
            If this was going to happen, Mark would have to control himself and not be so nervous anymore, like all the times he goes on his missions. Once Mary arrived, he gave her the food they prepared and as his heart beat faster and faster, Mark remembered all of the training he had and how he used it his missions to get his heart to slow down.
            Once they were done with the food, Mary asked what their plans for that day were, which is what Mark was hoping she would ask. He told her to close her eyes shut for a few second until he told her to open them again and she saw him in front of her and on his knees and holding a ring on his hands.
            It turns out that the thing that he’s been trying to do all this time that actually scared him was asking her to marry him. He was just so nervous of what her answer might be that he just kept putting it down for later until he was brave enough to do it.
            With his heart no longer beating so crazy, Mark can now live with her knowing that they’ll be together for the rest of their lives. Even if something does happen to him on one of his missions at least he’ll know that Mary will always be there as a reason to keep on fighting.

            The day before Mark would have to go back; he and Mary decided to spend one last time together at the amusement park where they went for their first date. They had everything ready for the wedding, which would be the day that Mark returns again, along with the invitations, the clothing, and everything else needed.
            Remember how in the beginning I mentioned that Mark had two big fears, with one being to ask his girlfriend to marry him, which he overcame. The second fear, as I told you in the beginning, will be shown in the end, which is where we are at right now.
            Just like he did with Mary, Mark will face something that’s far more frightening than all of the missions he’s previously been in. That would be roller coasters, which is what he was going to face today so that he had nothing to fear ever again.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Christmas Time poem

Daniel Brizuela                                                                                                                    12/22/11
Christmas Time poem.

Oh, Christmas time,
It’s a time that’s fine.
Christmas is so good,
So be in a good mood.
What can you get,
But a wonderful pet.
It’s a time of giving,
So stop eating and sitting.

Oscar Best Picture

Daniel Brizuela                                                                                                                                12/1/11
Oscar Best Picture.
            Each year, for the past 83 years, one movie has won the most important movie award: the Oscar for Best Picture of the year. Since 1927, the Academy Awards have given many different films the award that proves how great, loved, and famous they were. It is the final and biggest award that’s given at the Oscars. The producers of the film are the ones who collect the award and become Oscar winners.
            Every genre, except the superhero genre, of film has been nominated for a Best Picture Oscar and at least once they’ve won, all except so far science fiction, comic book based, and animated films. So far only three westerns- Cimarron in 1932, Dances with Wolves in 1991, and Unforgiven in 1993-, one thriller, 1940s Rebecca, one horror, 1991s The Silence of the Lambs,  and only one fantasy film, the third Lord of the Rings, have won Best Picture. Other films that have won the Oscar for Best Picture include 1986s Platoon, 2010s The King’s Speech, 1959s Ben-Hur, 1970s Patton, and 1999s American Beauty. Some movies that have been nominated for Best Picture include 2009s Avatar, 1939s The Wizard of Oz, 1942s Mrs. Miniver, 1963s Cleopatra, and 1928s The Racket.
            There are many milestones and superlatives for various films that have been nominated or won the Oscar for Best Picture. These include only three films- 1934s It Happened One Night, 1975s One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and 1991s The Silence of the Lambs- winning Best Picture alongside the top Oscars for Best Director, Best Screenplay Adapted or Original, Best Leading Actor, and Best Leading Actress. 1969s Midnight Cowboy is the only film to win Best Picture and have an X rating which is now replaced by the NC-17 rating. Another superlative is that 1939s Gone with the Wind, at about three hours and fifty-four minutes is the longest film to win Best Picture. 1991s Beauty and the Beast was the first animated film to ever be nominated for Best Picture, and it wasn’t until 2002 that the Best Animated Film was added to the Oscars. From the early 1930s until 1943 when Casablanca won Best Picture, there were ten films that were nominated for Best Picture and after that it was five until 2010 when ten films were nominated again after many were angry that The Dark Knight wasn’t nominated. Now, however, the Academy has changed it again so that there could be anywhere from five to ten films being nominated. Who knows what 2012’s Best Picture nominations and/or winner will be, maybe either Hope Springs, The Avengers, or even Brave.

The Strange Man

Daniel Brizuela

The Strange Man
            Sunday morning, 6:52 A.M., Hawaii, 1941, a strange light comes out of nowhere in the middle of a military hospital. Soldiers are called in with their weapons ready in case they are facing an unknown hostile entity.
            The strange light then turns into a person, a man with green and black skin, wearing silver clothing. This green-skinned man took out a strange blue cube out of his right pocket that sounded like a vacuum when he opened the pocket.
            He set the strange cube down on the floor and when he stood back up he said “I’m sorry.”, and then disappeared in another bright light. When he left, the soldiers were shocked and in fear as to what he was, what he meant, and what the cube was.
            A while later at about 7:45, as some soldiers carried the cube in a truck to show it to Navy Fleet Commander Husband E. Kimmel, the cube started to glow and emit a beeping sound that made the soldiers stop and get out of the truck fast.
            They feared that the beeping and glowing meant that it was some kind of explosive or something else dangerous. As one of the soldiers started to get close to the cube to see what happens, they all heard explosions from far away.
            They all reacted to the explosion and looked on as unfamiliar planes were attacking Pearl Harbor’s military base. Two of the soldiers were shot dead by the planes and the other three in fear got on the truck fast, not paying attention to the cube which stopped glowing and beeping.
            The soldier driving the truck tried desperately to try and avoid being shot at by the enemy planes. Just when they arrived near a plane hangar the truck blew up from one of the enemy plane’s bomb drop. All three of the soldiers in the truck were immediately killed and incinerated; the only thing in tact was the cube, which landed on the ground without a scratch.
            That cube stood there throughout all the chaos of the Pearl Harbor attack by the Japanese. It wasn’t until five days after the event that the government was told of the cube and took it to study it along with other cubes that have appeared over the centuries right before something catastrophic happens.

            By the year 2020, the United States government has recovered all of the cubes that have been left by the same strange man that appeared in Pearl Harbor. In all they’ve collected about two hundred and five in the United States alone and over four thousand seven hundred in the rest of the world.
            The Strange Man from Pearl Harbor has also been spotted in such places as the Titanic, an hour before it hit the iceberg; in Japan 2011, right before its huge earthquake; several Native Americans before they were wiped out; the World Trade Center both in the 1993 and 2001 attacks; many Jewish towns in Europe just before the Nazis invaded, among many others.
            No matter what the government tries they just can’t put a scratch on any of the cubes with whatever they have. The real reason for why the first atom bomb was tested for the Manhattan Project was to see how indestructible they really were.

            It was May 7, 2021, when it was reported that the same man from Pearl Harbor who took out the cube there and other places throughout the world was captured by government agents. These government agents were especially trained since 2012 to hide in plain sight all over the world to observe The Strange Man if he ever appeared, even at the cost of being in the middle of a disaster. By January of 2021, they were assigned to capture him and bring him in quickly right before whatever disaster was about to happen. So far they’ve failed about six times, but now they’ve successfully captured the stranger with the cubes. Those who captured him had to act quickly and carefully to avoid whatever disaster was about to happen. That place being the capital of India right before a severe hurricane hit and killed over two hundred people.
            The government agents took him by plane to a secret government lab in the middle of the desert outside of Las Vegas. When they got there, the scientists immediately took the strange man and proceeded to experiment on him.

            A few hours later the head of the department that was assigned to capture the Strange Man arrived to check on the progress. When he entered the base he was shocked to find everyone inside, whether army personnel or scientists, dead on the ground.
            When the head of the department entered the lab where the Strange Man was supposedly being tested, along with the cubes, he saw that the life form was staring right at him. As he was grabbing for a gun that was right in front of him, he suddenly froze right there, unable to move.
            “What are you?” the department head asked scared. “What do you want?”
            The Strange Man just continued looking at the department head in the same way for a few more seconds. It then said “You’ll never learn.” The Strange Man then disappeared in a blinding light that made the department head nearly blind.
            After the Strange Man disappeared, the head of the department was able to move again after being paralyzed. After finally being able to move the head of the department decided to call the government over what happened.
            Just as he was about to dial the numbers on the phone all of the cubes that were collected over the years began to glow and emit the same sound just like the one in Pearl Harbor and all the others ones throughout history. This scared the department head so much so that he immediately turned white because of what could be happening.
            Then the cubes suddenly stopped glowing and beeping, which at first made the department head glad. The phone then suddenly rang and he immediately picked it up and answered it with the President of the U.S. on the other end.
            “What’s going on over there?” the president asked in an angry manner.
            “Sir,” began the head of the department in a scared tone. “Everyone here is dead. The Strange Man disappeared and all of the cubes started glowing and emit that sound. Something big is going to happen, sir.”
            The call then went dead and suddenly one of the television screens turned on and it was showing news reports on various nuclear missile bases all around the world firing their rockets without warning and out of nowhere at random parts of the world. This is what the cubes were beeping and glowing for, for the end of the world because of the worst disaster that can ever occur, one at the hands of man.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Halloween films.

Daniel Brizuela                                                                                                                                1/12/12
Halloween franchise.
            The main character is an actual boogeyman, he loves large kitchen knives, wears a white William Shatner mask, can’t be killed, and he has scared audiences since 1978. That character is the famous fictional supernatural movie serial killer Michael Myers, of the Halloween franchise.
            Since 1978, the Halloween films is one of the most famous horror franchises in the world, and what eventually inspired the making of the Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street films. There have been ten films in the series, although one of them, Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, has nothing to do with Michael Myers, and eight, not counting Rob Zombie’s films, were produced by Moustapha Akkad before his death in 2005 in Jordan by a terrorist attack.
            The series began when John Carpenter co-wrote, with Debra Hill, and directed the original film, originally called The Babysitter Murders, with a very small budget, a largely unknown cast, including Janet Leigh’s daughter Jamie Lee Curtis and, because of the small budget, Donald Pleasence could only work for a few days, and financed by an independent company. In the end, Halloween became one of the most influential films of all time, itself influenced by past cheaper horror films like Psycho. The franchise is also famous for its musical theme made by Carpenter himself that appears in all of the films.
            Halloween begins with a six year old Michael Myers murdering his older sister in 1963, being put into a sanitarium, not saying anything for 15 years, escaping, being pursued by his psychiatrist Dr. Loomis, played by Pleasence who loved the role so much that he reprized it four times, Michael returning to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois killing what seems to be random teens and going after Curtis’s character who gets saved by Loomis after he shoots him six times and falling out of a second story window while strangling her character of Laurie Strode. The film ends with Laurie asking if Michael was the boogeyman and Loomis, after seeing if she was okay, is not surprised that Michael’s body is suddenly missing. Unlike most horror films, Halloween was famous for not showing too much blood and gore, instead relying on shadows.
            The second film, Halloween 2, was made and came out three years later and starts where the first left off, with Michael missing. Carpenter and Hill returned only as writers and producers, with a new director for the film, and this one actually showing more blood and gore. The film has Laurie being put in a hospital, where it’s later learned that she’s Michael’s baby sister, with Myers killing and searching for her and Loomis trying to find and stop him. It ends with at a part of the hospital where Loomis fills a room with hydrogen gas and ignites a lighter setting him and Michael in a ball of fire.
            The third film, released in 1982, has nothing to do with Michael Myers, instead focusing on a man selling masks that kill its wearer. Because of this change many people weren’t happy and so Michael returned in the fourth film 1989s The Return of Michael Myers, where after learning that Laurie died after the events of the second and that she had a daughter, Jamie, living in Haddonfield, Michael, who didn’t die and was in a coma, he wakes up from a coma and continues his murderous rage. Pleasence returns as Loomis who also didn’t die but was scarred from his experiences still going after his former patient. Michael at the end gets gunned down in a cemetery and presumed killed, but after the events she suffered Jamie nearly kills her stepmother in a similar way that Michael killed his sister in 1963.
            The Revenge of Michael Myers in 1989 has him survive the shooting and after being carried by a river is taken cared by a hermit and then wakes up a year later still wanting to get his niece. After the events of Return Jamie is put in a children’s psychiatric ward, becomes mute from the trauma, and somehow has a link to Michael every time he kills. Loomis uses this to his advantage in order to find and capture him at the end of the film where he’s chained in a jail cell. At the same time, a mysterious stranger in black with the same marking on his arm as Michael kills the police officers and frees Michael with Jamie inside of a police car, after hearing the gunshots stop, goes inside the station to find the officers killed and Michael’s cell blown open and him missing.
            The Curse of Michael Myers, released six years later, explains the whole reason why Michael is killing his family, is invincible, and who helped him escape. It all starts with Jamie, who was taken by the cult who are behind Michael’s supernatural origins, escaping as a 15 year old who was impregnated by the cult to control Michael and tries to hide the baby from Myers in Haddonfield. Tommy Doyle, the kid Laurie babysits in the first film, played by Paul Rudd finds the baby and finds Loomis to help him along with Kara Strode and her son who are related to the family that adopted Laurie and whose family now lives in the Myers home. They learn of Michael’s reappearance and what the cults plan is and that it’s to appease a demon by choosing a child and put a curse to have it kill anyone related to them on the night of Samhain, or Halloween, which also explains his supernatural abilities. They then plan on taking the curse out of Michael and unto someone else once he kills Jamie’s baby but before that happens Michael kills all of the cult members, thus making him invincible forever. After killing the cult, he goes after Tommy, Kara, and her son who have the baby. After tricking Myers, Tommy beats him with a lead pipe until Michael is unconscious, and outside, Loomis tells the three to go on and that he has a little business to attend to. The next shot is of Michael’s mask lying on the floor, Michael missing, and Dr. Loomis’s screams echoing loudly. The sixth film was Donald Pleasence’s last film before he died a short while after making the film and the movie is dedicated in his memory.
            The next two Halloweens skip the events of the last three films and continues where the second one had left off. In 1998s H20: Halloween 20 Years Later Michael, who went missing after the events of Halloween 2, finds all of the files of Laurie, who faked her death to fool her brother, that used to belong to Dr. Loomis and finds out where she is. Laurie, now under a new name, is still traumatized from the events of 1978, always seeing Michael in reflections, is a school teacher at a boarding school which her son, played by Josh Hartnett, attends. When Michael finds her, during a weekend break, both of them start fighting until Laurie knocks him down, looking dead. When the police arrive, Laurie, knowing full well from her experiences, takes the coroner’s van that has Myers and when she sees Michael’s body bag moving crashes it down a cliff. Laurie gets out before it crashes and when she sees Michael pinned underneath the van and reaching for her, she decapitates him.
            Four years later, in Resurrection, which is set three years later, Laurie is in a psychiatric hospital after learning that Michael switch clothes with a paramedic and crushed his larynx right before “Michael’s” body was put in the van, so Laurie killed the wrong man. At the start, Laurie sets a trap for Michael, but he tricks her and finally kills his sister and can finally come back home. A year later, six college students take part in an internet reality show where they spend the night in Michael’s home, unaware of his presence. Myers kills them one by one while a live feed is going on and in the end one of the students and the producer of the show beat Michael while the room they’re in is on fire. The two escape, while Michael is presumed dead, put in a body bag, and sent to the morgue where once his bag is opened by a coroner his eyes open and a scream is heard.
            Plans for another sequel eventually died after the death of producer Moustapha Akkad and another Halloween wasn’t made for another five years.  Musician turned director Rob Zombie remade Halloween in 2007 with a modern back story explaining Michael’s anger before he killed his mother’s boyfriend, sister’s boyfriend, and her sister at ten years old. It shows his time at Smith’s Grove Sanitarium, his escape, being looked for by Loomis, this time played by Malcolm McDowell, and killing various people to get to his sister, played by Scout Taylor-Compton, but not trying to kill her. The film ends with Michael running towards Laurie and falling down a railing and Laurie trying to use Loomis’s gun until it finally shots him just when he grabs her.
            Zombie’s Halloween 2 in 2009, starts where the last one left off with Laurie, Loomis, and one of Laurie’s friends, played by Danielle Harris who played Jamie in 4 and 5, surviving their attacks and Michael being put in ambulance truck before it accidentally crashes and Michael wakens again. It skips to a year later, with Laurie having nightmares and visions of Michael’s murders and their mother in the same way as Jamie in 5, and later learns from a book published by Loomis that Michael is her brother. At the end, Michael and Laurie face in a shed, with Michael just wanting to recreate a family and Laurie, after Michael was shot and impaled with farm equipment, stabs him repeatedly and coming out wearing his mask and later transitioning to a psychiatric ward and Laurie seeing visions of her mother in white.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Billion Dollar movies

Daniel Brizuela                                                                                                                              12/15/11
Movies that have made billions.
            The way movies are considered successful today is if they make more money than what it took to create them. Throughout the long history of movies, only ten films have achieved such great success that they automatically become one of the best films ever made. All of those ten films are films that have made over one billion dollars at the worldwide box-office since the late 1970s. The ten films are 1997’s Titanic, 2003’s The Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King, 2006’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, 2008’s The Dark Knight, 2009’s Avatar, 2010’s Alice in Wonderland and Toy Story 3, 2011’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, and so far 2012s The Avengers.
            These films have many similarities between them. The first is that they were made by renowned directors, like James Cameron, Christopher Nolan, Tim Burton, Michael Bay, and Joss Whedon. Another similarity is that they all have an all star cast of famous actors, like Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, Robert Downey, Jr., Orlando Bloom, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Evans and Helena Bonham Carter. So far, seven of the eleven films that have made over one billion dollars have won one or more Academy Awards. Whether it’s Avatar winning for its Special Effects, The Dark Knight for Best Supporting Actor for Heath Ledger, or the third Lord of the Rings winning as many awards as Titanic, including Best Picture.
            Both Titanic, the first billion dollar movie, and Avatar, the first two billion dollar movie, were directed, edited, written, and produced by James Cameron, the only man to direct two billion dollar films. After the success of all of his previous films, like The Terminator and True Lies, Cameron worked on Titanic, his only epic historical drama, non-science fiction or straight action film. At the time it became the most expensive film costing two hundred million dollars. However, when it came out in late 1997, it became the first film to earn over one billion dollars and went on to win multiple Oscars, including Best Picture, Director, and Editing for Cameron. In between Titanic and Avatar, James Cameron didn’t work on any other film. During that time other films made over a billion but none beat Titanic until Cameron’s own Avatar came out.
            One thing about the future of movies that’s certain is that more and more films will make over one billion dollars. In fact, they may make even more than one billion dollars surpassing what Avatar made when it came out in 2009.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Random poem

Daniel Brizuela                                                                                                                              11/10/11
Random Poem.
Somewhere out there,

Just you know where,

Be it what he wears.

You know when it tears.

For there is no time,

But one with lime,

And that’s with less.

Except with the mess,

In case you munch.

So you lose your brunch.

When you say it back,

It has a little crack.

You fix it with a cook,

Even if you have to hook,

You do that to a hill.

Then accept the bill,

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Treasure Found

Daniel Brizuela                                                                                                                                4/27/11
A Treasure Found short story.
           Two boys named Mark and Jake find a map attached to a tree with the words "treasure" and "secret" written on the paper. They grab the paper and when they open it they find a treasure map written inside of the dirty white paper, which tells them that the greatest treasure in the world is buried somewhere and that they need the map to find it. The two best friends decide to find that treasure and split it in half so both of them will have an equal share of it.
The first thing that the map tells them is to walk ten steps forward, which they do, and then search for a tree with branches that make a heart symbol. Once they find the tree with the heart shaped branches, the map says to turn left and run for 20 feet and then stop. Once they finished running, the two boys check the map again which tells them that they are getting closer to finding the treasure.
            The final clue that the map has is to find a brown boulder with the sign of a happy face carved into the boulder. Once they find the boulder the boys assume that you have to dig somewhere near the boulder in order to find the treasure. After digging six holes for nearly forty-two minutes, the young boys were about to quit while in the middle of digging the seventh hole when they felt something hard in all that dirt.
            Once they cleared all of the dirt they realized that they finally found the treasure chest as the map promised them. Sticking out of the side of the chest was an envelope and inside of that envelope were another note and a key to open the lock of the treasure chest.
            The note told them that they must share whatever it is that’s inside and to treasure it for all time between each other. When they got the treasure chest outside of the hole they dug they stuck the key into the lock and twisted the key.
            When the two boys finished twisting the key and finally got it open they see that the treasure is something truly worthwhile, and that thing is friendship as written all over the inside. To them it’s worth it.